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YOUNG OPHTHALMOLOGIST FORUM MEETING TRAINING NEEDS

With cataract surgery becoming more of a refractive procedure, this year''s Young Ophthalmologists Programme featured a symposium on the refractive aspects of lens exchange in addition to basic and advanced cataract surgery courses. "The talk on IOL calculation was very good," says Rizwana Khan MD of Ireland, who has been a consultant for two years and has attended the Young Ophthalmologists Programme at the ESCRS annual congress for several years. "Anything on cataracts is very useful for me." "  We want to involve more young ophthalmologists in ESCRS  "Maja Bohac MD, a third-year resident from Croatia who has been focusing on refractive surgery, agreed. "The instructional programmes are good for beginners and experts. You can always find out how to do something better. Overall this congress is great. There is something for everyone." ?In addition to the annual congress programme, ESCRS is launching several initiatives to expand learning and training opportunities for young ophthalmologists, says Oliver Findl MD, who directed this year''s programme and conducted the basic phaco course. "We want to involve more young ophthalmologists in ESCRS," he says.?One way to do it is to provide financial support for young colleagues, particularly from eastern countries, to attend the ESCRS annual congress and winter meeting. ESCRS provided grants to several attendees at this year''s meeting and will continue to do so, Dr Findl says. He would like to see expanded wet labs for cataract and refractive surgery, as well as education programmes geared toward preparing trainees for national board exams. "It is essential to put more focus on trainees and their needs." To promote knowledge exchange on advanced surgical techniques, ESCRS is putting together an Observership Programme. "This would allow young ophthalmologists to spend five days in cataract or refractive surgery centres throughout Europe learning about the latest technology and procedures," Dr Findl says. He and other ESCRS leaders are currently recruiting centres to participate. ESCRS also plans to financially support the programme.?To encourage young ophthalmologists to build on the relationships they establish at meetings, ESCRS is adding a forum to its website, Dr Findl says. "The forum will provide new information and a place for asking questions and commenting. We hope it will be used more and more and grow over time." ?ESCRS is also building an e-learning site that will include complete didactic courses on cataract and refractive surgery online. "The idea is to deliver information content to young ophthalmologists at home where they can retrieve it on their own time," Dr Findl says.? Dr Findl believes the expanded programmes will not only better disseminate learning, they will also promote research across Europe and bring more colleagues in eastern countries to the forefront of advancing surgery.?Ivan Drosdov MD, who is studying DSAEK techniques for a PhD with Boris Malyugin MD in Russia, believes young ophthalmologists have a lot to contribute. "Young people have some extraordinary ideas which may be useful to all surgeons," he says. "I am here not just to learn but to teach."

Month posted :September

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