ESCRS - Good Business Managers Are Good Eye Surgeons
ESCRS - Good Business Managers Are Good Eye Surgeons

Good Business Managers Are Good Eye Surgeons

Dr Paul Rosen says the ESCRS has ambitious plans for expansion of the Practice Management & Development Programme.

Doctors may not be interested in the business of healthcare, but it has a huge influence on the way we practice and the way we manage our patients. The ESCRS Practice Management & Development Programme was established in 2008 to help to encourage doctors to look at how they can conduct their public and private practice in a different way.

When we started the programme 14 years ago, some people were sceptical about what we were trying to do, but the programme has been a great success and is now firmly established as a core activity for ESCRS.

Being a good ophthalmologist is not just about being a good clinician. It is about maximising the patient experience, as demonstrated by one of our key collaborators Shareef Mahdavi at the ESCRS Practice Management & Development Masterclass at last month’s Congress in Milan, Italy.

It is important to point out the programme embraces all ophthalmologists, including young ophthalmologists in training who need to develop specific skills in areas such as leadership, negotiation, teamwork, finance, and administration.

There has been a perception among eye surgeons that practice management is only relevant to ophthalmologists in private practice, but this is not the case.

I work both in private practice and for the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom. If you are a clinical leader in a public service organisation, you are fighting for resources—and you need to know how those resources are allocated and how your department needs to be managed to maximise allocated resources.

With that in mind, we have been working over the last 12 months to develop a dedicated educational programme for ophthalmologists which will specifically focus on practice management outside the annual Congress.

We also plan to expand the scope of the programme to include new modules on Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability, and Crisis Management.

We had a fantastic programme in Milan, but we want to make the Practice Management & Development Programme more than a once-a-year event. We have run Practice Management Weekends outside the annual ESCRS Congress in the past, and 2023 will see the ESCRS restart those weekends.

The plan is to have two of those weekends on-site in a major European city, complemented with two online webinar sessions—in other words, four sessions in all.

That will mean we will have a progressive education programme throughout the year. The programme will be refreshed continually and moderated by members of the Practice Management & Development Committee and the ESCRS leadership. We want more interaction with eye surgeons interested in developing their business skills both online and in person.

The ESCRS acknowledges that if this programme is to grow, it cannot be restricted to workshops at the annual Congress, and we must engage with our audience on a year-long basis.

We are also exploring the possibility of establishing an accredited business course for eye surgeons.

This is a complex process that will take time to develop, but we have had encouraging feedback, and we hope to be able to make a major announcement on our progress at the 41st Congress of the ESCRS in 2023 in Vienna, Austria.

Finally, I would like to thank the ESCRS leadership—including our President Oliver Findl—for the support they have given this year and in previous years, as well as the members of the Practice Management & Development Committee who have devoted their time and energy to this programme.

We have made major progress in the last 14 years, and I look forward to even better times ahead.

Paul Rosen is Chairman of the ESCRS Trustees, Chairman of the ESCRS Practice Management & Development Committee, and Past President of the ESCRS.


Paul Rosen


Friday, September 30, 2022


Practice Development