New Fellowship Programme Promotes Excellence in Refractive Surgery
A new global fellowship programme represents a timely and highly relevant means of promoting refractive surgery through education, research, management, and patient care, according to the first European ophthalmologist selected to the programme.
“Participation in the fellowship programme represents a unique, high-quality opportunity. Uncorrected refractive error is the second leading cause of blindness in the world after cataract, concerning 3.7 million people worldwide, so refractive surgery will stay on top of best international practices,” said Sigrid Freissinger MD, FEBO.
Dr Freissinger shared her experience as the only European fellow in the Refractive Surgery Alliance Society (RSA) fellowship programme based in the United States. Founded by Guy Kezirian MD, the RSA strives to increase the access and availability of quality refractive surgery to all patients and counter some of the myths and misinformation about refractive surgery.
The RSA Fellowship Network provides training and mentorship for recent residency graduates. The two-year programme provides a standardised curriculum experience with a strong focus on skills transfer across several dimensions of expertise – clinical, surgeon, business, practice development, innovation, teaching, research, and collaboration.
“There are nine fellows selected from all over the globe. We hold regular web meetings with didactic content including lectures, case reviews, surgical videos, and journal clubs. The programme includes teaching with renowned experts and surgeons, as well as preparation based on selected literature and books to generate case reports for discussion,” Dr Freissinger reported.
Each fellow is accompanied and supervised by a preceptor, an experienced refractive surgeon. Dr Freissinger described the programme in a poster study presented at the ESCRS Virtual Winter Meeting 2022.
Dr Freissinger is currently completing a fellowship with Bernhard Febrer Bowen MD, CEO of Augerlin MVZ in Berlin, Germany, while also participating in the RSA Fellowship Network under the academic guidance of Helen Wu MD and Julie Schallhorn MD.