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Looking Back

Our Ophthalmology Residency Training Program celebrates its fourth year of a 2-week off-site rotation for senior residents to Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital in New Delhi, India. Since its establishment in 2015, 14 residents have participated in the multi-dimensional experience that involves extracapsular cataract surgical training, tailored clinical exposure to subspecialty clinics in ophthalmology, patient screening in a rural outreach facility, educational conferences and exchanges, and cultural immersion.

Senior residents Drs. R. Chris Bowen, Nathan Mathews, and Chris Spearman were accompanied by the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (DOVS) Chair, Dr. Terri Young, MD, MBA, FARVO, and traveled to India in February of 2019. According to Dr. Young, “I was impressed by the deep level of commitment to service that the doctors have at Shroff’s, and how they relate to their patients with graciousness and humility.” Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital serves the greater New Delhi community. It is also involved in eye care work in other areas of India, and in Botswana in partnership with the Madison non-profit Combat Blindness International, which was founded by UW–Madison professor emeritus, Dr. Suresh Chandra.

The DOVS International Ophthalmology Initiative (IOI) welcomed its third international ophthalmology resident from the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, Dr. Ana Letícia Darcia. Dr. Darcia performed a retrospective research study on non-surgical treatments for pediatric cataract under the DOVS faculty sponsorship of Dr. Michael Struck. Dr. Darcia investigated the treatment protocol of pre-verbal/ non-verbal children with cataracts by visual testing to determine the need for surgical intervention. Traditionally, the trigger for implementing surgical care is primarily based on the morphologic features of the cataract alone. In addition to her research contributions, Dr. Darcia observed patient care in the clinic with and the operating room with faculty members, and participated in resident training didactic lectures during her five-week program.

In May 2019, USP ophthalmology resident Dr. Thaisa Silveira Barbosa and DOVS principle investigator Dr. Yasmin Bradfield successfully published an article in the Ophthalmology Glaucoma Journal titled, “Comparative Intraoperative Anterior Segment OCT Findings in Pediatric Patients With and Without Glaucoma.” Research contributions were made while Dr. Barbosa rotated at DOVS in fall of 2018.

UW–Madison DOVS second-year ophthalmology resident Dr. Braden Burckhard was recognized by the Philippines Commission on Filipinos Overseas, for his contributions to underserved Filipinos during the 236th Tzu Chi Foundation Medical Mission in Tacloban City, Philippines. Dr. Burckhard spent one week with DOVS partners at the University of Santo Tomas, Cardinal Santos Medical Center and Tzu Chi Eye Center in Manila, Philippines as a part of the newly established bilateral partnership.

UW Medical student Vimal Konduri participated in a 10-week UW School of Medicine and Public Health Shapiro Summer Research Program at Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, India. While abroad, he performed researched on the efficacy of their Certified Ophthalmic Paramedic Program (COP). The COP program trains young women to become mid-level professionals and perform similar functions to traditional ophthalmologists. Mentored by IOI Co-Chair Dr. Cat Burkat, Vimal reflected, “This was a great learning experience, mentorship program and career exploration.”

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences has had a long tradition of global partnership. As co-director of International Ophthalmology Initiatives, I envision strengthening our partnerships with existing and new collaborations among international institutions. Our goals include advancements in patient eye and surgical care, research, and education curriculum development. I am excited to work with our international partners to achieve these goals!


Looking Forward

DOVS will support its fifth annual India resident training rotation at Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital where three senior residents, a current retina fellow, and a glaucoma fellowship alumna and faculty will travel to New Delhi and participate in patient care and teaching activities.

In the spring of 2020, DOVS will welcome University of Santo Tomas partner, Dr. Cathy Macaraig, for a three-day collaborative visit and Grand Round presentation. Ophthalmology resident Dr. Elaine Downie will join partners in Manila, Philippines, for a one-week rotation focusing on indigent care. Support for this partnership comes from the Guillermo and Marta de Venecia Fund, which was established to continue the de Venecia’s commitment to indigent care, faculty training and collaborations with academic medical centers in the Philippines.