The Netra Vidya learning platform was launched and initiated by The Sankara Nethralaya Academy in 2014 to impart knowledge and skills to budding optometrists, optometry students, and experienced practitioners to up-skill and reskill themselves and keep themselves updated about the best evidence-based practices in clinical practice. During the pandemic situation in 2020, it was restructured as a virtual lecture series to deliver Optometry programs. The Sankara Nethralaya Academy and the BV/VT team of SN ushered in the Netra Vidya series on 16th September with a four-part series of online lectures and tutorials aimed at educating and upgrading young and upcoming optometrists on the nuances and best practices to successfully run an Orthoptics practice.
The chosen topics intended to cover basic binocular vision, vergence and accommodation assessments, interpretation, a correlation between the clinical parameters and diagnosis in NSBVA (non-strabismic binocular vision anomalies) along with management and vision therapy practices. On 16th September 2020, Dr. Rizwana initiated the BV series with a motivational talk to youngsters on the topic “To the Optometry class of 2020”. The talk was well-received and set the tone for the subsequent academic sessions that commenced on 19th September 2020 and concluded on 17th October 2020.
On 19th September, the first part of the four-part series began with a two-hour session by the Binocular team of SN headed by Dr. Rizwana, in which they took the participants through an interactive case discussion in which the participants were asked to analyse and solve various problem-oriented cases that are common in strabismic practice. The trouble-shooting skills were enhanced for the 100 plus participants who found the systematic approaches to problem solving very helpful.
On 25th September Prof. Mitchell Scheimann, celebrated author and currently ‘Dean of Research, Director of Graduate studies and renowned faculty at Salus University, USA, conducted the second session in which he deconstructed the Clinical testing of Strabismus into a simple two-step frame work. He also dealt with understanding the prognosis for strabismus treatment based on clinical assessment in great detail. The session had close to 170 participants from various parts of India and abroad. Seeing the enthusiastic response from the participants, the BV core team Dr. Rizwana, Mr. Praveen Kumar, Ms. Ayisha Atiya, and Mr. Amit Bhowmick took the participants through a special session on basics of Vision Therapy on 10th of October 2020. This session was open only to those participants who had registered for all the three core sessions.
The much awaited concluding session by Dr. Susan Cotter was conducted on the topic “Prescribing prisms in primary eye care practice- Tips and Tricks”. Dr. Cotter, a Professor of Optometry at Marshall B Ketchum University and author of many peer-reviewed publications on Paediatric Optometry and strabismus, simplified the art of prescribing prisms and encouraged the young optometrists to prescribe prisms for strabismic patients. More than 170 participants attended the concluding session by Dr. Cotter.
Some Testimonials from the participants
“Excellent lectures” “Lectures were very easy to comprehend” “Got all doubts clarified” “Videos and pragmatic lectures made the sessions more interesting” “I really appreciate the session, the way it was conducted as it was interactive and gave opportunity for case discussion as groups using Zoom breakout rooms” “It is an excellent platform, great group, please keep continuing in making us learn happy” “The lecture series was really a great opportunity for learning, thank you – the entire team and their hard work behind it”.