The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and All India Ophthalmological Society’s (AIOS) Academic Research Committee (ARC) conducted nationwide workshops as part of their endeavour towards enhancing the quality of imparting ophthalmology as a subject and streamlining teaching and evaluation methodologies to bring about greater uniformity and impact through compliance to norms. The Tamil Nadu chapter of the program was held under the aegis of the Tamilnadu Ophthalmic Association and spearheaded by Senior Vitreo-Retinal consultant Dr. Pukhraj Rishi and Dr. Meenakshi Swaminathan, Senior Paediatric ophthalmologist and Director-Academics, Sankara Nethralaya was selected as the ‘Lead Instructor’, the program was conducted on 23rd August 2015 at Sankara Nethralaya main centre and was the first such workshop in South India. A total of 32 participants attended the meet.
The eagerly awaited academic program was inaugurated by Dr. Mohan Rajan, Chairman Academic Research Committee- Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association at 9:00am sharp. Dr. Renuka Srinivasan, HOD (Ophthalmology), JIPMER contributed significantly to the proceedings by sharing her long and vast experience in teaching and training. The participants evinced great interest in the highly interactive group activity being conducted at the program. It was a project-based learning, with different tasks being assigned to each group and the groups had to make a presentation within the allotted time. Dr. Katta from Hyderabad shared his thoughts about the ‘Misnomers’ in Ophthalmology. There was an interesting discussion on adapting the International Council of Ophthalmology’s norms to Indian conditions and standards. Dr. Venkatesh from AECS, Pondicherry suggested focusing and strengthening the training being offered currently in wet-labs. The representative from the sponsors, MS Appasamy Associates, spoke about ‘Ergonomics in the Operating Room’ with an interesting possibility of customized settings to suit the preference of individual surgeons.
Overall, the delegates were very appreciative with the academic content and the logistic arrangements made by Sankara Nethralaya the host institution and highly satisfied with the workshop and shared their highly positive feedback The success of the program could be gauged by the fact that there was a good demand by the participants for holding such workshops every year, with some of the delegates expressing their desire to make a repeat attendance. Pursuant to the successful workshop in Chennai, Dr. Meenakshi and Dr. Pukhraj Rishi the ARC representative for the South Zone visited Narayana Nethralaya, Bangalore to lend their expertise to the Teacher’s in Ophthalmology’ workshop being held there, by sensitizing teachers to better teaching and evaluation methodologies including the use of technology. Dr. Meenakshi played the role of Lead Instructor on behalf of the ICO for the Bangalore workshop too.