Aiming for excellence in glaucoma

May 1, 2007

In December 2006, the Swiss city of Geneva played host to the very first European glaucoma resident's course, designed for ophthalmic residents seeking the necessary skills for the diagnosis and therapy of glaucoma.

In December 2006, the Swiss city of Geneva played host to the very first European glaucoma resident's course, designed for ophthalmic residents seeking the necessary skills for the diagnosis and therapy of glaucoma.

"It was a great pleasure for me to be involved in this pioneering activity, which is the first of its kind," enthused Tarek Shaarawy, MD, Head of the Glaucoma Department at Geneva Hospital and the course's scientific secretariat. "There is a clear need for specialist training in ophthalmology across Europe and this course marks a significant step towards achieving our goal of continued excellence in European glaucoma research, development and treatment," he added.

Each session was designed in such a way as to provide residents with practical knowledge and advice, whilst exposing them to real life situations and testing the limitations of their knowledge and clinical reasoning. Direct interaction with EGS faculty members also allowed residents to gain invaluable advice and experience from some of Europe's most respected glaucoma surgeons.

The course was attended by 172 participants in total, from 34 different countries, which included the vast majority of European countries, as well as participations from Congo, Egypt, Iran and Israel.

"I felt the first course was a huge success. Our objective for the event was to provide a forum whereby residents could learn everything they needed to know about glaucoma in two days. Although it was hard work for everybody that took part, our objective was achieved," said Professor Roger Hitchings, President of the European Glaucoma Society. "We received an extremely positive response from everybody that attended the course; the residents went home with improved knowledge and skills, whilst the teachers developed new research ideas, which was stimulated by residents' intelligent questions," he added.

Professor Hitchings' future vision is to offer similar courses on a regular basis, catering for residents at different stages of their glaucoma education. "From this first meeting, we learned that there is a distinct need for such training courses. The EGS will now be looking to host more courses in the future, in the hope of contributing towards ongoing excellence in European glaucoma," he concluded.

SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORSProfessor Roger Hitchings is President of the European Glaucoma Society and Director of Research and Development at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London UK.

Tarek M. Shaarawy, MD is Director of the glaucoma sector at Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland. He may be reached by E-mail: tarek.shaarawy@hcuge.ch
or Tel: +41 22 3828400.