Does practice make perfect?
July is upon us and so are new residents and fellows. A common question from many of them when they start is how do I succeed most when I start out? What can I do to make an impression on my attending?
My invariable response is practice, practice, and practice more! In a microsurgical field like ophthalmology and especially retinal surgery, the time you spend outside of the operating room can be valuable at practicing the skills needed for a successful surgical outcome. As a resident at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, my down time on call was spent sewing latex gloves with 9-0 and 10-0 nylon sutures. When I first arrived at the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute as a newly minted fellow, I was reminded that I needed to practice more by one of our nurses. So I waited till after hours when the surgical microscope was free and fixed lacerated grapes and severed tomatoes to improve my hand eye coordination.
We are now fortunate to at Cole Eye Institute to have the Louise Timken Microsurgical Education Lab which was made possible by a generous gift by the Timken Foundation. The 600-square-foot ophthalmic surgical education lab employs the latest advancements in synthetic models and computer simulation technology. And the ability to perform both cataract and retina surgery through these technologies has had a significant impact on our resident and fellow surgical numbers. Our residents cataract surgery numbers far exceed accreditation standards and our vitreoretinal fellows also finish with amongst the highest surgical numbers in the country.
Read more about the Timken’s educational gift to Cole Eye Institute and how you can give through the link: HERE