Tips to improve your technique

Cataract Surgery Didactic Course presenter Sorcha Ní Dhubhghaill previews today's session

Sorcha Ni Dhubhghaill

Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2019

They say that those who can do, and those who can’t, teach. I don’t really believe that, but I can’t argue with the fact that there are far more cooking classes out there than there are Michelin-star chefs.

The ability to train under people who are at the top of your field is something to be cherished. At both the summer and winter meetings, the ESCRS organises educational sessions. Aimed at people at the start of their careers, these sessions lay the groundwork and teach you the basic skills you will need to become a good surgeon.

Paul Rosen

At all these ESCRS courses, attendees can expect some of Europe’s best surgical teachers to walk you through the core concepts of cataract surgery. At this meeting in particular, you’ll be in the capable hands of Richard Packard and Paul Rosen, seasoned surgeons as well as accomplished teachers. You would be hard pressed to find better travel companions on your journey towards mastering cataract surgery.

At this year’s meeting in Athens, the course is divided into two half days. If you missed yesterday’s “Learning to learn” session don’t worry, there are still plenty of lessons to pick up during today’s session.

The morning session kicks off at 8am and runs until 12:30. It is called “Next steps” and will be geared towards improving your technique and taking on more challenging cases. Paul Rosen and Richard Packard will chair the session, as they dive into some of the more complex aspects, such as tough nuclei, subluxations, small pupils and all the nightmare scenarios that keep young surgeons awake at night. I will play my part too and will cover the correction of astigmatism using toric IOLs. So, if you are looking to expand your practice into those lenses and are wondering where to start, drop in to the course and I’ll tell you what I do.

So how can you make the most out of these courses? Plan ahead. Know what your weak areas are, try to engage and actively listen and don’t worry about taking photos of every slide. Courses will be available online at ESCRS On Demand after the Meeting.

The real value of these sessions lies with the expertise and experience of the speakers. As the surgical equivalent of Michelin-star chefs, they appreciate a healthy appetite for knowledge. So be in the moment and feel free to ask questions. Don’t be shy. The microphones are there to be used and there really are no stupid questions.