In my last message I discussed the debate at our executive committee about whether a conflict of interest exists when a DOVS full time faculty member is also a physician-owner of a private surgicenter or when a DOVS part time or full time faculty member holds a leadership position at DOVS or an affiliated hospital and is a physician owner of a private surgicenter. The term surgicenter in this context does not refer to a physician private office or a group of physicians sharing an office but rather the large private centers owned by a few owners; that may contain private surgical facilities and are used by other ophthalmologists who work at the center.
The executive committee felt that these issues would be best resolved by striking a committee to address whether a conflict of interest exists in these circumstances. Dr. Yvonne Buys was invited and agreed to chair the committee. As a recognized scholar and academic leader, Dr. Buys brings decades of experience as a DOVS and UHN faculty to this role. Yvonne also has significant leadership experience at a national and international level. As a former President of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, she dealt with many issues facing Canadian ophthalmology and as chair of the COS CPD committee for a decade, she oversaw Canadian scholarly activity. I will continue with updates on the Committee's findings and suggestions.
Dr. Buys can be contacted at: email@example.com if you would like to express your opinion on this matter.
It is important to note that the University of Toronto Medical School has policies regarding the definition of a fulltime faculty (spending 80% of their time on academic activity) please find these roles described in the procedures manual in the following link: www.medicine.utoronto.ca/faculty-staff/clinical-affairs
The Relations with Industry document speaks to our interactions with industry and is relevant to any educational events and meetings we organize as well as any advisory boards or speaker's bureaus we participate in: http://www.cpd.utoronto.ca/brochures/Relations-with-Industry.pdf
Sherif El-Defrawy, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
Nanji Family Chair in Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
Chair & Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
University of Toronto
"In August 2023, Dr. Edsel Ing will be the Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Alberta and the Alberta Health Services Edmonton Division Zone Chief. His private office at Michael Garron Hospital will close at the end of July. Edsel is much appreciative of the many mentors, colleagues, medical students, residents, fellows, and patients whom he has had the privilege to work with for over 25 years at the University of Toronto. He is happy that he can continue his academic collaborations with them during his monthly clinic at Sunnybrook Hospital."
On behalf of U of T DOVS, Dr. El-Defrawy would like to thank Dr. Ing for his invaluable contributions to the department.
Dr. Gary Yau
Dr. Gary Yau will be appointed full-time at Sunnybrook Hospital and Kensington Eye Institute, effective July 1st, 2023. Dr. Yau completed medical school at the University of Western Ontario and Ophthalmology residency from Queen’s University. He completed a fellowship in medical retina and clinical trial research at Harvard Medical School.
Conflict of Interest Committee
The Conflict of Interest Committee has been struck to address the following two issues:
Does a conflict of interest exist when a DOVS full time faculty member is also a physician-owner of a private surgicenter
Does a conflict of interest exist when a DOVS part time or full time faculty member holds a leadership position at DOVS or an affiliated hospital and is a physician owner of a private surgicenter.
The term surgicenter in this context does not refer to a physician private office or a group of physicians sharing an office but rather the large private centers owned by a few owners; that may contain private surgical facilities and are used by other ophthalmologists who work at the center.
Dr. Yvonne Buys has accepted to chair the committee. Drs. Kenneth Eng, John Lloyd, Chryssa McAlister and Allan Slomovic have agreed to serve on the committee, collectively bringing expertise in ethics, education and hospital administration as well as experience in private centers.
Appointment of Chief Residents
Drs. Marko Popovic (PGY-5) and Kirill Zaslavsky (PGY-5) are appointed as Residents-in-Chief for the Academic Year 2023-2024.
Marko Popovic is a fourth-year resident at DOVS and a Master of Public Health candidate in epidemiology at Harvard University. He earned his medical degree at the University of Toronto. In residency, he served as an executive member of the planning committee of the 61st Walter Wright Symposium and the Research Director of the Council of Canadian Ophthalmology Residents. Marko is passionate about clinical research, specifically related to retina and cataract surgery. He has published widely on these topics in journals such as Ophthalmology, JAMA Ophthalmology and AJO. He is the recipient of numerous international conference awards and peer-reviewed grants. Marko is excited to serve as Chief Resident with Kirill and hopes to use this opportunity to make an impact and contribute to the residency program and the department.
Kirill Zaslavsky is a fourth-year resident at DOVS. He completed the combined MD/PhD program at the University of Toronto. His work on molecular genetics of neurodevelopmental disease was published in Nature Neuroscience and was recognized with the Faculty of Medicine's Ankle Award for excellence in innovation. In residency, he has served on the Residency Program Committee and has continued a deep engagement with research, most recently supported by a Fighting Blindness Canada grant. Kirill is excited to serve as Chief Resident with Marko and give back to the department that has given him so much opportunity for growth as a clinician, surgeon, and researcher.
Costa Rica Mission
by: Dr. Amandeep Rai
Our DOVS-Costa Rica collaborative mission returned this year with a contingent of 7 ophthalmologists from the University of Toronto joining forces with 5 Costa Rican ophthalmologists to provide surgical care to underserviced patients in Ciudad Neily. Many patients had waited 5-6 years for surgical intervention, which included phacoemulsification, extracapsular cataract extraction, pterygium excision, ptosis repair, entropion/ectropion repair, adnexal tumour excision, and dacryocystorhinostomy. The DOVS team included faculty members Dr. Allan Slomovic, Dr. Nav Nijhawan, Dr. Jamie Oestreicher, Dr. Amandeep Rai, our oculoplastics fellow Dr. Georges Nasrallah, and PGY5 residents Dr. Elie Cote and Dr. Yogesh Patodia. Former DOVS Cornea fellow Dr. Randall Ulate is a critical member of the team as he facilitates the trip and identifies regions that have the greatest need. It was an honour to work alongside the local ophthalmologist Dr. Manuel Monge, academic ophthalmologists Dr. Jorge Fonseca and Dr. Jorge Ramírez, and resident Dr. Sebastian Artavia. In total, our team was able to serve 140 patients! This was the 5th iteration of the Costa Rican mission, and our first time back since January 2020. We are already looking forward to the 2024 mission!
Brother-sister-duo Adam and Jenna Brown were born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disorder that causes severe vision loss and blindness. Their condition is caused by a variation in the RPE65 gene, which is essential for vision.
Within 24 hours of each other, Adam and Jenna received a new gene therapy that was delivered directly into their eyes. The hope is for this treatment to halt the progression of their gene-specific eye disorder and potentially provide some improvement to their vision.
SickKids ophthalmologists, Drs. Elise Heon and Ajoy Vincent have been part of the siblings’ care teams since the beginning of their journeys. “Seeing someone lose their vision over 20 years is very difficult but being able to potentially change the course of their vision loss is extraordinary. We have entered a new era of gene therapy medicine,” says Heon.
Drs. Peter Kertes and Rajeev Muni were also part of the care team performing the surgery on the two siblings.
by: Austin Pereira, Nupura Bakshi, and the DOVS EDI Committee
March: International Women’s Day
On March 8, 2023, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. It is a day dedicated to paying homage to the wonderful women, past, present, and future, who have shaped our lives in so many positive ways. Women play a crucial role in the field of ophthalmology in Canada, compromising 27% of the workforce as of 2022. This month, we highlight one incredibly influential woman in our program, Dr. Agnes Wong.
Dr. Agnes Wong, MD PhD, is a clinician-scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto. Dr. Wong completed her residency training in Toronto from 1994 – 1999, and interestingly completed a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) during a clinical fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology from 1998 – 2001. She quickly found immense success in academics, publishing over 200 peer-reviewed articles and winning numerous research awards at AAO, AAPOS, and NANOS. She served as the Ophthalmologist-In-Chief at The Hospital for Sick Children from 2013 – 2017 and Vice Chair of Research at DOVS during the same time. She also held the John and Melinda Thompson Chair in Vision Neuroscience for a decade.
Throughout her academic journey, Dr. Wong sought a balanced life. In 2017, Dr. Wong transitioned to part-time clinical practice and became a chaplain to pivot her focus to well-being in healthcare. She began a crucial role in the wellness and mindfulness space by mentoring current and future ophthalmologists. Her work integratesmindfulness, compassion, reflective practices, and systems thinking into medicine to promote physician well-being and improve healthcare systems. She currently teaches a mindfulness and compassion course for healthcare providers through the Sarana Institute and also teaches residents and fellows meditation and self-reflection. She has published a book entitled, “The Art and Science of Compassion: A Primer. Reflections of a Physician Chaplain”, which is widely regarded as a must-read for budding clinicians. Her courage to speak openly and honestly about physician distress and burnout, and the importance of self-regulation, have helped change the narrative on physician wellness. More recently, Dr. Wong was ordained as a Zen Priest – a testament to her deep dedication to a path of service.
We thank Dr. Wong for her courage, dedication, and contributions to both ophthalmology and well-being in medicine. We celebrate her and all our women ophthalmologists this International Women’s Day!
Below is a link to the wonderful article recently published in NEWSWEEK, where Dr. Wong reflects on her insightful journey:
The QI committee would like to thank all those who submitted applications to the QI grant competition . A letter from the QI committee will be sent to the faculty lead of each project by March 21. Dr Brian Wong, Director of the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (CQuIPS) will be our guest speaker at city wide rounds on March 31. Please see attached the educational courses in QI methodologies offered by CQuIPS (See below):
Administrative and Fellowship Co-ordinator - Ryan Lue
We are pleased to announce that Ryan Lue has joined the DOVS as the Administrative and Fellowship Coordinator. Ryan holds a Master Degree in Education and is experienced in the fields of Education, Administration and Guidance Counselling. Welcome Ryan!
Honours, Awards & Grants
Dr. Radha Kohly receives McGill Learner Award for Teaching Innovation
Congratulations to Dr. Radha Kohly on receiving the McGill Learner Award for Teaching Innovation. The awards, created by the office of the Vice-Dean, Education as part of the Faculty’s ongoing Proud to Teach campaign, recognize faculty members and learners who developed and implemented innovative teaching strategies that are learning- and learner-focused.
Dr. Michael Nguyen (PGY-5) receives PARO Trust Fund's Resident Teaching Award
Congratulations to Michael Thai Binh Nguyen (PGY-5) on receiving the PARO Trust Fund's Resident Teaching Award from Postgraduate Medical Education, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. This award, valued at $1000, is presented annually to only two residents from the entire University of Toronto resident pool who exemplify outstanding clinical teaching achievement to junior residents and clinical clerks.
Appointed as the Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (JAAPOS) which is our leading Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Journal
Invited Lectures and Visiting Professorships
Women in Ophthalmology. The EyeCan Podcast. Canadian Ophthalmological Society. Session 3, episode 5. February 7, 2023.
Retinal Imaging: A journey through time. Ophthalmic Photographer Society. January 2023.
Different approaches to Macular Holes. Atlantic Coast Retina Club 2023, Boston. February 2023.
Pneumatic retinopexy for complex cases. VitreoRetina Update. Coimbatore, India (Virtual). 25 Feb 2023.
Unexplained structural & functional loss after retinal detachment repair: causes & consequences. VitreoRetina Update. Coimbatore, India (Virtual). 25 Feb 2023.
Meet the Experts – The Art of Pneumatic Retinopexy. ASG Eye Hospitals. India (Virtual) 19 January 2023.
Topography and tomography for the comprehensive ophthalmologist. Pittsburgh Ophthalmology Society. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America. February 9, 2023. Invited guest speaker.
Cataract surgery in challenging situations. Pittsburgh Ophthalmology Society. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America. February 9, 2023 (Invited guest speaker)
Atypical infections. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Department of Ophthalmology, Grand Rounds. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America. February 10, 2023. (Invited guest speaker)
Cataract surgery in fun-ky corneas. Telling it like it is (TILII) 2023. Tampa, Florida, United States of America. February 17, 2023. (Invited speaker)
Flanged double-needle intrascleral haptic fixation (Yamane) pearls. Providence Health Care / British Columbia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (BCSEPS) / University of British Columbia (UBC) Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Clinical Day in Ophthalmology. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. February 24, 2023. (Keynote speaker)
Middle segment surgery combined with endothelial keratoplasty. Providence Health Care / British Columbia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (BCSEPS) / University of British Columbia (UBC) Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Clinical Day in Ophthalmology. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. February 24, 2023. (Keynote speaker)
No lens, no iris: Aniridia IOLs and iris suture repair. Providence Health Care / British Columbia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (BCSEPS) / University of British Columbia (UBC) Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Clinical Day in Ophthalmology. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. February 24, 2023. (Keynote speaker)
A case of a capsule rupture before we even begin? American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery (AECOS) Winter Symposium. February 28, 2023. (Invited speaker)
Congratulations to Dr. David Mathew and his wife Melanie on the arrival of their daughter Chriselle on December 29th, 2022. Michelle and Jude are proud to become big sister and big brother!
Arshinoff, SA (editor), Bjorn Johansson B, Claoue C, Perez-Silguero D, Hebert M, Chen MY, Qi SR. Immediately Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery (ISBCS): Global History and Methodology (Book) Academic Press, Elsevier Science. January 2023.
Barton J, Hershenfeld SA, Johnston JL, Kim JS, Ranalli PJ, Salman MS, Tyndel FJ, White OB, Wong AM, Zackon DH. James Sharpe's Contributions to Neurology and Neuro-ophthalmology: A Posthumous Tribute Ten Years On. Can J Neurol Sci. 2023 Jan 30:1-17. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2023.15. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36710572
J Neuroophthalmol. 2023 Jan 4. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000001783. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36626595
Zeitz C, Roger JE, Audo I, Michiels C, Sánchez-Farías N, Varin J, Frederiksen H, Wilmet B, Callebert J, Gimenez ML, Bouzidi N, Blond F, Guilllonneau X, Fouquet S, Léveillard T, Smirnov V, Vincent A, Héon E, Sahel JA, Kloeckener-Gruissem B, Sennlaub F, Morgans CW, Duvoisin RM, Tkatchenko AV, Picaud S. Shedding light on myopia by studying complete congenital stationary night blindness. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2023 Jan 18:101155. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2022.101155. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36669906 Review.
Zielinski C, Winker M, Aggarwal R, Ferris L, Heinemann M, Lapeña JF, Jr, Pai S, Ing E, Citrome L. Chatbots, ChatGPT, and Scholarly Manuscripts WAME Recommendations on ChatGPT and Chatbots in Relation to Scholarly Publications. https://wame.org/page3.php?id=106 January 20, 2023
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