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Volume 28, Number 4  | October 2020

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Dr. Sherif El-Defrawy
Message from the Chair

October 2020


Great news for our Faculty of Medicine

Dear colleagues,

On September 24, Dean Trevor Young announced a historic $250-million gift from James and Louise Temerty and the Temerty Foundation to the Faculty of Medicine (FoM).  This gift (the single largest gift in Canadian history) will be transformational to our FoM allowing for innovations in  health science, health care and health education that will have significant impact including: 
  1. Establishing a new Centre for AI Research and Education in Medicine, which will capitalize on U of T’s internationally recognized strengths in artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning—technologies that are revolutionizing diagnostics, drug discovery, surgery and patient care. 
  2. Establishing a TAHSN Fund to support collaborations across the Toronto Academic Health Science Network, U of T’s partner research and teaching hospitals. 
  3. Creating a new state-of-the-art Faculty of Medicine building for education and research, prominently situated at the corner of King’s College Road and King’s College Circle.
  4. Creating a Dean’s Strategic Initiatives and Innovation Fund to enable flexible and nimble funding for investments in star researchers, equipment and new initiatives as opportunities arise.  
  5. Accelerating research with the potential for breakthroughs in fundamental, translational, clinical and rehabilitation science, such as the Faculty’s pioneering work in regenerative medicine, personalized medicine and precision medicine. 
  6. Training and retraining the leading doctors of the future with the skills required for 21st century challenges, arming them with critical abilities in technology, personalized medicine, wellness, nutrition and clinical care, ultimately resulting in better patient care and improved access to medical education for Indigenous and other under-represented populations. 
This is a remarkable gift and in gratitude, U of Ts medical faculty will be named the Temerty Faculty of Medicine.  Our Faculty is widely regarded as Canada’s finest and among the world’s best, ranked sixth in clinical medicine and health sciences by the highly respected Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Louise and James Temerty are recognized as notable and generous philanthropists who have supported health care, education and culture in Toronto and beyond.  James Temerty initially owned Computerland stores across Canada and then went on to found Northland Power in 1987 which produces electricity from renewable resources such as solar, wind, and clean burning natural gas. 

As Trevor Young, Dean of the FoM said in thanking the Temertys: “Their gift will touch every aspect of our programs, impacting education, research and clinical care across the region and around the globe. It will allow us to respond nimbly to exciting research and partnership opportunities as they arise and lead the way to big medical breakthroughs. It will help us to offer innovative physician training, which will lead to the very best patient care. Ultimately, it will elevate the Faculty’s international standing among the world’s greatest faculties of medicine.” 

Sherif El-Defrawy, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
Nanji Family Chair in Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
Chair & Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
University of Toronto
Back row (left to right) - MD Candidate Hira Rachel, Dean Trevor Young, Chancellor Rose Patton, VP Advancement David Palmer.
Front row (left to right) - Mike Lord, Leah Temerty-Lord, President Meric Gertler, James Temerty and Louise Temerty.
Featured in this issue:


New Appointments

Dr. Crystal Cheung
Dr. Crystal Cheung has been appointed to the Department at the rank of Lecturer as Clinical Part-time-Clinician Teacher as of September 2020.  Dr. Cheung will practice at the Hospital for Sick Children and the Humber River Hospital.  Dr. Cheung completed her MD at the University of Ottawa in 2013, her residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto in 2018, and her fellowship training in Paediatric Ophthalmology at Boston’s Children Hospital, Harvard University. 

Dr. Stephan Ong Tone

Dr. Stephan Ong Tone has been appointed to the Department at the rank of Assistant Professor as Clinical Full-time-Clinician Scientist as of September 2020 following a search. Dr. Ong Tone will practise at Sunnybrook Hospital.  Dr. Ong Tone obtained his MDCM, PhD at McGill University in 2013, his residency in  Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto in 2018,  and his fellowship training in Corneal, External Disease and Refractive Surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in 2020.   

Royal College Review - November 30th, 2020

by: Dr. John Lloyd, Director of Postgraduate Medical Education

As many or most of you are hopefully aware, this is an important year for our residency program – and all residency programs at the University of Toronto. It is now the eighth and final year of our institution’s regular accreditation cycle. At this point, the Royal College sends survey teams to each program at the University of Toronto. The goal of each survey team is to evaluate how well each program is faring in terms of meeting the Royal College’s accreditation standards. Normally this is an in-person event, but the worldwide pandemic has necessitated that everything will be done virtually this year.
There are a lot of acronyms involved in this process, so let me explain them along with the evolution of the accreditation system into what we have today. Note that our accreditation is not related to CBD (“Competence by Design”) which is the Royal College’s own term for their transition of all programs to CBME (“Competency Based Medical Education”). The latter is the generic term for the transition that is occurring worldwide – leaving behind the time-based residency education model pioneered by Sir William Osler in the late 1880s and little-changed to this day! CBME uses clear metrics to evaluate the skills of residents and is potentially time-independent – though in actual practice CBME will not likely change much about the timing required to complete residency. It will improve our ability to provide timely and meaningful feedback to residents about their training progress. Our program was not slated to begin transitioning to CBD until 2021 and the pandemic has now delayed that until at least 2022.

In Canada, residency education is governed by several institutions (Collège des médecins du Québec - CMQ, the College of Family Physicians of Canada - CFPC, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada - RCPSC) and each had their own accreditation standards. In 2013, they came together to form the Canadian Residency Accreditation Consortium (CanRAC). Their goal was to unify residency accreditation and they collaborated to create CanERA (Canadian Excellence in Residency Accreditation). The CanERA standards were prototyped from 2015 – 2019 and were officially launched Canada-wide in July 2019. This new system for residency education accreditation emphasizes outcomes focused on program quality, while embodying the values of efficiency, consistency and continuous quality improvement.

Fortunately for me as residency program director, as well as all of us involved in contributing to the residency program, the CanERA standards are not radically different from the previous RCPSC standards. What did change was a considerably increased emphasis on continuous quality improvement. Both the University of Toronto postgraduate leadership and our departmental leadership were aware of these changes and have taken proactive steps to address the expectations regarding quality improvement. For those who wish more detail about the CanERA standards, a link is included at the end.

The eight-year accreditation cycle began just before I began my term as program director. Mid-way through the cycle it was expected that an internal review conducted by our own institution would occur. Some of you may remember our internal review which occurred in late 2015. Some weaknesses were identified. One of the major weaknesses was lengthy In-Training Evaluation Reports (ITERs) which were not in CanMEDS format and did not match the Goals and Objectives of each rotation. The ITERs have all been revised and are now streamlined, easy for the site directors to complete and formatted correctly to match the rotation goals. A second major weakness was the inability of our residents to adequately attend their academic half-day teaching. The problem was solved by moving the teaching from Friday afternoon to Friday morning and ensuring adequate on-call coverage (typically by fellows) during this protected time.

Our Royal College external review is now scheduled for November 30, 2020. The survey team will consist of two medical educators who are both physicians but are from outside our specialty. The survey team may also include a resident surveyor. Other team members such as the surveyor Chair or Deputy Chair, regulatory authority member or observers may or may not be present. Over the course of the day, the survey team will meet virtually and separately with the program director, chair, program administrator, junior residents, senior residents, teaching faculty, resident promotions subcommittee and finally the full residency program committee. They will ask each of these participants or groups various questions about their role in the residency program and try to ascertain how well we are doing at meeting the CanERA standards of accreditation as well as the Objectives of Training (OTR) and Specialty Training Requirements (STR). In addition, they will compile a list of strengths and weaknesses of our program.

When the residents are meeting with the surveyors, typical topics of inquiry will include the following:
  • Overall impressions of the program (strengths and areas for improvement)
  • Interaction with PD (accessibility, support, etc.)
  • Environment (supportive, positive, safe, no harassment)
  • Opportunities to provide feedback and communication
  • Policies/processes (are they effective?)
  • Resources
  • Resident assessment
  • Supervision and educational experiences
  • Competence by Design (as appropriate)
  • Clinical responsibilities
  • Scholarship and research support/opportunities
The teaching faculty can expect similar topics of inquiry such as:
  • Overall impression of the program (strengths, areas for improvement)
  • PD leadership
  • Communication/collaboration/opportunities for input (PD/RPC)
  • Resources
  • Residents’ learning experiences, CanMEDS
  • Resident assessment
  • Teacher assessment & professional development
  • Recognition (teaching, research, involvement in other medical education activities)
  • Learning/Teacher environment (supportive, positive, safe, reflection on hidden curriculum)
  • Effectiveness of policies/processes
Finally, the Residency Program Committee should expect questions about the following areas:
  • Role of RPC and how it functions
  • PD (Accessible? Responsive?)
  • Policies/processes (are they effective?, development/review process, communication of processes/policies to others, etc.)
  • Program review (continuous improvement) process
  • PG office (communication, leadership)
  • Learning site selection/review
  • Resident assessment/promotion
  • Educational experiences (curriculum planning, tailoring experiences to level of responsibility)
  • Resident mistreatment and/or resident and patient safety
The following day, December 1st, the survey team will meet with the program director to discuss their recommendations on the accreditation decision. They will indicate any leading practices and/or innovations identified and identify any areas for improvement requiring follow-up within two years. However, the accreditation report is not provided at this time.

The survey team will provide their recommendation to the Royal College. The Royal College may seek additional information from our university as well as our national specialty committee. A preliminary report will be provided to our postgraduate office and subsequently to our program. It will include a recommended decision, but our program has two weeks to respond to any factual errors identified in the report. The final decision is made by the Residency Accreditation Committee of the Royal College in the spring of 2021 and the full accreditation review report delivered to our program at that time.

Successful accreditation will be accompanied by a recommendation regarding follow-up review. If our program demonstrated acceptable compliance with the standards, a normal mid-cycle internal review and end of cycle Royal College external review will occur. Some specific issues might require a written follow-up progress report within two years. Major issues arising can result in the need for a College-mandated internal review, external review or even a notice of intent to withdraw accreditation.

I think we have an excellent ophthalmology residency program at the University of Toronto, and I am confident that we will be successful at our accreditation review! I want to thank everyone – all our residents, teaching faculty, RPC members, program administrator (Sandra Gauci) and departmental Chair (Dr. Sherif El-Defrawy) for everything you contribute to the success of our residency program. I also welcome any questions anyone might have about the upcoming accreditation process.

Join the Webinar Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 7:30 pm EDT

Navigating the Road to Retirement

During this 100-minute webinar we will address retirement from an ophthalmology practice. Canadian ophthalmologists will share their experience and ask experts their questions around finances for retirement, the details for closing a practice and some of the not often talked about pyscho-social components related to retirement. Join Drs. Colin Mann and Yvonne Buys (pictured) as they explore the retirement paths of Dr. Yvonne Buys, Dr. Jamie Oestreicher and Dr. Raj Mohandas. We will also hear from experts in the field, Dr. Alan Roadburg, author of Life after Medicine, and Kim Peterson from MD Financial Management, and Dr. Richard Mimeault from the CMPA.
The webinar will take place on Tuesday November 17, 2020 from 7:30pm EDT.  We hope you can join us.

Date: Tuesday November 17, 2020
Time: 7:30 pm EDT
Register in advance for this webinar: Zoom Registration details to be confirmed
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Language: English only

Moderators      Dr. Colin Mann, Dr. Yvonne Buys
Speakers          Dr. Alan Roadburg
                           Kim Peterson, MD Financial Management
                           Richard Mimeault, CMPA
Panelists           Dr. Jamie Oestreicher
                           Dr. Raj Mohandas

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

-  Identify factors related to the financial requirements for retirement
- Describe key considerations for closing a practice in preparation for retirement
- Describe common concerns related to retirement planning
- Reflect on the experiences of their peers in retirement
CanMEDS Role: Professional
This webinar is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. You may claim a maximum of 1.75 hours.
COS will send all participants their Certificate of participation following the webinar.
Colleen Drake, Coordinator, Continuing Professional Development, Canadian Ophthalmological Society at
with any questions.

Fellowship Welcome Event

Parnian Arjmand, Chief Fellow
Dear fellows, supervisors and committee members, 
We would like to invite you to the first fellowship welcome event/ virtual fellowship development rounds on Thursday October 15th at 7:30 pm. We had really hoped that this event which is normally a dinner event at the Faculty club would be held in person this year - however, due to the uptick in numbers, it seems a virtual event for our first rounds is the safest bet.
The evening will start with a few welcome remarks by the DOVS Fellowship Director Dr. Nav Nijhawan and our department Chair, Dr. Sherif El-Defrawy. We will then ask each fellow to introduce her/himself and will also have a team building activity so everyone gets to meet and know each other a little more.
We will have a panel of speakers with Dr. Alan Berger and Dr. Kenneth Eng, who will speak to us on tips to build great rapport with patients, professionalism, work-life balance, and the 101 of how to have a successful fellowship year(s). We will send out a detailed agenda closer to the date of the event.
We hope to be able to give you a warm welcome and an opportunity to get to meet and know your co-fellows in other sub-specialties better. Please RSVP to
Kind regards,

Women Trainees in Ophthalmology - Rose, Bud (and Thorn)

by: Dr. Radha Kohly, Vice Chair, Faculty Development, EDI & Global Health
on behalf of the Women Trainees in Ophthalmology Committee, Drs. Bakshi, Derzko-Dzulynsky, Low and Sit
This Fall our Women Trainees in Ophthalmology event, like everything else, was different. We were forced to host the event in a backyard outdoor space with all of us eating from individually boxed cheese plates and mezza platters while we maintained social distancing. This distance, however, did not stop us from getting close emotionally and sharing our unique experiences as women in ophthalmology living through a pandemic. Dr Stephanie Low brought us together by having us each speak about the most important thing that happened to us both professionally and personally in 2020 (the Rose), and one thing we are each looking forward to before the end of the year (the Bud).  We skipped speaking about the thing we did not like about this year (the Thorn) for obvious reasons, although Dr. Tanya Trinh did highlight the well-documented extra mental load most of us as women are carrying during the pandemic. We shared many roses including hearing about how these past 6 months have allowed many of our trainees to spend more time with their partners, friends and family, to focus on their mental and physical wellbeing and to explore their creative sides. Looking forward at their buds, many of our trainees expressed a desire to not return to their old pre-pandemic habits and to continue to focus on their relationships and to carve out time for reflection and personal growth. We will continue to have future events centering on womens issues in ophthalmology and plan to invite our male trainees and other faculty too.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at DOVS

by: Dr. Nupura Bakshi, Director of EDI
We are currently living through an unprecedented time in history – a global pandemic, followed by a far-reaching anti-racist movement whose watershed moment was the tragic death of George Floyd in police custody. These events have highlighted entrenched disparities and shone a harsh spotlight on existing inequities in our culture and society, and medicine is no exception. It is now more important than ever to examine and address inequities, and learn to be an ally.


The Faculty of Medicine recently created and released a comprehensive Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan, in support of the FOM’s key strategic pillar of Excellence through Equity. This plan provides wide-ranging recommendations and guidelines on EDI programs, policies, and initiatives for all academic departments.
Under the leadership of Dr. El-Defrawy, DOVS is the first ophthalmology department in Canada to have an EDI Committee and EDI roles as part of its leadership structure. The mission of the EDI Committee is to consciously enhance and uplift an environment of culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the DOVS, ensuring that EDI is a consideration in all department activities and processes. Strategic priorities will focus on five domains: 1. Education and Awareness, 2. Research and Scholarship, 3. Culture, 4. Policy and Administration, and 5. Partnerships.
The committee membership includes Drs. Michael Wan, Chryssa McAlister, Rosa Braga-Mele, and Jason Kwok, and is led by Dr. Nupura Bakshi as Director of EDI and Dr. Radha Kohly as Vice-Chair of Faculty Development, EDI, and Global Health.  Key initial priorities include development of EDI workshops and grand rounds, unconscious bias training, creation of a departmental code of conduct, and a baseline needs assessment and survey.
A Call to Action and a Call for Input

As Dean Trevor Young has said, “There is a growing body of literature that tells us diversity in medicine results in better medicine.” By working together, we can create change and maintain an environment free from discrimination, while assuring that our faculty and graduates are well-prepared to meet the needs of the diverse communities they will serve over the course of their careers. The committee is actively seeking input from faculty members, staff and trainees on future projects, research initiatives, and directions. If you have any ideas, concerns, or thoughts, please email

Global Ophthalmology in the time of COVID-19

by: Dr. Helen Dimaras, Director of Global Health and Outreach
It comes as no surprise that the pandemic rapidly disrupted global health practice around the world. Just within our own department, we have had to: indefinitely postpone on-site educational projects in Ethiopia and Costa Rica; pause field research in Kenya; and shift funding expectations, as several calls for applications were postponed or eliminated altogether. In this time, we have looked for alternative ways of working: global educational projects have made more frequent use of online learning and telemedicine (see image); international speakers have ‘visited’ Toronto via Zoom; and global health research projects are actively being redesigned to align with these new ways of working.
At the onset of the pandemic, the Global North was primarily affected, prompting many global health practitioners point out the great opportunity for the Global South to take the lead in global health. They speculated that this could serve as a type of ‘course correction’ to begin to remove inherent power imbalances between privileged and non-privileged actors in the field. Furthermore, the coinciding of the Black Lives Matter movement with the pandemic encouraged us to examine the damaging colonial past of global health. We are urged to consider how we have been operating in the global health sphere, and change practice for the better: Do our global health initiatives inadvertently reinforce colonial narratives? Do our partnerships align with the principles for ethical global health conduct? How do we communicate about our global health activities (for more on this, see this excellent piece by Desmond T. Jubman entitled, “How (not) to write about Global Health”)?

Some have suggested that the disruption to global health is not only a chance to hit the “reset” button on how it is practiced, but also an opportunity to
more actively and thoughtfully champion the successes of our colleagues in the Global South. For example, why is it that Africa’s success in staving off COVID-19 has not been readily highlighted nor celebrated, despite the many tangible lessons it holds? Here at home, it is a chance to consider how we can use our privileged position as members of the DOVS to champion the work of our international colleagues and partners in global ophthalmology. To this effect, we are coordinating an Ophthalmology Rounds in the near future, to focused on the important work of our international partners. It’s time to shine the spotlight on our colleagues, to learn from them and highlight their successes, and challenge our model of global health.
The Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration, including the DOVS Pediatric Ophthalmology fellowship development team (pictured), has pivoted their educational capacity building projects to a fully online model. Shown is an online training session on the use of a portable, hand-held fundus camera.
PGY2s Mike Caputo and Jenny Quan, PGY3 Yogesh Patodia, PGY4 Aaron Chan, PGY5 Bryon McKay and Staff Dr. Hall Chew reviewing emergency cases at Sunnybrook in the (post)COVID era (July 2020) - Photo credit: Aaron Chan

Advancement News

Hill Family Donates $1 Million to Help Advance Vision Research

The Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto has received a significant gift to establish The J. Ardeth Hill - Fighting Blindness Canada Professorship in Ocular Genetics Research and pave the way for a new Ocular Genetics Research Centre in Toronto. The centre will be the forefront of genetic eye disease testing and research, and is set to break ground over the next 5 years.

Gilbert and Ardeth Hill wanted to make a difference in advancing sight saving research.  For the Hills their gift means sharing their love with the world and making an impact for the over 1.5 million Canadians living with vision loss. We celebrate Gilbert and Ardeth’s love story and their contribution of over $1 million towards vision research.

The Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences extends a gracious thank you to Fighting Blindness Canada and Gilbert and Ardeth Hill and their children for their remarkable gift and opportunity to make a difference.  
When Gilbert and Ardeth made the decision to attend Queen’s University for their Bachelor’s Degrees in the late 1940s, they did not anticipate the ripple in their life this decision would make. Gilbert, Ottawa born, and Ardeth from Hawarden, Saskatchewan, met on campus and quickly became inseparable. They shared a love for sports, traveling, and adventure, and went on to pursue advanced degrees at Queen’s University, and McGill (Gilbert) and the University of Toronto (Ardeth), both developing a keen interest in the biochemical and genetic aspects of disease.

Gilbert and Ardeth’s love for one another grew throughout the years. From hitting the ski trails together, to travelling the seven continents of the world, their love of life and one another became everlasting. Now in their late 80s, Gilbert and Ardeth have been married for over 60 years and have three incredibly supportive children; Janet, Andrew, and Margaret.

About 30 years ago, the couple were both caught by surprise when Ardeth began losing her vision.

“Blindness has a tremendous impact on family,” explains Gilbert. “People don’t understand what it’s like until they experience it themselves.”

At the early stages of vision loss, Ardeth’s vision was being closely monitored at Toronto Western Hospital. Genetic tests were then done at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto resulting in Ardeth’s diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Today Ardeth can only see shades of light and dark. Working over 50 years in the field of clinical biochemistry, Gilbert continues to be more determined than ever to help find a cure for his wife’s eye disease.

“We have a lot to discover and we need to keep supporting Fighting Blindness Canada in finding a treatment and cure,” says Gilbert.

From the University of Toronto, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences, we would like to thank Gilbert and Ardeth, and their children for their significant gift and impactful contribution to Fighting Blindness Canada.

Link to full story:

New Vision of Macrae Fund

Dr. William (Bill) Macrae (MD’ 65) long recognized the importance of mentorship and guidance in a competitive surgical world. That’s why he chose to establish the William Macrae Fund for Excellence in Ophthalmic Education in 2012, shortly after retiring from his surgical practice. He wanted to ensure no new doctor was ever left to fend for themselves without the help and support of their more experienced peers.

The Macrae Fund supports trainee initiatives in the University of Toronto’s Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences in order to strengthen the academic and teaching quality of the department. This includes support for the new mentorship program and renowned surgical skills wet lab, one of very few ophthalmic labs’ of its

In addition to Bill’s contributions, this fund also received generous support from alumni and faculty members such as Dr. Dan Weisbrod and Dr. Agnes Wong, as well as other friends.

Dr. El-Defrawy affirmed that the Department is honoured to continue to further Bill’s legacy and uphold his commitment to others and his passion for teaching.  Bill has always believed in supporting his students through mentorship, curriculum reform, and hands-on instruction.  To this end, and in collaboration with the Macrae Family, the Macrae Fund has been reimaged to meet a broader scope of educational and mentoring needs for the department through an annual lecture, a vision fund that focuses on mentor/mentee relationships and establishing a new William Macrae Humanitarian Award.  
William Macrae Lectureship

The new William Macrae Lectureship will allow the Department to recruit esteemed speakers/experts, with a focus on enhancing our supportive and collaborative culture. The inaugural virtual lecture will be launched in December 2020. Topics will include mentorship, compassion, self-compassion, happiness, and physician burnout.
Next year, the William Macrae Lecture will be embedded within the Walter Wright Symposium, a leading annual event which features presentations from up to 90 faculty members, residents, fellows, and alumni representing five teaching hospitals. The 2021 event will be the Department’s 61st symposium, providing a wonderful opportunity to recognize the legacy of Dr. William Macrae among new and familiar faces.
William Macrae Vision Fund
A new educational fund will allow the Department to provide training opportunities for mentors and mentees through various methods. These opportunities could include hands-on surgical training, specialized courses and conferences. In order to continue to foster a positive learning culture, faculty and trainees will be encouraged to share their learnings on topics such as professionalism, communication, compassion and wellness.
An example of a one-day training opportunity is the William Macrae Surgical Skills Lab Training Day. The Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science will select faculty members who are dedicated to resident surgical teaching and highlight them through demonstrations of advanced skills in the wet lab.
Traditionally, surgical skills have been acquired in the operating room and as the complexity of such procedures increases, and access to surgical time decreases, we can no longer expect surgeons to acquire all novel skills they will use in their future practice primarily in the operating room. Through this new vision fund, faculty members and residents will be able to expand and evaluate their surgical techniques in a controlled environment.
William Macrae Humanitarian Award
To honour and reflect Bill’s motivation to create a culture of compassion and mentorship,  The William Macrae Humanitarian Award will recognize outstanding faculty members who are committed to focusing on training and mentoring residents. The Department will manage the application process and the award will be administered and presented annually to one faculty member at the Department’s Annual Graduation Dinner. A true value of this award is the privilege for honourees to be associated with Bill’s name and legacy.

I would encourage you to also consider joining faculty and alumni by making a donation.  To donate, please click the link The William Macrae Fund for Excellence in Ophthalmic Education.

Honours, Awards & Grants

Dr. Steve Arshinoff awarded 2020 Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award


Congratulations to Dr. Steve A. Arshinoff who was awarded the prestigious 2020 Outstanding Humanitarian Award by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This award recognizes Dr. Arshinoff for his commitment to providing ophthalmic medical and surgical care to a very rural population in Northern Ontario, a medically underserved area in the province of Ontario, Canada.

From the American Academy of Ophthalmology website:

The Academy is privileged to honor Steve A. Arshinoff, MD, FRCSC, with the 2020 Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award.

This award recognizes Dr. Arshinoff for his commitment to providing ophthalmic medical and surgical care to a very rural population in Northern Ontario, a medically underserved area in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Arshinoff was nominated by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society for his continued involvement with the Medical Mobile Eye Care Unit (MMECU). He joined this initiative as a resident at the University of Toronto in 1978 and has continued his involvement for the past 42 years. Since 1998, Dr. Arshinoff has been the medical director of the MMECU program. In this capacity, he organizes the program, secures funds, upgrades the facilities, leads the medical team and provides eye care.

The MMECU, also called the Eye Van, started in 1972 as a joint project with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the Physician Service Organization and the Ontario Ministry of Health to provide ophthalmological care to Northern Ontario. This rural region is home to nearly . Access to ophthalmic care is limited in the northern regions of the province and a significant number of the population either will not or are unable to travel to centers.

Dr. Arshinoff is one of the original two ophthalmologists involved in the program and has continued to this day. The Eye Van has evolved from a Winnebago and a staff of three to a 53-foot semi-trailer with six full-time staff. contribute weeks of their time to care for thousands of patients from 30 isolated communities who have limited or no access to eye care. Under Dr. Arshinoff’s leadership, the Eye Van has significantly improved the lives of countless people to date and has shown the world that geography need not be an insurmountable obstacle to the delivery of modern excellent ophthalmic care.

Dr. Arshinoff is truly the critical cog in the wheel of the Eye Van and, as such, can be largely credited with its success and growth. Dr. Arshinoff has tirelessly advocated for the Eye Van and its innovative ability to deliver ophthalmological care to underserved regions. He has secured continued support and funding from the government, much-needed donations from industry and a strong commitment to service from the ophthalmology community.

Dr. Arshinoff continues his busy practice in Toronto, teaches in the ophthalmology residency program at the University of Toronto and travels the world lecturing and demonstrating surgical techniques to improve the delivery of eye care to the global population. Dr. Arshinoff received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Neeru Gupta awarded 2020 WIO President's Award

Photo: Left, Prof. Erin M. Shriver, President of Women in Ophthalmology; Right, Prof. Neeru Gupta, ICO President (Interim), 2020 WIO President's Award Recipient

Women in Ophthalmology (WIO) was founded to enhance and improve the professional environment for women ophthalmologists. WIO encourages diversity, impartiality, and economic parity, and strive to cultivate new opportunities for leadership, education, and public service in the field of ophthalmology for women ophthalmologists, both nationally and internationally. Women in Ophthalmology recently hosted their 2020 Virtual WIO Summer Symposium on 21–23 August which was their highest attended meeting to date with 750 registrants from 15 countries. The 2020 President’s Award was bestowed upon Prof. Neeru Gupta, ICO Interim President, by WIO President, Prof. Erin Shriver. This award is given by the President of WIO to honor an individual who is a leader in ophthalmology and who has contributed to the profession as an educator, researcher, or humanitarian. Prof. Gupta's Honorary Lecture explained her pioneering glaucoma surgical technique to address the leaking bleb Minimally Invasive Conjunctival Surgery (MICS).

Other Honours, Awards & Grants

Gupta, N:
Hatch, W:
  • Ontario Brain Institute $37,500.  

Jin, YP:
  • CIHR grant reviewer for the "Operating Grant: COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity" (May-Jun 2020).

Kletke, S:
  • Detweiler Travelling Fellowship, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada 2020-2021.

Mireskandari, K:
  • Appointed President Elect of the  Canadian Association of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus - CAPOS
  • Expert review panel for Canadian Joint Statement on Traumatic Head Injury due to Child Maltreatment, Public Health Agency of Canada, Government of Canada.   Publication 2020 July : Joint Statement on Traumatic Head Injury due to Child Maltreatment
Popovic M, Schlenker MB, El-Defrawy S:
  • Preoperative Fasting for Ambulatory Cataract Surgery: A Time-Interrupted Prospective Study (The PRACTICE Study). Physicians’ Services Incorporated Foundation, $20 000 Resident Research Grant. 2020. 

Invited Lectures and Visiting Professorships

Ali, A:
  • The 2020 Letson Visiting Professor Lecture and Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology Lecture. Advances in corneal neurotization and pediatric keratoplasty. Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences.  University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.  Sept 11, 2020 (Keynote Speaker)
  • Neurotrophic keratopathy and corneal neurotization. Healing the Corneal Surface Webinar, Emirates Ophthalmology Society.  Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Sept 12, 2020 (Invited Speaker)
  • Allergic conjunctivitis in children. Ophthalmology Grand Rounds. Queen’s University Dept. of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences. Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Sept 30, 2020 (Visiting Professor)

Buys, YM: 
  • Getting better access to public eye care, The Tonic, Zoomer Radio, August 8 and 9, 2020, Toronto, Ontario (Radio Interview)

Choudhry, N:
  • American Society of Retina Specialists Annual Meeting 2020 Real-World Visual Outcomes after Yag Vitreolysis for Vitreous Opacities (VOYAGE) Study

Gupta, N:
  • Lymphatic Drainage from the Eye: A New Target for Therapy, Glaucoma Symposium, Keynote Lecture, Argentinian Society of Ophthalmology Centenary Congress, Sep 5, 2020
  • What is New in Brain Damage in Glaucoma? Glaucoma Symposium, Argentinian Society of Ophthalmology Centenary Congress, Sep 5, 2020
  • A Novel Technique to Fix the Leaking Bleb with Minimally Invasive Conjunctival Surgery (MICS), Honorary Lecture, Women In Ophthalmology Symposium, Aug 22, 2020
  • Leadership Beyond Borders in Ophthalmology, World Ophthalmology Leaders Program, Opening Remarks & Panelist, International Council of Ophthalmology, Aug 15, 2020

Hurwitz, J:
  • Michigan Ophthalmology Society— Advances in Lacrimal surgery, Jul 31, 2020 (Guest Lecturer)
  • Brazil Oculoplastics Society—45 years as a Lacrimal Surgeon. Sept 25, 2020. (Guest Lecturer)
  • QEH Barbados. Thyroid Eye Disease Symposium. Oct 2, 2020 (Moderator)

Ing, E:
  • Giant cell arteritis:  Pretenders, Paradigm Shifts and Peculiarities to India.  Global Neuro-ophthalmology Festival, sponsored by the Neuro-ophthalmology Special Interest Group of India, Sept 26, 2020, Jaypee Hospital, Noida, India (Invited Lecture) Meeting link:

Mireskandari, K:
  • The Middle East Ophthalmology Meeting (MEOM), Virtual meeting. Dubai, UAE. Congenital Cataract Management. Presenter: K Mireskandari. Sept 2020. (Invited Lecture)

Online Rounds Schedule and Events

Date: October 1, 2020
DOVS Cornea Rounds
Topic: Anterior Corneal Dystrophies
Speaker: Dr. Eyal Cohen

Date: October 2, 2020
Grand Rounds, Visiting Professor
Topic: Optic Neuritis, it’s not just multiple sclerosis anymore
Speaker: Dr. John Chen

Date: October 8, 2020
DOVS Cornea Rounds
Topic: Allergic conjunctivitis in children
Speaker: Dr. Asim Ali

Date: October 9, 2020
Grand Rounds, Visiting Professor
Topic: Multimodal imaging in uveitis with a focus on OCT and OCT-A in quantitative disease detection and monitoring
Speaker: Dr. Kathryn Pepple

Date: October 15, 2020
Fellowship Welcome Event
* RSVP to

Date: October 16, 2020
Grand Rounds
Topic: Investigating corneal endothelial cell migration in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy: potential implications for Descemetorhexis without endothelial keratoplasty (DWEK)
Speaker: Dr. Stephan Ong Tone

Date: October 23, 2020
Grand Rounds
Topic: Posterior uveitis
Speaker: Dr. Alex Kaplan

Date: October 27, 2020
Retina Connect Rounds
Topic: The Ambiguity of Pachychoroid
Speaker: Dr. Rick Spaide

Date: October 30, 2020
Grand Rounds
Topic: Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension with a Twist
Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Micieli

Date: November 6, 2020
Grand Rounds
Topic: Glaucoma
Speaker: Dr. Matt Schlenker

Date: November 20, 2020
Grand Rounds
Topic: Neuro-Ophthalmology
Speaker: Dr. Edward Margolin

Date: November 27, 2020
Grand Rounds
Topic: Uveitis
Speaker: Dr. Larissa Derzko-Dzulynsky

Date: December 11, 2020
Grand Rounds
Topic: Paediatrics
Speaker: Dr. Michael Wan

* Schedule subject to change

For latest details and links, please visit:

Full Upcoming Calendar and Events

Recent Publications

Recent publications by DOVS Faculty, Staff, Residents and Fellows

July 2020
Deng SX, Kruse F, Gomes JAP, Chan CC, Daya S, Dana R, Figueiredo FC, Kinoshita S, Rama P, Sangwan V, Slomovic AR, Tan D; International Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency Working Group.  Global Consensus on the Management of Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency. Cornea. 2020 Jul 6. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000002358. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32639314
Gedde SJ, Feuer WJ, Lim KS, Barton K, Goyal S, Ahmed IIK, Brandt JD. Reply. Ophthalmology. 2020 Jul;127(7):e45-e46. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2020.02.033. PMID: 32564821 No abstract available.
Grudzinska Pechhacker MK, Di Scipio M, Vig A, Tumber A, Roslin N, Tavares E, Vincent A, Hèon E. CRB1-related retinopathy overlapping the ocular phenotype of S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency.
Hostovsky A, Yap J, Mandelcorn MS, Mandelcorn ED. Densiron® 68 Heavy Silicone Oil As A Short-Term Intraocular Tamponade For Macula-On Inferior Retinal Detachments - A Case Series. Retin Cases Brief Rep. 2020 Jul 15. doi: 10.1097/ICB.0000000000001037. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32694274
Ing EB, Faggioni A, Lu Y.  Medial orbital dermoid cyst. Can J Ophthalmol. 2020 Jul 16:S0008-4182(20)30621-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2020.05.011. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32682940 No abstract available.
Sixth cranial nerve palsy secondary to compression by dolichoectatic vertebrobasilar artery.
Jeeva-Patel T, Margolin EA, Mandell D. BMJ Case Rep. 2020 Jul 6;13(7):e234949. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2020-234949. PMID: 32636226 Free PMC article.
Jeon W, Trope GE, Glazier RH, Brent MH, Buys YM, Jin YP. Delisted routine eye examinations for nonrefractive eye conditions: a comparative analysis. CMAJ Open. 2020 Jul 15;8(3):E479-E486. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20190125. Print 2020 Jul-Sep. PMID: 32669293 Free article.
Trinh T, Mimouni M, Cohen E, Santaella G, Sorkin N, Chan CC. Comment on: "Poor Long-Term Outcomes of Keratopigmentation With Black Ink for the Treatment of Dysphotopsia Secondary to Laser Peripheral Iridotomies". Cornea. 2020 Jul;39(7):e17-e18. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000002324. PMID: 32265384 No abstract available

Witkin AJ, Hahn P, Murray TG, Arevalo JF, Blinder KJ, Choudhry N, Emerson GG, Goldberg RA, Kim SJ, Pearlman J, Schneider EW, Tabandeh H, Wong RW. 
Occlusive Retinal Vasculitis Following Intravitreal Brolucizumab. J Vitreoretin Dis. 2020 Jul;4(4):269-279. doi: 10.1177/2474126420930863. Epub 2020 Jul 1.PMID: 32789284 
August 2020
Alabduljalil T, Cheung CS, VandenHoven C, Mackeen LD, Kirby-Allen M, Kertes PJ, Lam WC. Retinal ultra-wide-field colour imaging versus dilated fundus examination to screen for sickle cell retinopathy. Br J Ophthalmol. 2020 Aug 19:bjophthalmol-2020-316779. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2020-316779. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32816790
Felfeli T, Mandelcorn MS, Altomare F, Mandelcorn ED. Reply. Retina. 2020 Aug;40(8):e34-e36. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000002736. PMID: 31895091
Ing EB. Comment on: British Society for Rheumatology guideline on diagnosis and treatment of giant cell arteritis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2020 Aug 11:keaa458. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keaa458. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32780810
Ma J, Micieli JA. Severe Vision Loss in a Man With Heavy Tobacco and Alcohol Consumption.
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020 Aug 1;138(8):915-916. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.0900. PMID: 32556063

McKay BR, TaKim, D, Wong, DT Paracentral Acute Middle Maculopathy After Meningococcal Vaccination in an Young Female.   Can J Ophthalmol. 2020 Aug 25:S0008-4182(20)30685-2 

J Clin Rheumatol. 2020 Aug;26(5):e124. doi: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000000995. PMID: 30664545 
Salimi A, Ing E, Nianiaris N. Suicide and Laser Refractive Surgery. J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2020 Aug 6;15(3):432-434. doi: 10.18502/jovr.v15i3.7464. eCollection 2020 Jul-Sep. PMID: 32864076 
Tsatskis Y, Rosenfeld R, Pearson JD, Boswell C, Qu Y, Kim K, Fabian L, Mohammad A, Wang X, Robson MI, Krchma K, Wu J, Gonçalves J, Hodzic D, Wu S, Potter D, Pelletier L, Dunham WH, Gingras AC, Sun Y, Meng J, Godt D, Schedl T, Ciruna B, Choi K, Perry JRB, Bremner R, Schirmer EC, Brill JA, Jurisicova A, McNeill H.  The NEMP family supports metazoan fertility and nuclear envelope stiffness. Sci Adv. 2020 Aug 28;6(35):eabb4591. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abb4591. eCollection 2020 Aug. PMID: 32923640
Vig A, Poulter JA, Ottaviani D, Tavares E, Toropova K, Tracewska AM, Mollica A, Kang J, Kehelwathugoda O, Paton T, Maynes JT, Wheway G, Arno G; Genomics England Research Consortium, Khan KN, McKibbin M, Toomes C, Ali M, Di Scipio M, Li S, Ellingford J, Black G, Webster A, Rydzanicz M, Stawiński P, Płoski R, Vincent A, Cheetham ME, Inglehearn CF, Roberts A, Heon E. DYNC2H1 hypomorphic or retina-predominant variants cause nonsyndromic retinal degeneration. Genet Med. 2020 Aug 5. doi: 10.1038/s41436-020-0915-1. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32753734 Free article.
September 2020
Gedde SJ, Feuer WJ, Lim KS, Barton K, Goyal S, Ahmed II, Brandt JD.  Reply. Ophthalmology. 2020 Sep;127(9):e79-e80. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2020.04.014. PMID: 32828203
Gedde SJ, Feuer WJ, Lim KS, Barton K, Goyal S, Ahmed II, Brandt JD.Reply. Ophthalmology. 2020 Sep;127(9):e81-e82. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2020.04.025. PMID: 32828205
Paxton AB, Christakis PG, Micieli JA.Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy after intravitreal aflibercept for age-related macular degeneration. Retin Cases Brief Rep. 2020 Sep 18. doi: 10.1097/ICB.0000000000001053. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32969978

Pichi F, Neri P, Agarwal A, Invernizzi A, Choudhry N, Amer R, Lembo A, Nucci P, Thompson I, Sen HN, Shields CL.  VASOPROLIFERATIVE TUMORS IN INTERMEDIATE UVEITIS. Retina. 2020 Sep;40(9):1765-1773. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000002656.PMID: 31584561
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