Ophthalmology has been a popular and competitive specialty in the last 20 years and especially so in the last five years where the numbers of medical students interested in the specialty has increased. Our CaRMS Selection Committee has a strong and transparent process for vetting our medical students and this process grows stronger every year. This year, under the leadership of Hall Chew and Amandeep Rai, the selection committee reflects a balance of gender, ethnicity, hospital representation and career stage. Radha Kohly and Nupura Bakshi continue to inform the group on the effect of unconscious bias on decision making and reinforce the importance of equity and diversity.
Going forward, we as a department need to take further steps to ensure equal opportunity and minimize bias for our medical students. Research projects are an important component of medical students’ CaRMS applications. We need to take steps to centralize research projects in the department so that students who wish to complete a project have a fair and equal chance of being able to do so. Similarly, the elective process at all our centers ought to be centralized and that electives are offered to medical students in a fair manner with equal opportunity for all those interested.
Under-represented groups in our specialty pose a more complex problem and multiple strategies are being implemented to deal with this, including ensuring appropriate information, opportunity and mentoring to these under-represented groups early in their medical training and even during undergraduate or high school years.
With every year I believe our CaRMS Committee advances in the pursuit of ensuring a fair and equitable process that is aware of the biases and the under-representation that exists within our specialty and still ensures we select the best and brightest medical students to our residency.
Wishing you a restful and happy holiday and I look forward to seeing you at the Walter Wright Symposium
Sherif El-Defrawy, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
Nanji Family Chair in Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
Chair & Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
University of Toronto
Call for Application for Chair and Associate Professor/Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences, University of Toronto
Applications are invited for the position of Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. The successful candidate must hold an academic appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor and a clinical MD appointment at a fully-affiliated hospital. The appointment as Chair will be for a 5-year term effective July 1, 2023, or shortly thereafter, renewable for a second term following a favourable review.
We are delighted to congratulate those who were recently promoted to Assistant Professor:
Hannah Chiu – July 1, 2021 Keyvan Koushan – July 1, 2018 Myrna Lichter – July 1, 2019 Ying Lu – July 1, 2019 Carla Lutchman – July 1, 2022 Raj Maini – July 1, 2022 Neera Singal – July 1, 2018 Joshua Teichman – July 1, 2021 Peng Yan – July 1, 2018
Although a long time coming for this group, the Dean’s Office have kindly taken care of the Legalities to ensure that any academic activities completed since the original date of promotion will be recognized in any future applications and the intervening years between promotions will be honoured.
Becoming a Micro Revolutionary: Victim and Bystander Training on Microaggressions
by Dr. Radha Kohly
On November 17, 2022, Danielle Solish (a 3rd year medical student from Queen’s University), Dr. Marko Popovic (a 4rth year ophthalmology resident at the University of Toronto) and I held a workshop for trainees and faculty from DOVS and other departments on how to manage microaggressions when they occur in our working environments.
Microaggressions are brief, subtle, everyday, verbal, behavioural or environmental slights that are conscious or unconscious and hostile in nature. They can occur in any clinical setting to trainees, faculty, support staff and patients. There is evidence that microaggressions take place at alarming numbers, are often directed toward trainees and are not only patient-initiated but faculty and colleague-initiated as well.
We often don’t respond directly to these microaggressions when we are either the recipient or a witness to them. Reasons for this might include that we feel there is no time to address them, they could impact the relationship with the micro-aggressor, it is uncomfortable, it is futile, we don’t wish to complain, we just want to get our work done, or we don’t know how to speak up.
We contend that these slights elicit a microtrauma response in the form of either the fight (being aggressive), flight (“running” away), freeze (unable to respond) or fawn (people please) reactions.
Microaggressions are hurtful and, together with the trauma response they elicit, can contribute to burnout and empathy fatigue.
How do we respond to microaggressions in a way that is effective? Borrowing from the literature, we developed a toolkit using our own acronym, FIERCE, to help recipients and bystanders manage microaggression. When faced with or observing a microaggression, the following approach is helpful:
FEELINGS: Focus on how the microaggressions make you FEEL using “I” statements. Example: Dr. X, when you make innuendos in the OR it makes me feel uncomfortable; like I am not being treated in the same way as my co-residents.
IMPACT: Emphasize the impact over the intention (which may be conscious or unconscious) Example: Dr. X, these innuendos in the OR leave me deflated and humiliated.
EGALITARIANISM: Appeal to the fact that we are all equally trained, pass the same exams and
have the same credentials. Example: Mrs. X, I have the exact same training as all my colleagues even though I may appear to look younger than them.
RESPOND: do not delay, respond in REAL time to the behaviour NOT the person Example: Mr. X, your repeated calls to the office (address the behaviour) prevent the front office from doing their job which includes addressing the issues for which you are calling Do not say, Mr. X you are impatient (do not attack the person)
CHECK-IN: after the intervention, take a moment to reflect on how it made you feel. If you intervened as a bystander after checking in with yourself, check in with the victim. Example: How did it feel for you when I told the patient it was hurtful to make comments about your appearance? Should I have done anything differently?
EMPOWER: Lead by example and empower others to do the same so we can advocate for just change through one encounter at a time. Example: If Mr. X calls again or you receive other repeated belligerent calls you have my support to intervene by discussing how his actions make you feel and that their impact is preventing you from providing optimal care to him and others.
A micro-revolutionary is someone who intervenes in a brief, overt, kind and daily manner to these microaggressions with conscious intention and empowers others to do the same for just change so we can micro-heal one interpersonal relationship at a time and ultimately mend the system as-a-whole.
Become a micro-revolutionary!
Quality Improvement Grant Competition 2023
The Goal of these grants is to provide initial funding of up to $5,000 to conduct Quality Improvement (QI) Projects.
Eligibility: Projects will be selected by the DOVS Quality Improvement committee based on the following criteria:
Applicant must be a faculty member of DOVS
Diversity, involvement of trainees and/or collaboration with other institutions is encouraged.
Focus on one or more of the 6 domains of Quality
Use of QI methodology
Identify a problem and provide an aim statement using SMART guidelines.
A gap analysis is strongly encouraged to support the aim statement.
Proposed or planned use of process tools (fishbone diagrams, Pareto analysis, process maps) where indicated
Funds may be provided as phases of the project are completed
Funding commitment is for one year
Award winners may be asked to present at departmental QI City Wide rounds.
Potential submission for publication
Submission deadline date: January 31 2023 @ 5pm.
Submit applications to: email@example.com with the subject heading: "QI grant competition application". You will receive an email confirming receipt of your application.
Dr. Rajeev Muni & Dr. Wei Wei Lee received ASRA Film Festival Awards
Congratulations to both Dr. Rajeev Muni and Dr. Wei Wei Lee on receiving the ASRS Film Festival Award at the American Society of Retina Specialists Annual Meeting in New York, which was held in July. The titles of their videos are as follows:
Lee WW, Kertes PJ, Muni RH. Different Approaches for Management of Pediatric RD Associated With Stickler Syndrome.
Muni RH, Barolet J. 3-Dimensional Animation Video Demonstrating Retinal Displacement in Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment Repair.
Both received their awards recently and had two of the top 10 videos. Both received a Rhett Buckler Award.
Dr. Michelle Khan received the Trillium Health Partners "Better Together" Physician Practice Award
Dr. Michelle Khan was the recipient of the Trillium Health Partners "Better Together" Physician Practice Award 2022 - awarded to one physician annually in the Department of Surgery for excellence in patient care, leadership, and collaboration.
Congratulations to Dr. Khan on receiving the award.
Tina Felfeli received Lee B. Lusted Student Prize at SMDM 2022
Congratulations to Dr. Tina Felfeli on receiving the Lee B. Lusted Student Prize for an outstanding presentation of research at the Society for Medical Decision-Making Annual Meeting, which took place in October 2022 in Seattle.
Her project on Cost-Effectiveness of Preoperative Topical Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Endophthalmitis following Cataract Surgery has also been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.
Other Honours, Awards & Grants
El-Defrawy S, Rai A, Schlenker M, Popovic M:
Co-authors of a poster presentation entitled “Intracameral Antibiotics for Endophthalmitis Prophylaxis in Cataract Surgery: A Meta-Analysis”, which was selected as one of the best posters at the 2022 American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting based on scientific peer review.
Muni R, Kertes P, Popovic M:
Co-authors of a poster presentation entitled “Risk of intraocular inflammation after anti-VEGF agents: a network meta-analysis”, which was selected as one of the best posters at the 2022 American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting based on scientific peer review.
Pereira A, Kohly R, Ballios B:
Patient and Family Education Grant, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre - Austin Pereira (PGY3), Dr. Radha Kohly and Dr. Brian Ballios were awarded the Patient and Family Education Grant, which is offered at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to support the creation of information pamphlets for inherited retinal diseases (IRDs), including Retinitis Pigmentosa, Macular Dystrophy, and early-onset severe retinal dystrophy (Leber Congenital Amaurosis). IRDs are disabling conditions which pose a significant impact on a patient's quality of life. These informational pamphlets will help patients and their family members learn more about their disease, prognosis and options for management. Pamphlets will also include multi-disciplinary information, such as visual rehabilitation, orientation and mobility training, and low vision support options (e.g., CNIB, Vision Rehabilitation Canada, and Canadian Council of the Blind).
The Clinical Examination & Management of Inherited Retinal Diseases. Cybersight Live Webinars, Orbis International, 2022. Online, October 6, 2022. (Invited Speaker)
Advances in Stem Cells and Ocular Regenerative Medicine. 2022 View Point, Fighting Blindness Canada. Toronto, ON, Canada, October 2, 2022. (Invited Speaker)
Acute Management of Ocular Burns. University of Alberta, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Grand Rounds. Edmonton, AB. Oct 7, 2022. (Visiting Professor)
“Tres Torquet” (Three Diagnostic Twists). Global Neuro-ophthalmology Case Festival, sponsored by Neuro-ophthalmology Special Interest Group, India. Sept 25, 2022, online.
University of Alberta, Oculoplastics Resident Lectures, Oct 17, 2022. (Visiting Speaker)
St John Eye Hospital of Jerusalem - lectures to the residents/department, Oct 30th to Nov 4, 2022. (Invited Lecturer)
Fourth St John Ophthalmic Association Middle East Meeting. Nov 4, 2022 (Invited Speaker)
Ocular Trauma: Tips and Tricks for Assessment and Management. University of Calgary (Presenter)
American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting. Panelist at Vitreoretinal Surgery Session: Update on the Management of Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment. October 2022.
A Paradigm Shift in the Management of Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment. Coimbatore Retina Club. October 2022.
History of Pneumatic Retinopexy. Cogan Ophthalmic History Society. September 2022.
RetinaHub Academy Podcast. Invited talk on HubCast Episode 3. October 2022.
Congratulations to Alex Kaplan and Nicole Korb, who were married on August 14th, 2022 in Toronto
Online Rounds Schedule and Events
Walter Wright Symposium 2022
This year’s Walter Wright program will showcase an exciting and relevant presentation of cornea, anterior segment and refractive surgery. Diagnostic and therapeutic tools for corneal disorders and recommendations on the diagnosis and management will be presented. We will take a closer look at infections and inflammation, keratoconus and ectasia, surgical cornea, ocular surface and limbal stem cell disease, cataract and anterior segment surgery and refractive surgery. We welcome an internationally recognized panel of speakers to share their knowledge and experience. With a combination of lectures and case presentations, this meeting promises to be a high yield, academically exciting conference. Aimed towards the comprehensive ophthalmologist, we look forward to having you join us.
Date: December 2-3, 2022 Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre Program Co-Directors: Drs. Hall Chew, Neera Singal, Joshua Teichman
Gill PJ, Drouin O, Pound C, Quet J, Wahi G, Bayliss A, Vomiero G, Foulds J, Kanani R, Sakran M, Sehgal A, Pullenayegum E, Widjaja E, Reginald A, Wolter NE, Oni S, Anwar R, Cichon J, Louriachi H, Ge Y, Kirolos N, Patel A, Jasani H, Kornelsen E, Chugh A, Gouda S, Akbaroghli S, McKerlie M, Parkin PC, Mahant S; Orbital Cellulitis (POC) Multicenter Study Group; Canadian Pediatric Inpatient Research Network (PIRN). Factors Associated with Surgery and Imaging Characteristics in Severe Orbital Infections.J Pediatr. 2022 Sep;248:66-73.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2022.05.010. Epub 2022 May 11.PMID: 35568061
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