Editors Selection IGR 9-2

Improving eye care globally

Steven Gedde

Comment by Steven Gedde on:

18032 An international strategic plan to preserve and restore vision: Four curricula of ophthalmic education, Tso MO; Goldberg MF; Lee AG et al., American Journal of Ophthalmology, 2007; 143: 859-865

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The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) has developed a strategic plan for improving eye care globally, and ophthalmic education is the cornerstone of this plan. Four International Task Forces were established to create curricula for the training of residents, medical students, para-ophthalmic personnel and for continuing medical education. These curricula are presented as educational tools directed toward three levels of training (basic, standard and advanced) and encompass a broad range of educational objectives. The International Curricula of Ophthalmic Education were published in the English language in the November 2006 issue of Klinische Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde and may be accessed on the ICO website at Tso et al. (815) have highlighted them.

The four International Curricula of Ophthalmic Education provide a very useful framework for international education of the entire eye care team. However, differences in the patterns and prevalence of ocular diseases in various geographic regions will require that the curricula be modified to suit the specific needs of the local community. For example, knowledge about the diagnosis and treatment of onchocerciasis or vitamin A deficiency may be critical in certain parts of the world and significantly less important in other locations. Additionally, some specialized and expensive diagnostic techniques in the curricula may not be readily available in all communities. Progress in medical science is occurring at an astounding rate. As a result, the curricula should be updated frequently to incorporate expanding knowledge and new technologies. This work is certain to enhance the quality of eye care worldwide. The next phase for the ICO is the development of an implementation strategy for the curriculum globally.

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