Eyes on the prize

Melbourne-based Ophthalmologist Dr Charles Su, who recently returned from a training tour to Cambodia where he is helping train two opthalmologists undertaking Sight For All’s in-country Oculoplastics Fellowship, said the Fellows were making good progress.

“It was clear that our two Fellows, Dr Theary and Dr To Vichhey, had gained much in the intervening year, and were independently performing surgical procedures which they needed much more hands-on help with last year.”– Dr Charles Su

Dr Sotheary Heng working on tear duct reconstruction.

Melbourne-based Ophthalmologist Charles Su recently returned from a training tour to Cambodia where he is helping train two opthalmologists undertaking Sight For All’s in-country Oculoplastics Fellowship.

Dr Su, one of 11 instructing surgeons from Australia and New Zealand, said the Cambodian Fellows were making good progress in gaining the expertise to become specialist oculoplastic surgeons.

“This is my second visit to help train the Fellows, having first visited in March 2018,” Dr Su said.

“It was clear that our two Fellows, Dr Theary and Dr To Vichhey, had gained much in the intervening year, and were independently performing surgical procedures which they needed much more hands-on help with last year.”

Dr Su is proud of the Fellows’ progress in the demanding field.

“Our two Fellows express the same drive, work ethic, and skills (both intellectual and cognitive), which is evident in young surgical specialist trainees all over the world.

“They are candid in their recognition of and passion for working on the particular resourcing and organisational challenges in their practices. They do so with remarkable good humour and optimism.

“I feel immensely lucky to know them and to be part of their career development, and in turn, proud of the benefit they will bring to their workplaces and patients.”

Dr Su asked the Fellows how things might have been if not for the on-the-ground input of Sight For All.

“Without hesitation, they pointed out that not only would this subspecialty training program not exist, but that the overall training program for ophthalmologists in Cambodia would be far smaller and less complete than it is,” he said.

 “Surgical instruments, and major equipment such as a surgical microscope and laser, among other donations from Sight For All, have provided many procedures to patients which would not otherwise be available.”

Dr Su will continue his mentoring role long after his recent visit to Cambodia.

“I had already become familiar with our two Fellows, along with two other young ophthalmologists interested in oculoplastic surgery last year,” Dr Su said.

“They have kept in touch with me by WhatsApp. I will continue to communicate with them about ongoing patients for which they seek advice.”

Working as a Visionary for Sight For All has been both worthwhile and satisfying, Dr Su said.

“Overall, I have both taught and learnt from my time participating in these programs,” he said.

“I hope that we each contribute a little bit toward sharing knowledge and practices to improve eye health care around the world,” he said.

Occuloplastics Fellows Dr Sotheary Heng and Dr Vichhey To with visiting Visionary Dr Charles Su (centre)

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