Dear friends, esteemed colleagues, and honored guests,
I am so pleased and honored to receive this award. As far as I know it is the first of its kind and highlights the importance of new horizons in ophthalmology training in general as well as MSICS training in particular. And this is my passion.
When I was first approached by Jim Ueltschi about the idea of using high fidelity simulation to create a scalable training model, I knew the challenges would be huge and perhaps even insurmountable. We did not know at that time if it was possible. But I was convinced that someone needed to try, even if only to be the shoulders to stand on for future success.
Thanks to the vision of Al Ueltschi and the dedication, and leadership of the HelpMeSee team and Jim Ueltschi in particular, we have achieved a level of simulation fidelity that proves immersive virtual reality simulation is worth the effort. My hope is that thousands of surgeons, especially those who have not had access to the high quality training that most of us have enjoyed, will be able say they are winning the challenge to address global cataract blindness. We need to open the door to training for the best and brightest surgeon trainees no matter where they live or how poor they are.
For those of you who spend hours of time and put in the enormous effort it takes to train even one surgeon well, I am sure you can look forward with me to seeing how simulation will reduce the risk and improve the efficiency of training for hundreds. It will be great fun to have a tool that allows us as trainers to focus on the specific training challenges that students learning micro-surgical skills face without worrying about patient safety or the problem of finding enough patients to provide adequate training experience. It will be rewarding to see students progress and actually measure their progress in specific tasks.
For me the life of international work in ophthalmology training has been a walk of faith from the beginning. I hope for each of you, this award is an encouragement to continue to strive to work for something that is bigger than all of us: the challenges of global blindness.
Thank you again for this honor.
- Dr. Glenn Strauss, MD
Chief Subject Matter Expert