Resources in Tropical Ophthalmology (edited on 18.06.2020)

Here is a list of those ophthalmologists, whose tropical experience inspired me before and during my work in Africa.

  1. William Charles Caccamise, Sr, MD, Retired Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (died in 2013). Quote from Atlas: “Dr. Caccamise has very generously shared his images of patients taken while operating during the “eye season” in rural India as well as those from his private practice during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Many of his images are significant for their historical perspective and for techniques and conditions seen in settings in undeveloped areas.” The easy way to appreciate the vast collections of rare ophthalmic cases is through google images search or setting the date “1970” in a search at Atlas.
  2. William H Dean, Ophthalmologist: Bristol Eye Hospital, Bristol, UK, later worked in Malawi and than moved back to the UK and finally to the South Africa. In early 2014 Will had generously mailed me a copy of the DVD with his instructional video on Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS), which was like a bible for me as a MSICS beginner at that time. Dr. Dean described a few MSICS tips in a paper at Community Eye Health Journal. Will had also shared his vast tropical eye experience in the new edition of fascinating textbook, Eye Surgery in Hot Climates. I used to enjoy the right-to-the-point instructions of the previous edition of this book. Very handy and highly recommended to those ophthalmologists who begin their practice in Tropics.
  3. Baxter McLendon, MD – “Baxter McLendon has dedicated the last 10 years to international volunteer work in ophthalmology. He graduated from College of Charleston and attended the Medical University of South Carolina (USA). After medical school he spent two years in the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Leprosarium in Carville, La. Dr. McLendon did his residency at Medical College of Ga. and a corneal fellowship at the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology/ Oxford Eye Hospital in Oxford, England. Baxter has spent over 10 years living and working in Tanzania, Malawi, Grenada, Guatemala, Ghana, and Belize. Has worked as volunteer in numerous countries: Haiti x7, Peru x2, Namibia Labrador, Jordan, etc.”. I was once astonished with how relevant the advices in his blog are. This was hilarious: this Doc knows exactly which problems exist during work in tropical setup, and how does one overcome them in the very elegant (and sometimes not so elegant, but nontheless extremely effective) way. His blog on management of difficult eye cases in tropical ophthalmology is just fascinating. I read it twice or three times, and hopefully will read it again in future. Doc has even invited me to visit Belize whilst he is still there. Well, hopefully I will.
  4. Professor C.N.Chua. CCST(Sept 2001), FRCOphth(March 1996), MRCP(London)(Feb 1993), MBBS(1990), B Med. Sci (Hon)(1988). An oculoplastic surgeon from Malasya, he is a great educator. One of the most passionate ones I would say. His manuals on comprehensive ophthalmology helped me greatly to conquer my main ophthalmology examinations. His biography is very impressive (the titles say it all). And finally, I enjoyed his oculoplastic surgery blog very much! Very helpful! I also enjoy his way of life, as he posts his achievements regularly in facebook. I could even say – a role model for many of us.
  5. Glenn Strauss, MD. Consulting Ophthalmologist. FAAO, Chief Medical Officer, HelpMeSee and Senior Consultant, Mercy Ships. “Glenn is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Texas, Austin and a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology since 1986. He began international work in 1986 and has volunteered for numerous international missions. He has developed innovative techniques to address the problem of cataract blindness in developing nations and a high volume surgical training unit offering sponsored cataract surgical fellowships in manual small incision surgery and performing up to 3,000 cataract operations per year. Glenn was the medical director of Mercy Ships for 6 years prior to joining HelpMeSee as the Chief Medical Officer to help with the manual small incision simulator project.”. For me, his videos on Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery were fantastic. Back then, at 2014 MSICS was a completely new surgery for me. And videos of Dr. Strauss and Dr. Dean served just perfect to overcome and/or avoid the major challenges in this surgery. Since then, by the way, I know precisely, that one day I will take this opportunity and join Mercy Ships for one or two missions.
  6. Dr. Steve Waller, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. The powerpoint presentation “Tropical ophthalmology”, freely googlable, was actually one of my first inspirations upon the decision to travel to Africa.
  7. The tiny book “Tropical Diseases in Ophthalmology” by O. Nesterenko (Military Medical Academy of St. Petersburg, Russia) (written in Russian) was the first inspiration for moving to the Tropics during my resindency training.
  8. The textbook “Eye Care in Developing Nations” by Larry Schwab. The textbook on basic features of the ophthalmology in the tropics. The book depicts the ways to efficient use of available scarce resources. Very impressive and shows what one should expect going into tropics to work as an eye specialist.
  9. Community Eye Health Journal” published by International Centre for Eye Health. It is a rich source of information for all the eye care professionals working with scarce resources. Published for decades now. Hard-copies are distributed free of charge to the subscribers from developing countries. Electronic issues are available to everyone.

Here are some other resources one may find very interesting when preparing to go global:

  1. Blog of my colleague from Zambia, Janie Yoo, the US-trained ophthalmologist and corneal specialist, who devoted years of life to serve the people of Zambia, serving that time as the only corneal surgeon in the country. Very interesting cases depicted, as well as stories from Africa and about Janie’s life-curves:
  2. Blog of the western guys, who were practicing in Angola:
  3. The blog of the legendary Tanzanian Eye Hospital KCMC (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre), one of the best training centres for cataract surgeons in the Region.
  4. The Global Directory of Training Opportunities compiled by the AAO. The places, where one can involve oneself into the global ophthalmology via fellowship, obververship, visits etc.
  5. Opportunities in International Ophthalmology, compiled and presented by Eyerounds, the resource of Iowa Ophthalmology Department.
  6. The website of Dr. Ben Roberts, a US-trained VR-surgeon working since 2006 at Tenwek Mission Hospital in Kenya.
  7. The blog of experiences of Wills Eye Institute’s residents and Global Ophthalmology fellows, who traveled abroad for short-term programs to Haiti, Kenya, India etc. via their WIRE program or Global Ophthalmology Fellowship.