Interview with Mr Dan
Morris Consultant Ophthalmologist who specialises in Oculoplastics. He went to
Vancouver eye centre for his ophthalmology Oculoplastics fellowship about 7
years ago. He wanted to acquire surgical skills to bring back to the UK, including
Oculoplastics and orbital surgery. He chose to travel to Vancouver because the
Orbital and oculoplastic surgeons were world-renound and the fellowship was
thought to be the best in the world at the time with ample surgical exposure.
He applied 3 years prior to travelling to Vancouver. There wasn’t a formal application process, he just emailed and met the consultants beforehand, which was aided by further networking and recommendation by his Consultant supervisors. He suggests this was a valuable exercise not only so they could meet him but to see whether he would get on with them.
After securing the placement, he had to sort out national insurance paperwork, medical examinations for him and his family and plan financial solutions as this fellowship was not funded. He won a scholarship which helped.
Majority of the day-to-day work included surgical exposure to local anaesthetic lid procedures, endoscopic DCRs, tumour excision/reconstructions and orbital work, as well as the odd clinic.
In addition to learning surgical skills going abroad taught him how to run a slick theatre ‘show’.
He was lucky enough to swap posts with a fellow in Los Angeles, where he went to learn aesthetic neoplastic procedures. Before heading back to the UK he performed some lid surgery in Kenya.
Disadvantages of going abroad include - mainly the financial implications, plan ahead for this, apply well in advance to get what fellowship you want. If applications are competitive get good references
Final advice: To decide what Oculoplastic ophthalmology fellowship to do, think about what surgical skills you want to learn, and what type of Oculoplastic surgeon you want to be (lids, lacrimal or orbital for example). Look at BOPPS website where you will find a list of Oculoplastic fellowships, including at Cardiff and Moorfields eye hospital for example. And definitely arrange to meet the supervisor beforehand.