First-of-its-kind education experience for ophthalmology sector
West Midlands Sight Loss Council (SLC) members have taken part in a first-of-its-kind immersive education experience with newly advanced technology to advance learning, at a recent Royal Ophthalmology Congress event.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists Congress invites international ophthalmologists and ophthalmic professionals to celebrate and share developments from across the eye health community. This four-day annual event, held on 24 May 2023, includes training workshops and talks from eye-health professionals.
Birmingham and Black Country SLC members Paul Hopkins and Clare Williams were individually invited on stage at the event. This was to discuss their lived experience and their involvement in SLCs. They also shared what would make a difference for eye patients during hospital visits, such as talking to patients. SLC members were joined by four other patients.
Following this discussion, each eye health patient was examined using a 3D slit-lamp camera that projected onto a screen. This enabled the audience to visualise what the ophthalmologist could see when undertaking the eye test. This formed part of the immersive educational experience with newly advanced technology, a first for the college.
Paul Hopkins, Birmingham SLC member, on stage with Sunil Mamtora, ahead of his live eye exam.
Paul Hopkins, Birmingham SLC member, said:
“Having my eye projected onto a large screen front of 150 ophthalmologists at this years’ conference, while they wore 3D glasses, was a unique experience for me.
“We were also invited to talk about our work, raising the profile of Sight Loss Councils with eye health professionals in the room.
“West Midlands SLCs took several large steps forward today. We will be able to continue to build on newly established links which will positively impact our continuing work around making healthcare accessible.
Clare Williams, Black Country SLC member, said:
“It was an amazing and unique opportunity to talk to so many ophthalmologists about my lived experience of sight loss beyond diagnosis. We were also able to offer some perspective on what would make a difference for eye patients during hospital visits.”
Clare Williams, Black Country SLC member, on stage during her live eye examination. A large screen behind her shows her eye to other delegates.
Chair of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Training Group, Sunil Mamtora, added:
“Ophthalmologists found this experience really immersive. Not only did delegates benefit from 3D technology to visually see what the ophthalmologist does during the eye test, we also benefitted from each of the patient experiences shared by our guest speakers.
“Lived experience adds a new dimension to medical education. It’s too easy to skip through PowerPoint slides of highly technical information without remembering much from this. The reason we do what we do is for patients. Having patients at the centre of learning; hearing their experiences and listening to how their condition has affected them, creates powerful memories.”
Sunil Mamtora, Chair of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Training Group, stood with SLC members Paul and Clare (third and fourth from left), and ophthalmologists and other patients at the congress event.
Passionate about making a difference? Want to influence positive change? Our Sight Loss Councils, led by blind and partially sighted volunteers, are recruiting new members. Join us today!
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Publication date: 28 July 2023