September 18, 2013

International Night 2013

 The Kellogg Eye Center for International Ophthalmology (KECIO) hosted its first “International Night at Kellogg” on September 18, 2013. The evening featured keynote speaker and 2013 Scholar-in-Residence Alan L. Robin, MD, professor of public health and ophthalmology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University.

Over 150 U-M medical students attended the first International Night at Kellogg, a symposium held at the Kellogg Eye Center to highlight international opportunities for ophthalmology trainees. The event was hosted by Joshua P. Vrabec, M.D., who directs the ophthalmology program for U-M medical students, and the Kellogg Center for International Ophthalmology, established in 2013 to facilitate international clinical and research activities for the Eye Center.

Department Chair Paul P. Lee, M.D., J.D., welcomed attendees from the U-M Medical School and Health System and acknowledged the generous grant from the Jerome Jacobson Foundation that supported the event.

Alan L. Robin, M.D., professor of public health and ophthalmology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, was introduced as the Center’s first scholar-in-residence. In his keynote address, Dr. Robin described his transition from a community ophthalmologist concentrating on glaucoma to provider of eye care in developing countries and eventually advisor to ophthalmologists in the United States involved in overseas programs. 

During his visit, Dr. Robin met with U-M medical students, ophthalmology residents, faculty, students at the U-M Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and with Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars.  He generously offered his listeners advice and introductions to medical contacts he has established in developing countries. Dr. Robin will continue collaborate with Kellogg in forming relationships with other countries on initiatives to prevent blindness.

The evening also included some other notable updates:

  • U-M Medical School Global REACH has developed enduring relationships with medical centers in seven countries, according to Kevin C. Chung, M.D., M.S., professor of surgery. Building on the highly successful initiative in Ghana several decades ago, and spearheaded by Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D., chair of obstetrics and gynecology, these “platforms” involve exchanges among faculty, residents, and medical students. According to Dr. Chung, the goal of these programs is to generate a positive and sustained effect on medical training rather than serving as “medical tourism,” in which Americans go abroad for the sake of interesting medical experiences.
  • Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence program, which matches medical students with opportunities to deliver medical services in underserved areas in this country and abroad, was explained by Brent C. Williams, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine.
  • Shilpa Gulati, fourth-year U-M medical student, used her training in economics and business to propose an innovative business model for treating high volumes of patients at low cost. The effort won Ms. Gulati and her collaborators first prize in an international contest sponsored by U-M’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
  • Under a Career Development Award from the department, Kellogg’s Crandall E. Peeler, M.D., third-year ophthalmology resident, described a telemedicine project he conducted in a rural health clinic in Nepal. Dr. Peeler offered convincing evidence that sending long-distance slit lamp anterior ocular segment photographs eliminates needless travel over treacherous mountain roads and provides excellent medical decision-making. 

Aravind Eye Hospitals project.  Under the guidance of Kellogg glaucoma specialist Joshua D. Stein, M.D., M.S., and colleagues from Aravind and Michigan, second-year medical student Hong-Gam Le studied the Aravind Eye Hospitals’ high-volume, high-quality, low-cost system of cataract surgery. During her summer research project at the Aravind Eye Hospitals in Madurai, India, Ms. Le interviewed over 300 patients before and after they underwent cataract surgery and gathered an enormous amount of information about the costs of cataract surgery.