International Council of Opthalmology
Twitter  Facebook  YouTube
July 2017
Ico Insight : News, Resources, and Events fort he World’s Ophthalmologists

ICO Strategic Plan Outlines Roadmap for 2017–2020

How can the ICO more effectively work with ophthalmologic societies and others to preserve, restore, and enhance vision for the people of the world?

Based on critical input from ICO Member society leaders, committees, and ICO Board and Advisory Committee members, the ICO developed a strategic plan for 2017–2020 to help fulfill this mission. The Plan focuses on three goals:

  • Enhance education
  • Empower societies and leaders
  • Advance eye health.

Review the summary of the ICO Strategic Plan 2017–2020 or download the full Plan

Honed down from more than 90 possible initiatives, the ICO Strategic Plan addresses eight objectives and 16 initiatives that will have the greatest impact on our commitment to improve eye health globally. Eleven initiatives are prioritized for immediate implementation, with ICO leaders defining related action plans.

We will target the other five initiatives later this year and next year. We invite and encourage your participation. 

Residency Program Directors Course Marks 40th Milestone

RPD course in Hangzhou, China, in May 2017 RPD course in Hangzhou, China, in May 2017

Since 2004, 40 ICO Residency Program Directors Courses (RPD) have been offered in 26 countries to 1,752 participants. The RPD’s 40th course was July 14–15, 2017 in Bogotá, Colombia.

Residency education is a critical component of preparing the next generation of ophthalmologists, and the ICO RPD courses serve to improve each participant’s educational effectiveness through interactive means. The RPD courses focus on methods of instruction, skill assessment, behavior adjustment, and competence measurement of the trainers.

Dr. Enrique Graue, with the support of Past ICO President Dr. Bruce Spivey and Past ICO Director for Education Prof. Mark Tso, was instrumental in coordinating the first RPD course in Mexico City in 2004. Drs. Karl Golnik, Gabriela Palis, and Eduardo Mayorga now oversee the courses, with key contributions from other faculty and local ophthalmologic society hosts.

The ICO thanks the Allergan Foundation, Abbott, Alcon Foundation, Théa Corporate Foundation, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, and others for their valuable support of the ICO's RPD courses and Teaching the Teachers Initiative.

Plan Your Calendar: Upcoming WOCs

To avoid overlap, please keep the upcoming World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) dates in mind as you plan your future meetings: 

  • WOC2018: Barcelona, Spain, June 16–19, 2018

Host: Spanish Society of Ophthalmology
Co-Hosts: European Society of Ophthalmology and Spanish Society of Implant-Refractive Ocular Surgery Partners: Catalan Society of Ophthalmology and Barraquer Institute
Learn more.

  • WOC2020: Cape Town, South Africa, June 26–29, 2020

Host: Ophthalmological Society of South Africa
Co-Hosts: Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology and African Ophthalmology Council
Learn more.

  • WOC2022: Melbourne, Australia, February 25–28, 2022

Host: Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
Co-Host: Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology

If you would like to schedule a meeting during WOC2018, rooms are available to rent at the Congress venue in Barcelona. Fill out a request form and find contact information

Deadline for ICO Fellowship Applications is September 30

Dr. Berthold Seitz<br>ICO Director for Fellowships Dr. Berthold Seitz
ICO Director for Fellowships

The ICO and committed partners offer three-month, six-month, and one-year fellowships to help promising young ophthalmologists from low resource countries improve their practical skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology.

ICO Fellowships include:

  • Three-Month Fellowships: flexible programs
  • Three-Month Fellowships: Diagnosis and Therapy of Retinoblastoma
  • Three-Month Fellowships: Pathology, Oncology, and Microbiology
  • Six-Month Fellowships: Diagnosis and Therapy of Retinoblastoma
  • One-Year: ICO-Retina Research Foundation Helmerich Fellowships
  • One-Year: ICO-Fred Follows Foundation Subspecialty Fellowships.

The deadline for application is September 30, 2017. ICO Three-Month Fellowships––unlike ICO One-Year Fellowships––are awarded twice a year, with application deadlines of March 31 and September 30.

Each ICO Fellowship has its own set of parameters and number of awards offered. Go to: to obtain more information. 

World Sight Day is October 12

“Make Vision Count” is the theme for the 2017 World Sight Day (WSD) on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Organized annually by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), WSD is considered the most important advocacy and communications event on the eye health calendar.

This year our community is being called on to ensure that we pay attention to eye care issues that impact lives everywhere––for both developed and developing economies.

How do we raise public awareness of blindness and vision impairment as major international public health issues? Get information, ideas, promotional material, and an implementation pack to give voice to our collective commitment to universal eye health at:

How to ‘Do’ CPD with Your Team

Recognizing that CPD is both the individual’s and organization’s responsibility, a series of articles in Community Eye Health Journal offer helpful guidance on providing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training. Authored by leaders in the field, article topics are:

The CPD-focused issue notes mutual agreement around a set of desirable and implementable global standards and references the ICO Guide for Effective CPD/CME as a practical roadmap to core concepts and basic questions of CPD/CME.

Ophthalmological Society of the West Indies: A Growing Voice in the Region

Founded in 1990, the Ophthalmological Society of the West Indies (OSWI) brings together ophthalmic clinicians, regional representatives, and nurses, as well as government, corporate, and affiliate partners in its quest to eradicate and prevent blindness in the Caribbean.

A principal voice for ophthalmology in the West Indies, OSWI is working toward bringing regional training programs to international standards. To assist this goal, OSWI hosted the ICO’s Teaching the Teachers program at their 2016 Congress in Barbados and offered workshops for residents and a joint symposium with the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at their July 2017 Congress in Georgetown, Guyana. Furthering their footprint, OSWI is also presenting a session at the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress® in Barcelona, Spain.

In addition to their work with ophthalmologists, the OSWI introduced the Ophthalmic Nurses’ Program in 2016 to train allied ophthalmic personnel in the region. Learn more about the OSWI.

Copyright © 2021 International Council of Ophthalmology. All rights reserved.