International Council of Opthalmology
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November 2015
Ico Insight : News, Resources, and Events fort he World’s Ophthalmologists

ICO Examinations Celebrate 20 Years!

Twenty years ago, the ICO Examinations were introduced to help ophthalmologists evaluate their knowledge in the basic and clinical sciences related to ophthalmology. In the two decades since, approximately 30,000 candidates have taken what were initially known as “assessments.” Today, the ICO Examinations are offered at 115 test centers in 65 countries, with more than 7,000 Exams taken in 2015.

The ICO Examinations are the only worldwide medical-specialty examinations and are of the highest standard. Of the 408 ICO Fellowships awarded from 2011–2015, almost 60% of the recipients had first passed the ICO Examinations.

The ICO is indebted to the Founding Director of Assessments, Prof. Peter Watson, for bringing this concept to the forefront and then spearheading the ICO Examinations program. The success of the exams has broadened and grown under the directorship of Prof. David Taylor and current ICO Director for Examinations, Prof. Simon Keightley. Learn more about the ICO Examinations at:

New ICO Three-Month Fellowship in Pathology, Oncology, and Microbiology

Veit-Peter Gabel, MD <br> ICO Director for Fellowships Veit-Peter Gabel, MD
ICO Director for Fellowships

Promising young ophthalmologists from developing countries are invited to apply for a new ICO Three-Month Fellowship in Pathology, Oncology, and Microbiology. Candidates who have previously served an ICO Three-Month Fellowship may also apply.

Learn more about the ICO Fellowships Program at: The next application deadline is March 31, 2016.

Through this new ICO Three-Month Fellowship opportunity, ophthalmologists will gain skills in:

  • Ophthalmic pathology laboratory;
  • Molecular pathology;
  • Experimental pathology;
  • Clinical ocular oncology; and
  • Specialized microbiology.

Hosts for the ICO Three-Month Fellowship in Pathology, Oncology, and Microbiology are:    

Hans E. Grossniklaus MD
Director, L.F. Montgomery Laboratory
Emory Eye Center
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Sarah Coupland, MBBS, PhD, FRCPath
George Holt Chair of Pathology
Deputy Head of Department Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine
Director of NWCR Centre - University of Liverpool
Dept. of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine
Institute of Translational Medicine at University of Liverpool
Liverpool, United Kingdom

Steffen Heegaard, MD, DMSc
Department of Ophthalmology/University Hospital Glostrup
Nordre Ringvej 57                        
2600 Glostrup, Denmark
Eye Pathology Section, University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark                                      

Savitri Sharma, MD, FAMS
Director, Laboratory Services-LVPEI network
L V Prasad Eye Institute
Kallam Anji Reddy Campus
L.V. Prasad Marg, Banjara Hills
Hyderabad, India

WOC2016 Medal Recipients

Please join the ICO at the February 5 Opening Ceremony of the 2016 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, and honor that evening’s award honorees:

  • Jules François Golden Medal: Clare Gilbert, MB ChB, FRCOphth, MD, MSc
  • Bietti Medal: Peng Khaw, PhD, FRCS, FRCP
  • Tadeusz Krwawicz Gold Medal: Marie-José Tassignon, MD, PhD, FEBO
  • Bruce Spivey Ophthalmic Education Award: David S. Taylor, FRCOphth, DSc(Med)
  • Mark Tso Golden Apple Award: Richard Abbott, MD

Two of the honorees will present related lectures at the ICO’s World Ophthalmic Education Colloquium (WOEC) keynote luncheon at the Congress:

  • Dr. Abbott will present the Mark Tso Golden Apple Award lecture, “Creating the Link Between Clinical Guidelines and Outcomes Data: Its Impact on Future Ophthalmic Education.”
  • Professor Taylor will present the Bruce Spivey Ophthalmic Education lecture, “Listen, Look, Think: Make Diagnoses!”

For information about WOC2016 and to register, go to:

Everything You Need to Know About WOC2016

Individuals from more than 100 countries have registered for the World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) February 5–9 in Guadalajara, Mexico!

For the latest news and information about the Congress, read this month’s special issue of the ICO Insight newsletter devoted to WOC2016. See the full educational program here:, with more information available at: Register today by going to: Access all the information about WOC2016 at:


Bruce Spivey Honored at AAO Opening Ceremony

Bruce Spivey, MD, MS, MEd <br> 2015 Laureate Award Honoree Bruce Spivey, MD, MS, MEd
2015 Laureate Award Honoree

At the Opening Ceremony of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, Immediate Past President of the ICO, Bruce Spivey, MD, MS, MEd, was honored with the AAO’s highest honor: the Laureate Recognition Award.

The ICO congratulates Bruce on this recognition of his exceptional contributions toward preventing blindness and restoring sight worldwide.

Additional 2015 special award recipients at the AAO Annual Meeting in Las Vegas include:

  • Distinguished Service Award: Research to Prevent Blindness
  • Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award: Stephen L. Beaty, MD, and Gary E. Fish, MD.

To see all 2015 AAO award recipients, go to:

ICO Addresses Quality and Effectiveness in Ophthalmology

The ICO, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmology (RANZCO), and the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (AOI) presented a well-received symposium on November 2 at the RANZCO 47th Annual Scientific Congress in Wellington, New Zealand.

The program explored the common thread and importance of quality and effectiveness in ophthalmic clinical care and education. Topics covered included improving ophthalmic education, clinical quality and safety, and new modalities in evidence, efficacy, and economics. The final segment highlighted “the obligation to assess the quality and effectiveness of new modalities based on evidence––despite the distraction of paid opinion leaders who can potentially pervert our perceptions.”

The symposium was chaired by Dr. Anthony Bennet Hall (RANZCO), Prof. Hugh Taylor (ICO), and Prof. Frank Billson (AOI), and was led by a panel of international experts from the three sponsoring organizations.

IAPB Discuss Action for Universal Eye Health at Beijing Meeting

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Council of Members met October 12–15 in Beijing, China, where delegates discussed how to promote eye health through advocacy, knowledge, and partnerships.

The IAPB’s 10th General Assembly (10GA) will be October 27–30, 2016, in Durban, South Africa. Registration is now open and abstracts are being accepted. To learn about the 10GA, register, and submit an abstract, go to:

Much of the IAPB’s recent advocacy work has focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) outlined in ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development’ adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. A major IAPB achievement was securing inclusion of Cataract Surgical Coverage (CSC) in the World Bank and World Health Organization ‘Tracking universal health coverage: First global monitoring report’ published in June 2015.

There is much within the SDG framework that can be of benefit to eye health and the elimination of avoidable blindness, and an IAPB briefing paper about this can be found at:

China Day
With a population of 1.4 billion people, the IAPB focused one day of the Council meeting on eye health in China. The IAPB is working to build awareness of the efforts needed to monitor and improve the response to cataract, myopia, diabetic retinopathy, and emerging eye diseases in the Chinese population.

Support the Magrabi–ICO Cameroon Eye Institute

Excitement is building as the non-profit Magrabi–ICO Cameroon Eye Institute at Yaoundé, Cameroon, prepares for a Spring 2016 launch.

The ICOFoundation is asking for your support to raise US$100,000 by December 31, 2015, to assist in the purchase of essential supplies, enable the commencement of operating room surgery, and to facilitate effective community outreach. You can contribute to the ICOFoundation for support of the Magrabi–ICO Cameroon Eye Institute (donations are tax deductible in the United States) via:

Learn more about the project at:

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