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News Archive

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Date ICO Member Headline Topic Subspecialty Region
October 8, 2018 ICO Position Papers

The International Council of Ophthalmology is pleased to offer these position papers as advocacy tools for members of our community who are working to make advancements on these important topics.



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September 7, 2018 The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Adopts International Council of Ophthalmology Exams

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) Examinations is known for setting the global standard for ophthalmologists, universities, and nations, to measure ophthalmic education and knowledge. To date, more than 53,000 ICO Exams have been taken at 130 testing centers in over 80 countries around the world.


We are pleased to announce that the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has adopted the ICO Examinations to replace their written examinations and will offer membership to ophthalmologists who have passed the necessary ICO exams.

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August 30, 2018 Peter Wiedemann New ICO President

Peter Wiedemann succeeded Hugh Taylor as President of the ICO. The transition of power took place at the end of the World Ophthalmology Congress in Barcelona, on 19 June 2018.

Professor Wiedemann is committed to leading the ICO into an exciting future with ICO Member societies to reduce the burden of eye disease worldwide. He is internationally recognized for his work in macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy and has held numerous leadership positions including past President of the German Society of Ophthalmology, and Secretary General of the Academia Ophthalmological Internationalis. He is Director of the Leipzig University Eye Hospital in Germany. His well-respected breadth of work includes more than 500 peer-reviewed papers and eight books, including Ryan’s Retina.

As ICO President, Prof. Wiedemann has identified collaboration and education as key priority areas. “It is important for the ICO to collaborate with our member ophthalmologic societies and leaders to support ophthalmologists and to advocate for access to high-quality eye care,” said Prof. Wiedemann. “I am proud to have the opportunity to serve with the ICO as we work toward our vision of a world in which no one has avoidable vision loss.”

Prof. Wiedemann has served the ICO in numerous roles including Treasurer from 2014–2018 and as Program Chair for both the World Ophthalmology Congresses WOC2012 in Abu Dhabi and WOC2014 in Tokyo.

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August 28, 2018 Please join the ICO in wishing Bill Felch a joyful retirement

This August, William C. Felch Jr. retired from his longtime role as CEO of the International Council of Ophthalmology. We invite the ICO global network to join our Board and staff in thanking Mr. Felch for his tireless work ethic, keen eye for details, and commitment to building a world alliance for sight.

Over the past 20 years, Mr. Felch has been a pillar of the organization serving in a variety of roles, first as a consultant and then Executive Director and CEO. His significant contributions to leadership development, ICO education and advocacy programs, and to ICO strategic planning, have been important to the advancement of the global eye health movement. Under his leadership as CEO, the organization expanded its programs and initiatives around the world and added over 100 ophthalmologic societies to the ICO’s global network. Without his dedication to eye health, the ICO would not be where it is today.

“I know you all join me in feeling a deep sense of gratitude for Mr. Felch’s longstanding service and his dedication to the ICO. We wish him well in his retirement,” said ICO President, Dr. Peter Wiedemann.

Before coming to the ICO, Mr. Felch served as Director of Communications for the American Society of Internal Medicine and spent 16 years in key positions at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, including as Vice President for Planning and Research. Mr. Felch subsequently worked for 12 years as an organizational development and communications consultant. He has facilitated strategic planning for more than 40 international, national, and local eye care and health care organizations, including the ICO.

In 1993, Mr. Felch facilitated the first ICO Strategic Plan and later joined the staff as Executive Director in 2007 and as CEO in 2012.

“The ICO has held a huge place in my heart and life,” noted Mr. Felch. “The greatest pleasure in my career has been working with incredibly dedicated ophthalmologists and staff who are committed to helping expand access to high-quality eye care around the world. I consider many of you my closest friends and very much look forward to staying in touch and crossing paths in the future. I would like to thank each of you for your support, your friendship, and your commitment to the ICO.”

“All of us on staff have been grateful to have Mr. Felch a valuable mentor,” says ICO COO, Lindsey Washburn. “We will miss his guidance, encouragement, and thoughtful leadership. His shoes will be hard for the organization to fill, but we wish him the very best in his retirement.”

The transition is being managed by ICO President, Dr. Peter Wiedemann, and the Board Officers. We look forward to updating the ICO community in the coming months as that process progresses.

The ICO is currently working on a retirement gift for Mr. Felch. If you would like to have your personal message included, we invite you to take a moment to add your message here.

If you'd like to contact Bill directly, he can be reached at

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July 11, 2018 ICO Member 146 Countries Work to Advance Eye Health at WOC2018

The International Council of Ophthalmology would like to thank everyone who traveled to Barcelona, Spain to take part in our World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC2018).

We welcomed 8,000 ophthalmologists from 146 countries who participated in more than 350 educational sessions, covering all subspecialties and related interests in ophthalmology. The scientific program was organized by Scientific Program Chair Dr. Clement C.Y. Tham and made possible through the invaluable contributions of the Scientific Program Committee and Coordinators, Chairs, and speakers.

Thank you to the Spanish Society of Ophthalmology for hosting WOC2018, and the European Society of Ophthalmology and Spanish Society of Implant-Refractive Ocular Surgery for co-hosting the Congress in partnership with the Catalan Society of Ophthalmology and the Barraquer Institute.

View photos from WOC2018.

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July 11, 2018 ICO Member The Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations signed a framework for ethical use of human eye tissue at WOC2018.

A landmark accord on the ethical use of human eye tissue was signed at the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress in Spain. The Barcelona Principles outline the ethical use of donated human tissue for ocular transplantation, research, and future technologies.

Developed in coordination with 102 individuals representing 89 nations, the Barcelona Principles encompass consent, donation, and equitable allocation of ocular tissue. It is intended to build eye-banking services and meet the needs of millions of people requiring corneal surgery, without compromising the moral conduct of the donor, the recipient, or the extended community.

A collaboration of Australian eye banking organizations spearheaded creation of this worldwide first, which offers recommendations on areas of ethical ambiguity, such as profitization and supply chains, the global movement of eye tissue, and partnering with colleagues across borders.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member WOC2018 Medal Recipients

The Opening Ceremony officially marked the beginning of WOC2018 and included welcome remarks from WOC2018 President Dr. Rafael Barraquer, the ICO, and the Spanish Society of Ophthalmology. Attendees enjoyed videos showcasing the wonders of our profession and the history of ophthalmology in Spain.

The Opening Ceremony also celebrated achievements of our colleagues who were honored for their outstanding work: 

  • Gonin Medal: Jean-Jacques DeLaey, MD, PhD (Belgium) 
  • International Duke Elder Medal: Rubens Belfort, Jr., MD, PhD, MBA (Brazil) 
  • ICO Ophthalmic Pathology Award: Sarah Coupland, MBBS, PhD, FRCPath, FARVO, FSB (United Kingdom) 
  • G.O.H Naumann Award for Leadership in Global Eye Care Commission: Abdulaziz AlRajhi, MD (Saudi Arabia) 
  • Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Bernardo Streiff Medal: Paul Lichter, MD (United States)

Thank you to everyone who joined us in-person for the WOC2018 Opening Ceremony or who watched via the live stream on Facebook. Watch a recorded version of the Opening Ceremony.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member Participants of the AOC-ICO Summit Meeting at WOC2018

Presidents and leaders of 23 ophthalmologic societies in Sub-Saharan Africa came together at the African Ophthalmology Council (AOC)/ICO Summit on 15 June during WOC2018 to consider how to better serve ophthalmologists and enhance eye health in Africa.

Topics included the needs of the public related to eye health, the needs of ophthalmologists and ophthalmologic societies, and society development in Sub-Saharan Africa. The role of the AOC and objectives for African ophthalmological societies were discussed, as was WOC2020, which will take place 26–29 June 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.

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World Ophthalmology Congress


July 11, 2018 ICO Member ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship Accepting Applications

The ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship is now open to ophthalmologists worldwide who are under age 40. The one-year, $US 50,000 research fellowship offers applicants the opportunity to continue their research at a chosen university, preferably in a different country than where they currently live.

We are pleased to share that the 2017/18 ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship was awarded to Dr. Emilio de Almeida Torres Netto, Brazil, to support his research project, “Factors modulating the biomechanics of corneal tissue.” Watch this short video of Dr. Torres at WOC2018 explaining his research.

Apply for the 2018/19 ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship in cornea, dry eye, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology, retina, tumors, and uveitis.

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ICO International Fellowships

World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member Earn CME Credits after the Congress

WOC2018 was filled with so many opportunities to learn. We are pleased to offer WOC2018 OnDemand which provides access to more than 500 hours of recorded Congress presentations. Watch at your convenience and earn CME credits from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Purchase WOC2018 OnDemand

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World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member Register Now for WOC2020 and Save!

The World Ophthalmology Congress® is the premier international ophthalmic meeting. Be sure to mark your calendars and join us for WOC2020 in Cape Town, South Africa, and WOC2022 in Melbourne Australia.

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

Register now for WOC2020 and receive a greatly reduced rate that is only available through 31 July 2018.

WOC2020 will be hosted by the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA), with the African Ophthalmology Council (AOC) and Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) as co-hosts. Kgaogelo “Eddie” Legodi, MD, will serve as President of WOC2020.

WOC2022: Melbourne, Australia
25–28 February 2022

WOC2022 will be hosted by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO). Mark Daniell, MB, BS, FRACS, will be WOC2022 President.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member WOC2018 News Coverage

Throughout all four days of the Congress, EyeWorld provided daily news coverage. To read about the scientific program, cultural events, and interviews with many of the leading ophthalmologists, follow the links below:

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July 10, 2018 Emerging International Leaders Initiative

The ICO’s Emerging International Leaders program is a new initiative as part of the ICO 2017–2020 Strategic Plan. Its purpose is to offer new opportunities for international networking, mentorship, and leadership skill improvement, especially for those interested in ICO activities or in becoming a future ophthalmic society leader.

The inaugural meeting for Emerging International Leaders took place in June during the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC2018) and included discussion about what resources and support will be of most value.

The initiative works to broaden development opportunities for mid-career ophthalmologists who are seeking to build international networks and expand their leadership skills.

Through collaboration with ICO Member societies, this forum is developing activities and programs to meet the evolving needs of ophthalmologists who may have previously participated in Leadership Development Programs or other Young Ophthalmologist groups.

For more information about this initiative, please contact Jennifer Hanes, ICO Membership and Society Relations Manager, at

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June 21, 2018 ICO Residency Curriculum in Spanish

The ICO Residency Curriculum has been translated into Spanish and is available for download on the ICO website.

The ICO Residency Curriculum offers an international consensus on what residents in ophthalmology should be taught. While the ICO Residency Curriculum provides a standardized content outline for ophthalmic training, it has been designed to be revised and modified, with the precise local details for implementation left to the region’s educators.

The ICO Residency Curriculum has been utilized in Austria, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, South Africa, Tunisia, and other countries. It is endorsed by the European Board of Ophthalmology and the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology.

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June 21, 2018 ICO-OSCAR Ptosis in Spanish
The ICO-Ophthalmology Surgical Competency Assessment Rubrics (ICO-OSCARs) are behavioral and skill-based rubrics designed to teach and assess an ophthalmologist’s surgical competence. Educators use the rubrics to measure the resident’s capability in performing a specific procedure objectively. They also give learners tools to better gauge their own effectiveness.
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June 21, 2018 Association for Medical Education in Europe 2018 Live

The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) is offering online registration to their annual meeting, “AMEE 2018 Live,” 26-29 August, 2018.

With online registration, individuals who cannot attend the conference in Basel, Switzerland, are able to participate in events, interviews, and sessions from a location of their choosing. A broadband internet connection allows online registrants to engage in AMEE Live session discussions and ask questions. Sessions can also be accessed afterwards for up to one year.

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June 18, 2018 New smartphone app aims to improve cataract surgical outcomes

BOOST (Better Operative Outcomes Software Tool), a simple, free and easy-to-use app to help surgeons monitor and improve cataract surgical outcomes, has been launched at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Barcelona.

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World Ophthalmology Congress


June 14, 2018 Reduced Registration Rates for ICGS 2018 Ending Soon!

Register today for the 6–8 September ICGS 2018 in Montreal, Canada, as registration fees increase after 14 June.

We offer you our warmest welcome and hope to make the 9th ICGS Congress in Canada a memorable experience for you!

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May 30, 2018 WOEC Schedule: Saturday, 16 June

8:30–10:00 Symposium: Teaching and Assessing Surgical Competence - Participants will be able to describe the main steps for teaching and learning surgical processes, and deliver effective feedback about the surgical competence of a trainee.

14:00–15:30 Symposium: Innovative Formats for Teaching in Graduate Medical Education & CPD - This session will cover innovations for teaching including work-based learning, the use of surgical simulation, internet-based learning, use of portfolios, how to add metacognition to continuing professional development (CPD) and innovative assessment methods.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

May 30, 2018 WOEC Schedule: Sunday, 17 June

10:30–12:00 Course: Beyond the Lecture: Using Concept Maps to Promote Deep Learning of Medical Knowledge - This course will cover evidence supporting the use of mind maps to stimulate deep learning. Participants will have a hands-on experience on how to create concept maps and how to teach this skill. 

12:00–13:45 Keynote Luncheon: Dealing with Uncertainty in Medicine and Medical Education - The keynote presentation, “Dealing with Uncertainty in Medicine and Medical Education,” will be provided by Dr. Glenda Eoyang, PhD and Founding Executive Director, Human Systems Dynamics Institute. (By invitation only)

14:00–15:30 Case Study: Complex Cases of Problem Residents: Discussing Prevention and Remediation - This workshop will stress the importance of approaching resident performance problems in a way that is tailored to the specific behavior being addressed.

16:00–17:30 Symposium: Simulation for Teaching and Learning - By the end of this session, participants will be able to explain the need and applicability of surgical simulation to their own settings, describe models of simulation in the clinical setting, and implement low cost tools for practicing surgical steps.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

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