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Dominican Society of Ophthalmology: Raising Standards Through ICO Exams

Posted on December 19, 2017
Topic: ICO Examinations

Since making parts of the ICO Exams a requisite for society members, the Dominican Society of Ophthalmology has been able to better prepare ophthalmologists for the rigors of practicing medicine.

"The ICO examination has really transformed the way ophthalmology is taught in the Dominican Republic," Dr. Luis Batlle, Past President of VISION2020/IAPB-LA said in an interview with the ICO at PAAO 2017 in Lima (see video above). Dr. Batlle was joined by Dr. Frinè Salazar, Academic Coordinator of the Elias Santana Hospital in Santo Domingo, and Dr. Jose Asilis, President of the Dominican Society. Dr. Asilis explained that success in both the Basic Science and Optics and Refraction sections of the ICO Standard Exam (the Standard Exam also has a Clinical Science section) is required to join the Dominican Society; Dr. Salazar noted that the Exams have raised the academic level of both students and teachers.

In 2012, the first year ICO Exams were required, the Dominican Republic had just eight ophthalmologists pass the Basic Science and Optics and Refraction sections. For 2017, the number increased nearly tenfold to 78 ophthalmologists. The Dominican Republic currently has the third highest pass rates of the ICO Standard Exam in Latin America, behind Brazil and Mexico—countries with significantly larger populations. "The Dominican Republic can serve as a role model, not only in Latin American countries, but to countries around the world as an academic body of knowledge that can make us better ophthalmologists,” Dr. Batlle asserted. The ICO Exams are the only worldwide medical-specialty examinations.

“The ICO Exams’ goal is to raise standards,” explained Nicola Quilter, ICO Examinations Executive. “The Exams allow candidates the opportunity to gain international qualification and for institutes and hospitals to evaluate their training methods to an international standard.”

Currently, national societies in Yemen, Jordan, Chile, and India are also using ICO Exams in a similar way. 

Learn more about ICO Exams and how to get your society involved.

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