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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,… More »


New Published Data on the Number of Ophthalmologists Worldwide: Will We Meet the Needs?

The ICO surveyed national societies of ophthalmology and representatives from the Ministry of Health from 194 countries to… More »


New CEO Ivo Kocur to Drive ICO Future

The ICO Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Ivo Kocur MD MSc MA MBA— a high profile, results-oriented leader —… More »

Date ICO Member Headline Topic Subspecialty Region
September 30, 2019 New CEO Ivo Kocur to Drive ICO Future
The ICO Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Ivo Kocur MD MSc MA MBA— a high profile, results-oriented leader — will drive the future of the ICO as our next Chief Executive Officer. An accomplished senior Medical Officer with the World Health Organization responsible for the global eye health agenda, Ivo carries with him more than 20 years of experience in public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Ivo brings to the ICO a proven track record of success, change and collaborations worldwide toward the prevention of vision impairment and enhancement of eye care.

Ivo holds a medical degree and began his career as an eye surgeon and teacher at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, his native country. His passion to promote education led to his efforts to spearhead the establishment of the Lions Ophthalmology Education Center in Prague, now attended by over 3000 ophthalmologists from many countries. He holds a Master of Science in Community Eye Health from the University College London, a Master of Arts in Diplomacy from the Diplomatic Academy of London, and a Master of Business Administration from the European University in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 2002, Ivo was appointed by the World Health Organization as WHO Global Coordinator of VISION 2020 and fostered international collaborations of key stakeholders in order to shape the global public eye health agenda. Since then he has facilitated the development of four eye health resolutions and two global action plans endorsed by the World Health Assembly. During his career with the WHO, Ivo has been instrumental in working with ministries of health to assess and develop national eye care plans.

ICO President Peter Wiedemann MD says, “We are particularly impressed by Ivo’s energy and focus on society members. He clearly understands the need to ensure the ICO represents our member needs to its fullest.”

Ivo is well versed in eye care delivery and health system issues with a career that has included roles in fundraising, government relations, and public affairs in the eye care sector. “I am honored to join the ICO and excited to build on its outstanding legacy and dedication to improve eye care around the world,” said Ivo.

The Board thanks Neeru Gupta MD PhD MBA for her exemplary leadership and commitment to the organization as past Interim CEO. Neeru has played an integral role in advancing the ICO mission and continues to serve as ICO Vice-President.
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September 30, 2019 New Published Data on the Number of Ophthalmologists Worldwide: Will We Meet the Needs?
The ICO surveyed national societies of ophthalmology and representatives from the Ministry of Health from 194 countries to gather the total number and density of ophthalmologists at the national and global level, including growth trends. The authors reported over 230,000 ophthalmologists in 194 countries. A significant shortfall of ophthalmologists in many countries was noted, and the ageing population has been growing faster than the profession.

The authors concluded that although the estimated global ophthalmologist workforce appears to be growing, the appropriate distribution of the eye care workforce and the development of comprehensive eye care delivery systems are needed to ensure that eye care needs are universally met.

The article is published by the British Journal of Ophthalmology and is available online at:
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September 30, 2019 Submit your Abstract and Apply for Travel Grants to WOC2020
Abstract Submission is Open
Submit your abstract today for a chance to take an active part at the 37th World Ophthalmology Congress, taking place 26–29 June 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Find out more about the different presentation categories and 26 topics. Please note that only abstracts submitted via the dedicated submission platform will be considered. Abstract submission closes on 02 December 2019.

Travel Grants
The ICO offers grants to support eye care professionals around the world to accepted abstract submitters. Grants are awarded based on the quality of abstracts and need. Priority will be given to participants from middle and low-income countries. The grant consists of an amount of USD 1,000 and waived registration fee. Please indicate while submitting your abstract that you wish to apply for a Travel Grant. Get more information regarding WOC2020 Travel Grants.
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September 1, 2019 India’s Young Ophthalmologists Times Highlights ICO Fellowships

The Young Ophthalmologists Society of India has released the latest issue of their official publication the Young Ophthalmologists Times (YO Times).

The issue focuses on vitreo-retina training and provides an in-depth look into vitreo-retina as a career option. Articles provide useful information on retina-focused ICO Fellowships, the Indian institutes that host ICO Fellowships, and tips on succeeding as retina fellow and beyond.

Download the current issue of YO Times.

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July 24, 2019 Professor Harminder Dua Recognized by Queen Elizabeth II

ICO Board Member, Professor Harminder Dua, has been appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). He received the honor in recognition of his service to eye health, education, and for his achievements in the field of ophthalmology.

Professor Dua is Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the Division of Clinical Neuroscience at the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham. He serves as head of the city of Nottingham’s Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and as Editor-in-Chief of J.EuCornea. Professor Dua was co-Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Ophthalmology and is a past president of both EuCornea and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. He was made Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in September 2018.


Operating out of the Queen's Medical Centre for the past 25 years, Professor Dua has helped thousands of patients and is a leading authority on corneas. He won international recognition when his research group discovered a previously undetected layer of the human cornea in 2013. The Pre-Descemet Layer is popularly known as Dua’s Layer. His work to develop our understanding of this Pre-Descemet Layer has informed three new surgical techniques and made lamellar corneal transplantation safer.


“I am humbled by this great national honor, which reflects the glory of the whole team and individuals and institutions that have influenced my career…,” said Professor Dua.

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June 6, 2019 The David and Molly Pyott Foundation Scholarships in Ophthalmology

The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, is now accepting applications through 29 July 2019, for The David and Molly Pyott Foundation Scholarships in Ophthalmology which support specialist surgical and medical training and education for those from developing countries pursuing careers in ophthalmology.

Thanks to the continued generous support of The David and Molly Pyott Foundation, six new scholarship awards will be made to eligible doctors accepted to commence their studies in September 2019 on The University of Edinburgh’s unique online Master of Surgery (ChM) in Clinical Ophthalmology. Seventeen ophthalmology trainees and qualified ophthalmologists from eleven countries have benefited from these prestigious scholarships since they were first launched in 2016.

Doctors from sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South America are eligible for these scholarship awards which cover all tuition fees for this two-year, part-time online Master’s programme as well as broadband internet access and a laptop.

The awards are administered by The University of Edinburgh and applications close on 29 July 2019. To find out more, visit the University of Edinburgh’s Ophthalmology Masters web pages. Scholarship applicants must hold an offer of a place on the ChM in Clinical Ophthalmology in order to be considered for a scholarship. Details of how to apply online for a place on the ChM can be found via the link above.

The ChM in Clinical Ophthalmology is aimed at the future leaders in ophthalmology who are learning to develop secondary and tertiary hospital eye service provision, who require subspecialty training and who would benefit from close mentoring in research methodology to deliver a piece of clinical research which is relevant to their local and national communities.

The ChM, delivered entirely online, has been designed to support, supplement and advance clinical learning, develop clinical research skills and provide a platform from which ophthalmologists in training are mentored whilst they are still living and working in their own countries and ophthalmology units. All they need is access to a computer and an internet connection to study from anywhere in the world and a minimum of 10-15 hours per week to commit to their studies. The ChM’s online distance learners have full access to The University of Edinburgh’s considerable online library and resources, including e-journals.

The general and subspeciality content follows the ophthalmology fellowship curricula of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) in the UK and Ireland and is also highly relevant for candidates sitting ICO examinations. The learning objectives are mapped to competencies required of UK trainees sitting exit examinations for the Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training. The format of the ChM course delivery incorporates a multimedia mix of learning content and activities including asynchronous discussion boards with consultant ophthalmologist e-tutors, video lectures, virtual clinics and e-portfolio reflective diaries.

The ChM’s international teaching Faculty has the experience and expertise to deliver clinically-relevant content across the range of medical and surgical ophthalmology to a global studentship. The Faculty are mindful of the varied culture, climate and geographic contexts in which students practise ophthalmology and the limitations in resources available in less affluent settings. This has shaped the way in which didactic and discursive topics are prioritised and practised within the ChM’s virtual learning environment and is one of the unique features of the course.

The ChM offers a novel and effective vehicle for improving the education of a new generation of ophthalmologists learning in a global community of mentors and peers. This benefits both the profession by encouraging enquiry, reflecting on practice and broadening clinical expertise, and ultimately their patients whose specialist care will be enhanced through this distance learning programme.

Watch Professor Baljean Dhillon’s introductory video to the online ChM (Master of Surgery) in Clinical Ophthalmology, The University of Edinburgh.

Profile of Professor Baljean Dhillon, BMedSci(Hons), BMBS, FRCS(Ed), FRCPS(Glasg), FRCOphth, FRCPE, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Programme Director for the ChM (Master of Surgery) in Clinical Ophthalmology, The University of Edinburgh. As Chair of the RCSEd's Ophthalmology Speciality Advisory Board and Lead Examiner for Ophthalmology, Professor Dhillon is leading the exciting new collaboration between the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and the RCSEd on establishing joint fellowship examinations and reciprocities between the ICO and RCSEd.

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