CRC Hosts International Fellows In Vitreoretinal Surgery
California Retina Consultants is proud to tutored visiting doctors as part of its ongoing fellowship program. “The fellowship program is a wonderful addition to our practice as it allows us to teach advanced techniques to doctors on a global level” states Dr. Dante Pieramici, surgical training director. He adds, “There is no doubt that we learn as much from these visitors as we teach.” This past year the practice welcomed Dr. Juan Pablo Davila from Mexico City and Dr. Narcisa Ianopol from Iasi, Romania.
Dr. Davila received his medical degree from Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City, Mexico. After completing his clinical clerkship with a medical retina group in Mexico City, Dr. Davila was awarded the clinical fellowship position at CRC. During his three month visit, Dr. Davila participated in clinical research projects and observed a variety of medical and surgical cases, including retinal detachments, Baerveltd glaucoma implantation and trauma. “I had the opportunity to observe patients and procedures in Bakersfield, Oxnard and Santa Maria and I was amazed by the differences in pathology and in the severity of diseases from one office to the next,” says Dr. Davila, adding, “This was an incredibly valuable learning opportunity for me and I am so fortunate to
have these well trained doctors as my teachers.”
Dr. Narcisa Ianopol has nearly twenty years of experience as a surgeon in both Romania and Germany, so in addition to receiving training locally, she also brought new ideas to the California Retina Consultants’ offices when she visited this year. Dr. Ianopol followed the doctors on patient rounds and observed in the operating room. She commented, “I was impressed by the number of patients that these doctors and staff care for each day and by their high level of professionalism.” She continues, “I
learned the art of being patient and talking with compassion, but at the same time making the best medical or surgical decisions for all ophthalmological pathologies, without any limitations.”
Passed international fellows: Dr. Dennis Nkanga from Nigeria and Dr. Enkhbold from Mongolia. Dr. Nkanga spent time in the clinics and the Cottage Eye Center operating theaters learning to care for patients with diabetic related eye disease.
Nigeria is a country of over 130 million people and like the U.S. has a high incidence of diabetes and diabetic related eye blindness. Unlike the U.S. in which lasers and laser treatments are readily available, Dr. Nkanga tells us that in his country there is only one single laser to treat all the diabetic patients. Without this treatment most patients go onto blindness, often within months. This is very preventable with proper treatment. The main purpose of Dr. Nkanga’s visit was to learn to diagnose and treat diabetic eye diseases and to acquire a laser to take with him back to Nigeria.
Through the efforts of the California Retina Research Foundation and SEE International, these goals were obtained. The generosity of individuals supporting the CRRF makes these international collaborations possible. Dr. Nkanga has now established a diabetic clinic and is busy preventing blindness for countless individuals.