Meaningful interactions between eye care professionals can strengthen ophthalmologists’ efforts to grow the field of ophthalmology as well as provide better patient care. Today, there are more opportunities than ever to collaborate with colleagues, both in person and virtually. E-Learning Ocular Surgery (eLos), an interactive model hosted by the European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology (ESASO), is a digital education platform that aims to disseminate scientific content in various subspecialties, including cataract, cornea, retina, glaucoma, oculoplastics, uveitis, and dry eye disease.
This article provides an overview of eLos and sheds light on the various educational initiatives hosted on the site.
WHAT IS ELOS?
In short, eLos is a digital educational forum for the ophthalmology community that is designed with four main tenets in mind:
- No. 1: To establish a worldwide community of ophthalmology professionals;
- No. 2: To help those professionals interact safely with each other on a protected and exclusive platform;
- No. 3: To promote peer-to-peer education; and
- No. 4: To encourage active learning.
eLos was established in February 2020 based on an idea from Mario Romano, MD, PhD, at the Humanitas University in Milan, just before the COVID-19 pandemic began. It is supported by industry, but all activity is educational in nature.
eLos hosts activities such as live surgery, webinars, didactic courses, webcasts, clinical case discussions, and roundtables for a variety of groups and across many categories to meet the needs of myriad ophthalmology professionals including ophthalmologists, optometrists, surgical staff, and nurses. All activities are interactive, and discussion between participants and lecturers is encouraged.
Additionally, users can publish material for scientific and professional discussion that remains the property of the author. All content is archived and can be located quickly and conveniently with a simple search. The platform is free of charge.
Also included with eLos is access to continuing medical education courses. Some of the offerings include a Basic Phaco Course led by Richard Packard, MD, DO, FRCS, FRCOphth, FEBOS-CR (to learn more, see Basic Phaco Course; to register, click here).
eLos also has groups supported from many industry members. One example is Masters, brought to you by HOYA Surgical Optics, which publishes educational material twice a week that focuses on different cataract surgery topics, such as challenging cases, phaco fundamentals, IOLs and delivery systems, and biometry. The content includes coursework, training, surgery videos, study summaries, scientific presentations and interviews, and events to promote continuous learning and information sharing between colleagues.
More than 700 health care professionals have already joined HOYA Surgical Optics’ Masters group within eLos. To join eLos and gain access to Masters, click here.
PROTECTED INTERACTION AND ACTIVE LEARNING
One major benefit to eLos being a gated community is that surgeons can feel comfortable sharing cases that have gone wrong or asking colleagues for advice on how to handle a difficult surgery. Presently, eLos has more than 13,000 members from the ophthalmology community who range in their level of experience from trainees to veterans. eLos is a safe place for these professionals to share their research, surgical techniques, and even challenging cases and complications. There are two main ways in which the forum is patrolled.
Controlled membership. All members are required to register with an ESASO administrator and are vetted before they are approved. This guarantees that the platform is a gated and exclusive community.
Continuous monitoring. The administrators of eLos are continually monitoring all activities that occur in the community. If a member is misusing the forum or is not promoting the forum’s four main tenets, they are asked to stop or can be blocked from further activity.
eLos is a credible forum that brings the professional ophthalmology community together in the pursuit of safe and educational interactions between colleagues. eLos encourages active learning and offers a variety of activities that can be consumed in a similar manner to the content on mainstream social media platforms.
BASIC PHACO COURSE
By Richard Packard, MD, DO, FRCS, FRCOphth, FEBOS-CR
Over the course of my career, I have taught courses in more than 60 countries, and I have performed live surgery in more than 20. I have also participated in many online teaching forums, including eLos. The Basic Phaco Course, available on demand, is a program that is designed to distill the most important points of cataract surgery into bite-sized pieces of information including tips, tricks, and best practices.
Learning cataract surgery cannot solely be done by observing surgery or watching videos. It is also about understanding why things sometimes don’t happen the way that they should and learning how to avoid these issues. Further, when there are problems with surgery, having an escape plan that everyone in the OR understands is critical. The Basic Phaco course is designed to provide attendees with this type of learning.
Part of building your confidence as a surgeon is being able to talk about mistakes and challenging situations. Sharing my years of experience with colleagues and walking them through the basic steps in a digestible format is enjoyable for me and, I believe, helpful for them. The Basic Phaco Course modules are outlined below.
Basic Phaco Course 1
- Successful Cataract Surgery
- Basics of Phacodynamics
- Biometry and IOL Selection
Basic Phaco Course 2
- Incisions and OVD Use
- The Basics of Capsulorhexis and Hydrodissection
- Managing the Nucleus and Epinucleus
Basic Phaco Course 3
- Irrigation, aspiration, and IOL
- “Ping” the Posterior Capsule has Ruptured!
- Small Pupils and IFIS
- Long and short eyes
Basic Phaco Course 4
- Managing Unexpected Problems with the Nucleus
- Dropped Nucleus
- Conversion to ECCE
- Endophthalmitis Prophylaxis and Treatment
- Post Cataract Surgery Inflammation
To register for eLos and Mr. Packard’s phaco fundamentals CME courses for aspiring masters, click here. More courses will be added after summer 2022.