U.S. Surgeon Sees The World Through New Eyes
Dr. Jay Rudd served as Visiting Faculty for a SightLife DSEK Skills Transfer Course held at L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India in December 2014. Four experienced corneal surgeons were trained during an intensive course.
Dr. Rudd specializes in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery at Clarus Eye Centre in Lacey, WA.
What sparked your interest in training overseas?
In the past, I have participated in a couple of mission trips where I was focused mainly on performing surgery myself. Each trip was a great experience, but its impact was limited to the patients on whom I had operated. Participating in the SightLife program allows me to have an impact on thousands of people through the surgeons I trained in India. They will be able to help patients who previously had no access to DSEK surgery, for years to come.
I am compelled by SightLife’s mission to eliminate corneal blindness worldwide. I had no idea about the magnitude of the problem globally. Being a small part of the solution is very meaningful to me.
What surprised you the most about India?
I was amazed by the number of people—everywhere felt like Times Square! More importantly, I was impressed by how friendly and welcoming the people were.
L.V. Prasad Eye Institute was an inspiration, specifically the amount of charity work that is done there. They could just choose to make a lot of money and instead they choose to give back. I wish we had more programs like that in the U.S.
Favorite moment of the trip?
I enjoyed working one-on-one with trainee corneal surgeons during the wet labs and surgeries. Helping them through their first experience with DSEK brought me back to my experience as a fellow.
What advice would you give a surgeon who was planning to participate in a SightLife Surgeon Training Program?
I would let them know how excited the surgeons are about learning—they are not there just to get education credits. There is a genuine interest in learning among faculty, fellows and trainees. There was a strong team-based approach to caring for patients. Everyone was willing to sit down and discuss patients and make sure they receive the best care possible.
For information on how to get involved with SightLife’s Surgeon Training Program, contact Josie Noah, Director, Surgeon Training, firstname.lastname@example.org.