This past year, the Suburban Excimer Laser Center began training the University of Louisville Ophthalmology Residents to perform LASIK. With support from Johnson & Johnson Vision, Dr. Richard Eiferman, Dr. Mark Cassol and myself became certified to provide LASIK training to the University of Louisville Residents. Johnson & Johnson Vision is providing our laser center with the necessary materials and equipment in order for each resident to perform the requisite number of cases required for LASIK certification. The Suburban Excimer Laser Center became only the second center in the United States to train residents to perform LASIK using the Johnson & Johnson Refractive Surgery Platform, the other program being the prestigious Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.
To date our center has certified three resident physicians to perform LASIK and four other residents have begun performing LASIK procedures and are on their way to becoming certified on the Johnson & Johnson platform. The certification process requires that the resident physician attend a VISX lecture which is given by either Dr. Eiferman or Dr. Cassol. The resident must then complete an on-line training module on the Johnson & Johnson Vision website. Following completion of the training module, the resident participates in a wet lab conducted by a certified Johnson & Johnson Vision trainer. Following the wet lab, the resident may begin scheduling LASIK cases. Either Dr. Cassol or myself must proctor the resident while they perform their cases. A total of 10 LASIK cases must be proctored for the resident to become officially certified. The resident must demonstrate proficiency in all steps of the procedure before they are certified.
I have been very impressed with the initial results of the residents LASIK cases. I presented the initial results at the fall meeting of Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons this past September. The results showed that by 3 months following surgery 100% of the LASIK patients were able to see 20/20 without glasses and 25% of patients were able to see 20/15 without glasses. We will continue to monitor the results the residents are achieving going forward.
In summary, we have been very excited to initiate the University of Louisville Refractive Surgery Training Program. Our goal is to certify all of the residents in the program prior to their graduation. We are well on our way to accomplishing this goal as we have four more residents in the process of becoming certified. In fact, because of this initial success, we have invited the University of Kentucky Ophthalmology Program to participate in the training program. Johnson & Johnson Vision has agreed to support the training of the UK residents and we are in the process of organizing the University of Kentucky Refractive Surgery Training Program.