Many Leadership Development Program participants choose as their final project to develop an LDP-like program in their nominating society. Examples of such projects include the following.
Young Ophthalmologist Training Program for Central Asian Republic countries via Turkish Republics Ophthalmology Society
Seyhan B. Özkan, MD, LDP XIX, Class of 2017 - International Council of Ophthalmology
Background: Central Asian Republic (CAR) countries are not well represented in international societies that has a negative influence for the pre- and post-graduate education of ophthalmologists and their interaction with the global ophthalmology. Those countries also have the challenge of national organization of ophthalmologists. Turkish Republics Ophthalmology Society (TROS), an independent international society, was established in 2001 with the support of Turkish Ophthalmological Society (TOS). TROS already has a Young Ophthalmologists (YO) Group but the group has not been active. The six TROS member countries other than Turkey are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and North Cyprus. Tajikistan and Afghanistan are not member societies.
Purpose: The aim of this project is to facilitate the integration of TROS member countries into global international societies through empowering next generation of ophthalmology leadership. The aim of this project is to start a Young Ophthalmologists Training Program using the platform of TROS and the models of existing, multi-national and national YO programs. Identifying and developing Young Ophthalmologists and then supporting, mentoring them to take that challenge is the core aim of this project.
Methods: Already existing contact relations of TROS is chosen as the platform to develop and initiate such a YO Training Program. At initiation, a preliminary communication was done by TROS Administrative Council and after getting their approval and support, the TROS Meeting in Osh, Kyrgyzstan was chosen for organization of the YO activity. The project holder SBÖ provided the communication with the TROS Administrative Council. The activity is planned by the presence of the project holder SBÖ by the project adviser MB and critically by two YO colleagues in Bishkek and Osh, Kyrgyzstan . The pre-appointed leader of the YO group and the leading names in member countries are identified and informed about the program. The chosen date for the YO activity was 3rd June 2017 just after the closing ceremony of the TROS Meeting. The participation of the YO group was provided by the support of TROS and the YO forum has taken place in a meeting room of a hotel in neighborhood of the meeting venue. An announcement brochure was prepared and distributed in a printed form at the beginning of the meeting. In order to increase the participation, the YO meeting is announced to be as a lunch event and the sponsorship for this activity is provided by ICO.
Results: The announcement procedure ran smoothly as required with connection platform of TROS. Personal communication on an individual basis has also be done to increase the interest of known YO names. In order to increase the motivation and to increase the collaboration the leader of YO group is invited to participate the forum actively. The attendance of the meeting as the YO group was 78. Three presentations were done by the project holder, by the project adviser and by the “young” President of the Azerbaijan national society. Then the forum is done by in small groups by discussing the problems and the major needs of the YO in the region. Those needs were the need of basic ophthalmology education, lack of interest of the seniors to train the young ophthalmologists, lack of organization, and the local barriers to create organizations. The financial limitations and the language problems of the region appeared as major barriers to reach to the foreign educational source. The Forum was conducted in Russian with translation by the Host YO’s.
Conclusions: Integration of TROS member countries into global international societies will improve those countries’ international relations and thus improve in-country ophthalmological education and the quality of ophthalmology practice. The forum provided a useful initiative platform to learn the basic requirements of the ophthalmologists.
The motivation of the YO group is high but this motivation needs support to become an ungoing activity. TROS appears to be the most convenient platform in future to reach to the target population and overcome the language barriers. The YO forum appears to reach the goals of the project as an initiative activity to support the ophthalmology education in the region of CAR.
WOMEN UP: Leadership Development Program for Women in Retina
Audina Berrocal, MD, LDP XVIII, Class of 2016 - Retina Society
Purpose: Survey retina specialists in the Unites States, Mexico and Latin America to better understand the current status of leadership in the field of retina and specifically for women in retina. It is evident that there are less women in leadership positions in the retina subspecialty. This survey will hopefully aid us in developing a more clear leadership path for women in retina.
Methods: A survey of 14 questions was sent to mostly surgical retina specialists in the United States, Mexico and Latin America including fellows in training. The survey was sent to the email address of the physicians.
Results: Of 1,116 retina specialists identified by email, 350 answered the survey as of August of 2016. 77% of the respondents are male and 23% are women. If we separate the results by gender, we get to compare how men and women understand leadership in retina. 24% of female respondents are 11-20 years out of practice. 23% are still in training, 19% have practice for less than 5 years and 14% have been in practice more than 20 years. The majority of the male respondents (38%) have been in practice more than 20 years. 23% of women practice outside the US and most practice in the NE, SE and MW of the US. 68% of women practice in academia and only 36% in are in private practice. In contrast, 57% of the male respondents work in private practice and 45% are in academia. 70% of women practice both medical and surgical retina compared to 76% of men. 58% of women considered a man as a career mentor, while 16% considered no one as a mentor. 85% of men considered a man a career mentor and 12% considered no one as a mentor. 42% of women are NOT involved in leadership, followed by 30% who are involved in local leadership (university, hospital), and 24% who have multiple leadership roles. As compared to men: 39% have multiple leadership roles, 35% local leadership roles, and 29% are not involved in any leadership role. Of the women NOT involved in leadership 61% feel there is no opportunity and 51% are too busy. Of the men, 52% are too busy and 40% feel there is no opportunity. Women see the barriers to leadership as: 54% no support (professionally), 48 % their gender, 38% their age, and 21% no support (personally). No man feels their gender is a barrier to leadership, 45% feel there is no support (professionally), 42% feel their age is a barrier, and 20% feel they have no support (personally). 52% of women feel the most important mentor in their career was a man and 25% believe it was both a man and a woman. 82 % of men said their most important mentor was a man while 15% said it was both a man and a woman. 53% of women feel there is no clear leadership path for them as compared to 40% of men. 57% of women believe leadership paths should be improved by identifying leadership paths and 55% of men agree with this.
Conclusion: Surprisingly there is no clear path to leadership for young retinal specialist. This is even more obvious from a gender disparity perspective for women retina specialist. This data strongly supports a better understanding of leadership development and the importance of structured pathways for young retina specialist to develop strong future leaders.