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  • Jordanian Ophthalmologists Plan Regional YO Chapter

    Young ophthalmologists in Jordan have taken the first steps to form their own regional chapter, YO Jordan.

    Mais Alkilany, MD, one of the group’s leaders, is drafting the “YOJO” charter to engage Jordanian young ophthalmologists and others in the region. 

    One of the first orders of business was to have an online meeting for YOJOs with the Academy’s international envoy and past president, Mike Brennan, MD. This meeting was the start of an ongoing online series called, "Ophthalmologists Under the Spotlight.” Participants discussed training during COVID-19, mentorship and the activities of other YO chapters around the globe.

    Dr. Alkilany hopes YO Jordan will reach the local as well as the international community. She began by reaching out to ophthalmologist leaders and peers .

    “I’m trying to pick the minds of young ophthalmologists and what they think matters in our region and in Jordan especially,” Dr. Alkilany said. 

    Jordan has a relatively small group of ophthalmologists by U.S. standards. There are about 480 registered ophthalmologists and roughly 180 to 200 residents in Jordan, Dr. Alkilany said, but no YO representation in the national society, especially for residents. Other challenges for YOs in the region include:

    • A lack of subspecialty training in many residency programs 
    • The need for a study program and resources with real-life scenarios to help residents to prepare for pass the board exam
    • The need for surgical standard for graduating residents

    Residents do work with patients, she said, “but we need to get mentors to give the residents more OR time.”

    In addition, Dr. Alkilany said she would like to see more scientific competitions, fellowships and networking opportunities for YOs in Jordan,

    In the meeting with Dr. Brennan, participants discussed the potential activities for new chapter. YOs in the U.S. have created educational resources for residents and used their representation to bring about change, said Dr. Brennan. He highlighted the energy that YOs bring to the medical profession and advocacy.

    Young ophthalmologists in the U.S. “have been willing to become active advocates at the local, state and federal levels for favorable ophthalmology outcomes,” Dr. Brennan said. “Young ophthalmologists in many states and many nations have been able to do that.”

    Dr. Alkilany said it was a good way to introduce the YOJO community to young and established ophthalmologists and inspire them to establish connections that could help them later on in their careers. 

    Dr. Alkilany was just selected as the international participant in the Academy’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) XXIII, class of 2021. She will join 19 U.S. ophthalmologists chosen via a competitive selection process who will meet at an orientation session at AAO 2020 in Las Vegas.