In 2012, Wills Eye Hospital initiated an ambitious program to provide a structured introduction to global ophthalmology to our senior residents. After creating strong partnerships in the developing world, we created the Wills Eye International Resident Experience (WIRE), which placed our residents at partner sites for up to two weeks to learn, teach and serve in high-need settings.
Since its inception, thirty-one highly motivated senior residents have participated in the WIRE, with an anticipated seven of this year’s eight senior residents planning on traveling to Haiti, Belize, Rwanda, and Kenya to work in outreach clinics under the guidance of our incredible ophthalmology mentors from Wills Eye faculty, our alumni, and our global partner ophthalmologists.
The residents’ evaluations of these experiences have been glowing, with many citing the WIRE as the highlight of their residency. These immersive experiences have been both inspirational and instructive. Over the course of up to two weeks, the residents perform manual small incision cataract surgery, encounter different presentations and types of disease, participate in charity clinics and screenings, and are exposed to novel models of health care delivery. By giving our residents these opportunities, we hope to empower them to incorporate global ophthalmology into their budding careers, thus spreading Wills’ model of skill with compassion beyond our borders and into the world.
J. David Stephens, MD – 2018
Brett Weinstock, MD – 2018
Ayan Chatterjee, MD – 2017
Margaret Greven, MD – 2015
Sarah Kuchar, MD – 2014