Miguel Hernández University in Alicante, Spain, launched this month the first worldwide online university course in refractive surgery, a comprehensive, 250-hour, 1-year, distance learning program leading to a university certificate.
“Something unique. A very innovative approach to a subspecialty area that is neglected by traditional residency curricula. An opportunity for young and less young ophthalmologists around the world to have access to a course of the highest academic standard without having to move or commute,” Jorge L. Alió, MD, PhD, course director, told Ocular Surgery News.
The course focuses on refractive surgery, including procedures in which refractive outcomes have become central, such as lens surgery, corneal surgery and cross-linking. Six modules are taught via video tutorials for 4 hours a week over 6 months. It is a flexible system in which students can enter, exit and re-enter the module according to their personal needs. Summative assessment is provided at the end of each module.
“The video tutorials are given by me personally, as they reflect our approach to refractive surgery, based on the hundreds of papers and books we have published and on our long and wide experience in the field,” Alió said.
In the second 6 months, students are engaged in producing a publishable paper on a topic relevant to the course, under the supervision of a tutor of international reputation in the field.
“We have a faculty of 34 tutors and two scientific advisers who are internationally recognized key opinion leaders in the respective subspecialties,” Alió said.
After completion of the course, 25 ECTS credits and a university certificate are awarded. – by Michela Cimberle
Disclosure: Alió reports he is the course director of the program.
Jorge L. Alió, MD, PhD, can be reached at Vissum Corporation, Avenida de Denia, s/n, 03016 Alicante, Spain; email: email@example.com.