June 20, 2012
On Thursday, June 7, faculty from the Wilmer Eye Institute and King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia held a virtual Grand Rounds. Led by Wilmer director Dr. Peter McDonnell, KKESH general executive director Dr. Abdul Elah Al-Towerki and KKESH Medical Director Dr. Ashley Behrens, the event offered faculty and residents from two institutions on the opposite sides of the world the opportunity to learn from each other. Via videoconferencing, physicians from both hospitals presented several cases, including one on the potential blinding impact of Dengue Fever, which can have manifestations similar to some viral illnesses that occur in the United States. Attendees reviewed images, discussed symptoms and treatment options, and asked and answered questions in real time.
Feedback on this collaboration and unique meeting format was very positive. “This International Grand Rounds will be an invaluable teaching tool for American and Saudi Arabian ophthalmologists to learn about diseases we do not get to see in our own countries, to see how the same diseases may behave differently and to become educated about different healthcare systems. Faculty and students at both institutions are able to see that we have a great deal in common in terms of our approaches to diagnosing and treating complex eye diseases,” said Dr. McDonnell.
Dr. Ashley Behrens, KKESH’s executive medical director, agreed: “For the first time, we were able to partner with the Wilmer Eye Institute, through a live and high-definition Grand Rounds session. The interaction between local doctors in Riyadh and our colleagues at Wilmer went smoothly and the resolution of the screen with the clinical presentations was extraordinary, just like being there".
Dr. McDonnell anticipates that Wilmer will host many more International Grand Rounds with KKESH and other international partners in the future.