by Jaclyn Kovach, M.D.
Teaching the next generation of ophthalmologists and a dedication to continuing medical education comprise one of the three defining pillars of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, in addition to excellence in patient care and research. At BPEI Naples, we share that commitment and take pride in the education programs that are available at our clinic. Since 2012, we have offered a 2-4 week medical student rotation during which medical students in their final third or fourth year of medical school are able to spend time with each of our faculty members in Naples not only to learn the basics of an eye exam, but often to decide if ophthalmology is a field that they are interested in pursuing.
Our medical students are typically enrolled at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine but have journeyed from as far away as Nice, France to participate in our rotation. Following completion of four years of medical school, the next step on the way to becoming an ophthalmologist is a 1-year medical or surgical internship followed by a 3-year ophthalmology residency. Those who choose to specialize further can apply for a 1-2 year fellowship in one of nine potential subspecialties, including medical and surgical retina, glaucoma, cornea, pediatric ophthalmology, oculoplastics, neuro-ophthalmology, uveitis, ocular oncology, and ocular pathology.
This July BPEI Naples welcomed the first medical retina fellow who is participating in a new 1-year fellowship based in Naples. She will spend
time learning how to manage medical retina patients with conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vascular disease from Dr. Jaclyn Kovach and her retina colleagues. BPEI Naples is fortunate to have the opportunity to teach and learn from such bright and accomplished aspiring ophthalmologists.
Life-long learning and a commitment to remaining current in the field of ophthalmology is essential to taking excellent care of patients. For the
past several years Dr. Jaclyn Kovach has directed the Diabetic Retinopathy Continuing Medical Education Conference. Held in Naples each spring, this meeting is offered to retina specialists and general ophthalmologists nationwide who wish to get an update on clinical management of diabetic eye disease from leaders in the field at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and visiting faculty from notable eye centers across the country.