Pterygium Fellowship – A personal note

On a personal note about the Pterygium Fellowship….

From the PMs received, I should make a little clarification – this fellowship was performed on top of my full time commitments, not instead of 🥰.

🤔If I were to be perfectly honest, with my schedule, I needed another fellowship like I needed a hole in the head. In fact, I had actively encouraged other registrars to undertake it as I didn’t feel as though I had the capacity to take on another fellowship as well as my full time commitments, but I felt quite strongly that the technique should be offered outside of Queensland somewhere at least. The other four PERFECT trained fellows reside within the sunshine state.

But as it were, two weeks before his retirement, and after a several months of me not being able to find an individual to take it on, I put up my hand.

I realised it was also the last opportunity I’d have to work with someone whose surgical handiwork I had admired during my training. I had seen Professor Hirst’s corneal grafts come through the system… the minimal astigmatism, the care with which he had left his patients – quiet, transparent, and doing well, long after his days. I never had the opportunity to formally train under Prof during my registrarship, but first met him when I worked at the Homeless Connect program as a senior house officer giving free eye examinations to the homeless. I next met him during a Pterygium teaching session as a registrar during my training. And the third time we crossed paths was in Sydney where I was performing my laser lists and bumped into him in the corridor. As they say, the rest is history.

The last 12 months have been an exercise in having someone obsessively nit pick on my surgical technique, making me a better surgeon in the process. The way I hold my needles, the way I gather up my sutures, the way I throw my knots – all of the subtleties that create a safer and more efficient surgeon – and better patient outcomes in the process. Often we only have time to focus on the nuts and bolts during a fellowship and this felt like “corneal finishing school” in some ways.

So we begin to offer, officially, P.E.R.F.E.C.T. for Pterygium outside of QLD 😍.