Common Questions

Ophthalmology University is focused on providing the motivated adult learner, wanting to be a safe and effective cataract surgeon, the ideal conditions by which they can realize their goal of doing phacoemulsification well.

The OU Cataract Academy Course was designed for you so if you have questions about the course likely other students have had similar questions.

Here are some of the common questions students have asked about the OU Cataract Academy Course:

Do I have to pay for the full OU Cataract Academy Course at once?

No when you enroll for the OU Cataract Academy Course through this website you can choose to pay for:
Phase 1 (Online course) only
Phase 1 & 2 of the course (Online & Simulation/Wetlab)
Phase 1, 2 and 3 (Complete course including live Cataract surgeries)

In order to advance to Phase 3 and do live cataract surgeries, you must meet specific training milestones based on your surgical simulation training data.

Do I need to take a leave of absence from my practice to take the OU Cataract Academy Course?

No, if you plan to take only Phase 1 of the course (online training).

Yes, for phase 2 it is necessary to travel to the OU training facility in Mexico or Colombia. Phase 2 will last a week. Upon completing Phase 2 should you meet the performance milestones and are invited to take part in Phase 3 for live cataract surgery you will travel to one of OU’s surgical training site partners (Mexico or Colombia). Phase 3 will see you perform up to 25 cataract surgeries over a 4-5 weeks period so the final phase of your training will require you to be away for an extended period of time.

Can I complete all the online training modules in a week so as to move on sooner to Phase 2

No. When you enroll in the OU Cataract Academy Course you will be completing one module and one coach mentoring session each week.
Each module has a small exam at the end and you must pass every module before the next series of modules will be released to you. If you do not complete the week’s modules and pass the exams, OU will not send you the next series of modules until you complete the as yet unfinished online modules.

What type of simulator is used in Phase 2

OU has a state of the art Eyesi surgical simulator which runs at all times on the most advanced software. When you travel to the OU training facility you will be provided a user account for the simulator and will be provided a series of simulation courses for cataract surgery that you must complete successfully. All of your simulation training data will be available to you through OU’s web portal so that you can track your progress at all times.

What is involved with the wet lab portion of Phase 2?

OU uses a systematic training program where every student will work intensely in both simulation and wet lab during their 1-week training. The wet lab will have you using several artificial eyes and pig eyes with a state of the art Alcon Phaco system and stereo operating microscope. Wet lab and simulation are integrated into a seamless training process whereby with expert mentorship the ideal conditions for learning cataract surgery are established.

What happens if I fail to meet the simulation milestones in Phase 2 which would allow me to go on to perform live cataract surgery in Phase 3?

OU wants every student to succeed and grow to become skilled cataract surgeons but ethically we must always put patient care first. For this reason, OU uses objective simulation training data to determine who OU will offer live surgical training to under Phase 3. If you are unable to complete your simulation courses in Phase 2 and wish to move on to perform live surgery at one of our surgical training partner sites you simply have to repeat the Phase 2 step. Please note a modified fee for repeating Phase 2 will apply.

How do the surgical mentors help me during the OU Cataract Academy?

The entire training process is focused on you to help you learn cataract surgery. OU believes having skilled surgical mentors is a key component of adult learning.
In Phase 1, a mentor will talk to you every week in a mentoring session, keeping an eye on your progress along the modules of the Course.
In Phase 2 you will have a 2 to 1 ratio of students to mentor. During your daily simulation and wet lab sessions at the OU training facility your mentor will be by your side showing you the proper techniques and providing you feedback on how to modify your approach to a given aspect of cataract surgery.
In Phase 3 during live surgery your mentor will select suitable cataract surgery patients for you relative to your ability at the time. The mentor in live surgery has the dual responsibility of ensuring the safety of the patient at all times but they are there too to be your coach. As such your surgical mentor will patiently guide you through your early cataract surgeries and assist where necessary if you require help.