Blog‎ > ‎

TLC Supports Memphis Laser Workshop at SCO

posted Mar 10, 2013, 6:31 PM by Jen Weigel   [ updated Mar 10, 2013, 7:27 PM ]
I was proud to represent TLC Laser Eye Centers at the Memphis Laser Workshop at the Southern College of Optometry, my alma mater, this weekend.  The 120 third-year students were divided into groups of 10 as they rotated through a series of stations where they were able to get experience with different types of lasers.  While the TLC section was composed of IntraLase flap creation, VISX ablation, and PRK epithelial debridement using pig eyes, students were able to familiarize themselves with YAG capsulotomies, SLT, and PI's using model eyes.  This was the fourth year that they've been able to put on this event.

You'd think that since I talk about LASIK and PRK all day long, well, then I should have half-way decent beginner skills when working with my own pig eye.  I performed LASIK on one pig eye, and, as I have already explained to Dr. Holzman, Miss Piggy will assuredly have DLK, striae, and epi ingrowth at her one-day post-op check.  My PRK debridement wasn't any better, as I think I removed every ounce of limbal cell that my pig may have started with at the beginning of the day.  So much for epithelial regeneration!  

This personal experience really made me appreciate - not that I ever did not appreciate - Dr. Holzman's surgical skills.  He makes it seem so easy and effortless to those observing his skills.  However, the truth is that this comes after much practice and experience; a little bit of inherent surgical gift; and, excellence in fine motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination.  

At the end of the day, my colleague Dr. Kelly Conyer, Clinical Director TLC Tri-Cities, and I helped all 120 students through their epithelial debridement lab.  I was so exhausted in the most excellent of ways.  A whole day of standing, talking, and sticking my hand into a baggie full of pig eyes (never thought I'd do that without gagging) can really wipe you out, but this was such an amazing experience for everyone involved.  

Special thanks to Dr. William Tullo, National Clinical Director for TLC, and Stacy Lerum, Sr. Director of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.  These two work round the clock, always with a smile, so that TLC can provide excellent programs such as this to students, the team within TLC, and Affiliates.  Also, thank you to the team at SCO - Drs. Bill Edmondson and Jared Powelson - for delivering on what promised to be a great educational experience!  Also, congratulations to Student Doctors Samantha Triplett, Nate Stahr, and Andrew Botts for recognizing the importance of organized optometry to their future profession.  These students took time away from studying for NBEO to discuss Virginia optometry with me on Friday night and also spent part of their Saturday learning more about the wonderful world of lasers.  - jw