Feinberg students practice surgical techniques on mock organs

The student-led Ophthalmology Interest Group recently held a suturing workshop, offering Feinberg students the opportunity to practice surgical techniques on mock organs. Faculty and residents were on hand to answer questions and guide students through the workshop, which was the first time many students had held a scalpel.

Opportunities to learn hands-on skills such as suturing don't often present themselves until our third year, so this workshop was a welcome introduction to skills many of us are eager to develop."

Gina Johnson, second-year student and treasurer, Ophthalmology Interest Group (OIG)

Kelly Laurenti, MD, assistant professor of Ophthalmology in the Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology; Hawke Yoon, MD, assistant professor of Ophthalmology in the Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology; Gina Johnson, second-year student; Jennifer Rossen, MD, assistant professor of Ophthalmology in the Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology; David Younessi, second-year student; and Liza Cohen, MD, a Northwestern Medicine oculoplastic surgeon.

Hawke Yoon, MD, and Jennifer Rossen, MD, both assistant professors of Ophthalmology in the Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology, led the workshop and instructed students in pediatric ophthalmologic surgical techniques. Students moved between three stations; practicing scleral passes on food items including hot dogs and grapes; practicing basic suturing on chicken breasts; and applying what they'd learned during the workshop to simulate ocular surgery on sheep eyes.

"It was a chance to share something we are all passionate about with the student body at large, and allowed students to develop a skill that can be applied across many fields," said David Younessi, a second-year student and president of the OIG.

Younessi and Johnson were both drawn to ophthalmology because of its diverse care settings, the challenge of microsurgery and the continuity of care.

"The prospect of helping an individual keep the very sense of sight that many of us take for granted invokes a sense of privilege in me, and I believe it would allow for an incredibly rewarding career," Younessi said.

The OIG, one of dozens of specialty interest groups, connects students to ophthalmology resources and provides a platform for interaction and communication between medical students and faculty in Ophthalmology.

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