4 office-based surgical procedures courses to help patients achieve a better quality of life

May 6, 2021
As contemporary optometry evolves, opportunities will open up for doctors of optometry to expand surgical procedures in their practices. A series of courses on these office-based procedures will be offered at Optometry’s Meeting®.
Surgical procedures

Seeking to expand your in-office surgical procedures and help your patients achieve a better quality of life?

Optometry’s Meeting® has the courses for doctors of optometry. Led by Richard Castillo, O.D., D.O., four courses will cover some basics and nuances of surgical treatment options.

The courses, set for Friday, June 25, are described by Dr. Castillo:

Fundamentals of Histology and Gross Anatomy for Optometric Surgeons (2 hours): “Histology is at the crossroads of the basic sciences and surgical practice,” Dr. Castillo says. “This course will ground the attendee in the language of the pathologist and the biopsy report.”

Introduction to Office Surgery for Optometric Surgeons (2 hours): “A video tour of the most common types of office surgical procedures performed in optometric practice.”

Periocular Suturing for Optometric Surgeons (2 hours): “An essential surgical skill, this workshop provides an introduction to the basics of wound closure.”

Periocular Injections for Optometric Surgeons (1 hour): “Knowledge of location and careful technique are essential to avoid injection misadventures. This workshop will show you how.”

A good fit

How do all the courses fit together?

“We begin with ‘theory,’ structure and function,” says Dr. Castillo, co-chair of the AOA’s Contemporary Practice Education Task Force. “Gross anatomy of the eyelids gives the surgeon their bearings. Histology then teaches the language of the pathologist. To be a competent optometric surgeon, one must first be a master of normal skin histology.

“We will then apply ‘theory’ by demonstrating the histological correlates to surgical practice while viewing and talking through several optometric office surgical procedures,” he adds. “The broad perspectives acquired here are reflective of the broader base of services expanding throughout the profession in states across the nation.”

The courses are for any optometric physician, resident or student looking to refresh or expand their current skill set and understand these service-based offerings, Dr. Castillo says. The lectures and workshops also will give perspective to those in leadership positions looking to expand the scope of practice in their respective home states, he adds.

Asked to define optometric surgeons, Dr. Castillo refers to “any optometric physician who practices ‘procedure-oriented’ care and who possesses the conceptual knowledge, the technical ability and the driving desire to help their patients attain a better quality of life.”

More than a year after the pandemic was declared, doctors of optometry continue to provide frontline, critical eye care to patients.

Father-son reunion

Dr. Castillo will get an assist in the suturing and injections workshops from Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry (NSUOCO) residents Jennifer Dryden, O.D., and Kristen Lantz, O.D., plus his son Nathan Castillo, O.D., who graduated from NSUOCO in 2020 and is currently working on his master’s degree in business administration at Oklahoma State University.

“It will be terrific working with my father and his (our) colleagues, teaching basic surgical skills and sharing what I’ve learned in school,” Dr. Nathan Castillo says.

It was natural that he gravitated toward optometry, the young Dr. Castillo says, with both of his parents (mother Tammy Castillo, O.D.) in the profession.

“I’ve always been naturally drawn to health care and service, as well as technology and innovation,” Dr. Nathan Castillo says. “No doubt, I was influenced by my parents’ experience. My undergraduate career reinforced these decisions. Optometry is a dynamic and expanding field where opportunities abound!

“I hope to leverage my optometric training and business education to make a positive contribution within the industry and help move the profession forward,” he adds.

Earn CE credit in surgical management at Optometry’s Meeting

Interested in learning more about surgical management and how doctors of optometry can be at the forefront of implementing cutting-edge developments in patient care? Consider attending one of several educational courses at Optometry’s Meeting, June 24-26, in Denver, Colorado.

What: Fundamentals of Histology and Gross Anatomy for Optometric Surgeons
: Friday, June 25 (Room 5)
Who: General optometry, available in person, AOA credit

What: Introduction to Office Surgery for Optometric Surgeons
When: Friday, June 25 (Room 5)
Who: General optometry, available in person, AOA credit

What: Periocular Suturing for Optometric Surgeons
When: Friday, June 25 (Room 5)
Who: General optometry, available in person, AOA credit

What: Periocular Injections for Optometric Surgeons
When: Friday, June 25 (Room 5)
Who: General optometry, available in person, AOA credit

Register for Optometry’s Meeting today. To maintain occupancy requirements, only a limited number of seats are available for each course, so register to attend and select your preferred educational courses during registration.

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