Keri Allen, MD is a 2020 ASCRS Foundation Young Eye Surgeon International Service Grant recipient. This grant was created for aspiring humanitarian ophthalmologists who want to participate in and learn about the complexities of our global healthcare system. Read below about Dr. Allen's service project and her advice for other young eye surgeons.
ASCRS Foundation: How did you initially become interested in ophthalmology?
Dr. Allen: "As a second year medical student I volunteered at the student run free clinic. One of my volunteer evenings, I was able to work one on one with an ophthalmologist that was performing diabetic eye exams for migrant workers. I still remember my first view of an eye under the slit lamp. I was hooked and have been about ophthalmology ever since."
ASCRS Foundation: How did you hear about the ASCRS Foundation and the Young Eye Surgeon International Service Grant program?
Dr. Allen: "During my Emory Global Ophthalmology Fellowship, I received a grant from the ASCRS Foundationt to help support my international research project in Ethiopia. During my fellowship, I also had the tremendous pleasure of working with the ASCRS Foundation International Liason Dr. Barb Erny on various projects in Ethiopia. After my fellowship. Dr. Erny continued to keep me abreast on all the foundation was doing including the launch of the YIS grant program."
ASCRS Foundation: Can you tell us more about the service project that you are working on as a result of the grant?
Dr. Allen: "The YIS ASCRS Foundation grant allowed me to complete a manual small incision cataract surgery wet lab and training program for 44 residents in the 5 different residency programs in Ethiopia."
ASCRS Foundation: What advice would you give to other young ophthalmologists looking to pursue the Young Eye Surgeon International Service Grant opportunity?
Dr. Allen: '"Apply! No matter how big or small your project idea, the ASCRS Foundation YIS Grant is a great way to support your efforts. Additionally, it will help you tap into a very supportive group of mentors, peers and ASCRS foundation staff that will continue to support you along your international ophthalmolgy journey."
The Young Eye Surgeons International Service Grant was created to inspire young eye surgeons to become involved with global eye care on a long-term basis. The grant affords the opportunity to participate in health care systems, including teaching institutions and community programs, in developing countries. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you have any questions.