International Ophthalmologist's Academy
Web link- https://www.facebook.com/groups/ioa2011/
Secretariat - Sri Venkateshwara Nethralaya Eye Hospital & Lasik Centre, RajaRajeshwarinagar, Bangalore, INDIA
Welcome to International Opthalmologists Academy. We are a Elite group of practicing Ophthalmologists and the group was started on Facebook in 2011. We have steadily grown from a little over 100 members to over 1300 members in over 2 years.
Thank you for expressing your interest to become a member of our group. Please remember that membership is reserved and is usually paid for on an annual basis. Currently we do not have lifetime memberships.
The purpose of this group is to seek, share, serve and support Ophthalmologists and Ophthalmic Practice Worldwide. In todays environment, the ophthalmologist is competing against various market forces. In the corporate sector, we are up against a system that seeks to exploit the medical profession financially with very few opportunities to pursue excellence academically unless it makes business sense.., In the academic sector, we are up against a system that promotes nepotism, mediocrity as well as low incentivization for serious scientific pursuits. In the Independent Private practice sector, we are our own masters, but the support structure for trouble shooting in difficult/crisis situations is absent and we are up against the industry championed by a few mascots who perennially exert enormous peer pressure to invest, upgrade or perish. Added to this is the risk of litigation for what is perceived to be medical negligence that can include situations arising out of delayed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis to suboptimal surgical results. The quantum of compensations being being claimed and awarded is seeing an exponential rise compelling us to ask the question " Are we allowing other parties to make a monetary fortune out of a medical misfortune?"
Many times, it is also seen that Ophthalmologists are easy and soft targets for companies and the media to exploit us in many ways. For ex
1) Many Ophthalmic Companies quote exorbitantly different rates/bundled packages to different buyers for the same equipment and many times in the same city... depending on the negotiating skills of the buyer. This is done as they are under the impression that there is no way the doctors can come together under a single forum for discussing and verifying the best rates before committing to a purchase.
2) Some companies import equipments/spares/consumables at very low rates and sell them for 6X to 7X times the cost without any value addition. For Ex: the purchase cost of a premix excimer laser gas cylinder is around 1250 USD and the regular selling price is around 5000 USD. At the height of the war in ukraine when the cost of unrenewable neon and helium gas was raised by suppliers quoting hazards in transporting the gas out of the conflict zone in Ukraine as majority of the gas is sourced from that country, the actual import cost rose to 1800 to 3000 USD while these import companies made a killing by raising retail prices to 14000 USD quoting supply side constraints. In some countries like South Korea, the cost were raised upto 55000 USD (Read about it here) http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=3010593 .Most physicians paid up this money due to the fact that they lacked information on the actual import costs and the ones that knew this info were able to negotiate better and obtain the cylinders at much reduced costs. Some practices actually shut down operations for more than 18 months during this crisis as they were unable to afford such artificially enhanced prices. Although the current prices have stabilized due to recycling and optimization programmes engaged by global manufacturers as well as the demand adjusting to the supply, some quotes by the import companies still have astronomical rates and force buyers to shell out large sums to purchase their products.
3) Some companies charge exorbitantly for spare parts and there is no way we can deal with them at the moment of crisis unless we have a system to name and shame such companies. For Ex: A leading company that sells Phaco Machines used to charge exorbitantly for cassette sensors that used to become defective after the standard warranty period of 1 year. Information about this disseminated and new buyers were able to negotiate a 3-5 yr additional warranty on the machine and sensors at the time a purchase and this helped many physicians to avoid additional financial burdens year after year.
4) In the recent Avastin fiasco wherein many clusters of endophthalmitis occured worldwide including the United States, due to fake drug entering the supply chains, many efforts were made by media controlled by vested interests to wrongly portray the root cause and paint the Entire Ophthalmic community as greedy, unethical and acting with malafide intentions for using the economical Avastin instead of the more expensive (15X) Lucentis,,, Social Media groups rapidly disseminated the actual authentic information on the root cause of the unfortunate events being the fake drug entering supply chains and pressure was brought on the manufacturer to take up steps to authenticate use of the genuine drug and institute a mechanism to identify fake drug by the use of the kezzler code on all avastin vials and a real time digital verification process between the end user and the manufacturer. Many Govts Worldwide had senselessly banned the drug punishing the patients into purchasing the more expensive Lucentis and caused them financial ruin.. and even threatened to send the physicians using Avastin to prison as a mindless knee jerk reaction which however was withdrawn once the issue became clear.
Currently we have to be understanding physicians, skilled Surgeons, knowledgeable scientists, shrewd clinicians, Risk taking Entrepreuners, podium Speakers etc to showcase our work, interests & affiliations. We have to keep ourselves updated not only on over 10 Ophthalmic Subspecialities, but also become savvy in Electronic Medical Records, Internet Marketing, Cost accounting, raising funds for startups and Expansion,...and the list goes on to include things as far as even becoming politically active to achieve goals that we believe to be in our patients interests. This group aims to achieve a cooperative system where reliable knowledge, business skills and medico legal resources, opinions and aids are shared among members which would vastly improve our ability to be always ahead of the system and enhance our economic potential as well as reach our targetted goals safely & much earlier truly achieving Ophthalmic Business at the speed of thought.
This forum will bundle up everything that a Ophthalmologist in Practice needs to excel in a single show on a day to day basis but is not made available in medical school or cannot be gained by oneself irrespective of the privileges he/she may enjoy.
The Aim of the Group is as follows
1. To bring together Ophthalmologists situated across the globe under a single professional platform..
2. To update the best practices in Ophthalmology periodically and showcase newer frontiers.
3. To Share resources such as market research data, videos, business solutions, opinions and facts related to Ophthalmic practice.
4. To foster fellowship among the members and support each other to enhance dissemination of scientific work.
5. To create a family network of Ophthalmologists worldwide so that cross referrals of migrating patients to one another is made easy.
6. To facilitate easy disposal of Old Equipment among members without any intermediaries and to enable younger ophthalmologists to directly buy refurbished equipments in good working condition from fellow ophthalmologists at reasonable costs.
7. To Provide Young Ophthalmologists a platform to present and discuss Scientific Data, Case Reports, Journal Reviews and enhance Scientific Temper. As Sampled below, You can browse through the article title and abstract and the full text is also available free from Dovepress.
8. To Enable members to tap into the vast collective experience of the group on management of difficult cases, medico legal problems, Opinions on purchase/performance of new Equipment, Drugs, IOL's, Availability, Pricing, formulations etc.
9. To facilitate exchange of information among members on important Conferences and provide official summaries on the sessions, courses, posters etc.
10. To facilitate exchange of information on new equipments, drugs, cost and after sales service,
11. IN SHORT - To Seek, Share, Serve and Support Ophthalmologists & Ophthalmic practice Worldwide.
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