WHAT IS A FELLOW? (FIAOMC)
ATTAINING A FELLOWSHIP IN THE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF ORTHOKERATOLOGY AND MYOPIA CONTROL
Once your child is diagnosed with nearsightedness (myopia), it is recommended that you seek a practitioner who specializes in orthokeratology and myopia control. While most eye doctors practice general eye care, a myopia control specialist spends years educating themselves in this specialized aspect of eye care, which gives them the unique perspective of best understanding issues to do with myopia control.
Postgraduate fellowship training is part of this in-depth training to become a specialist. A fellowship is not a part of the basic medical eye care training but is a designation that is granted after years of advanced study.
An FIAOMC is a practitioner who has made a serious commitment to the practice of myopia control and orthokeratology. They have undergone hundreds of hours of advanced training in this field and have used this skill to manage myopia with various techniques successfully. While they are talented at treating all cases, they distinguish themselves with the ability to design and troubleshoot complex and challenging cases (highly nearsighted or astigmatic, abnormally shaped corneas, out-of-control myopia, to name a few). An FIAOMC is the gold standard representing the highest level of knowledge, ethics, and patient care in this field.
A doctor must meet several requirements prior to applying for a fellowship. Once these requirements have been met they may apply for the fellowship. The FIAOMC journey involves presenting several highly complicated cases that they have personally designed and managed. They must pass a 60+ question written test. Finally, they must sit for a 2-3 hour oral examination (administered by three experienced FIAOMCs) where they are presented difficult puzzling cases and the candidate must identify problems/solutions for each patient. If they demonstrate fellowship-level skills, they are only then granted their FIAOMC. The testing is rigorous. Dr Yachin Bao became the Fellow in 2011 and currently is one of 155 doctors world-wide who have successfully taken the journey.
Once they have attained their FIAOMC, a fellow is obligated to give back. Dr. Bao is one of elite group of doctors who demonstrate her commitment to myopia control through lectures, creating webinars, setting standards of care, educating the public, and mentoring other practitioners who have challenging cases.