Ronald Krueger, MD, director of the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute at UNMC, on Saturday presented the Jose Rizal International Medal Lecture for the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology.
With this lecture, Dr. Krueger also received the Jose Rizal Medal for his contributions to the mission of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, which is dedicated to creating international partnerships to provide state-of-the-art education to ophthalmologists in the Asia-Pacific region.
Dr. Krueger, the McGaw Memorial Professor and chairman of the UNMC Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, has been involved in program and curriculum development with the society for more than a decade. He also previously served in providing humanitarian cataract surgery in western China and in collaborating with a large eye hospital system in China as a strategic partner with their educational programs.
The Rizal International Medal has been presented to 22 awardees since it was created in 1979. Jose Rizal was an ophthalmologist, writer and reformer who took part in and was subsequently executed following the Philippine revolution. He is considered a national hero of the Philippines, where his work is recognized as having helped set the foundation for Philippine independence.
"The Asia Pacific Academy, which is one of the largest global societies in ophthalmology, recognizes one ophthalmologist from outside the Asia Pacific region each year for noteworthy contributions to the overall level of ophthalmic education in their region," Dr. Krueger said. "The organization’s biggest role is in educational education and advocacy. The field is constantly evolving and changing, and we have to stay up-to-date and educationally relevant, which can be challenging in a region as large and diverse as Asia. That is a large part of the society’s mission."
In keeping with the cutting-edge educational theme, Dr. Krueger’s lecture, "From SMILE to LIKE," will explore new innovations in refractive surgery - his area of specialty.
SMILE stands for small incision lenticular extraction, a newer procedure that is rivaling LASIK surgery for vision correction.
"Although SMILE has been only recently U.S. FDA approved and adopted in the U.S., it's been available globally for more than a decade, and is most frequently used in Asia" Dr. Krueger said.
LIKE, or lenticular implantation keratoplasty, is a brand-new procedure that involves taking lenticles of corneal tissue, such as those extracted from myopic eyes undergoing SMILE, and implanting it into the cornea of those with hyperopia and other conditions where tissue addition is more advantageous.
"It’s a strategy that could open up a whole new paradigm for the future," he said.
Although he has won other professional awards, Dr. Krueger said the Jose Rizal Medal is special.
"The Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology is one of the largest ophthalmic societies in the world and it’s the sole award given each year to an international participant," he said. "It’s quite an honor."
Congrats, Dr. Krueger. What a tremendous honor!
Congratulations, Ron! What outstanding recognition from international colleagues!