COS He’s a Jolly Good Fellow
Sitting Down With... Guillermo Rocha, President of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS), and Medical Director of Ocular Microsurgery and Laser Center, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.
What led you to cornea and refractive surgery?
Even as a child, I wanted to be a physician. There were none in my family but, at junior high, my best friend’s father was a hand surgeon. I was intrigued by his life and his passion – he was my first inspiration. What attracted me to ophthalmology is that it is a unique specialty that combines both surgical and medical aspects. I knew I wanted to specialize in cornea and refractive surgery from the get go.
What are your main missions as COS president?
COS has been around for 80 years now, and we really want to mark that in our annual meeting in June. I really want to help promote COS in the international arena. We – and I guess Canadians in general – often tend to be a bit discreet and sometimes overly humble, but we really have a lot of initiatives, projects, guidelines and educational activities going on. I’d like to promote these globally – and garner some support from fellow societies who might like to join us in our unique programs.
More in the national arena, it’s all about “the three Os” – ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians. It’s already started in Canada, but one of my goals is to help formalize the formation of provincial eye health councils – collaborative groups that present a single voice to government. More locally and internally at COS, we have a huge responsibility to our membership. As our society has grown, we’ve really had to define the “COS umbrella” and consider how we’re going to keep the different subspecialty and special interest groups engaged; we need to present a single voice for ophthalmology to our patients, the media, the population, as well as government.
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