How to Continue Sharing Skills During a Global Pandemic

You may already know Dr. Andrew Choyce, an anesthesiologist who has been part of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital team for more than 15 years. Last year Dr. Choyce was saving lives on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, but what has he been doing in 2021? We caught up with him to find out.

The Flying Eye Hospital was unable to fly for much of 2020 so Dr. Andrew Choyce used his skills to help save lives in ICU's in London, England. A veteran anesthesiologist, Dr. Choyce was not only able to help save lives directly himself, but the skills he's been sharing on board the Flying Eye Hospital over the last 15 years ensured many other patients received better quality care in countries like Myanmar, Mongolia and Vietnam.

“Orbis has given me the most incredible contact list of international colleagues from both our partner hospitals and Volunteer Faculty. Many of my friends and colleagues will be using their anesthesia skills to save lives right now" he told us at the beginning of the pandemic last year.

Working as part of of the Flying Eye Hospital team for more than a decade, Dr. Choyce knows a thing or two about teaching anesthesiology. During his time with Orbis, he has shared his skills with thousands of peers around the world, both on board the plane and in local hospitals.

As the Flying Eye Hospital has not been in flight since the beginning of the pandemic, like the rest if the team Dr. Choyce has been finding new and innovative ways to make the most of his time and skills. By leaning into our history of innovation and technology, Dr. Choyce has been sharing his skills via our online telemedicine platform, Cybersight - creating a suite of learning tools for anesthesiologists around the world.

"I think out of adversity comes opportunity, and this has been an amazing opportunity to do something that I think is really important: to put together a comprehensive program of education that will be central to what we do on Flying Eye Hospital programs and Hospital-Based Trainings. I really see the value of it now."

Dr. Andrew Choyce sends love while on duty in his home country, England, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like many others during the pandemic, Dr. Choyce sees telemedicine taking on a big role in the future of medical education.

"It has been an amazing opportunity for me to have enough time to really focus on this project, because it’s really going to improve the quality of the education that we offer in the future. We're planning to make it a comprehensive package of education covering not just ophthalmic anesthesia, but going into other areas of importance to every anesthesia provider—whether it’s pediatric anesthesia, issues around safety and minimum standards, managing emergencies, and so on."

Slideshow: Dr. Choyce during his 15 years with Orbis

Cybersight has become an even more integral part of our mission since remote learning picked up speed during the pandemic. A record number of new users signed up for Cybersight over the last 16 months. There are now 50,000 registered users in total, which is more than triple the number of users (16,500) it had at the beginning of 2020. And we're excited to invest more in remote learning in the years to come as the world adapts to new technologies and new ways of working. Speaking about Orbis's unique blended learning approach of remote learning and in-person training, Dr. Choyce explained:

"I think a unique aspect of this education is that it’s freely available to anybody—they don't need to be an Orbis partner, or an Orbis trainee. All can join in and take part. It's going to be important for anyone that does take part in an Orbis program to have the opportunity to look at the teaching material before we have face-to-face training. It is designed to be a part of a blended package of training. But, it can be for anybody who is looking for a comprehensive, well resourced and hopefully clear and appropriate to the situation that they're working in."

Cybersight's Growth in Numbers

Dr. Andrew Choyce

Orbis Staff, Anesthesiologist

There’s no doubt that Cyber­sight has been incred­i­bly impor­tant for pro­vid­ing train­ing for oph­thal­mol­o­gists and oph­thalmic nurs­es for sev­er­al years.”

A big thank you to Dr. Choyce and the rest of the Flying Eye Hospital team who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure the learning never stops.

And, of course, a big thank you must go to our supporters, without you none of this would be possible.

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