in partnership with the International Council of Ophthalmology
The International Council of Ophthalmology’s (ICO) mission is to have a major impact on education and access to eye care worldwide by collaborating with other ophthalmology societies, eye care organizations and teaching programs.
Over the past six years, the Department of Ophthalmology at Al-Ahli Hospital has joined with the ICO to conduct basic and advanced assessment of ICO postgraduates, ophthalmologists in training, ophthalmologists and those undergoing subspecialty training by hosting ICO examinations. These examinations are prepared by an international panel of examiners and are set at the same standard as the highest board and qualifying examinations anywhere in the world.
ICO examinations are the only worldwide medical specialty tests featuring assessments, which are centralized, independent, and free of outside influence. Physical attendance is required. To date, 31 candidates from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Yemen, Iran and Egypt have taken the examinations here in Qatar with a pass rate of 66%.
Since 1995, over 23,000 candidates have taken the ICO Examinations. In 2016 alone, over 5,000 ICO examinations were taken in 130 test centers in 80 countries. Internationally accepted and standardized examinations are offered twice per year at the Al-Ahli Hospital’s ICO examination center and the level of knowledge is benchmarked by ICO on a global scale.
Al-Ahli Hospital conducted the first theoretical optics and refraction basic sciences and clinical sciences examinations in April 2013, followed by the advanced examination in October 2013, and has repeated these assessments every year since then thus contributing to the knowledge and scientific competence of candidates.
Ophthalmologists passing ICO examinations have a proven and documented level of knowledge required for state-of-the-art clinical practice and to enhance outcomes for those receiving eye care.
Many countries are using successful ICO examination outcomes as a requirement for licensing and entry into sub-specialization curricula and others have added successful examinations outcomes as a requirement for their recruitment interviews.
Benefits for the community may include improvements in patient safety and quality of care and outcomes on the grounds of knowledge-based education and reliability of services and clinical outcomes, key elements of the Qatar National Health Strategy 2018-2022. The ophthalmology team at Al-Ahli Hospital will continue their collaboration with the ICO in line with the key principles set out in this important framework including implementing and sustaining world-class healthcare for the benefit of the entire Qatar community.