New Dr. John M. Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Lab Is Up and Running

Dr. John Graether Simulation Lab Open House
Dr. John M. Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Laboratory Open House
Dr. John M. Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Laboratory Open House
Drs. Keith Carter, John Graether, and Jaclyn Haugsdal
Dr. Keith Carter reveals the sign for the new Dr. John M. Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Laboratory
Dr. John M. Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Laboratory Open House
Research Assistant, Noor-Us-Sabah Ahmad, MD, using the Eyesi Slit Lamp
Residents, Sammy Tadros and Bilal Ahmed with Dr. John Graether
Dr. John M. Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Laboratory Open House
Dr. John Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Lab
Dr. John Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Lab

On October 13 we officially opened the new Dr. John M. Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Laboratory. This new simulation lab is an ophthalmology-dedicated space and includes seven stations—one teaching station and six learning stations. Each station includes a tabletop-mounted operating microscope with a foot pedal to control the scope. Each station also has a monitor that shows what is seen through the microscope and each monitor can be projected to the large screen at the front of the room. In addition to these stations there is also an Eyesi surgical simulator with retina and phaco capabilities, as well as an Eyesi slit lamp simulatorEyesi Slit Lamp in the Dr. John Graether Ophthalmology Simulation Laboratory

This new simulation lab was made possible by the generous gift of Dr. John Graether, who was on hand at the dedication of the new lab. Dr. Graether was a resident and fellow at Iowa and wanted to add resources that allow trainees to get hands-on experience. Below is part of what Dr. Graether shared at the opening of the new lab that is named after him.

“I feel privileged to be involved in the acquisition of this simulation lab for our consistently highly rated University of Iowa Eye Department where I trained as a resident and fellow. 

Changes in our medical delivery system have resulted in limited availability of hands-on operating room experience. With the delft skills now required to handle the delicate tissues of the retina and cornea in many microscopic procedures, simulation laboratories have become essential for recruiting the best resident and fellow candidates and train them both in and outside the operating room. 

I have also enjoyed promoting and funding innovation by other surgeons, such as my good friend and former colleague Donny Suh, now head of Ophthalmic Pediatrics at UC-Irvine, and others so that they could have a similar career experience during this period of enormous changes in our specialty in the treatment of many eye diseases. I consider this laboratory a fitting legacy that I believe will continue to advance our shared surgical growth.” 

Dr. Jaclyn Haugsdal, Director of Simulation Education, also shared some thoughts on the new sim lab. 

Dr. Jaclyn Haugsdal“The main question I get asked a lot is “why does ophthalmology need our own space if the shared hospital simulation space works well for our purposes?”  My response is that our space will have adjustable tables and chairs and a microscope foot pedal at each station so ergonomics and microscope management can be appropriately practiced. Additionally, the other departments that use the shared sim lab space do lots of bone drilling and the space gets dusty and dirty, which is a non-issue in our new space that is ophthalmology specific. Additionally, having our own space means we have control of storage and availability. The shared space is in high demand, and we often ran into scheduling issues.  

The goal of the Dr. John M. Graether Simulation Lab is to provide a training space that is easy to come down to practice at any point without having to reserve space or get special access or having to find supplies from various locations.” 

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Wednesday, October 18, 2023