Will DeanYear of completion

Current role

The most beneficial thing about the programme

  • Learning a completely new language, and social science way of looking at and analysing theories, problems, evidence and debate
  • Learning theories
  • The use of simulation in surgical education
  • Although being a lot of work, the relatively manageable part-time two-year timetable
  • The main second-year project and thesis
  • Meeting and working with surgeon-educators from vastly varied backgrounds

My main areas of interest in surgical education
The use of simulation-based surgical education in ophthalmology in sub-Saharan Africa

Title of my dissertation
Validation, acceptability, and utility of simulated ophthalmic surgical education and OSSCARs (Ophthalmic simulated surgical competency assessments rubrics)

The most important outcome of my research
To enable the design and conduct of two simulation-based ophthalmic surgical education pilots in Uganda and Malawi, and thereby have the subjective (interview-based) and objective feedback and data to use in the design of a much larger scale programme for sub-Saharan Africa.

Since getting my degree, here are some of the things I’ve done in education

  • Given presentations in Kigali, Rwanda; Bristol, London and Cheltenham, UK; and Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Been invited to assist facilitation of surgical training courses in Chicago, USA; Maputo, Mozambique; and Kampala, Uganda.
  • Been invited to collaborate on ophthalmic educational research projects in the UK, USA, and the People's Republic of China.

Next I'd like to:
Complete a full-time 3 year PhD in Surgical Education (through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with the University of Cape Town and the College of Ophthalmology of East Central and Southern Africa (COECSA)): Conducting two separate but parallel educational-intervention randomized-controlled trials in glaucoma and cataract surgical education. We plan to set up Southern Africa’s first simulation-based surgical education centre for ophthalmology and train eye surgeons from Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.