BostonSight’s Dr. Bita Asghari and residents with mascot Lensy at FitAcademy.

NEEDHAM, Mass.—BostonSight, a nonprofit eye health care organization that advances the treatment of diseased and damaged corneas and dry eyes hosted their fourth annual FitAcademy Retreat for Residents at New England College of Optometry (NECO) in Boston, Sept. 16-17, 2022. FitAcademy for Residents is available to cornea and contact lens residents and fellows at schools and colleges of optometry and accredited fellowship sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. FitAcademy was held at NECO’s Clinical Training Center, where residents learned about scleral lens fitting and assessment, how to manage and co-manage a range of corneal and ocular surface disorders, including dry eye disease and keratoconus, and scleral lens application and removal techniques.

FitAcademy’s intimate setting also provides residents a unique opportunity to collaborate with fellow residents, strengthening their professional connections as they begin their careers. This year, 23 cornea and contact lens residents attended in person for the full curriculum, which included a hands-on wet lab training, with invited primary care and additional residents participating virtually during the didactic sessions. Thanks to sponsorship, students attended FitAcademy for free.

“We are incredibly grateful for our sponsors, the John W. Henry Family Foundation, NECO, Glaukos Corporation, and Contamac,” said Dr. Karen G. Carrasquillo, OD, PhD, FAAO, FSLS, FBCLA, BostonSight’s senior vice president of clinical and professional affairs and chief architect of the program. “Their support allows us to continue to provide scleral lens and ocular surface disease management education to emerging clinicians and future key opinion leaders at no cost to them.”

 NECO resident examines a patient during FitAcademy.
Dr. Anita Gulmiri, OD, FAAO, assistant professor of clinical optometry at the New England College of Optometry, commented, “As a program coordinator for NECO's Cornea/Contact lens Residency Program, I've come to rely on FitAcademy to provide my residents with an immersive learning experience on scleral lenses. The residents leave FitAcademy with not only an increased depth of knowledge but an enhanced understanding of the importance of networking and building lifelong relationships with the leaders in the field and each other. I often find myself wishing I had the opportunity to attend FitAcademy as a cornea/contact lens resident.”

FitAcademy is led by Dr. Carrasquillo and taught by BostonSight staff Dr. Bita Asghari, OD, FAAO, FSLS, associate director of clinical education; Dr. Chirag Patel, OD, FAAO, associate director of innovative technologies; Dr. Alan Kwok, OD, FAAO, FSLS, director of PROSE Network clinical relationships; and Dr. Daniel Brocks, MD, chief medical officer and cornea specialist.

In addition, each year FitAcademy invites notable guest faculty. This year, guest faculty were Dr. Clark Chang, OD, MSA, MSC, FAAO, Wills Eye Hospital; Dr. Stephanie Pisano, OD, FAAO, FSLS, clinical associate professor, department of ophthalmology, The Ohio State University; Dr. Brittany Yelle, OD, Precision Cornea Centre; and Dr. Kellen Riccobono, OD, FAAO, Central Texas Eye Centre. In addition, NECO faculty also presented: Dr. Jennifer Liao, OD, FAAO, assistant professor of optometry and Dr. Anita Gulmiri, OD, FAAO, assistant professor of clinical optometry.