Brexit creates concerns among young ophthalmologists

“In this sad, embarrassing day for the U.K., it’s great to be with so many young European friends,” Anthony Khawaja, MD, PhD, outgoing chair of the SOE Young Ophthalmologists committee, said. “The only positive is that the young people overwhelmingly voted to remain, and unfortunately this affects their future the most.”
Anthony Khawaja

A lot will change, according to the newly elected chair, Andrew Scott, MD, PhD.

“The vast majority of fellowship opportunities exist in the U.K. [Until recently], whoever got a certificate of completion of training in an EU country was entitled to register with the U.K. General Medical Council. This will no longer be possible,” he said.

EU members will lose the advantage they had over overseas applicants, and this will result in a disadvantage because most residency training programs in Europe are far from providing the bare minimum of surgeries required by the U.K.

“We will have to compete with the rest of the world and will have no chance since in other parts of the world, like Australia and New Zealand, residents perform much more surgeries,” Scott said.

Looking at the positive, he hopes that this will stimulate European countries to raise their basic level of surgical training and to organize more fellowships in Europe. – by Michela Cimberle