New technology simulates eye surgeries

SALT LAKE CITY – Eye doctors in training can now use a new technology that simulates surgical procedures.

Ophthalmology students used to practice eye surgery on humans, and risks of errors or complications was high, but now a surgery simulator allows the students at the John A. Moran Eye Center don’t have to worry about errors becoming disastrous.

“What it does is allow our trainees, our residents – these are M.Ds who graduated from medical school – who are gaining experience in eye surgery to go through some of the initial steps of eye surgery before actually working on a patient,” said Dr. Mark Mifflin.

Students who have been able to work with the simulator are grateful because it takes some of the stress off them to do everything right the first time.

“You’re in a controlled environment here. No pressure; you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder. You can kind of take your time and learn things as you go,” said Zach Joos. “As a beginner its really nice to begin to practice using the microscope, using both feet simultaneously, actually using both hands simultaneously while working in a really tight enclosed space.” 

The simulators are expensive, but a donation from a former ophthalmologist at the center allowed the purchase of the simulator for students to use.

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