Ophthalmology Interest Group for Duke Medical Students

Executive Board

Co-Chairs: Ariana Allen and Jenny Chang-Wolf
Community Outreach Co-Chairs: Grace Nipp and Jay Rathinavelu
Journal Club Co-Chairs: Daniel Wang and Osmel Alvarez
ReSpectacle Chair: Anita Kundu
Treasurer: Jamie Karl

Community Engagement

Terry Lee and Arathi Ponugoti, Community Outreach Chairs

Medical students often volunteer through OIG (Ophthalmology Interest Group) to participate in free community eye screening sessions. 

Through community outreach efforts, OIG members are able to engage with, educate, and help provide care for members in the community. During community eye screening events, OIG members are given the opportunity to practice a variety of skills including checking visual acuity, running visual field testing, and using a tonopen/tonometer to measure intraocular pressure. These are great opportunities to gain more experience with important aspects of the ophthalmological workup as well as to interact with and learn from faculty. Most importantly, these events allow OIG members to improve awareness and increase access for those who need it. Students of all years are welcome and encouraged to participate!

Screening events that the OIG and faculty participate in:

While these are the events that OIG participates in annually, our members and faculty have also helped with other events in the past and are open to student suggestions. Please let us know!

Unfortunately, this year we have been unable to hold community eye screening events due to COVID-19. However, OIG is working to design alternative avenues for our members to provide education, care, and access to those who need it most. Our medical students have continued to find ways to engage with the community. They have worked with BOOST, a STEM mentoring program for Durham youths, to create educational videos on eye health and disease for middle school students. In addition, we are currently working on creating informational handouts on eye health to be distributed to schools and other groups in the community. Please stay tuned for opportunities to help with this as well as additional efforts.

If you have any questions or suggestions for OIG’s continued community outreach efforts, please get in contact with our Community Outreach Co-Chairs: Terry Lee (terry.j.lee@duke.edu) and Arathi Ponugoti (arathi.ponugoti@duke.edu)

ReSpectacle at the Duke Eye Center

Camille Robinson, ReSpectacle Chair

ReSpectacle is a non-profit organization that Duke University School of Medicine’s Ophthalmology department partners with to facilitate the redistribution of quality, used eyeglasses to underserved communities. Our chapter coordinates volunteer events with medical students, residents, and attendings to redistribute and organize used eyeglasses that have been donated by the Duke Health System and Durham community. Donated glasses are cleaned, categorized, and loaded into the ReSpectacle online database based on their prescription. Patients worldwide have access to free eyeglasses that are shipped right to their front door! This service effort allows us to provide a solution to a rather common problem. We hope that by continuing to partner with ReSpectacle, we can provide patients access to a vital resource to improve their vision and quality of life! 

OIG photos

Diabetic Eye Disease 

The Duke Ophthalmology Interest Group created and distributed eye health flyers with food for Root Causes. Root Causes is an initiative at Duke Medicine to deliver groceries to members of the Durham community who struggle with food insecurity. Terry Lee, the OIG outreach chair, thought these deliveries would be an excellent platform to provide handouts to Durham residents about the relationship between diet and lifestyle, diabetes, and the relationship between diabetes and ocular pathologies. Praruj Pant (Duke medical student), Lindsey Chew (Duke medical student) and Danielle McLaughlin (ECU medical student) were all instrumental in this project. 

Root for Cause