Dr. Clarissa Marie S. Tady recently completed her Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.
During her one-year fellowship training, she was under the mentorship of eight esteemed Neuro-opthalmologists. She had trained in three hospitals and two sub-speciality clinics, with Vancouver General Hospital as her main hospital. There, she saw and handled cases that included Optic Neuritis with Multiple Sclerosis, Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, Optic Neuropathies from other causes, Diplopia from Cranial Nerve Palsies, Visual Field defects from stroke, headache, dizziness, and post concussion syndrome. She was also given the chance to attend case conferences in both Neurology and Opthalmology wherein residents would present interesting cases.
Neuro-ophthalmology is a medical sub-specialty where the field of neurology, or the branch of medicine that is concerned with the study and treatment of conditions and disorders of the nervous system, and ophthalmology, a medical field that deals with the study and treatment of the diseases of the eye and visual center, is merged. Neuro-ophthalmology, therefore, deals with the relationship between the complex activities of the brain and its manifestations in the visual system.
It was also her first time away from family and living on her own. Thus, adjusting to a new environment and understanding different cultural customs were difficulties that she was able to endure. These challenges, therefore, made her more self-reliant and resilient. She gained a unique skill set from navigating and communicating in a foreign country to appreciating their culture. Thus, as a clinician, she was able to sharpen her skills in history taking, neurologic examination, and arriving at a diagnosis, as well as in giving appropriate management.
While in Vancouver, the cases she encountered were mostly rare, compared to the cases seen in the Philippines where few institutions provide Neuro-ophthalmology. This fulfills her long-time dream of wanting to become a doctor just like her parents. However, out of the drive to achieve and the heart to meet patient needs in our country, she knew she wanted to pursue a sub-specialty that few have put their interest and dedication to.
She thanked the Foundation and the Asia Brewery Medical Specialty Program for providing support on this knowledge and skill-deepening training. She was also grateful for the ceaseless support of her parents which helped her finish the program.
She is looking forward to teaching residents on what she has gained abroad. She also hopes to be part of the Association of the Asia Brewery Medical Specialty Scholars, an organization composed by the alumni of the scholarship program, so that she could share her acquired knowledge to the ordinary people. In the true spirit of giving back, she wholeheartedly expressed her willingness to be part of giving back to the Filipino community through the activities initiated by Dr. Lucio Tan and the Foundation.