There are numerous resources and organizations available to help you gain expertise in GP and custom soft lenses. Here are six such organizations with resources that can help.
GP Lens Institute (GPLI) The GPLI is a resource for both GP and custom soft lens education. A 70-member advisory board helps in the development of these resources as well as provide monthly webinars. Under the “Education” tab on the homepage, you can view all resources under any given lens type. The spherical category includes a dynamic virtual fitting program, a fluorescein pattern evaluation card, 13 unique cases (of 52 total) in an online book (GP Troubleshooting Case Grand Rounds), and a video-based GP fitting, evaluation, and problem-solving module. The multifocal category includes 11 webinars and a 17-component module. The bitoric category has webinars, FAQs on how to select and design lenses, and no less than three calculators and empirical fitting methods. The scleral category has 17 webinars and, in conjunction with the Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS), a “Scleral Lens Troubleshooting FAQ” module.
There also are resources under the orthokeratology (ortho-k), keratoconus, and custom soft categories. A comprehensive specialty lens coding and billing module—under the direction of Dr. Clarke Newman—includes up-to-date webinars, FAQs, and reimbursement letters and brochures. For staff, there are training modules, patient education materials, and a guide pertaining to GP, custom soft, hybrid, and scleral lenses. There is also access to the GPLI’s recommendations to FAQs from eyecare practitioners (ECPs). Finally, the “Find a GP Specialist” resource allows referral to more than 2,500 ECPs who fit GP lenses.
- GP Lens Institute
- Scleral Lens Education Society
- American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control
- Contact Lens Society of America
- International Keratoconus Academy
- National Keratoconus Foundation
- SLS: The SLS is an organization for scleral lens education that provides hands-on training on an ongoing basis in many cities and numerous symposia. It also provides webinars and has excellent videos online to help with patient handling. There are both membership and fellowship programs available.
- The American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control (AAOMC): The AAOMC is an orthokeratology organization with both consumer and ECP resources including a fellowship program, a “find an ortho-k fitter” application, and Vision By Design, an ortho-k meeting (April 11-15, 2018; www.orthokmeeting.com ).
- Contact Lens Society of America (CLSA) The CLSA has a number of courses and publications on specialty contact lenses. A fellowship program is also available.
- International Keratoconus Academy of Eye Care Professionals (IKA)/National Keratoconus Foundation (NKCF): The IKA was recently established by prominent ODs and MDs to promote ongoing professional education, including numerous keratoconus resources and a blog for ECPs to gain experience in challenging cases from experts in the field. The NKCF has always been the primary organization for keratoconic patient education with very informative booklets, treatment option information, and FAQs, as well as information for the ECP and a referral service.
- Other Resources: Often, however, the best resource is the laboratory consultant who can help in lens selection, fitting, and troubleshooting with spherical and special design GP lenses, as well as with custom soft lenses. CLS