My COECSA fellowship exams experience!
“My name is Dr. David Kasongole, and I work for the government at Lewanika General Hospital in Mongu district in the western part of Zambia. I am a consultant and chair of the new eye center which also stands as the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) examination center for Zambia. I am also privileged to sit on the revised ICO Residency Training Subcommittee with Africa being represented for the first time.
It took me time to decide whether I should go ahead and sit for fellowship examination, under the umbrella of the College of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COECSA) having already established myself as an Honorary Fellow of ICO by then. Besides I left my class room in Nairobi roughly 4yrs ago in 2010 the very year that the COECSA fellowship was introduced.
Nonetheless, with encouragement from colleagues and inspiration from my former classmate who pioneered the fellowship in 2010 I took up the challenge.
I found this whole experience to be exciting coming face to face with my former lecturers and colleagues who were my junior during residency time, now turned COECSA fellowship examiners.
Not only does this set up offer examiners support, sustainability and skills transfer to the young, but it also brings to light the importance and relevance of the Young Ophthalmologist Forum (YOF) within COECSA that we should wholeheartedly continue to give support and guidance.
The fact that Royal College of Ophthalmologists has walked with COECSA and added the flavor of having external examination observers from that sphere raises the heartbeat and encourages more candidates more to take up the examination. This fellowship to me is of a world standard and ought to be pushed to greater heights; the sky is not the limit!
Having successfully undertaken the fellowship I am now more motivated in my work and totally enjoying being part of the large COECSA family. Furthermore, I now reckon that I am ready to go for my dream subspecialty training abroad as my mind is refreshed and willing to receive more knowledge. All in all I cannot describe fully or make you feel my experience but my word is that it is a MUST do fellowship examination; do not wait until its retirement time.
Lastly, I would like to appreciate all the candidates and examiners that shared this journey with me at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital Eye department in Blantyre.”
Dr David Kasongole FICO (Hon), FCOphth (ECSA)