Dr. Pannet Pangputhipong, the current director of the hospital, is an internationally renowned ophthalmologist who performed the first phacoemulsification in Thailand and has been instrumental in introducing this surgical technique in Thailand. He has personally instructed many—if not most—Thai ophthalmologists in phacoemulsification.
The hospital is located in Nakornprathom province, adjacent to Bangkok, and approximately 40 minutes drive west of the city center. This province is well known for a number of historic sites, including Wat Rai Khing temple. Mettapracharak hospital is administratively part of the Department of Medical Services at the Ministry of Public Health.
Dr. Puwat Charukamnoetkanok, the hospital’s director of international affairs, will serve as an on site director of the exchange program. He and Dr. Pannet will collaborate with our Yale faculty and Yale Eye Center staff. Dr. Susan Forster and or Dr. Paul Gaudio will make an annual site visit during the first years of the program.
The elective is offered to one or two Yale students at any given time, for a minimum of 6 weeks during which they would be paired with an ophthalmology resident from Mettapracharak hospital. The students will observe and participate in the care of the patients to the extent of their abilities, participating in rounds and other clinical activities including observation in the operating rooms. They will have the opportunity to develop hand-on surgical skills in the well-equipped microsurgery training center. They will also accompany the frequent outreach mission throughout Thailand when they occur during the rotation. Transportation on these missions will be provided by the hospital.