Courses and Trainings

About SEE Courses and Trainings

Because developing countries often lack the infrastructure needed for widespread use of sophisticated medical equipment, surgeons primarily use manual procedures to remove cataracts. SEE International uses the Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS) procedure, which allows doctors to perform surgeries with much smaller incisions than would otherwise be possible. These incisions are also self-sealing, making sutures unnecessary. SEE International’s surgeons, or SEE Docs, can thus perform twice as many surgeries in the same amount of time as older methods. In addition, patients typically show greater improvement in vision and shorter healing periods with MSICS than with other manual procedures.

As part of SEE International’s ongoing commitment to patient care and  its volunteer ophthalmologists, SEE International has trained ophthalmologists in the technique since 2006, through a one-day course and wet lab held one to two times a year at the SEE offices in Santa Barbara. The course is specifically designed for practicing ophthalmologists planning to use the technique on one of SEE International’s expeditions.  “I continually update the procedure always improving the techniques for greater ease and better results,” says Dr. Jeff Rutgard, an MSICS instructor.

MSICS Course Training

Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS) Course

Since 2006, SEE International has been offering its volunteers an opportunity to improve their skills in the manual methods of cataract removal by organizing a Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS) training course and wet lab at its headquarters in Santa Barbara, California. Taught by experienced faculty, the course is specifically designed for the practicing ophthalmologists who plan on using the technique on one of our expeditions.

MSICS is the optimal method for removing cataracts during most SEE expeditions. The acute cataract cases that our ophthalmologists face in developing countries are not easily addressed by modern methods, which rely on sophisticated, expensive and difficult-to-transport equipment rarely available at our clinics. And, compared to other manual procedures, MSICS allows for faster patient turnover, reduced potential for complications and better visual results.

SEE International also offers MSICS training opportunities for our volunteers who are interested in learning the technique directly in the field and apply it by performing actual surgeries under faculty supervision. Through our cooperation with Vision Outreach International, SEE International Volunteers can sign up for such programs around the world. Or, they can explore similar opportunities offered in Kolkata, India with Dr. Bikas Bhattacharya.

Upcoming Courses

SEE International will be offering MSICS courses throughout the year 2017, both internationally and domestically in the U.S. Please direct all questions about MSICS courses to Rachel Siegel at

Santa Barbara, CA

Sat, August 26, 2017

Learn how to be a humanitarian surgeon with SEE! We are offering a course on Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS), the cataract extraction procedure commonly used on SEE expeditions. The course will take place on Saturday, August 26, 2017 from 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM, in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA.

All certified eye surgeons are welcome to apply. If you would like to reserve a spot for this course or if you have any questions about the course, please email Rachel Siegel at or call at 805-963-3303.

India, Kolkata

2017 Dates TBD

Train with Dr. Bikas Bhattacharya in this hands-on three-day course. Perfect for those who have taken a SEE MSICS course and would like more training. Spots available for two surgeons per trip. Dates to be determined for 2017 courses.

If you are interested in this MSICS course, please contact Rachel Siegel for updates on confirmed dates and for any course-related questions.

Mexico, Querétaro

2018 Dates TBD

Work with the folks at the Mexican Institute of Ophthalmology on a 4-day intensive course in Querétaro, Mexico (about 2 hours north of Mexico City). Ability to have 3 participants per course. Dates to be determined for 2018 courses.

If you are interested in this MSICS course, please contact Rachel Siegel for updates on confirmed dates and for any course-related questions.

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