For Antonia Kolokythas, chair, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at URMC’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health, social distancing and virtual learning gave her an idea for an educational opportunity.
She decided it was the ideal time to coordinate the department’s first-ever International OMFS Grand Rounds with universities in Israel and the U.S. After the first successful session with more than 40 participants from the University of Rochester’s Eastman Institute, Hadassah University in Jerusalem, Israel and Barzilai University Medical Center in Ashkelon, Israel, she expanded it for the next session. The University of Illinois at Chicago joined the existing group, totaling 72 participants from the four universities who connected in real time this week.
“Since we’re unable at this time to travel to give lectures and presentations, I thought it would be a great opportunity to establish this inter-departmental grand round series,” said Dr. Kolokythas.
“These grand rounds have allowed us to draw on the experience of our international colleagues and discuss cases that we might not otherwise be exposed to during our training, due to the rarity of certain cysts or tumors,” said Dr. Brett Spenrath, an OMFS resident at Eastman Institute. “We also discuss more common conditions and talk about the many treatment options available, and what our successes and challenges have been.”
Considered a world authority on sialoendoscopy, an innovative technique that uses extremely narrow endoscopes to diagnose and treat many conditions of the salivary glands, Dr. Oded Nahlieli, is chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Barzilai University Medical Center, and an adjunct professor at EIOH.
“After each presentation, we expand the conversation to include a meaningful discussion about the evidence published in current literature,” she added. “The residents from all the programs have great questions.”
Dr. Kolokythas and Dr. Nardi Casap-Caspi, OMFS chair at Hadassah University and an adjunct professor at EIOH, who both serve on the editorial board for the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, presented on complex maxillofacial pathology patient cases.
“One topic was the conservative management of lesions that are usually managed much more aggressively,” Dr. Spenrath said. “It was interesting to see how they selected patients based on their potential to benefit from an alternative conservative approach, rather than the traditional techniques.
“These sessions have been valuable not only because they allow us to continue our education during the lockdown,” added Dr. Spenrath, “but also because they allow us to work in conjunction with our international colleagues and gain a broader perspective from the combined experience and knowledge of our combined faculty.”
“We’re so pleased this program is enhancing the residents’ education, and we’re looking forward to ongoing expansion for these international grand rounds, even post-Covid19,” said Dr. Kolokythas.