Kenneth D. Tuck, MD is for a pioneer who established an international programme when he was President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in 2000. At the urging of IAPB members, he took to heart the need to expose young ophthalmologists from developing countries to the amazing educational programmes and technology available at the annual AAO meeting. The AAO’s strengths are in clinical education, and Rotary’s strength is a network of volunteers committed to service for others. Taking advantage of the AAO’s “Host an Ophthalmologist Programme”, he urged Rotarian ophthalmologists in the US to support the programme and agree to host an ophthalmologist at his/her practice the week before the AAO meeting so that the young guest can acclimatize, see a practice in the US, and then carry on to the AAO meeting where they are offered free reign of courses, seminars, exhibits, and social events by the AAO. A special Rotary Welcome Lunch gives each guest an opportunity to speak about their work and their country.
Since the year 2000, 122 young ophthalmologists from 57 countries have attended the AAO hosted by 29 Rotary Clubs in the US. Stepping down as head of the Rotary Host Programme last year and celebrating 60 years of marriage this year, Ken is not only proud to have helped his many patients over his career, the AAO in its global leadership role in ophthalmic education, but he is extremely proud of making it possible for young ophthalmologists from countries like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Kenya, the Philippines, and Viet Nam have an opportunity that may never be available to them but for the Rotary Host Programme that he established 18 years ago.