The President’s Message

October 2019


Dear Friends & Colleagues, 

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

                                                                        – Maya Angelou

On Monday, October 14 during the PAAO Board of Directors meeting in San Francisco, the item #14 in the agenda – Report of the Education for Emerging Countries Committee was given by Dr. Bronwyn Bateman, on behalf of her committee and the co-chairs Drs. Rafael Cortez and Francisco Contreras. It was very impressive and all board members were particularly touched by the fact that the committee had a $3000 bursary to support a young ophthalmologist to pursue a mini fellowship after the residency program. They have offered this wonderful opportunity to individuals from Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

I was so moved by Dr. Bateman’s words and her passion, that I immediately felt compelled to support this initiative as well. As soon as Dr. Bateman finished her presentation, I decided to immediately offer matching funds to the candidate who decides to come to the MUHC-McGill University Ocular Pathology & Translational Research Laboratory for this PAAO mini fellowship.

If this was already good news, what came next is a true testament of what the PAAO stands for. Four hours later on the same day, I received an email from Dr. Bateman introducing Dr. Alejandra Lozano Bustillo, an Ophthalmologist from Honduras, who demonstrated interest in coming to Montreal to pursue this now new PAAO mini fellowship. I was thrilled.

Today, October 24, ten days later, I just answered a lovely message from Dr. Lozano Bustillo, confirming the mini fellowship for 2020 linked with an invitation for her to attend ARVO (May 3-7, 2020) and then in the same trip come to us.

That is a true story. It highlights the passion and the dedication of Dr. Bateman and her colleagues in the Education for Emerging Countries Committee and its wonderful program. It also highlights what PAAO is all about. An organization where its membership is its most important asset.

Personally, I will treasure that moment for the rest of my life. A moment, that I am very thankful to Dr. Bateman for giving me the opportunity to participate in her wonderful program and to Dr. Lozano Bustillo, who gives me the honor and the pleasure of accepting this position in my Laboratory.


Miguel N Burnier Jr, MD, MSc, PhD, FRCSC

PAAO President