PAAO Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship Experience:
Dr. Lucas B. Farias

21 October 2020

My name is Lucas Farias. I am a pediatric ophthalmologist from a mid-sized city in the south of Brazil. The possibility of training abroad has always been a big dream for me. When I was selected for the 2019 Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship at UT Southwestern/Children’s in Dallas it was like a dream come true.

Living in Texas for a year, getting used to a different culture, and also working in one of the best pediatric hospitals in the US was an amazing experience, not only academically but also personally. Since the first few weeks the faculty and staff were very welcoming and helped me a lot. I have been exposed to many different areas, such as pediatric cataract surgery, complex strabismus cases, retinopathy of prematurity, oculoplastics, neuro-ophthalmology and glaucoma. I have seen cases and done techniques that I had only seen in books and videos. I tried to learn as much as possible from Dr. David Weakley and Dr. Serena Wang; they are inspiring mentors and have allowed me to capitalize on my strengths. Dr. Wang in particular has been an incredible source of encouragement and guidance. I am so honored to have worked with someone who is such a remarkable surgeon and has taught me so many tips and tricks about pediatric eye surgery.

Working in such a nice atmosphere in clinic has been an unforgettable period of my life. Technicians and medical assistants were always willing to help. Residents and my co-fellows have become my family away from home. Even after the Covid-19 outbreak, clinic has never stopped, and it was a great opportunity to see how this complex situation was managed in a different health system.

I also had a chance to attend many important meetings during the year. The fellowship program at UTSW/Children’s has provided me with an outstanding hands-on training that equipped me to improve my clinical and surgical skills. I am thankful for the opportunity to have been part of this program and to the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology for sponsoring this fellowship.

This fellowship program has had a great influence on my career, I grew into an independent professional who can handle different problems and situations. Now that I am back to Brazil, I am eager to begin my private practice and to provide to my patients the high quality standard of care that I was taught. I will always treasure many good memories from my time in Dallas.

Dr Serena Wang and Dr Lucas Farias

Dr Ana Costa, Dr Lucas Farias, Dr Rasha Barham, Dr Serena Wang and Dr David Weakley Jr

Dr Rasha Barham, Dr David Weakley, Dr Ana Costa and Dr Lucas Farias

The hat was one of my graduation gifts

Dr. David Weakley and Dr Lucas Farias