GENEYE is a surgical educational platform that integrates immersive educational strategies, high performance psychology and innovative surgical simulations to encourage the mindset, skills and attitudes required to expertly serve patients with eye disease both now and into the future.

Dr Jacqueline Beltz

Dr Jacqueline Beltz

GENEYE was founded in 2019 by Dr Jacqueline Beltz as part of Eye and Ear Education.  By integrating modern immersive educational techniques, high performance psychology and technologies such as virtual reality surgical simulation, GENEYE has developed a community of practice that seeks positive, productive and innovative learning culture.  Surgeon wellbeing is also promoted. GENEYE aims to encourage the mind, skills and attitudes that are required of high performing surgeons. This is what we believe it takes to achieve high performance in surgery. High performance is what our patients expect and deserve and what our industry requires for the future.

The microsurgical training program at Eye and Ear was overhauled to include new structure as well as virtual reality and other simulation platforms with merit-based transition to live surgery in 2018.   GENEYE was founded in 2019 with a view to expanding this community of practice.  In 2019 GENEYE ran a sold out live immersive training event with focus on the mindset, skills and attitudes required to manage surgical complications.  Also in 2019 GENEYE produced and implemented active mind training together with high performance psychologists in the mind and behavioural skills required to cope and excel in our field.  GENEYE Mind Training has continued and improved each year now for 3 years. In 2020 in place of a live event GENEYE published GENEYE POD, a podcast exploring the philosophies and concepts of GENEYE.  Also in 2020 we created a digital, virtual reality and live surgical course to safely return our trainees back to surgery after the enforced break resulting from the pandemic. The podcast and course are available at  Focus since then has remained on creation of digital assets with a course on presbyopia correction at the time of cataract surgery set for release in April 2022. Our next live event is scheduled for 2023 with concurrent expansion of digital content planned.  GENEYE awaits with excitement the opening of the Eye and Ear Education Precinct later this year.

Core values of GENEYE include Innovation, Excellence, Collaboration, High Performance, Sustainability and Wellbeing. Collaboration is critical and leads to inspiration as well as success.  Collaboration between CERA and Eye and Ear would be beneficial for GENEYE and also holds key benefits for CERA and University of Melbourne Department of Surgery. Collaboration with CERA would allow GENEYE capability to measure the impact of these educational interventions and consequently allow us to translate these educational insights to other surgical specialties as well as to continue to grow both parties international reputations as centres for excellence in surgical education.  CERA, Department of Surgery and Eye and Ear all strive to integrate teaching and research in order to build a sustainable future.  GENEYE can link these departments.

Ultimately, all of our departments exist to serve patients. We need to train more surgeons to a higher level with less patient and surgeon risk.  This next generation of surgeons needs to be better than the existing generation, not just as good.  Achieving these goals will take innovation.  Training the next-gen surgeons is critical – they are the ones that will take this further. We should stop normalising burnout and strive for high performance. It’s what surgeons want and what our patients deserve. CERA, Eye and Ear, University of Melbourne and GENEYE together can take surgical education to the next level.