History of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand
The beginning and the path to prominence of the Association of Ophthalmologists of Thailand and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand had been evolved as a part of many memorable organizations which were established chronologically as follows:
- The Association of Ophthalmologists and Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons of Thailand (July 20, 1956)
- The Ophthalmological Society of Thailand (June 22, 1978)
- The College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand (June 21, 1992)
- The Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand (June 12, 1995)
In 1955, the specialists who were engaged in the practice of ophthalmology and otolaryngology gathered and sifted through the draft of regulation with the purpose of organizing a medical society. This association was counted as the first one of the specialists in Thailand which were founded under the magnificent vision of those leading key persons. At that moment, Captain Sadab Theerabutra, secretary of the meeting, was the one who proceeded the registration and finally obtained the organizing license from the National Council of Culture on July 20, 1956. Lieutenant Colonel Luang Prachak Vechasit was authorized as the first president of association.
The business part of the association grew very well through years with increasing numbers of members and the academic advance leading to the distinct working in both practice and education. Eventually, the association was separated into two organizations: the Association of Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons of Thailand and the Ophthalmological Society of Thailand. The latter one was processed by Dr. Nisit Leelawong, registered on June 22, 1978 and had Professor Kobchai Prommindaroj as the first president.
The Emblem of the Ophthalmological Society of Thailand
In 1990, the Medical Council of Thailand designated all medical associations as the colleges following to the regulation about the college. As a president of the Ophthalmological Society of Thailand, Professor Prachak Prachakvej assigned Professor Tiam Lortienthong and Associate Professor Pornsawat Natawan to co-ordinate and make a draft of provision about the college of Ophthalmologists of Thailand.
In 1992, the administrative committee was set up and worked temporarily until the official election occurred. Eventually, the College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand was authorized and announced on the Royal Order on April 21, 1992. At that time, there were 201 founder members. The presidential and committee election was held on Nov 20, 1992 in the annual meeting. The temporary committee received the identical views to continue the mission for two years. Again, in 1994, the same committee returned to work for another two years.
After the establishment of the College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand, the conservation of Ophthalmological Society of Thailand was come into a decision. Most members considered that the College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand acted under the supervision of the Medical Council of Thailand which was the chief constitution of all colleges. The Medical Council of Thailand was approved by the legislation and facilitated in business and official meetings especially the ophthalmology residency training and Thai Board of Ophthalmology examination. On the other hand, the Ophthalmological Society of Thailand also had long history as the invaluable treasure of all ophthalmologists. Moreover, the character of legal person allowed the independently juristic act and explicitly made it different from the College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand.
In 1994, the committee of the Royal Colleges and the Colleges of all specialties turned their attention to the education of the specialists and established the “Consortium of Medical Specialties Training Institution of Thailand” which was composed of:
- The Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand
- The Royal College of Physician of Thailand
- The Royal College of Anesthesiologists of Thailand
- The Royal College of Pediatricians of Thailand
- The Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- The Royal College of Radiologists of Thailand
- The Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand
- The Royal College of Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons
- The Royal College of Pathologists of Thailand
Of these, Professor Arun Phaosawas, the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand, was assigned to be the chief accompanying with two purposes to accomplish as follows:
1.To organize the activities and set up the salient scientific meetings to celebrate the Royal Golden Jubilee of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) or “Kanchanapisek” ceremony in 1996.
2.To construct the permanent buildings of consortium incorporation with the Medical Council of Thailand under the royal patronage. Exclusively, the office building and the hall of consortium were permitted to settle on the land of the Medical Council of Thailand.
To fulfill the aforementioned purposes, the consortium invited and acquired the allowance from His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to be the president of the construction project. Consequently, King Bhumibol Adulyadej named this building as “Chalerm Phra Barami 50 Years”. This modern , twelve-floor building cost 440 million baths and located on four-rai land of the Medical Council of Thailand.
It was situated at Soi Sun Wichai New petchburi Road, Bangkok. On March 18, 1997, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, in the name of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, graciously opened this building.
Originally, there were five Royal Colleges and four Colleges which acted similarly involving qualified committee and members, academic activities, medical services and volunteer doctors serving the royal duties in the rural area. Yet they had different statuses. Ultimately, the four Colleges were proposed to King Bhumibol Adulyadej to raise into “the Royal College” under the royal patronage. Regarding the College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand, Associate Professor Pornsawat Natawan was appointed to be the coordinator. At last, the mission was accomplished and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand was approved on June 12, 1995.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand had the abbreviation as R.J.T and the name in English as ‘The Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand’ (RCOPT). The first administrative committee of RCOPT was similar to that of the College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand.
Until Nov 27, 1998, the committee of RCOPT and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand assembled and voted for combining both committee into one to alleviate the processes and get rid of the possible conflict between the policy and the operations.
The Emblem of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand
The emblem of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand is similar to the eye which has the abbreviation (R.J.T) in the middle. Its character is round shape like the silver cornea atop with the royal crown and number 9 showing the royal grace of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The name of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand was set below the abbreviation on the light pink background and the established year (1995) was placed further down on the dark pink background.
Until now, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand has acted upon a lot of activities unceasingly by 6 teams of committee having the presidents as follows:
- Professor Prachak Prachakvej,MD (1995 – 1996)
- Assistant Professor Chuangchan Chansue,MD (1996 – 1998)
- Professor Visuthe Tansirikongkol,MD (1998 – 2000)
- Associate Professor Pornsawat Natawan,MD (2000 – 2001)
- Clinical Professor Dhaivadee Dulayajinda,MD (2001-2004)
- Clinical Professor Apichart Singalavanija,MD (2004-2006)
- Associate Professor Sudaraat YaisaWang,MD (2006-2010)
- Assistant Professor Sakchai Vongkittirux,MD (2010 – Current date)
Responsibilities of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand
- Follow the policy of the Medical Council of Thailand in ophthalmology residency training and Thai Board of Ophthalmology examination
- Determine and standardize the ophthalmology knowledge and practice in Thailand including the close observation and ethical promotion
- Support academic and research activities in ophthalmology
- Organize the scientific meetings, continuing medical education and activities
- Be the center of communication and exchange of the knowledge and activities of the medical societies and medical associations both in Thailand and abroad
- Promote and remain the honour of members
- Promote and sustain the harmony among the members and between the members and other specialists both in Thailand and abroad
- Raise and provide the fund for activities and missions of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand including ophthalmology education and research
- Distribute the ophthalmology knowledge to the people and the profession
- Legislate the regulation of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand without the opposition to those of the Medical Profession Act and the Medical Council rules
- Report the business and activities of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand annually or following to the request of the Medical Council of Thailand
- Facilitate or incorporate with the governmental or authorized charitable organizations in assisting the people in terms of ophthalmology in an appropriate manner