RSA Initiatives

The mission of the Refractive Surgery Alliance Society (RSA) is to bring the benefits of vision correction surgery to more people through collaboration.

We accomplish this by executing on five (5) key initiatives:

  • Education

  • Technology

  • Outreach

  • Awareness

  • Affordability



The RSA has educational programs for established surgeons and training surgeons, and is developing programs for collaborative care professionals (optometrists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants).

Established Surgeons
The RSA Master of Refractive Surgery Program provides in-depth training cross the multiple dimensions of a vision correction surgeon’s expertise.

Successful vision correction surgeons are excellent clinicians and surgeons, and also participate in innovation, teaching, research, and practice development. They have deep understanding of patient insights, with business, leadership and marketing skills and they constantly participate in the innovation and adoption of new technologies. The scope Refractive surgery is also expanding. Vision correction surgery goes beyond corneal laser procedures and includes and corneal and lens-based vision corrective procedures.

The RSA Master of Refractive Surgery Program makes advance training available to all refractive surgeons, specifically designed for those currently in practice, and provides skills in four “Dimensions“:

  • Business and Leadership Dimension: The PHYSICIAN CEO® program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University near Chicago, Illinois is a certificate program that provides MBA-level business skills with a CEO focus. The program consists of four 5-day sessions over 9 months, starting in January/February of each year.
  • Foundations: Online modules provide training in the art and science of refractive surgery, including a broad range of clinical concepts, surgical step-by-step modules and “Words Matter” – a focused skills transfer program about how to counsel patients at every step of the process.
  • Solutions: An in-depth program modular program taught by the key innovators in refractive surgery to help clinicians integrate new technologies and participate in innovation.
  • Implementation: Modular programs in the practice setting to cover all aspects of refractive surgery, including surgical skills, team development, marketing, tracking, outcomes and more.

The RSA Master of Refractive Surgery Program is open to all RSA members and is tuition based.

RSA Fellowship Network
The RSA Fellowship Network provides a unique, high-value training opportunity for recent residency graduates. This two-year program provides a standardized curriculum experience with a strong focus on skills transfer across several dimensions of expertise – clinical, surgeon, business, practice development, innovation, teaching, research, and collaboration – and mirror the Master of Refractive Surgery (MORS) program, with additional program elements that leverage resources across the network of RSA practices.

The curriculum for the RSA Fellowship Network will be overseen by the newly formed College of Refractive Surgery, which oversees curriculum and accreditation for training in refractive surgery for surgeons and ancillary personnel. The College of Refractive Surgeons is independent from the RSA.

Details can be found at



The Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA) position is that all refractive surgeons should have access to the most current technology and that all patients deserve the very best treatments available.
Refractive surgery relies heavily on capital equipment such as lasers and diagnostic devices.

This equipment is extremely sophisticated and makes it possible to perform accurate, safe surgery time after time.

Group Purchasing
The RSA works with manufacturers and distributors to arrange Group Purchasing opportunities, levering our numbers to create value for both vendors and members. Savings can be significant and the arrangements are attractive to vendors who want their latest innovations in the field.

The RSA Group Purchase model is unique. Members participate in RSA Group Purchases at no cost and all savings are passed along to the members.

Capital Expense vs. Operator’s Lease
The capital-equipment purchase model can make it cost-prohibitive to stay current. Technology access is critical to the RSA mission to grow refractive surgery. The RSA is committed to changing the financial model for capital equipment so that having the best technology is affordable.

Where practical, the RSA believes that the purchase model for equipment acquisition should change to a leasing model. New equipment is generally better. Switching to an operator’s lease model will create better alignment between the practice and their patient’s interests.

An operator’s lease for capital equipment is similar to a lease on a car. Lease it, use it, and trade it in for the new model after the lease term expires. Leasing refractive lasers and other expensive equipment provide a cost-effective path for surgeons to always have the latest and best equipment.

The objection to a capital lease is that it can be more expensive over time. The RSA believes that the cost consideration can be offset by increased volume and by producing the very best possible results. The RSA proposal is to structure the lease payments to include a reasonable lifetime revenue stream that includes both the capital equipment ongoing revenues. The impact of this approach will be very positive:

  • Practices will update their equipment more often to always have the latest technologies;
  • Manufacturers will be able to plan and control the new-technology cycles. The current Capex model makes it difficult to place new technologies because practices may keep their lasers for 6 to 8 years. Leasing will overcome this barrier and will encourage more investment in innovation;
  • Surgeons will be more likely to use their lasers, extending the reach of refractive surgery to new patients;
  • Patients will have the assurance that their surgery will be done with the latest equipment.



Vision Correction surgery includes some of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the world. Many studies have documented the success of refractive surgery and high patient satisfaction rates that result. More than 2/3 of refractive surgeons have had Vision Correction surgery themselves and more than 90% have recommended Vision Correction surgery to their immediate family members.

While the vast majority of outcomes are excellent there can be complications. The RSA is committed to the success of Vision Correction surgery for everyone. Several RSA centers offer free examinations and evaluations to postoperative refractive surgery patients who have problems after surgery. Nearly all conditions are treatable with current technologies.



Modern Vision Correction surgery is highly advanced. Vision Correction technologies have enjoyed the same advancements as cell phones, televisions and automobiles over the past decades. Yet, the highly technical nature of Vision Correction surgery has prevented most people from even knowing what can be done, and how effective it is. The purpose of the RSA Awareness initiative is to increase awareness of Vision Correction surgery – both for ophthalmologists and other physicians as well as for the general public.

The Awareness Initiative has involved several activities:

  • Peer-Review publications in medical journals, reporting on various aspects of vision correction surgery;
  • Published survey results reporting on the acceptance, current practices and perspectives about vision correction surgery;
  • Social Media campaigns, providing RSA practices with theme-based, educational materials to use in their Social Media messaging; and
  • Coordinated marketing programs.

As well, many RSA practices offer speaker services to interested groups in their local communities. Contact the RSA offices for more information. or telephone +1.480.664.1800.



Refractive surgery saves money over time. The RSA Vision Correction Affordability Calculator can be used to estimate how much money you will save by having your eyes fixed. Additional benefits of refractive surgery include improved occupational fitness, lifestyle, productivity, convenience, and personal safety. The economic and life-changing benefits of refractive surgery are compelling.

Yet most people stay with glasses and contact lenses because the costs per year are low. Coming up with the one-time payment for refractive surgery is just not affordable for many people, particularly younger patients. Even though the life-long savings of refractive surgery are apparent, refractive surgery can be difficult to afford.

The RSA is committed to making refractive surgery affordable for everyone by providing low-monthly payment financing options. RSA members have preferred access to top quality credit companies and can arrange for financing for most people for as low as $99 per month. Financing plans can make refractive surgery as affordable as wearing glasses or contact lenses.