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S. Khachikian, R.T. Morason; Trends in Clinical Ophthalmology Training in United States Medical Schools . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):1404.
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Purpose: Medical student education in Ophthalmology is a topic that has received only limited study over the past decade. Currently, U.S. Medical Schools have no formal requirements for clinical instruction in Ophthalmology. This has resulted in wide variation in the Ophthalmology training received by medical students nationwide. A series of surveys were used to determine the extent of, and trends in, Ophthlamology training offered in U.S. Medical Schools. Methods:A questionnaire designed to evaluate the Ophthalmology curriculum was mailed to curriculum directors of the 125 members of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) in April of 2000. The same survey was then sent to the same 125 schools in 2003 to evaluate any changes in the presence, duration or participation in the Ophthalmology rotations at these medical schools. Results:There was a 68% (85 schools) response rate to the 2000 survey and a 54% (68 schools) response rate to the 2003 survey. Of the schools that responded, 36.5% had a required Ophthalmology rotation in 2000 compared to 16.9% in 2003. Regarding an elective rotation in Ophthalmology, 98.8% had a student available elective in 2000 and 94.7% had an elective available in 2003. Conclusions: The absence of formal requirements for instruction in clinical Ophthalmology allows significant variability in Ophthalmologic training in U.S. medical schools. While Ophthalmology electives continue to be offered at most institutions, our results suggest a significant decline in the percentage of medical schools requiring Ophthalmology as part of their core curriculum. Ultimately, less than half of U.S. medical school graduates have had required clinical training in Ophthalmology
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