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Aaron Nagiel, Michael J. Espiritu, Ryan K. Wong, Thomas C. Lee, Andreas K. Lauer, Michael F. Chiang, Robison V. Chan; Assessing the Quality and Extent of ROP Training During Residency: A Web-Based Survey. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3158.
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Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a common cause of blindness in children and is associated with significant medical and societal costs. The number of ophthalmologists, however, who choose to manage ROP is limited and predicted to decrease. Also, given that a significant number of ROP exams are performed by general ophthalmologists, there is some concern about the preparedness of general ophthalmologists who have recently graduated from residency. Using a web-based survey of ophthalmology program directors and third-year residents, we sought to assess the quality and extent of training in ROP during residency.
117 ophthalmology residency program directors listed in the ACGME database were contacted by email. Those who indicated willingness to participate were asked to provide email contact information for their current third-year (PGY-4) residents or gave our contact information to the residents. 139 of 446 third-year residents were contacted to participate. A link to a secure web-based survey developed by the authors was sent to these individuals.
33/117 (28%) program directors and 82/139 (59%) third-year residents participated in the survey. Because the responses of program directors and residents were highly concordant, we grouped the responses when appropriate. 94 participants (program directors and residents) answered all the questions. 55/94 (59%) estimated that residents perform 20 or fewer ROP exams during residency, whereas 12/94 (13%) estimated that residents perform greater than 50 exams. 56/94 (60%) noted that an attending directly supervises all of the bedside examinations. Only 14/82 (17%) third-year residents felt competent to perform ROP exams and 5/114 (4%) survey participants acknowledged having a formal assessment of ROP competency during residency.
Most residents in the programs surveyed in this study perform fewer than 20 ROP exams during residency, with about two-thirds of these exams supervised directly by an attending. The vast majority of residents feel unable to perform ROP exams competently. These findings raise concerns about the adequacy of ROP training during residency and should promote discussion on ways to improve ROP education.
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