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Ryan K. Wong, Camila V. Ventura, Michael J. Espiritu, Thomas C. Lee, Michael F. Chiang, Robison V. Chan; Training Fellows for Retinopathy of Prematurity Care: A Web-Based Survey. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3160.
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Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) management presents significant clinical and logistical challenges, and the supply of adequately-trained ophthalmologists is lower than the demand for services. The purpose of this study was to characterize the training received by pediatric ophthalmology and retina fellows in ROP examination and management.
Pediatric ophthalmology and retina fellowship coordinators listed in the San Francisco Match database were contacted by email. Those who indicated willingness to participate provided email contact information for their current fellows and attendings who take part in ROP evaluations. A link to a secure web-based survey developed by the authors was sent to these individuals.
100/123 (81%) of emailed surveys were completed, with 87 surveys included for analysis. 25/87 (28.7%) reported that two thirds or less of ROP examinations performed by fellows were also seen by an attending. Among ROP examinations seen by both a fellow and an attending, 35/87 (40.2%) reported that two thirds or less involved fellows examining under the direct supervision of an attending. Pediatric ophthalmology fellows performed significantly fewer laser photocoagulation procedures than retina fellows (X2=18.23, df=4, p=0.001).
Many ROP examinations are being performed by fellows without involvement and/or direct supervision by an attending ophthalmologist. The number of laser photocoagulation procedures performed by pediatric ophthalmology fellows is less than that performed by retina fellows. These findings have important implications for training and clinical care related to ROP.
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