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N. Chadha, C. E. Geist, F. Malik, C. J. Macri, B. Blatt, K. Lewis; Development, Evaluation, and Implementation of a Fundoscopic Examination Skills Workshop for 3rd Year Medical Students: A Randomized, Comparative Study of Diagnostic Ability When Instructed on a Fundus Simulator versus Printed Fundus Images. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3557.
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The purpose of this study was to develop, implement, and evaluate a fundoscopic exam skills workshop for 3rd year medical students. The skills workshop was to serve as a follow-up to ophthalmic physical diagnosis skills acquired in the first and second years and introduce these skills in a clinical context. Additionally, the study sought to evaluate whether use of fundoscopic simulators versus printed images was a superior method to teach funduscopic pathology.
Groups of 3rd year medical students were surveyed regarding their comfort with the fundus exam via a needs assessment. Baseline knowledge of fundus findings was assessed with a pre-test prior to the skills workshop. A case-based curriculum was developed and students were randomly assigned to work with fundus simulators vs. printed fundus images during the initial part of the curriculum, followed by a lecture-style presentation. A written post-test was given in addition to a practical exam using fundus simulators and results were compared between the two groups. Students were given an exit survey to evaluate the utility of the workshop.
In our pilot study, 25 3rd year medical students completed the curriculum using fundus simulators. The needs assessment data showed that 57% of students were uncomfortable with their fundoscopy skills and 77% felt that they would benefit from additional education in ophthalmology. Student scored an average of 47% correct on the pre-test with an improvement to 67% correct on the post-test.
Our study suggests that students have a need and desire for increased basic ophthalmic education. Preliminary studies suggest that the curriculum was effective in increasing student knowledge as demonstrated by the 20% improvement in correct answers from pre-test to post-test. Data from the practical exam from the initial group who used fundus simulators will be compared with the next group of students who will use traditional printed images in order to evaluate which method is superior.
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