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R. I. Bloom, I. Friedman, C. Wertenbaker; Pediatric Resident Knowledge and Understanding of Strabismus and Amblyopia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):5285.
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Strabismus and amblyopia are common causes of preventable visual impairment. Pediatrician knowledge and understanding of strabismus and amblyopia is crucial so that treatment can be instituted while there is still reversibility. However, there is often very little curriculum coverage of these topics in pediatric residency and fellowship. This study was designed to evaluate and assess pediatrician knowledge and understanding of strabismus and amblyopia at an urban medical center in the Bronx, NY. We intend to use the results of this study to design a pediatric ophthalmology curriculum for pediatric residents and fellows at our institution.
We surveyed thirty-four pediatric residents and fellows in the Bronx, NY, on their knowledge, understanding, and comfort level with strabismus and amblyopia.
Thirty-four physicians were surveyed, and level of training was recorded. Out of 34, 23% (n=8) physicians felt amblyopia could only occur when a patient had strabismus. Fifty percent (n=17) of those surveyed believed it acceptable for a patient to be referred to an optometrist if they had concerns about patient's vision or eye health. Eleven percent (n= 4) of the surveyed physicians felt that it was an acceptable form of screening to test vision in both eyes together, rather than each eye separately. Eighty-two percent (n=28) of the surveyed trainees felt comfortable with red reflex testing in patients. Sixty-two percent (n=21) believed that if a child is looking at a target and one eye is covered, it is normal for the uncovered eye to move in order to refixate on the target. Twelve percent (n=4) of surveyed trainees believed that strabismus is always detectable by penlight examination.
Pediatric residents are not sufficiently educated in the area of strabismus and amblyopia. In order to treat preventable causes of visual impairment, we, as ophthalmologists, must educate our colleagues in pediatrics on how to screen for strabismus and amblyopia.
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