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M. J. Welch, J. F. McDonnell; Attitudes and Perspectives on Ophthalmology Resident Training: The APORT Study Series. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):5363.
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To assess patient perceptions of resident training, resident participation in medical care, and resident participation in surgical care within the medical specialty of Ophthalmology.
Data were collected from a voluntary and completely anonymous 13-question combination multiple choice survey from 121 adult patients at the Loyola University Health Systems Ophthalmology clinic. Survey topics included: the definition of a resident physician, issues surrounding the informed consent procedure, resident participation in medical and surgical ophthalmic care, role of a teaching hospital, comfort with resident patient care, and the impact on patient care quality made by resident physicians.
Only 49% of surveyed patients selected the most accurate definition of a resident physician. Sixty-four percent prefer informed consent to be obtained by their attending physician. The majority (74%) felt that using the term "assist" as a way to describe resident involvement in a surgical procedure indicated that the resident would be performing parts of their surgery, but not the entire procedure. Only 35% of patients reported being comfortable having resident physicians perform a portion of their surgical procedure; while 11% were comfortable having residents perform their entire surgical procedure. Forty-eight percent of patients would prefer to be given the option to choose whether they be subjected to a resident examination prior to their attending physician; while a large majority (85%) agreed that residents should be involved in the general care and surgical care (64%) specifically, of all patients at a teaching hospital. Most (60%) patients felt there was no difference in patient care and that they received the same amount of attention from their attending physician (63%) when residents were involved in their care.
Our study indicates highly varied opinions amongst patients regarding the involvement of ophthalmic resident physicians in their care. In order to establish better training and teaching practices, we must thoroughly understand the entire teaching environment, which includes the attitudes and perspectives of the patients within a training institution. By understanding our patients’ perspective on resident involvement, we can ultimately provide better patient care.
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