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H. Ansari, J. P. Dunn, Jr., S. J. Gedde, Ophthalmology Resident Skills Acquisition Study Group; Evaluation of the Comfort Level of First-Year Ophthalmology Residents With Ophthalmology Examination Techniques. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):2405.
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To determine the comfort level of first-year ophthalmology residents with the ophthalmology physical exam as they progress through their first year of training.
Ophthalmology residents from thirteen U.S. ophthalmology residency programs were surveyed prospectively during their first-year. Each resident was asked to rate his or her comfort level with 30 ophthalmology physical exam techniques on a Likert scale of one (not at all comfortable) to five (can perform confidently). The survey was administered to each resident at the start of residency and at one and three months after the start of residency. Six-, nine-, and 12-month data will also be collected.
The surveys were administered to 65 first-year ophthalmology residents. At the time of abstract submission, baseline, one month, and three month surveys were collected from 49, 41, and 22 first-year residents, respectively. At the start of residency, residents were extremely comfortable with distance visual acuity testing (mean Likert score = 4.1 + 1.0), the ocular motility exam (4.0 + 0.8), confrontation visual field testing (4.0 + 1.1), color vision testing (3.9 + 1.1), and near visual acuity testing (3.9 + 1.0). They were most uncomfortable with indirect ophthalmoscopy with scleral depression (1.1 + 0.4), gonioscopy (1.2 + 0.6), and retinoscopy (1.3 + 0.6). After three months of residency, mean Likert scores for all techniques surveyed increased, but residents remained particularly uncomfortable with indirect ophthalmoscopy with scleral depression (2.2 + 0.9). Six and ninth month results will be collected in January and April 2007, respectively, and presented.
Residents in ophthalmology receive very little ophthalmology training prior to their residency. The results of this study indicate that first-year ophthalmology residents rapidly become facile with ophthalmology exam techniques after the start of residency. Determination of how quickly first-year residents become comfortable with ophthalmology exam techniques may help residency programs tailor their curricula to optimize the learning of these techniques by their residents.
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