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Andrew F Smith, Alex Klotz, Juan Carlos Silva, Nigel Barker; The profile of respondents to a survey of ophthalmologists in the English-speaking Caribbean: principal findings. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):5544.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
There is no data on the profile of ophthalmologists providing ophthalmological services and treatments across the English-speaking Caribbean. We aimed to gather such data, as it is potentially useful for planning the delivery of eye care services and training initiatives across the region.
As no comprehensive database of ophthalmologists working in the English-speaking Caribbean could be located, both national and regional ophthalmological societies across the English-speaking Caribbean were contacted to extract a listing of ophthalmologists likely to be involved in the provision of ophthalmological services and treatments. A total of 171 practicing ophthalmologists and/or ophthalmology residents were identified and contacted via email and telephone across 12 English-speaking Caribbean nations in late 2014 and early 2015.
A total of 49 completed questionnaires were returned, yielding a response rate of 29%. Survey respondents, reported working 42.71 hours per week, with 60%, 38% and 2% of these hours spent in the private, public and NGO sectors, respectively. Among those ophthalmologist’s returning completed questionnaires, 70% percent had completed their ophthalmology training outside of the Caribbean, and 40% had obtained some form of sub-specialty qualification. Overall, the average length of the residency training for responding ophthalmologists was 48.5 months with a range from between 36 and 60 months. The average length of tenure as a practicing ophthalmologist among respondents was 15.27 years and only 8% indicated that they would retire in the next 5 years. Most of the small numbers of responding ophthalmologists reported they had good access to key the pieces of ophthalmological equipment needed for diagnosing, treating and conducting eye surgery.
Given the small number of respondents to the survey, the findings from this survey do not represent the entire ophthalmological community in the English speaking Caribbean. Strategies to increase the coverage of data collection on the ophthalmological workforce across the region warrant urgent attention in assessing the human resources development needs in ophthalmology.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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