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Keegan Harkins, Daniel Agraz, Kanika Aggarwal, Diana V Do; Survey of Ophthalmology Residents to Assess Techniques for Diagnosing Macular Edema. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):4628.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Macular Edema (ME) is caused by various retinal vascular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy or retinal vein occlusion. ME is a common cause of decreased central vision. Ophthalmology residents are trained in various methods to assess ocular disease, including slit lamp exam and imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography (OCT). This projects aims to survey residents across the United States to assess their level of comfort in diagnosing ME. Preference of one form of assessment over another can develop during training.
Ophthalmology residency program directors were asked by email to distribute to their residents, a link to an anonymous 6 question web based survey asking their comfort level diagnosing ME at the slit lamp, with OCT, or a combination of the two. Participants were provided with a range of percentages in the answers (ex: 1-25%, 26-50%, etc). No compensation for completion of survey was offered and project was approved by the IRB.
64 residents participated in this project which represents 5% of trainees (n≈1386). In terms of year in training: 37.5% (n=24) were in PGY2, 35.9% (n=23) in PGY3, and 26.6% (n=17) in PGY4. The majority of participants were from the Midwest (n=23, 35.9%), followed by the East Coast (n=15, 23.4%), the West Coast (n=10, 15.6%), and Southeast (n=3, 4.7%). In terms of diagnosing ME with only clinical exam, 57.8% of respondents stated this occurred 1-25% of the time, followed by 26.6% stating this occurred 0% of the time. Making the diagnosis of ME solely with OCT is reported to occur 76-100% of the time by 32.8% of respondents, followed by 23.4% stating this occurs 51-75% of the time. 9.4% stated this occurs 0% of the time. The combination of clinical exam and OCT in diagnosing ME occurs 76-100% of the time by 57.8% of respondents, followed by 18.8% stating this occurs 26-50% of the time.
This project gives insight into the current trends found in Ophthalmology residency. Incorporating newer modalities to diagnose ME is common; as 57.8% of respondents state this is done by OCT and clinic exam over 76% of the time. Inversely, OCT may be preferred modality to diagnose ME, as 32.8% report they rely on this modality exclusively over 76% of the time. The ultimate aim was to assess the weakness or strength in one modality versus another and address these issues in the training programs offered to future Ophthalmologists.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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