June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Ophthalmology Training in Emergency Medicine Residency Programs in the United States.
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jason Kam
    Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Jeremy Branzetti
    Emergency Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Parisa Taravati
    Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Jason Kam, None; Jeremy Branzetti, None; Parisa Taravati, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 5057. doi:
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      Jason Kam, Jeremy Branzetti, Parisa Taravati; Ophthalmology Training in Emergency Medicine Residency Programs in the United States.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):5057.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Emergency departments (EDs) face an increasing demand to provide effective clinical care with limited resources. The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) in 2010 estimated 128,970,364 ED visits in the United States (US), of which 1,996,735 visits (1.5%) had an ophthalmic primary diagnosis. Ophthalmologists receive numerous consultations which might be more critical than initially described and some where the diagnosis should be within the ED providers' scope of practice. We hypothesized that ophthalmic emergency medicine training may be inconsistent, inadequate and variable between institutions. To help answer this, we evaluated the current clinical and formal education of ophthalmology in emergency medicine residency programs in the United States.

Methods : A survey, consisting of 25 questions, created by the authors, was electronically mailed to 163 emergency medicine program directors in the US. Questions ranged from ophthalmic education, frequency of consultation and interaction with ophthalmologist during their residents’ training. The survey was opened for 60 days from July 4, 2016 to September 4, 2016. “Survey Monkey”, an online survey website (SurveyMonkey Inc., Palo Alto, CA), was used for the distribution for the survey and data collection.

Results : Approximately 50.3% (82/163) of participants completed the survey. Of those responding, 57.32% (47/82) of programs were associated with an ophthalmology residency program and 91.46% (75/82) programs had ophthalmologist taking call. The majority of the programs would consult the ophthalmologist approximately 40-60% of the time. Only 29.27% (24/82) programs had an official ophthalmology rotation built into the program ranging from 1-4 weeks. Formal didactics in ophthalmology were incorporated in 97.56% (80/82) of the programs’ curriculum with 68.35% of these programs (54/82) involving the ophthalmology department. These didactic sessions, which include classroom and hands on training, averaged 5 hours/year (range1-20 hours per year).

Conclusions : All residency programs are required to meet core requirement with regards to the eyes in both examination and diagnostic skills. Only a little over 60% of the residents are taught by an ophthalmologist. Training significantly varies between institutions and no standardized curriculum exists. We believe there is a significant role for ophthalmologists to help educate emergency medicine physicians.

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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