Impact of COVID-19 on Ophthalmology residency surgical training

 

COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the office visits and ophthalmic surgical procedures globally, and its impact on ophthalmic education and residency programs is no different.

A study was undertaken to access the average case logs performed by Ophthalmology residents as the primary surgeon as well as surgical assistant roles from 2012 to 2020(before and during pandemic). The study showed average total cases logged by resident doctors as primary surgeon increased by 3.2% yearly from 2012 to 2019 but decreased by 11.2% from 2019 to 2020. The greatest decrease was seen in cataract, retina, and keratorefractive surgeries.

What is the plan of action in 2022, 2 years after pandemic? The conclusion is the pandemic affected the volume based surgical training of ophthalmology residents and one way to effectively deal with it is to put more focus on competency based assessments.

“Developing competency based medical education rather than volume based requirements is more productive in assessing readiness for practice, especially during periods of interruptions in surgical volume” is the take home message.

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