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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-16

An evaluation of medical college departments of ophthalmology in India and change following provision of modern instrumentation and training

1 Sabbatical, QEI, Brisbane, Australia
2 Post Graduate Institute of Medical Studies, Chandigargh, India

Correspondence Address:
Ravi Thomas
Flat 1; Plot 23 (ALEKHYA), HUDA Heights, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500 034, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.37589

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Aim: To evaluate teaching and practice in medical college ophthalmology departments in a representative Indian state and changes following provision of modern instrumentation and training. Study Type: Prospective qualitative study. Materials and Methods: Teaching and practice in all medical colleges in the state assessed on two separate occasions by external evaluators. Preferred criteria for training and care were pre-specified. Methodology included site visits to document functioning and conduct interviews. Assessments included resident teaching, use of instrumentation provided specifically for training and standard of eye care. The first evaluation (1998) was followed by provision of modern instrumentation and training on two separate occasions, estimated at Rupees 34 crores. The follow-up evaluation in 2006 used the same methodology as the first. Results: Eight departments were evaluated on the first occasion; there were 11 at the second. On the first assessment, none of the programs met the criteria for training or care. Following the provision of modern instrumentation and training, intraocular lens usage increased dramatically; but the overall situation remained essentially unchanged in the 8 departments evaluated 8 years later. Routine comprehensive eye examination was neither taught nor practiced. Individually supervised surgical training using beam splitters was not practiced in any program; neither was modern management of complications or its teaching. Phacoemulsification was not taught, and residents were not confident of setting up practice. Instruments provided specifically for training were not used for that purpose. Students reported that theoretical teaching was good. Conclusions: Drastic changes in training, patient care and accountability are needed in most medical college ophthalmology departments.

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