|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2009 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 75
Evaluation of medical college departments of ophthalmology in India
Dr. Annie Mathai, Smt. Kanuri Santhamma Retina Vitreous Centre, L V Prasad Eye Institute, L V Prasad Marg, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500 034, India
|Date of Web Publication||12-Dec-2008|
Dr. Annie Mathai, Smt. Kanuri Santhamma Retina Vitreous Centre, L V Prasad Eye Institute, L V Prasad Marg, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500 034
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Mathai A. Evaluation of medical college departments of ophthalmology in India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2009;57:75
|How to cite this URL:|
Mathai A. Evaluation of medical college departments of ophthalmology in India. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2009 [cited 2019 Nov 13];57:75. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2009/57/1/75/44505
The article on evaluation of medical college ophthalmology departments in India and their training by Thomas et al ,  was an eye opener and I commend the authors and the editorial board of the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology for publishing it. It is paradoxical that while some of us are doing population-based surveys to screen for eye diseases in the community, the patient who walks into the hospital does not even get a comprehensive eye examination.
Though the excuse during the first evaluation may have been lack of instrumentation, the state of affairs has hardly changed after eight years and a grant of Rs. 34 crores towards modern instrumentation. The cataract surgical pattern had changed to include intraocular lenses for 91-99% of patients.  While the numbers appear impressive, what is the point if these are done without preoperative A-scan, sometimes without magnification and no postoperative slit-lamp assessment? Why were the perimeters, lasers, phaco machines not used routinely for indicated cases? Why should instruments be locked up and not used? It is obvious from this article that providing instruments and training the trainers hardly made any difference.
The quality of the average ophthalmology training in India is far from desirable, though there are several exceptions with excellent training programs. Those of us who are involved with training should take a few minutes to introspect whether we are following all the criteria for appropriate training. The basic guidelines have been clearly stated by the authors in their article (Tables 2-5) and should be applicable to each of our centers. The programs should be such that a well-trained postgraduate does not need extra training in cataract surgery or comprehensive eye examination. It is appropriate for them to seek fellowship training in a subspecialty but to be re-trained in comprehensive ophthalmology is a waste of time and resources.
It is high time that we standardized ophthalmology training in India. There should be a basic minimum curriculum followed by all training programs. Good residency training is absolutely necessary for the future of Indian ophthalmology. Also, the Medical Council of India should appoint an accreditation board for postgraduate education. Medical colleges should be allowed to continue their postgraduate training programs only if these basic guidelines are fulfilled.
If this report was made available to the policy makers and the concerned authorities what was the action taken? The same state of affairs will continue if nobody is held responsible or accountable for such wastage of money and resources. Such lack of responsibility and accountability should be condemned.
The national and state ophthalmic associations can help in implementing these guidelines. (Tables 2-5).  These guidelines are already being followed by several training programs and a key factor for the success of these programs is commitment from the trainers. Each one of us should make a commitment towards improving the basic standards of resident training, making sure that all postgraduates are trained in comprehensive eye examination, basic diagnostic and surgical skills.
| References|| |
Thomas R, Dogra M. An evaluation of medical college departments of ophthalmology in India and change following provision of modern instrumentation and training. Indian J Ophthalmol 2008;56:9-16.