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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 1187-1191

Is pediatric ophthalmology a popular subspecialty in India: Present scenario and future remedies

1 Department of Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Sucheta Parija
Department of Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Bhubaneswar, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_548_17

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Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess the attitude and perceptions of residents regarding Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (POS) subspecialty training. We also explored the possible barriers and solutions to promoting POS in India. Methods: A questionnaire consisting of 20 items, with a 5-point Likert scale, was provided to all postgraduate residents of Ophthalmology in the year 2013–2014. Semistructured interview of a selected panel of experts was carried out to understand the challenges, barriers, and opportunities for developing POS subspecialty in India. The data collected were coded and statistically analyzed using standard methods for quantitative and qualitative data. Results: Out of 81 residents, 69 responded (85.2%). The mean age of the respondents was 27.5 ± 1.23 years. Forty eight (69.0%) residents reported that there was no structured surgical teaching and systematic periodic posting in this subspecialty during their residency program. Residents who stated difficulty to understand the subject were 59%. Pursuing POS as a career choice was indicated by 21.0%. Major attracting attributes of POS fellowship were intellectual stimulation (69.7%) and independent operative skills (57.5%). Dissuading factors were difficulty to handle children (54.5%) and stress factor (48.4%). Expert views were grouped under four domains, such as doctor–patient ratio, infrastructure, training opportunities, utilization, and accessibility to POS services. Conclusion: The study has provided useful insights into the preferential behavior among trainee resident doctors and reasons for not choosing POS as a possible choice of future fellowships.

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