Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 784-

Take time to sharpen the saw

Venkatesh Prajna 
 Department of Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Venkatesh Prajna
Department of Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Prajna V. Take time to sharpen the saw.Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:784-784

How to cite this URL:
Prajna V. Take time to sharpen the saw. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Jul 12 ];66:784-784
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Full Text

It was the best of the times'

It was the worst of the times'

So said a character in the brilliant masterpiece, A tale of two cities written by Charles Dickens This exclamation generally sums up the current scenario of Ophthalmology from two different perspectives. Without a doubt, Ophthalmology has grown by leaps and bounds in the past three decades. At the same time, the tremendous advances in the field in these three decades have made the life of the resident more difficult to cover the subject in full in his/her prescribed 3 years.

Let us only take a simple example of teaching glaucoma in the 80s. In that period, the terms glaucoma and increased intraocular pressure (IOP) were synonymous. Higher IOP needed to be treated with pilocarpine and if the pressures were not controlled, then filtering surgery would be advised. The requirement of knowledge for a resident also would be confined to this domain. Not anymore!!!! The hapless resident has to learn about algorithms, artificial intelligence software, different pharmacological options, and various surgical devices to treat a disease, which still eludes an agreeable definition. Needless to say, the resident of today requires to learn more to stay current and relevant than their counterparts earlier.

Imparting education in such a changing world is clearly very challenging. The residents of today are more competitive and arguably more focused than our times of postgraduation. Their style of learning and their exposure to different modes of learning has raised their expectations from the teaching fraternity. The teachers, on the other hand, feel that the residents want to learn everything as quickly as possible and immediately be on their own. A middleground has to be found, and for this to happen we need to have an aspirational goal to march on to. Grover et al.[1] have painstakingly created a comprehensive document titled “A National Curriculum for Ophthalmology Residency Training “ which should spur the policymakers and the teaching fraternity to aspire for and implement it in all seriousness. For this to be effective, technologies such as simulators and smart classrooms should be incorporated. Teachers need to constantly retrain themselves and reinvent newer strategies like flipped classroom models to stay relevant to compete with Wikipedia and the search engines. Tomorrow's problems cannot be solved by the solutions which were relevant for yesterday.


1Grover AK, Honavar SG, Azad R, Verma L. A national curriculum for ophthalmology residency training. Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:752-83.