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   Table of Contents      
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 526

Residency training in India

Medical Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India

Date of Web Publication14-Oct-2008

Correspondence Address:
Ronnie George
Medical and Vision Research Foundations, Sankara Nethralaya, 18, College Road, Chennai-600 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.43389

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How to cite this article:
George R. Residency training in India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2008;56:526

How to cite this URL:
George R. Residency training in India. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2008 [cited 2020 Nov 23];56:526. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2008/56/6/526/43389

Dear Editor,

We read with interest the article by Thomas et al . [1] They highlighted an important issue in their article on standards of ophthalmic education in the country. [1] What is shocking is the absence of any significant improvements over an eight-year period. This would suggest that improvements in infrastructure alone are inadequate to address this problem.

In the accompanying editorial Grover recommends setting up an advisory board. [2] A smaller body comprising persons who have run programs that have actually achieved the benchmarks recommended for education would be a better option, instead of a monolithic body comprising "ex-officio" members who do not necessarily have a track record in education.

There is no question that state-of-the-art ophthalmic care is available in both the private and public sector in the country. In such a setting are we justified in claiming to have provided appropriate ophthalmic training for residents who have been allowed to perform less than 10 cases of cataract surgery in their three-year courses? Perhaps the most telling commentary on training in the country are the various courses that offer to teach slit-lamp examination, gonioscopy or indirect ophthalmoscopy to those who have completed postgraduate training !! A certain proportion of ophthalmology graduates make the effort to upgrade their skills. Those who are unable to do so because of financial or other constraints are unlikely to provide appropriate standards of care to their patients both to start with, and for the three to four-decade duration of their professional career.

The postgraduate practical examination system is pointless in the current form. Having gone through examinations conducted by various agencies within the past decades I can attest to the fact that it is purely theory-based. The term "practical" examination seems to have lost its meaning. What matters are how many causes or differential diagnosis you can recall and not how the patient was examined. This is far removed from the medical and surgical practical examination at the undergraduate level where more often than not, one is asked to demonstrate an examination technique or test at the bedside. In addition, the quality of equipment provided at some recognized examination centers is unacceptable for patient evaluation, let alone an examination.

Many residents trained at the better residency programs in the country are actually penalized because "you know only the high-tech stuff and cannot spout the examiners favorite lines from the older edition of an undergraduate textbook." Perhaps part of the reasons for this is lack of familiarity. Do we need to initiate certification for examiners to ensure that basic levels of competence are met, instead of continuing to rely on "senior" examiners (whose basic training may never have reached the prescribed standards)?

  References Top

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.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Grover AK. Postgraduate ophthalmic education in India: Are we on the right track? Indian J Ophthalmol 2008;56:3-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  

This article has been cited by
1 The crisis in ophthalmology residency training programs
Gogate, PM and Deshpande, MD
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2009; 57(1): 74


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