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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 1517-1518

Ophthalmology training and teaching in India: How these young ophthalmologists can become leaders of tomorrow?

1 SuVi Eye Institute and Lasik Laser Center, Kota, Rajasthan, India; John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Department of Ophthalmology, Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
2 SuVi Eye Institute and Lasik Laser Center, Kota, Rajasthan, India

Date of Web Publication24-Sep-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suresh K Pandey
Director, SuVi Eye Institute and Lasik Laser Center, C 13 Talwandi, Kota - 324 005, Rajasthan

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_898_18

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How to cite this article:
Pandey SK, Sharma V. Ophthalmology training and teaching in India: How these young ophthalmologists can become leaders of tomorrow?. Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:1517-8

How to cite this URL:
Pandey SK, Sharma V. Ophthalmology training and teaching in India: How these young ophthalmologists can become leaders of tomorrow?. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Mar 3];66:1517-8. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2018/66/10/1517/242029


The editor and editorial board of Indian Journal of Ophthalmology deserve applause for publishing excellent editorial/articles in the June issue of IJO. Residency training is one of the crucial phases in a doctor's life which transforms a theoretical generalist to a practical specialist geared up to take on the responsibility of caring for patients. Ophthalmology offers the adrenalin rush associated with performing delicate sight-restoring surgeries, yet the eye specialists do not deal with stressful life and death situations. Throughout the years, the surgical training process in ophthalmology has progressed from unstructured apprenticeship to limitless period in the past, and then in the 20th century shifted to a Halstedian pyramidal structure and currently on consistent rectangular model with specified timeline.[1] However, the “See one, do one, teach one” concept of the Halstedian model is still ingrained in the residency.

Several authors emphasized that ophthalmology residency training in India still needs to be improved significantly.[2],[3],[4] Without proper and updated residency training system in a majority of medical colleges in India, how would young ophthalmologists become the leaders in their field? In India, 60% residency training for ophthalmology is under government-run organizations while the remaining are private institutions.[5] The imparted training is typically done in various settings such as medical colleges (including regional institutes) and private institutes. There is not a coherent training system followed by all which leads to huge variations in quality of training. It is important to ensure that residents in India observe (and perform under supervision, if possible) a good variety of ophthalmic surgeries.

The shortage of standardization shows the need for a stronger regulatory authority to make these changes and implement them efficiently.[6],[7] It is important to have such a training system which focuses on the actuality of the learning process, human resources, and the infrastructure. In addition, the training system must be need-based. Standards must be established and followed. There is a dire need to emphasize the residents' role as researches and teachers throughout their residency to encourage them to become leaders.[8] This is one of the major parts of competency-based curriculum for residency training of young ophthalmologists around the globe.[9]

There is a strong need for the authorities to do major rethinking and correction in the curriculum and training system.[10] Numerous ophthalmologists have stressed the need of establishing a fresh training system for the residency students in ophthalmology.[11] Moreover, it has been stressed that the potential of young ophthalmologists of India must be encouraged to take the leadership role. This can be done if the residency students have a great foundation of teaching and training. Two examples deserve special mention here: I-Focus, National Postgraduate Education Programme in Ophthalmology and Academic and Research Committee (ARC) wing of All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS), both have done commendable work to update residents in basic and cutting-edge ophthalmology and helped them to prepare for leadership role.

Residents in training would play a major role in shaping up in to the future leaders of ophthalmology, if they have all the essential elements – patient care, skill-based practice, practice-based improvement, and learning, professionalism, communication, and interpersonal skills leading to their continuous professional development.[12] The training system must provide them a chance for open-minded learning of comprehensive ophthalmology and a broad-based approach. It is up to the coordinators of residency training and ophthalmology heads of various institutions to come up with the will to make these changes and also to lead this change throughout ophthalmology in India. There are numerous ways these changes can happen – a teaching schedule, one-on-one mentorship for residents, encourage young ophthalmologist to teach, management of their time, and reorganization in the departments.

There are numerous ways through which these young ophthalmologists can become leaders of tomorrow. First, it is essential for them to find the right mentor, someone who is genuinely interested in helping them adapt leadership qualities instead of someone who hardly offers any useful advice. Most importantly, they have to actually listen to their mentors, even if it is a hard feedback. Moreover, young ophthalmologists need to become more proactive if they truly want to become future leaders.[13] There is no point in waiting for someone to hand them the responsibilities; they need to show their mentors and leaders that they have what it takes to be in a leadership role. These future leaders should also be engaged in member ophthalmic organizations and participation in national and international ophthalmic conferences right from the initial stage.[14] Another important thing these young ophthalmologists must consider is stepping out of their comfort zone. They must trust their education and training and must not be afraid to learn new techniqu]e and skill that can open more opportunities for them to move on to leadership roles.[15] It is essential to keep in mind that these young ophthalmologists are the future of ophthalmology. Using innovative teaching styles and techniques to help today's technically driven residents to learn more efficiently. We admire sincere efforts of Dr. Santosh G. Honavar and the entire editorial team of Indian Journal of Ophthalmology for publishing valuable suggestions that are needed to be taken to make immediate changes in training and teaching in ophthalmology residency to ensure a bright and prosperous future of ophthalmology in India.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Honavar SG. Ophthalmology residency training in India: Quo vadis? Indian J Ophthalmol 2017;65:427-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
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Murthy GV, Gupta SK, Bachani D, Sanga L, John N, Tewari HK. Status of speciality training in ophthalmology in India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2005;53:135-42.  Back to cited text no. 2
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Gogate P, Biswas P, Natarajan S, Ramamurthy D, Bhattacharya D, Golnik K, et al. Residency evaluation and adherence design study: Young ophthalmologists' perception of their residency programs-clinical and surgical skills. Indian J Ophthalmol 2017;65:452-60.  Back to cited text no. 3
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Biswas P, Gogate PM, Maskati QB, Natarajan S, Verma L, Bansal PK, et al. Residency evaluation and adherence design study III: Ophthalmology residency training in India: Then and now-improving with time? Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:785-92.  Back to cited text no. 4
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Ajay K, Krishnaprasad R, Divya DS. Ophthalmic surgical training in Karnataka and Southern India: Present status and future interests from a survey of final-year residents. Indian J Ophthalmol 2015;63:306-11.  Back to cited text no. 5
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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. 6
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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. 7
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Ryg PA, Hafler JP, Forster SH. The efficacy of residents as teachers in an ophthalmology module. J Surg Educ 2016;73:323-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
Golnik KC, Lee AG, Wilson MC. A national program director survey of the shift to competency-based education in ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2008;115:1426-30, 1430.e1-2.  Back to cited text no. 9
Honavar SG. Steps to standardize ophthalmology residency programs in India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:733-9.  Back to cited text no. 10
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Gupta A. Ophthalmology postgraduate training in India: Stirring up a hornet's nest. Indian J Ophthalmol 2017;65:433-4.  Back to cited text no. 11
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Grover AK, Honavar SG, Azad R, Verma L. A national curriculum for ophthalmology residency training. Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:752-83.  Back to cited text no. 12
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Foist C. Tips for Young Ophthalmologists from 2018 President Keith Carter, MD. American Academy of Ophthalmology; 2018. Available from: https://www.aao.org/young-ophthalmologists/yo-info/article/6-tips-for-yos-from-2018-academy-president. [Last accessed on 2018 May 27].  Back to cited text no. 13
Mets MB, Brown A, Doan AP, Williams RD, Mills R, Erie JC, et al. The ophthalmologist of the future. Arch Ophthalmol 2012;130:1190-4.  Back to cited text no. 14
Green C. Leadership development in ophthalmology: Investing in the future of the profession. Pak J Ophthalmol 2017;33:123-5.  Back to cited text no. 15


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