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BRIEF COMMUNICATION
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 223-227

Needs assessment of ophthalmology education for undergraduate medical students – A study from a medical college in South India


1 Department of Ophthalmology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Karuppannasamy Divya
Department of Ophthalmology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_52_16

Background: Adequate ophthalmic diagnostic and clinical skills are essential for practitioners in primary care settings as well as specialty care physicians. The objectives of this study were to assess the adequacy of ophthalmology teaching in undergraduate medical education and to evaluate the comfort of medical students in diagnosing common eye problems and performing ophthalmic skills. Methods: A questionnaire based, cross-sectional survey was conducted among third-year undergraduate students from a medical college in South India at the end of ophthalmology training from February 2014 to December 2014. The main outcome measures were hours of classroom-based instruction and clinical exposure to ophthalmology received by the students and their comfort level in diagnosing common eye problems and performing ophthalmic skills. Results: 134 students participated in the study. They had received an average of 96.2 ± 5.9 and 112.5 ± 11.3 hours of classroom and clinic-based instruction, respectively. The participants' comfort in diagnosing eye problems was satisfactory for cataract and eyelid disorders but not for ophthalmic emergencies. Only 45.5% had satisfactory knowledge in community ophthalmology. Respondents were more proficient in visual acuity testing (93.3%) and assessment of pupillary reaction (80.6%) than direct ophthalmoscopy (41%). Discussion: Undergraduate medical students from India received a greater amount of ophthalmology instruction compared to the International Council of Ophthalmology task force recommendations. Gaps in community ophthalmology and knowledge-skills discrepancies were noted. Review of curriculum, appropriate training resources, and effective teaching methods tailored towards primary care may be useful to improve the training.


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