OCT 30, 2014
This retrospective case series found that outcomes of horizontal strabismus surgery performed by trainees were no worse than those performed exclusively by staff surgeons.
The authors write that recent changes to the ophthalmology education curricula have shifted more to a competency-based system. Residency programs are now required to implement measures to teach and evaluate across six competencies, with the American Board of Ophthalmology also adding surgical competence.
In light of these new requirements, this study’s authors sought to evaluate and compare the surgical success rates of strabismus surgery performed by supervised trainees versus staff surgeons at the same institution. Subjects included 543 patients (921 eyes) with horizontal deviations resulting from a variety of causes. Successful surgery was defined as residual horizontal deviations less than 10 prism diopters at a minimum of eight weeks’ follow-up.
There was no overall significant difference between the success rates of procedures that involved trainees as surgeons and those that did not (P = 0.59).
They conclude that with a shift toward competency-based education and more scrutiny of patient outcomes, these data further support the quality of surgical care provided by trainees. As residency training evolves, these statistics could be used toward the development of benchmarks across academic institutions for assessing surgical competency of ophthalmic surgical trainees.