COVID-19 pandemic could change ophthalmology training permanently, survey says

Ophthalmology trainees said the COVID-19 pandemic allowed some previously unexplored technological solutions to be embraced in whole, according to a survey reported on by Physician's Weekly.

Researchers collected 504 responses from 32 different countries on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected ophthalmology trainees.

What you should know:

1. The majority (55.2 percent) of trainees said the pandemic is currently having a severe effect on their training, 37.3 percent said it had a moderate effect and 18.3 said it had a mild or slight effect.

2. Most trainees (76.4 percent) said the pandemic decreased clinical activity by 50 percent or more, and 74.6 percent said it decreased surgical activity by more than 75 percent.

3. However, the pandemic changed perceptions around web-based teaching. The majority of trainees (91.7 percent) said web-based case-presentations in clinical training were worthwhile. The same held true for web-based discussions of edited surgical videos (85.7 percent of trainees) and simulation-based surgical practice (86.9 percent).

Surveyors said the findings show "the need to promptly include new technology-based training tools … in long-term reorganization of ophthalmology training to ensure its continuity and effectiveness, which would remain available even in the face of another unpredictable crisis within the health system."

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