EnVision Summit 2023: Surgical curriculum for ophthalmology residents


At the EnVision Summit Ophthalmology in Puerto Rico, Grace Sun, MD, made a presentation titled "Surgical Curriculum for Ophthalmology Residents" to train them to be competent in a broad range of basic and advanced surgical skills.

Grace Sun, MD, discusses SCORE and the surgical training given to up-and-coming ophthalmology residents at the EnVision Summit Ophthalmology 2023 conference with David Hutton, Managing Editor, Ophthalmology Times®.

Video transcript

Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.

David Hutton:

I'm David Hutton of Ophthalmology Times. I'm joined today by Dr. Grace Sun, who presented Surgical Curriculum for Ophthalmology Residents at the EnVision Summit. Thank you so much for joining us today. Tell us about your presentation.

Grace Sun, MD:

Thanks for having me. I'm excited to talk to you a little bit about SCORE, which is a collaborative project with the academic centers or training centers for ophthalmology residents. Our mission with SCORE is to provide a standardized system of surgical training, as well as assessment of competency for ophthalmology residents.

The goal of SCORE is to train all residents to be competent in a broad range of basic and advanced surgical skills. We wanted to address the problem of variability and training. That surgical training may depend on where you go, and access to technology which may be limited in some programs, expansive and others. Our public instills a trust in our academic institutions to graduate surgeons that will care for our patients safely and competently and score strives to do that. So the American Academy of Ophthalmology provides a basic and clinical science course, a compendium of textbooks. SCORE is trying to build that surgical equivalent.

David Hutton:

Ultimately, what does this mean for the young ophthalmologists?

Grace Sun, MD:

For the residents, what this means is that they get access to a standardized ophthalmic surgical curriculum that's online, accessible to all residents at whatever time they need. So residents these days are online all the time, just-in-time learning, they'll log in, they can see videos, they can see illustrations from experts about what they're about to do in their next case. And then the residents have access to a skills lab. We've established a common wet lab curriculum with uniform skills transfer workshops, and it allows residents to try different phaco platforms. For example, most of us trained in institutions that have one type of machine. And when you go out into practice, you will hopefully have access to more. And as technology changes and grows, it's helpful for residents to access more, for example, MIG surgeries, phaco platforms, instruments, technology techniques, the residents will have access to this at their fingertips whenever they need.

And then there's a component of assessment for the faculty. There are standardized assessments to allow you to determine whether or not your resident has reached a level of competency.

The other thing that we found is that among the faculty that train our residents, not many of them have formal surgical teaching education. So this teach the teachers curriculum that we've developed will focus on teaching materials for faculty who spend much of their time training the next generation of surgeons.

David Hutton:

How do you measure the success of this effort?

Grace Sun, MD:

That's a great question. How do we measure success? So far, we've reached over 250 residents from over 80 programs and have had expert faculty teachers that have been nominated by the institution's chair or program director at over 50 programs nationally. With each lab, we send out some surveys. And overwhelmingly, the impressions have been positive. So they are particularly positive about the learning management system that they can access online because there's no other resource that is like that. And they are particularly excited about the opportunity to practice their skills with faculty that is actually outside of their institution on technology that they don't have access to. So what we're trying to do is level the playing field.

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