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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 609  

Ophthalmology training in India during COVID-19 pandemic: Perspective from a tertiary eye care hospital


1 Departments of Uvea and Ocular Immunology, Narayana Nethralaya, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Retina, Narayana Nethralaya, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Clinical Research, Narayana Nethralaya, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Narayana Nethralaya, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission11-Aug-2020
Date of Decision16-Apr-2021
Date of Acceptance16-Apr-2021
Date of Web Publication03-Feb-2022

Correspondence Address:
Srinivasan Sanjay
Department of Uvea and Ocular Immunology, Narayana Nethralaya, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_446_20

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How to cite this article:
Sanjay S, Jaydev C, Nagaraj S, Shetty R. Ophthalmology training in India during COVID-19 pandemic: Perspective from a tertiary eye care hospital. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2022;15:609

How to cite this URL:
Sanjay S, Jaydev C, Nagaraj S, Shetty R. Ophthalmology training in India during COVID-19 pandemic: Perspective from a tertiary eye care hospital. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 28];15:609. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2022/15/4/609/337215



Dear Sir,

We are a tertiary care eye hospital providing post graduate training programme for selected medical graduates who wish to pursue specialisation in ophthalmology. This programme is for 3 years. We have eight subspecialty clinics and offer post-residency fellowship training ranging from 12 to 24 months. Ophthalmology, being a predominantly surgical practice, needs hands-on training. The surgical “off time” may not compensate for the actual training needs.[1]

Safety is priority, so all our trainees practice hand hygiene, suitable disinfection measures, and social distancing while they interact with the patients. Webinars are being organized to keep them abreast of the revised guidelines on the best prevailing practices to be followed in the outpatient department and surgical theaters. The educative webinars include case-based discussion, updates on surgical practices, and technological innovations. Our residents are provided opportunities to present at regional and national forums from the safety of their residences and to interact with senior faculty and experts in their respective subspecialty. Surgical skill transfer sessions via video conferencing platforms for specialties such as cataract, cornea, and oculoplasty are conducted.

Eyesi® Surgical (VRmagic GmbH, Mannheim, Germany), a high-end virtual reality simulator for intraocular surgery training, is being used for cataract and vitreoretinal surgery training. Lectures are being held on how to write a protocol, apply for grants, basic statistics, and publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

Although our residents are not “front-line COVID-19 warriors,” the fear of contracting the virus, inadequate training, and uncertainties of their future do worry them. We conduct online meditation sessions to infuse positivity and an optimistic frame of mind. The mentors actively look out for changed behavioral patterns among trainees and address the concerns. Keeping in mind the current situation, we even organized an online farewell party to our outgoing residents with motivational talks by the faculty.

Basic and subspecialty ophthalmology training will undergo a seismic shift due to the current pandemic and its consequences, which may last for few years. One important consideration is to extend the fellowship to allow residents to acquire the required skills before exiting the program. Keeping these above points in perspective, mentors need to find innovative ways to train and build the morale of residents.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Sanjay S, Garg A, Shetty R, Shetty N, Shetty BK. Impact of COVID-19 on a tertiary eye hospital. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:1485-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
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