Engagement with ophthalmic simulation training has increased following COVID-19 disruption—the educational culture change required?

Authors: Sarah Campbell, Jennifer Hind & David Lockington

Publication: Eye, 2021. doi: 10.1038/s41433-021-01494-1


No abstract available, instead first two paragraphs of the publication:

“COVID-19 has significantly disrupted normal medical education, including established ophthalmology training programmes. Trainees (and trainers) have experienced suspension of elective ophthalmic services, and even been redeployed to COVID-19 medical wards in some cases. High anxiety levels have been reported regarding the impact on ophthalmic training and the lack of clinical and surgical exposure during the year 2020 and beyond [1]. Local face-to-face teaching, regional, national and international ophthalmological conferences have had to be postponed (and then cancelled) due to social distancing requirements, inadequate space availability and travel restrictions and lockdowns. This has resulted in an explosion in online educational webinar events and replacement virtual meetings [2].

Ophthalmologists of all levels of training and seniority had their surgical sessions curtailed during the initial lockdown in March 2020, resulting in the Royal College of Ophthalmologists advising how to prioritise surgical cases in the setting of reduced resources, and how to restart elective services safely [3]. Pre-COVID, it was mandatory for new ophthalmic trainees in the UK to have attended an introductory microsurgical skills course at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, London, and to have completed Modules A and B on the EYESI cataract simulator prior to engaging in any intra-ocular surgery. To maintain surgical skills during COVID-19 lockdowns, all trainees and trainers were also encouraged to engage with and utilise the various simulation options available, particularly during clinical sessions which had been cancelled. Currently, there has not been a mandatory requirement for either trainees or trainers to complete Module C or the more complex/complication-based Module D. As clinical activity began to resume over the summer period in 2020, it became apparent that seniors and juniors were making greater use of the EYESI simulator in Glasgow than previously. We wanted to objectively evaluate if this impression of increased simulation use was accurate, and if it was maintained.”