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J AAPOS. 2012 Apr;16(2):177-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2011.12.154.

Training fellows for retinopathy of prematurity care: a Web-based survey.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.



To characterize the training received by pediatric ophthalmology and retina fellows in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) management.


Pediatric ophthalmology and retina fellowship programs were emailed a Web-based survey to assess fellowship training in ROP management.


Of 140 programs contacted, 42 (30%) participated, resulting in 87 surveys for analysis. Of the 87 respondents, 25 (29%) reported that two-thirds or less of ROP examinations performed by fellows were also seen by an attending. When stratified by specialty, this trend was statistically different between pediatric ophthalmology and retina fellows (P = 0.03). Additionally, pediatric ophthalmology fellows performed fewer laser photocoagulation procedures than retina fellows (P < 0.001). Regarding fellows' perceived competency in ROP management, 3 of 51 (6%) felt competent at the start of their fellowship and 43 of 51 (84%) felt competent at the time of the survey. Only 7% of respondents reported the use of formal evaluations at their programs to assess fellow competence in ROP examination.


Training programs for fellows in pediatric ophthalmology and retina vary greatly with respect to ROP training and the quality of clinical care. Many clinical ROP examinations are being performed by pediatric ophthalmology and retina fellows without involvement and/or direct supervision by attending ophthalmologists. Our findings have important implications for the development of a future workforce for ROP management.

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