One of the core aims of the European Union of Medical Specialists is to harmonize training across Europe by creating European Training Requirements for all medical specialties including Ophthalmology. The theoretical part is already defined by the EBO, however as ophthalmology also includes surgical skills, we herein propose a surgical minimum curriculum for ophthalmology residents in Europe.
National and international ophthalmic training curricula which are publicly available in English were reviewed and compared. The final proposal was created from 5 criteria: 1. Disease prevalence; 2. Patient safety; 3. Case-trainee ratio; 4. Skill transfer; and 5. Technical difficulty.
In total 7 different training curricula from across the world were compared. Among the surgical procedures, cataract surgery has the highest median number of procedures required to be completed during residency: 86 procedures (50–350). Followed by oculoplastics: 28 procedures (10–40) and panretinal photocoagulation: 27.5 procedures (10–49) Full procedural competence is proposed in 9 surgical skills, including YAG laser posterior capsulotomy, retinal argon laser, intravitreal injection, corneal foreign body removal, removal of corneal sutures, facial and periocular laceration repair, eyelid laceration repair, minor eyelid procedures, and punctal occlusion. These procedures are deemed essential and feasible for all ophthalmology residents in Europe to perform independently upon completion of their training.
This proposal should be regarded as a recommendation based on comparable surgical curricula in use worldwide to establish standards across European countries and may serve as valuable insight to those responsible for compiling ETRs for ophthalmology, or their national curriculums.
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Marko Hawlina for support and guidance.
JC: Employee, Roche Products Ltd, UK. SF: Consultant for Santen, US; Research support from Dompè, US. MR: Consultant for Santen Denmark. All other authors have no financial disclosures to declare.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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González-Andrades, M., Fung, S.S.M., Potic, J. et al. Harmonizing ophthalmic residency surgical training across Europe: A proposed surgical curriculum. Eye 37, 3256–3262 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-023-02502-2