Use of An Ophthalmology Tutorial to Improve Resident Comfort with the Emergency Eye Exam
This tutorial should be utilized for emergency medicine interns and junior residents.
Ophthalmology is characteristically a weak area in both medical school and resident education. Medical students are rarely given formal didactic education on the use of the slit lamp or a systematic approach to examining the eye. For EM residents, this leads to inefficient and uncomfortable encounters with patients with eye complaints. We sought to develop a comprehensive emergency ophthalmology tutorial utilizing asynchronous learning followed by a hands-on skill session that would address this need.
By the end of this small group didactic, learners will be able to: 1) demonstrate ability to focus on the various components of the slit lamp exam 2) demonstrate understanding of a systematic approach to the eye exam 3) demonstrate appropriate use of the Diaton, iCare, and Tonopen tonometers.
This two-hour small group didactic combines hands-on learning sessions to learn the slit lamp exam and tonometry measurement, with a systematic review of the eye exam to help learners better organize their exams and understand the use of necessary tools.
The emergency ophthalmology tutorial was initially designed as an education project in which we collected pre- and post-participation surveys regarding resident comfort with various components of the emergency eye exam. After the course residents received a post-course survey to complete. Given the positive feedback we received from our residents regarding the tutorial, we applied for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to publish our retrospective survey data. Our IRB waived the need for participant consent.
Twelve emergency medicine residents including 11 interns and one post-graduate year (PGY) 2 resident participated in the emergency ophthalmology tutorial as part of our intern boot camp in July of 2021. Twelve PGY-1 residents initially signed up for the course and filled out the pre-participation survey but one of them was not able to attend their scheduled class, so a PGY-2 resident requested to attend.
Prior to the course, we used a Likert scale from 1-7, finding that 61.5% (8/13) of participants felt very uncomfortable with performing slit lamp exams, 84.6% (11/13) felt very uncomfortable with using the Diaton tonometer, 76.9% (10/13) felt very uncomfortable with using the iCare tonometer, and 69.3% (9/13) felt uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with using a systematic approach to examining the eye. After the course, 75% (9/12) of participants felt that the course exceeded expectations in ensuring their ability to perform the subcomponents of the slit lamp exam, 75% (9/12) and 83.3% (10/12) of participants felt that the course exceeded expectations in ensuring their ability to use the Diaton and iCare tonometers, respectively, and 91.7% (11/12) felt that the course exceeded expectations in ensuring their ability to perform a systematic eye exam.
Participation in a 2-hour emergency ophthalmology tutorial with assigned asynchronous pre-course work improved emergency medicine resident comfort with various components of the eye exam.
Emergency ophthalmology, eye exam, slit lamp, tonometry.