A Distributed Competency-Based Approach to Teaching Ophthalmic Pathology to Ophthalmology Residents

Folberg, R


The number of ophthalmology residency programs exceeds the number of individuals who practice and teach in the discipline of ophthalmic pathology. It is not economically feasible to provide on-site ophthalmic pathology instruction in many ophthalmology residency programs. Therefore, a distributed delivery of ophthalmic pathology education has been designed and implemented successfully so that one pathologist – or a group of pathologists – may serve the educational needs of many residency programs. The distributed model of ophthalmic pathology instruction is cost-effective for subscribing institutions because subscribers pay only for the instruction that they require. This model has been used effectively for 12 years. Currently, 9 off-site ophthalmology residency programs are instructed by the author and his associates using a CD-ROM based curriculum for didactic instruction, an instructional website with assessment tools, virtual microscopy so that residents review histopathological slides, and live interactive bidirectional videoconferencing to review pathologic material from patients with the instructor. The distributed model features a radically revised curriculum to extend instruction beyond the acquisition of knowledge to address the issue of basic competencies that ophthalmology residents are expected to master. The curriculum may be implemented in residency programs where an ophthalmic pathologist is on-site to provide instruction. If on-site instruction in ophthalmic pathology is not available or is not feasible, then adoption of a distributed model of ophthalmic pathology education may provide an affordable competency-based curriculum to ophthalmology residents.

Journal of Academic Ophthalmology 2008: 1: 30-39. (c) Journal of Academic Ophthalmology

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