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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 135-140

Assessing the knowledge and skills in clinical ophthalmology of medical interns: Survey results from Enugu, South-Eastern Nigeria

1 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), PMB 01139, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Boniface I Eze
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), PMB 01139, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.92130

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Purpose: To compare the skills and knowledge of clinical ophthalmology among medical interns in Enugu, Nigeria, to the recommendations of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO). Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey was conducted of Medical Interns attending the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital and Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, from April 2010 to June 2010. Data on cohort demographics, undergraduate ophthalmology exposure, clinical skills and diagnostic competencies were collected and analyzed. Statistical significance was indicated by P < 0.05. Results: The cohort comprised 81 males and 48 females (sex ratio = 1.7 : 1), aged 21-35 years (mean: 26.8 ± 2.4 years). The gender difference was significant ( P < 0.05). The response rate was 88.7%. The duration of undergraduate ophthalmology exposure ranged from 1 to 4 weeks. Exposure was often adequate in cornea/external eye (95.3%), lens/cataract (95.3%) and glaucoma (92.2%); but not in vitreo-retinal disease (47.3%), neuro-ophthalmology (45.7%) and refractive surgery (0.0). The majority were competent at visual acuity testing (97.7%) and visual field examination (93.0%). There was lower competency at anterior chamber assessment (49.6%) and slit-lamp examination (39.5%). The majority could confidently diagnose conjunctivitis (96.1%) and cataract (90.7%), but not strabismus (42.6%) or macular degeneration (20.2%). Conclusions: Medical interns in Enugu displayed gaps in their undergraduate ophthalmology exposure, clinical knowledge and skills. This has implications for stakeholders in medical education and eye care delivery. Review of the curriculum, provision of training resources and compliance with ICO guidelines could address the deficiencies.

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