Needs Assessment & Educational Design
The Cornea Society maintains a strong relationship with the AUPO and Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery Fellowship Directors. Based on feedback from members and fellowship directors, the Cornea Society actively works to expand its educational offerings for residents and fellows.
Following an informal survey of fellowship directors, the Society determined it would be beneficial to develop an intensive cornea and external disease program for fellows to complement their training. As a result, the first Cornea Society Fellows Educational Summit was held in October 2013.
To further delineate specific gaps and educational needs, additional formal and informal surveys were conducted, and the outcomes analysis from a variety of Cornea Society and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery programs aimed at young physicians were analyzed.
The three key areas of greatest value as identified by the surveys were:
- Training on specific procedures (corneal transplants, refractive surgery, complex cataract surgery)
- Surgical experience
- Experience within the clinic and clinical cases discussions
The challenges to fellows most often cited by responding directors were conducting enough observed cases – especially refractive surgery cases, and skills training in transplantation techniques.
In an effort to meet the identified educational needs, the Cornea Society developed a two-day intensive program that includes both classroom and hands-on components within the live program, as well as follow-on resource materials that reinforce the knowledge and skills gained within the program. The program is limited in attendance to maintain a 1:5 faculty-to-fellow ratio, ensuring each fellow receives personalized attention from faculty members and ample opportunity for interaction, including question and answer periods.
The classroom component utilizes a combination of didactic lectures and case presentations to provide practical instruction on surgical techniques, with a focus on pearls and management of complex cases. This enables participants to move through the learning curve more efficiently. To improve clinic skills, grand rounds cases are presented throughout the program, and include significant interaction to allow attending fellows to actively learn from, and develop a thorough understanding of the faculty members' thought-processes and decision-making methods.
The hands-on component includes DMEK and DSEK surgical procedures and a MACRO Dry Lab.