Background: Ophthalmoscopy is an important skill for the medical student to master. Students have difficulty visualising the retina, and are hesitant to practise with patients. Our study aim was to demonstrate that an eye simulation experience would be beneficial for developing ophthalmoscopy skills. Design: This study was designed for second-year medical students who elected to participate. Students were observed and instructed on the correct use of the ophthalmoscope. Both normal and pathological retinas were used. The students matched what they observed with printed photographs to verify what they had actually seen. A pre- and post-session questionnaire, with comments, was completed. The study was conducted over 4 years. Three of the years were structured as outlined above. One year, the students used the simulator but without an instructor being present. Students were surveyed as senior medical students and asked to rate the value of the simulator experience for preparing them for their clinical years. Results: A total of 64 per cent of the students elected to participate when a faculty member was present to instruct them, whereas only 12 per cent of the class elected for the experience without instruction. The self-rating results from the pre- versus post-session questionnaire showed statistically significant improvement for all items. Student comments reflected that they felt strongly that the experience was valuable to them. Conclusions: This simulation ophthalmoscopy experience was valuable for increasing confidence and skill. This experience is most valued when an instructor is present. The simulator experience was valuable to students as they applied their ophthalmoscopy skills clinically.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Review and Exam Preparation