Improving the Transition to Ophthalmology Residency: A Survey of First-Year Ophthalmology Residents
27 June 2015
10 February 2016
31 March 2016 (online)
Purpose The objective of this study is to quantify the impact of the transition from internship to ophthalmology residency and to identify practices that help ease this transition.
Methods An online questionnaire was developed with 21 questions focusing on areas felt to impact the transition to ophthalmology residency. This was sent to all program directors of accredited ophthalmology residency programs in the United States for distribution to their first-year trainees. Responses were tabulated and evaluated for associations using comparative statistics.
Results Ninety-one first-year residents responded. Fifty-five identified the transition to ophthalmologic training as more stressful than internship. Independent preparation (p < 0.01) and doing an ophthalmology rotation during internship (p = 0.04) significantly reduced stress, and those doing a transitional PGY-1 year were significantly more likely to do either (p < 0.01). Additionally, orientations dedicating more time to exam skills (p < 0.01) were associated with significantly lower stress, while residents who had relatively shorter buddy-call systems (p = 0.02) were significantly more stressed.
Conclusion This study identified the transition to ophthalmology residency as highly stressful for trainees. Time spent preparing for ophthalmology residency is crucial to easing this transition, and a transitional year affords more opportunity for such preparation. Orientations which provide more hands-on experience reduce stress among new residents, as do longer buddy-call systems.