fellowship training; survey; graduate medical education; internship and residency; ophthalmology; surgical specialties


Eye Diseases | Interprofessional Education | Other Medicine and Health Sciences



There has been an increase in ophthalmology fellowship training programs and applicants. The current ophthalmology literature lacks any recent study examining factors influencing residents' decisions to pursue subspecialty fellowship training.


An anonymous, 16-item survey was distributed to residents from a convenience sample of ophthalmology residency programs by their program directors or administrators.


A total of 72 residents and 9 interns from 9 distinct programs completed the survey. Eighty-two percent of respondents reported they have either applied or will apply for a fellowship position. Gender and race showed no significant association with fellowship application. Respondents perceived that obtaining a fellowship position would be easier (61%) than obtaining an ophthalmology residency. The desire for additional clinical and surgical training were the 2 primary factors for the pursuit of fellowship training. Half of those pursuing fellowship training (49%) indicated they still desired to practice comprehensive ophthalmology. None of the respondents indicated they wished to practice in a rural area.


The data collected in this pilot study elicited factors and variable associations that provide a sound basis for informing revisions and improvements to the data collection tool for a follow-up prospective, longitudinal study involving all ACGME ophthalmology training programs. The results indicate some of the essential factors associated with the pursuit of fellowship training by the current generation of residents. The results also highlight potential trends related to residents' views of their training and desired practice patterns.


Fixed chi statistics on page 277.