Teaching phacoemulsification in US ophthalmology residencies: can the quality be maintained?

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Purpose of reviewTo examine the current status of phacoemulsification training and the factors that will influence the future quality of training in phacoemulsification.Recent findingsRecent developments include residents performing phaco without previous ECCE experience, residents using topical anesthesia in early surgical cases, virtual surgery, improved techniques for surgical practice with animal eyes, and modular surgical training.SummaryLearning to perform cataract surgery is a universal experience for US ophthalmologists. Training in phacoemulsification during residency is one of the most important components of postgraduate education in ophthalmology. The quality of phacoemulsification training in the US is currently threatened by a confluence of factors including decreasing surgical numbers, rapidly changing technology, and shrinking financial resources. The impending decline in quality of phacoemulsification training in US residencies can be prevented if creative and innovative solutions to these problems are applied. These types of solutions include use of improved animal eye practice, virtual surgical practice, alterations in live surgery teaching techniques, and finding additional sources of financial support for surgical teaching.

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