Just because you do not know how to operate a cataract case, doesn’t automatically means you should go for cataract surgery training. These are some must-know facts to know before you go for paid cataract surgery training.
Why are you going for cataract surgery training?
In spite of the fact that you have completed your ophthalmology degree, doesn’t automatically means you should go for cataract surgery. Cataract surgery training, however good it might be, does not make you a good cataract surgeon. Later is a journey not a destination. Cataract surgery training might well be the beginning of that long journey. Make sure everything else is in order before you start it. You should ensure that you will continue to have the opportunity to operate cases regularly once you finish your training. If that is not the case, training in itself will not help you much. The most important question is “are you in a position to make the best of your training. It is not the hands-on few cases in training, but the continuous practice after the end of the training, that will help.
Timing of cataract surgery training in your career.
All surgical training involves a training surgeon supervising the surgery of a trainee surgeon. A fixed number of cases are promised during the tenure of the training, but the general rule is “more you can do, more you get”. So a trainee surgeon well trained in the use of operating microscopes and machines, having a good hand to eye co-ordination and well versed with steps of the surgery, will gain far more out of training than one who has a poor hand to eye co-ordination, struggles with the settings of the microscope and is totally oblivious to the surgical steps. Poorly organized trainee surgeons are asked to start a case but soon find themselves assisting the training surgeon, who overtakes them for the concern of patients’ safety. So you make sure that you are actually “’ trainable” before you apply for a training course.
Duration of cataract training.
As a general rule, longer a training you can afford, better it is. It gives you the opportunity to learn about practice habits, organizational skills, and work culture of that place, besides the surgical steps you signed for. Anyone offering training in duration less than 15 days can be easily avoided unless all you want is to learn a few surgical steps.
Components of training:
Most of the training centers have a training schedule design to accommodate surgeons coming with diverse levels of surgical skills, which include those who have little or no exposure to cataract surgery. So the schedules include classes discussing basic anatomy and surgical steps and basic ophthalmology, which you may not find quite appealing. Actual “hands-on” cases is only small fractions of the training.
Accommodation is a big issue if you are going to a different city and have to stay there for a month or so. It’s also helpful as you can avoid city traffic if you are staying in or around the hospital. Moreover post-op has to be seen in the evening, which is difficult to manage if you are staying far away from the facility.