Just because you do not know how to operate a cataract case, doesn’t automatically means you should go for cataract surgery. These are some must know facts to know before you have cataract surgery training.
Why are you going for it?
Just because you do not know how to operate a cataract case, in spite of the facts 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. A 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 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 position to make best of your training.
Timing in your career.
All surgical training involves a training surgeon supervising the surgery of a trainee surgeon. A fixed numbers 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 poor hand to eye co-ordination, struggles with the settings of 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 overtake them for the concern of patients safety. So you make sure that you are actually “’ trainable” before you apply for a training course.
Where are you going for it?
The purpose of the training is to learn tracts of the trade, so that you can operate cases without complications. It is also an opportunity to find a mentor who can advise you at every turn of your professional career. Select the institution and the trainer cautiously, and do not get overwhelmed by someone offering more case in less time.
Duration of training.
As a general rule, longer a training you can afford, better it is. It gives you opportunity to learn about practice habits, organizational skills and work culture of that place, beside 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 few surgical steps.
Components of training:
Most of the training centers have a training schedule design to accommodate surgeons coming with diverse level 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” the 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 the city traffic if you are staying in or around the hospital. Moreover post op has to be seen in evening, which is difficult to manage if you are staying far away from the facility.