Resident glaucoma surgical training in United States residency programs

J Glaucoma. 2005 Jun;14(3):219-23. doi: 10.1097/01.ijg.0000159122.49488.60.


Purpose: To determine current trends in resident glaucoma surgical training throughout the United States.

Methods: A comprehensive survey was sent to the residency director of all 121 ACGME-accredited ophthalmology training programs in the United States.

Results: The mean and median number of glaucoma procedures a resident will complete by the end of their training is 8.6 and 8 respectively for trabeculectomy, 5.3 and 4 for combined trabeculectomy/phacoemulsification, and 3.6 and 2 for tube-shunts. One percent of residents will gain experience as primary surgeon on trabeculectomies during their first year, 32% during their second year, and 67% during their third year. Seventy-five percent of residents are taught more than one trabeculectomy technique by more than one staff surgeon. Eighty-four percent of residents are taught glaucoma surgery almost exclusively by fellowship-trained glaucoma surgeons. Eighty-two percent of residents use antimetabolites (mitomycin C or 5-FU) as an adjunct to trabeculectomy most or all of the time. More than 96% of resident tube-shunt procedures use Ahmed, Baerveldt, or Molteno devices. Eighty percent of residents do not perform any pediatric glaucoma surgeries. Sixty-two percent of residents rotate out of their main facility to perform glaucoma surgery.

Conclusions: Residents are being exposed to glaucoma surgery early in their residency training. Most are performing a variety of different procedures and techniques, and are taught by fellowship-trained surgeons. Residents gain very little exposure to pediatric glaucoma surgery. All programs reported compliance with minimum RRC requirements for glaucoma filtering surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Filtering Surgery / education*
  • Filtering Surgery / statistics & numerical data
  • Glaucoma / surgery*
  • Glaucoma Drainage Implants
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / trends*
  • Ophthalmology / statistics & numerical data
  • Ophthalmology / trends*
  • United States