[Resident training in ophthalmology: can the German system learn from the Malawian one?]

Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2013 Jan;230(1):72-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1312782. Epub 2012 May 21.
[Article in German]


Background: Training regulations in Germany and Malawi are compared. One German "Facharztausbildungsordnung" was compared with the syllabus of the Malawian Master of Medicine Degree in Ophthalmology. Germany nowadays has got 7000 ophthalmologists, Malawi nine; population in Germany 80 million, in Malawi 14 million.

Methods: We present a written comparison underlined with one illustrative table.

Results: Modalities in resident training are very different. Training period: Germany 60 months, Malawi 48 months. Training manner: In Germany mostly theoretical private studies at hospitals and in private practices. Practical advice comes from senior residents, specialists and consultants. It is qualitywise and quantitatively very different within the country. The Malawian syllabus is very structured according to teaching in theory and practice. There are 250 hours of regular teaching each year. Lecturers are especially paid for teaching from outside the country. Training aim in Germany is mainly a medical ophthalmologist whereas in Malawi it is an ophthalmic surgeon. Exams: Germans take part in an oral exam of 30 minutes after 60 months training. Malawian residents take exams every two years: written, oral, practical. Furthermore they are supposed to take part in exams of the ICO (International Council of Ophthalmology) - until now with 100% success for the first attempts.

Conclusion: German residents have lots of academic freedom during their training. It is non-uniform. Training aim in Germany is mainly a medical ophthalmologist whereas in Malawi it is an ophthalmic surgeon. The Malawian postgraduate training is uniform with scheduled instructions. That is why quality among candidates can be better compared.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Germany
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Malawi
  • Ophthalmology / education*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Teaching / organization & administration*