Outcomes of cataract surgery by residents at a public county hospital

Am J Ophthalmol. 1997 Apr;123(4):448-54. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)70170-9.


Purpose: To determine whether outcomes of extracapsular cataract surgery with intraocular lens implantation performed by residents at an urban county hospital are comparable to previously reported patient outcomes at Veterans Affairs and university hospitals.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of all extracapsular cataract procedures with intraocular lens implantation, both by standard extracapsular cataract extractions and by phacoemulsification, performed by first-year, second-year, and third-year residents at San Francisco General Hospital from January 1, 1994, through June 30, 1995.

Results: Final best-corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better was achieved in 183 (84%) of 218 eyes. When patients with preexisting eye disease limiting visual potential were excluded, 20/40 or better visual acuity was achieved in 159 (94%) of 169 eyes. Vitreous loss occurred in six (16%) of 37 eyes operated on by first-year residents, in six (10%) of 63 eyes operated on by second-year residents, and in seven (6%) of 118 eyes operated on by third-year residents. The mean change in vision was a gain of 6 lines of Snellen acuity.

Conclusions: Patients undergoing cataract surgery performed by residents at an urban county hospital have visual outcomes equivalent to those of patients at Veterans Affairs and at university facilities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract Extraction* / adverse effects
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitals, County*
  • Hospitals, Public*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency* / standards
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • San Francisco
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity