Competency based ophthalmology training curriculum for undergraduate medical students in Zimbabwe
Background: The establishment of a credible, defensible and acceptable “formal competency based ophthalmology training curriculum for undergraduate medical and dental students” is fundamental to program recognition, monitoring and evaluation. The University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZ-CHS) has never had a formal ophthalmology training curriculum for medical graduates since its inception. This has cast doubts on the quality of medical graduates produced with regards to delivery of basic primary eye care in the community.
Objective: The aim of this project was to develop a formal “competency based ophthalmology training curriculum” (CBOTC) for medical graduates in Zimbabwe.
Design: Institution based (University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences and Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals), cross-sectional analytic study.
Methodology: A review of undergraduate medical training curriculum and literature was done to identify gaps in the ophthalmology training curriculum. A local needs assessment was conducted through interviews of major stake holders in the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences and Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
Results: This project confirmed the lack of a formal ophthalmology training curriculum for medical graduates at the UZCHS, ad-hoc training of undergraduate ophthalmology and inconsistent student assessment in knowledge of and care of eye complaints. Cataract, glaucoma, refractive errors, ocular tumours, conjunctivitis, eye infection and eye injuries were suggested as priority conditions every student should learn during the rotation. A formal CBOTC for medical graduates based on identified needs and priority eye diseases has been developed in response.
Conclusion: A CBOTC based on identified needs and focused on targeted diseases has been proposed geared towards producing medical graduates with the basic knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver adequate primary eye care.