Primary health eye care: evaluation of the competence of medical students in performing fundoscopy with the direct ophthalmoscope
Background: To evaluate the skill of fifth-year medical students at the University of Cape Town in the performance of fundoscopy at the end of their ophthalmology rotation.
Methods: The design was a prospective cohort study. The study was conducted at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. The ability of fifth-year medical students to perform fundoscopy on mannequin heads fitted with fundus photographs using direct ophthalmoscopes was evaluated. The outcome measures used were ability to see the fundus and ability to recognise fundus pathology.
Results: The fundus photographs could be seen in 95% of cases. The correct diagnosis could be made in only 57% of cases.
Conclusion: Medical students at the University of Cape Town need more than the current one week of practical ophthalmology training to improve their fundoscopy skills.
Keywords: primary health eye care; teaching fundoscopy; essential basic medical skill; medical student training