Residency training in refractive surgery.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of cataract and refractive surgery








To evaluate resident refractive surgery caseload and surgical outcomes in an academic medical center. Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA. Comparative case study. Keratorefractive procedures performed by residents at the Walter Reed Center for Refractive Surgery between 2002 and 2010 were reviewed. Outcomes of surgeries performed by the graduating classes of 2008 to 2010 were compared with those of cases performed by staff. The uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA), manifest refraction spherical equivalent, corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), and complications were analyzed. Between 2002 and June 2010, residents performed 1566 procedures (1414 photorefractive keratectomy [PRK], 152 laser in situ keratomileusis), for a mean of 20.2 procedures from 2002 to 2004, 51.6 from 2005 to 2007, and 99.9 from 2008 to 2010. Outcomes analysis was performed on 333 resident eyes and 977 staff eyes treated between 2008 and June 2010. Six months postoperatively, 96.1% of resident-treated eyes and 94.6% of staff-treated eyes had a UDVA 20/20 or better (P=.312) and 61.3% and 64.3%, respectively, had a UDVA 20/15 or better (P=.324). The percentage of eyes within ±0.50 diopter of emmetropia at 6 months was 94.0% for residents and 91.1% for staff (P=.105). The postoperative CDVA was within 2 lines of preoperative baseline in all resident cases and 99.8% of staff cases (P=.999). Resident experience grew steadily over the period studied. Overall safety and efficacy of resident-performed surgery, albeit mainly PRK based, matched that of fellowship-trained refractive surgeons. No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.