Global health training in ophthalmology residency programs

Peter G. Coombs, Brad H. Feldman, Andreas K. Lauer, Robison V. Paul Chan, Grace Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose To assess current global health education and international electives in ophthalmology residency programs and barriers to global health implementation in ophthalmology resident education. Methods A web-based survey regarding participation in global health and international electives was emailed to residency program directors at 116 accredited ophthalmology residency programs via an Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology (AUPO) residency program director listserv. Results Fifty-nine (51%) ophthalmology residency program directors responded. Thirty-seven program directors (63%) said global health was important to medical students when evaluating residency programs. Thirty-two program directors (55%) reported developing international electives. Reported barriers to resident participation in international electives were: 1) insufficient financial support, 2) inadequate resident coverage at home, and 3) lack of ACGME approval for international electives. Program directors requested more information about resident international electives, funding, and global ophthalmology educational resources. They requested ACGME recognition of international electives to facilitate resident participation. More than half (54%) of program directors supported international electives for residents. Conclusions This survey demonstrates that program directors believe global health is an important consideration when medical students evaluate training programs. Despite perceived barriers to incorporating global health opportunities into residency training, program directors are interested in development of global health resources and plan to further develop global health opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e52-e59
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • global health
  • international electives
  • ophthalmology
  • residency program curriculum
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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