Training and professional profile of retinologists in Spain: Retina 2 project, Report 4
J Carlos Pastor1,3, Itziar Fernández2, Jimena Rojas1, Rosa Coco1, Maria R Sanabria1, Enrique Rodríguez-de la Rúa1,3, Diego Sánchez3, Carmen Valverde3, Anna Sala Puigdollers1,3
1University Institute of Applied Ophthalmobiology (IOBA), Retina Group, 2Ministry of Science and Innovation CIBER-BBN, Statistics Department, 3Clinic University Hospital, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
Background: Uniform postresidency systems to train medical specialists have not been developed in most European countries. Before developing a framework for such a system, we established the learning and professional profiles of Spanish ophthalmologists dedicated to medical retina and vitreoretina subspecialties.
Methods: After identification of presumed subspecialists by experts from different autonomous regions, a self-administered questionnaire was mailed in 2006. A reminder was sent three weeks later. Postal mail was used. Nonresponder bias was determined.
Results: Of 492 possible retina subspecialists, 261 replied to the questionnaires. While about 86% received specific retinal training, standardized fellowship programs were uncommon for both medical retina and vitreoretina (around 10%). Of the responders, 24.5% performed only medical retina, 11.8% vitreoretina, and 63.6% both. Most (60.5%) practiced anterior segment surgery, and 78.7% declared skills in vitrectomy.
Conclusion: We have developed a database of Spanish ophthalmologists dedicated to retinal pathologies and identified some characteristics of their professional profile. Although most of them have received specific retinal training, standardized mastership programs are still uncommon. These data will be useful in creating a standardized Retina Mastership, an important goal of the European Higher Education Area.
Keywords: clinical activity, fellowship, mastership, professional profile, retinologist training