To characterize the state of ophthalmology medical student education in the United States and Canada.
Survey of United States and Canadian medical schools.
One hundred thirty-five Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) member institutions were surveyed, along with 30 osteopathic medical schools in the United States and 40 non-AUPO-affiliated allopathic medical schools in the United States.
A survey characterizing preclinical, clinical, and extracurricular exposures to ophthalmology was used.
Response rate, presence of, and types of preclinical and clinical exposures.
Response rates to the survey were lower from non-AUPO institutions. Preclinical exposures largely consisted of basic lectures and examination skills, and most responding institutions had some sort of required preclinical ophthalmology experience. Clinical exposures were more variable, with an overall rate of required clinical rotations diminishing.
There continues to be a gradual erosion of the role of ophthalmic medical education in the standard medical school curriculum. Clearly, there is room for improvement across all types of medical educational institutions.