A learning environment with lessons for life

Opening our doors to young medical students just embarking on specialty training has offered a challenge and a huge opportunity to spread our way of “doing things” to a new generation of medicos. The first batch of residents preparing for the Diplomate of the National Board (Ophthalmology) talk about their choice of specialty and centre..

Ujwala Baheti

It’s a well-planned course. Although it was started just a year ago, the course is being conducted very smoothly. The surgical exposure here is really good, which does not happen is  smaller  institutes.  The small incision surgery and phaco training is something unique.  We  have  an independent  fellow  OPD  and  OR,  where  we  get  the opportunity  to examine patients  and decide  the plan of management on our own. If one needs an expert opinion, one can approach the consultant/faculty. This makes you feel confident about  taking decisions on your own. You start thinking of the different possible situations you have to deal with.  It encourages you to think… you don’t really think when the consultant does the diagnosis. The secondary DNB students are given an independent OPD/OR one year after joining, whereas the primary DNB students get it after two years.

Initially, the going was tough. It must be difficult for the consultants to come down to the basic level to teach us, especially for primary DNB students, because they are used to training experienced fellows.

The bonding between the batchmates is good.  For one year, it was just the four of us. The other fellows treated us like kids because we were new to the concepts. Sometimes  we  would  hesitate  to  ask  questions  to  the consultants/faculty  but  we  could approach  the  fellows easily.

R Rajyalakshmi

I  came  to  know  of  the  program  through  the  Eye-PEP program  held  by  the  Institute.  The course is a good experience, although I had no idea that the schedule would be so hectic. The theory classes in the morning are very useful. The consultants go out of their way to teach us. We have to submit our thesis six months before the completion of the course, which is reviewed by external evaluators. We have to write it on our own unlike many of my friends elsewhere who just fake something to make a thesis. The monthly meetings with the Program Incharge Dr Honavar are very useful and provide us an opportunity to discuss our problems. This is also something that may not be happening at other places.

The  only  thing  I  am  concerned  about  is  the  six-month posting  to  a peripheral  center, which  I  feel  is  too  early for a trainee.

Neha Bharti Neha Bharti

When we come we have to be prepared to do some real hard work. The working hours are quite rigorous. But one has to make sacrifices to gain something. The consultants are very encouraging and patient with us although we do not have the basic knowledge of ophthalmology. The examination techniques, instruments, slit lamps, lenses and equipment used in the operation theatre are of the best quality. This program is like a walking atlas.

I don’t think future batches will get the kind of attention we  received  as  we  were  the  first  batch.  But this also meant that we had no seniors to fall back upon!


Ratnesh Sharma

I never thought that ophthalmology would be such a tough and elaborate course. Now I feel three years is too short a time to understand the subject well. The surgical skills and training that one gets exposed to here is just incomparable with any other experience. The most important thing is that one learns the right attitude towards patients. We learn to take care of the patients and to respect them.
The effort that we make is well worth it. We have an independent fellow OPD and OR, which helps us get hands-on experience.