Undergraduate Education in Ophthalmology
Medical undergraduates of the National University of Singapore (NUS) are trained in various eye units in Singapore. This is co-ordinated by the Department of Ophthalmology, NUS. The training program lasts 24 weeks for 12 postings, usually held in the 1st semester of an academic year. Each posting is a 2-weeks intensive course for the 4th year medical students posted to our department.
A clinically-oriented approach to the undergraduate teaching program has been adopted since 2002, by means of a problem-oriented and evidence-based method to common ophthalmic presentations and common eye disorders relevant to general medicine. This continues to be improved and adapted upon to ensure maximal exposure and knowledge transfer to undergraduates.
In their second year, they are taught the use of the direct ophthalmoscope to detect and diagnose common medical disorders like diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy and to identify more serious conditions like papilloedema (swollen optic nerves from high intracranial pressure).
Students in their 3rd and 4th year of undergraduate training are posted to the NUH Eye Surgery Centre for a 2-week clinical ophthalmology program. The students are taught and supervised by a vast pool of experienced and dedicated eye specialists.
A series of interactive tutorials and clinical sessions on problem-oriented approaches to important eye conditions are conducted during the 2-week attachment. Students are also attached to general & subspecialty ophthalmology clinics, ward and operating theatre that give them exposure to the common and important eye conditions to hone their clinical skills. The assessment of medical students is based on a case study (50%), multiple choice questions (25%) and a slide quiz (25%). This assessment contributes to the final mark at the Final Professional Examination in Medicine.
Ongoing Improvements to the Teaching curriculum
Each year, the department conducts a comprehensive review and revision of the 2-week clinical attachment program and teaching modules in Ophthalmology. Medical undergraduate coordinators are appointed in each institution (NUH, SNEC, and TTSH) to facilitate and assist in the coordination of the teaching program.
Postgraduate Education in Ophthalmology
The NUH Eye Surgery Centre is very active in training residents at both the Basic and Advanced phases of their specialist training in Ophthalmology. With specialists in all the major sub-specialties in Ophthalmology, good clinical and surgical volume, a regular education programme, and a firm commitment to training, residents can be assured of a well-rounded and complete ophthalmic training.
Basic Specialist Training (BST)
BST in Ophthalmology is for a duration of 3 years. Beginning residents start with General Ophthalmology clinics and Eye Casualty. They subsequently are rotated through the various ophthalmic subspecialties and have access to ophthalmic surgery. During the course of their training, residents may be rotated to one or more of the other Ophthalmology units in Singapore.
Advanced Specialist Training (AST)
The NUH Eye Surgery Centre is also involved in training advanced specialist trainees. This is a 3-year period after the completion of BST and leads to the award of the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSEd) and Fellowship of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore (FAMS). AST trainees are designated as registrars and are expected to take on more responsibility in patient management. They spend six months each in the various ophthalmic subspecialties - Cornea, Glaucoma, Retina, Oculoplastics, Paediatric Ophthalmology and Comprehensive Ophthalmology/ Neuro-ophthalmology.
For more information, please contact Division of Graduate Medical Studies (DGMS)
Continuing Medical Education (CME) Sessions
The following CME sessions are held on a weekly basis:
- Clinical Grand Round
- Clinico-Pathologico-Radiologic Rounds (monthly)
- BST Teaching
- AST Teaching
- Dept CME
- Journal Club
- Morbidity & Mortality Rounds (monthly)
There are no courses currently.
Sub-specialty training programs are available at the NUH Eye Surgery Centre. There are usually for periods of one year.
The glaucoma fellowship is under A/Prof Paul Chew, a glaucoma specialist on the full-time faculty of the National University of Singapore. The program is supplemented by the most valuable participation of other faculty members Drs. Jovina See and Loon Seng Chee.
Most of our fellows have been interested primarily in a year of clinical experience with glaucoma, but some have wanted a broad experience including exposure to techniques of clinical research, laboratory research, or both. Some with a special interest in an academic career who need to be firmly grounded in research techniques have tailor-made fellowships, sometimes extending their time an extra 6 or 12 months. In any case, we try to arrange combinations of exposure to clinical care and research activities according to the career goals of the individual applicant, taking into account whether or not any particular combination of activities is in keeping with current activities of the faculty, facilities and other resources available, and any existing commitments to other trainees or applicants during a given year. For some individuals, a standard one-year clinical fellowship here that is supplemented by additional experience elsewhere is the best career preparation.
The typical one-year fellowship consists of seeing private consultation patients with the full-time faculty and participating in our surgery. There are several weekly conferences and teaching rounds within the department. Weekly Grand Rounds of the Ophthalmology Department consist of presentations of cases by the residents and fellows with subsequent discussion. These activities fill up nearly all of the week, but do leave time to pursue reading or individual research projects that a fellow may wish to undertake.
Each fellow does at least one small project in order to understand what goes into research and to learn to evaluate the literature better. Most have undertaken retrospective reviews of clinical records in an effort to generate new knowledge, but we also encourage other types of research, such as exploration of questions of natural history, evaluation of diagnostic tests (disc or nerve fiber imaging, perimetry, electrophysiology), and therapy being studied in controlled prospective studies, especially for those who intend to include research efforts in their future academic career. For certain projects of these types it is necessary to set aside time to see research patients for special examinations in a careful manner that cannot be done during the busy clinical consultation schedule. Unless the fellow has considerable prior research experience, preparation for a career that will include extensive research may best include a second year of fellowship.
This is a one-year comprehensive training program in the diagnosis and management of surgical and medical diseases involving the retina and vitreous, primarily under the direction of Dr Caroline Chee. Fellows work closely with the faculty in the clinics and operating room. In the clinics, expertise is developed in the diagnosis and management of retinal vascular diseases, retinal inflammatory diseases, macular degeneration and inherited retinal degenerations. In the operating room, extensive experience is gained in scleral buckling and vitrectomy techniques, and the management of ocular trauma. Academically, the fellows participate in teaching conferences and are actively encouraged to participate in clinical or basic research.
The fellowship is under Dr. Shantha Amrith and Dr Gangadhara Sundar, who are ophthalmic plastic surgeons specialized in the diagnosis and management of diseases of the eyelid, the lacrimal system and the orbit and also in aesthetic Oculofacial rejuvenation. The centre has the specializes in conventional and the state of art minimally invasive techniques and has the highest volume of Oculofacial trauma and reconstructive surgery. The aim of the fellowship is to offer a wide and extensive exposure to the spectrum of oculoplastic conditions with an emphasis to train motivated young ophthalmologists from around the region.
The fellowship is a 1-year program and offers a blend of clinical and basic research experience in an academic environment. Assigned to both preceptors, the fellow is exposed to varied disorders in the paediatric, adult and geriatric age group that require medical or surgical intervention. Clinic responsibilities include pre-op evaluation, approach to diagnosis, preoperative counselling and post-operative management of patients. Surgical exposure includes being exposed to the varied spectrum of eyelid, lacrimal and orbital surgeries including exposure to conventional and minimally invasive techniques. The fellow actively participates in resident teaching, surgery and oculoplastics clinics and contributes to the month Oculoplastic Book Club and the Clinico-pathologico-radiological rounds. The fellow is also exposed to multidisciplinary management often involving plastic surgery, ENT, maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, pediatrics and radiology. The fellow also is involved in active clinical research and encouraged to present his/her work in national, regional and international meetings and publish them in peer-reviewed journals.