Introduction: The decline in ophthalmology pre-clinical education is a concern, as it is essential for diagnoses of ocular emergencies and systemic diseases. Compounding this is the global pandemic which has made specialty skills-based training more challenging.
Objective: To combat these issues, a case-based webinar was created to teach ocular sonography and pathologies.
Methods: Medical and health professional students from the ophthalmology and sonography clubs were recruited to attend an interactive, distance learning 50-minute webinar. The webinar began with a four-question pre-test to establish base-line knowledge regarding ocular anatomy, sonography skills, and diagnosis of ocular pathologies. Next, students were taught how to perform an ocular ultrasound and board licensing relevant clinical cases were reviewed. Six cases werepresented by first providing the relevant patient history and then walking students through the diagnostic criteria and how sonography could be used in diagnosis. After the cases, students completed the same four-question test as a post-test and were asked to complete an anonymous modified likert scale feedback survey.
Results: 47 students attended the webinar and 31 participants responded to the feedback survey. The attending students varied in their perspective careers goals with seven students expressing an interest in ophthalmology. Only two students had previously performed an ocular ultrasound. Overall, students’ knowledge on the pre and post-test showed a significant increase in knowledge on the post-test (p <0.05) with an average of 44 percent on the pretest and 73 percent on the post-test. The 93.6 percent of students strongly agreed or agreed that these skills would assist them in their future careers while 100 percent requested more of these events in the future. Additionally, students strongly agreed that these cases allowed them to understand the clinical importance of developing ophthalmology sonography skills.
Conclusion: Overall, webinars can expose students to ophthalmology topics early on in the premedical curricula.