The number of medical schools requiring a formal ophthalmology rotation has declined
significantly during the first years of the 21st century—down from 68% in 2000 to
30% in 2004 (Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology 2004 Survey on
Medical Student Teaching). At first glance, this seems shocking. How can it be that
the specialty we love so much receives so little attention in the overall scheme of
medical education? But the explanations are numerous. The explosive growth of scientific
information dictates that more time be devoted to the core areas of medical education.
Because the Liaison Committee on Medical Education does not specifically require ophthalmology
training in medical school, ophthalmology rotations are vulnerable. And frankly, many
academic departments of ophthalmology have disengaged from the medical student education
process for a variety of reasons, including limited financial support for medical
student teaching and inability—or unwillingness—to devote sufficient resources to
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© 2005 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.