Specific Objectives by Subspecialty Section
In order to direct and prioritise SHO’s learning during BST (and to clarify ‘what to teach’ for
the benefit of Consultant trainers), the Curriculum has been further developed to elucidate
which aspects of an SHO’s potential clinical experience and performance are regarded as
essential and those which are considered less important at this stage of training (but for which basic knowledge is required). SHOs must therefore expect to be tested on the vital or key topics during College examinations and to have developed the required proficiencies or skills in order to qualify for entry to HST. Thus, each subspecialty section has three subdivisions of grouped objectives as follows;

i. Key Topics/Experience: SHOs will be expected to have become familiar with (i.e. to
have acquired a good working knowledge of) the list of topics which encompass the
common and/or sight-threatening ophthalmic conditions within this subspecialty. There is
emphasis on recognition of abnormality and on safe, timely and appropriate treatment in
addition to theoretical knowledge.

ii. Practical Skills: SHOs will be expected to have attained and sustained most of the listed
proficiencies in day-to-day practice. The term ‘proficiency’ is used here to denote
expertise in a specific practical skill (‘doing it right’) as distinct from ‘competence’ which
has a wider meaning (‘doing the right thing right at the right time and in the right spirit’).
For certain practical skills (e.g. cataract surgery, scatter photocoagulation, Yag laser
capsulotomy), a figure [in square brackets] is given specifying the minimum target
numbers of procedures to have been performed by an SHO by the end of two years of
Basic Specialist Training and yearly thereafter as a Senior SHO. These and other
operative/laser procedures must be recorded in the trainee’s logbook.

iii. Background Theory/Principles: SHOs will be expected to have acquired some
awareness of these less common ophthalmic conditions (but short of day-to-day
experience). Knowledge of clinical features, appropriate investigations and options for
treatment is nevertheless expected.

Back to Succes in MRCOphth Back to BST syllabus Next page