Does anybody know if Hospital St. Elsewhere is any good for ophthalmic training?
One of the most common questions on the message board is about the suitability of  a given hospital especially a district general hospitals for trainees. Most of the district general hospitals that take on SHOs are recognized by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists for training purposes. However, it is only fair to say the standard varies amongst these hospitals and a lot depend on whether the senior staff especially the consultant ophthalmologists take an interest in the teaching and career of the juniors.
While you may hope to receive information about the particular hospital on the message board, only the good ones will get an airing for obvious reasons. The following steps are suggested by some of the consultant ophthalmologists for you to check out if the particular hospitals would help you to further your career:
  • Pay a visit to the hospital. This is the only way to find out the facilities of the unit and give you chance to speak to the SHOs. It is preferable that you take a half day or the whole day to see how the unit functions.
  • Find out if the junior doctors are given regular teaching session and operating time. Some juniors may be taken out of the theatre on regular basis to run the over-booked clinic with no time to consult the senior about the patients seen in clinic. 

  • How many of the junior doctors move on to teaching hospital or specialist registrar grade? A good unit with influential consultants will get more juniors into teaching hospitals than a non-committal one. Of course, it also depends if the juniors have done enough for themselves such as carrying out audits, presentation and publication. 

Finally, there are people who manage to move up the career while working in less than satisfactory eye unit. However, a good unit will help to shorten your pathway considerably.

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