A young doctor in training asked me to put together a list of key videos prior to her first day in the operating room. While CataractCoach.com now has close to 1000 articles/videos, that can make it intimidating to an inexperienced surgeon. The number that we have added to the videos indicates our reference number and not an order or a cumulative total. This is why you will see videos with non-consecutive reference numbers.
If you are an experienced surgeon, then the best way to learn is to subscribe to our free daily email so that our article/video of the day can be delivered directly to your inbox. After a few months, you will be amazed with the valuable pearls that you have learned. For resident surgeons, you will be better off starting with these basic foundational videos listed below. If you are my resident at Olive View UCLA Medical Center, these videos are the bare minimum required to operate.
These are suggested starting points based on year of residency training. The typical USA training is 4 years of university for a bachelor’s degree, 4 years of medical school for MD degree, 1 year internship (PGY1), then 3 years of residency training (PGY2, PGY3, PGY4). PGY stands for post-graduate year since these are the years after completion of the MD degree. A one or two year sub-specialty fellowship is optional after residency training.
Start with understanding the learning grid of ocular surgery, and then go through the videos listed below. Remember, this is just the start — you need to watch many more videos than this!
PGY2 Residents (first full year of ophthalmology residency in USA)
- how to do a retro-bulbar block
- ergonomics of ocular surgery
- effectively draping the eye
- making a phaco incision
- suturing the incision
- sculpting a nuclear groove
- loading the IOL
- pivoting within the incision
- hand positioning
- how to hold a fluid syringe
PGY3 Residents (junior year of ophthalmology residency in USA)
- subtenon’s block
- hand position with simultaneous microscope view
- making the phaco incision
- capsulorhexis creation
- divide-and-conquer technique
- phaco fundamentals (10 part series)
- mistakes that novice surgeons make
- having the right attitude to learn
- optimizing the red reflex
PGY4 Residents (senior year of ophthalmology residency in USA)
- tri-planar incision
- your signature: incision and capsulorhexis
- stop-and-chop technique
- resident learns phaco chop
- learning vertical phaco chop
- toric IOL basics
- pupil stretching
- intumescent white cataracts
- avoiding corneal edema after cataract surgery
- unusual cases (you should use the search function to prepare for tough cases)
- advice for surgical success
Each of the above is a link which will take you to the appropriate article/video. Remember to always prepare in advance, prior to coming to the operating room. You cannot be a blank slate and expect your professor to spoon-feed you the knowledge. You must learn as much as possible before coming to the operating room and then your professor will happily clarify the techniques and judgment needed for excellent ocular surgery.
The video below is your benchmark for cataract surgery. This is performed by a senior resident and the case is shown from two angles to maximize your learning. ALL residents should be able to perform at this level by the time of graduation. Time to step up your game!