In response to “COVID-19 pandemic: Lessons learned and future directions.” by Khanna et al., although the government has taken all measures to prevent the spread of the infection, we want to highlight one area which is going to be severely affected—the ophthalmology residency training. Due to the recent crisis of COVID-19, the lockdown has entered the fourth phase in India and all the elective surgeries have been postponed. Most patients are reporting to the emergency department with ocular trauma, sudden loss of vision or phacolytic and phacomorphic glaucoma, and treated on an emergency basis.
The elective surgeries are halted which has hampered the surgical training of ophthalmology residents. Ophthalmic surgery requires fine motor skills with hand–eye coordination which is achieved after a certain amount of practice. The residents achieve these skills through the number of surgeries performed as simulation practice is not the norm in our country. Since the tenure of residency is fixed, the loss to master these surgical skills by practice or through observation from the masters is irreversible and of great loss. A resident spends an average of 10 hours per week assisting surgeries and attends an average of four classes per week which has lost for 2 months now. These problems can be solved to a certain extent through teamwork and proper planning. The academic program can be done by webinar or online conferencing, linking institutions through Skype or Zoom, etc. The surgical training exercise to be emphasized with video-based case discussions of all subspecialties. Ophthalmic surgical simulators to be recommended in all teaching institutions as a future training platform that will meet such a crisis in years to come. Hence, being proactive in finding out solutions to the basic and common problems at grassroots is the need of the hour.