Awareness among medical students regarding the binocularity level in the course of future specialty choice
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Medical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Department of Binocular Vision Pathophysiology and Strabismus Treatment)
Online publication date: 2019-12-19
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Xeniya Fedoryak   

Medical University of Lodz, Department of Binocular Vision Pathophysiology and Strabismus Treatment, Stefana Kopcińskiego 22, 90-153 Łódź, Poland
Med Pr 2020;71(1):9–16
Background: Vision standards exist in many occupations with particular reference to medical science. The presence of a sufficient level of binocular vision is especially important in surgical specialty to perform visually demanding procedures. The purpose of this study was to reveal the level of awareness of one’s binocular status among medical students, and the significance of having binocular vision in terms of specialty choice. Material and Methods: self-constructed questionnaire was given to all subjects enrolled in the study. The first group comprised 53 students from the second and third year of the Medical University of Lodz, who then underwent an ophthalmological examination with binocularity assessment. The second group included 57 students of the last years of the Medical Faculty, who did the same survey and outlined how the ophthalmology course improved their knowledge of stereoacuity and vision requirements for the chosen specialty. Statistical analysis was performed using Person’s χ2 test. Results: Overall, 32% (N = 17) of the students from the first group and 84% (N = 48) from the second group stated to be familiar with the term “binocularity” and its importance in performing surgical procedures. The awareness of the existing occupational contraindications related to low visual acuity and binocularity was declared by 16% (N = 9) and 54% (N = 31) of the subjects included in each group, respectively. University lectures were indicated as the main source of knowledge by 28% (N = 15) of the individuals from the first group and by 59% (N = 39) from the second group. The ophthalmology course was considered to be sufficiently covering the basics needed for the future doctor by 34 resident physicians (60%). Conclusions: The medical students’ awareness of their own binocular status appears low. There is a strong need for implementing at least some quality standards for visual assessment to decide if a given student has an adequate eye function to participate in surgical procedures. Med Pr. 2020;71(1):9–16