Surv Ophthalmol 2016 Nov - Dec;61(6):791-798. Epub 2016 Apr 29.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego/Ratner Children's Eye Center, La Jolla, California, USA.
As the ophthalmology accreditation system undergoes major changes, training programs must evaluate residents in the 6 core competencies, including appropriately communicating bad news. Although the literature is replete with recommendations for breaking bad news across various non-ophthalmology specialties, no formal training programs exist for ophthalmology. There are many valuable lessons to be learned from our colleagues regarding this important skill. We examine the historic basis for breaking bad news, explore current recommendations among other specialties, and then evaluate a pilot study in breaking bad news for ophthalmology residents. The results of this study are limited by a small number of residents at a single academic center. Future studies from multiple training programs should be conducted to further evaluate the need and efficacy of formal communication skills training in this area, as well as the generalizability of our pilot training program. If validated, this work could serve as a template for future ophthalmology resident training and evaluation in this core competency.