Corneal Laser Refractive Surgery Curriculum Development in the Military: Using the Nominal Group Technique

Charisma B. Evangelista, Kelsey L. Larsen, Ronald M. Cervero, Anita Samuel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Corneal laser refractive surgery (CRS) has emerged over the past three decades as a surgical method for correcting or improving vision. In the military, CRS helps warfighters achieve weapon grade vision, which offers a tactical advantage in the deployed environment. As refractive surgery has become more prevalent in both the military and civilian sector, more ophthalmologists need to learn about treatment options as well as management of complications in order to meet increasing patient demand. Currently, little is known about the most effective curriculum for teaching refractive surgery in training programs, and a standardized curriculum does not exist. Since unification of training programs is a Defense Health Agency priority, this study aimed to collect expert consensus on a standardized curriculum for CRS training in the military. Materials and Methods: To achieve this goal, the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) was used wherein a panel of experts, currently practicing refractive surgeons involved in military refractive surgery training programs, arrived at consensus on a standardized CRS curriculum. The framework for developing this curriculum is based on Kern's Six-Step Approach to Curriculum Development. The International Council of Ophthalmology refractive surgery curriculum, National Curriculum for Ophthalmology Residency Training, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies and surgical minimums, and American Academy of Ophthalmology Refractive Surgery Preferred Practice Guidelines were used as the starting materials from which panelists' consensus was drawn. This consensus-building method allowed for equal representation of experts' ideas and fostered collaboration to aid in the creation of a robust and standardized curriculum for refractive surgery training programs in the military. Results: The panelist experts from this NGT were able to reach consensus on the components of a standardized military refractive surgery curriculum to include generalized and targeted needs assessment, goals and objectives, educational strategies, and curriculum implementation. Conclusion: A standardized CRS curriculum is warranted in military training programs. This NGT achieved expert consensus on the goals, objectives, educational methods, and implementation strategies for a standardized CRS curriculum in military ophthalmology residency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e145-e151
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


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