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September 2001

Benchmarks for Ranking and Improving Ophthalmology Residency Programs

Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119(9):1395-1396. doi:

In recent ARCHIVES editorials, Finkelstein1 and Guyer2 argued the controversy of the utility of ranking ophthalmology centers. The existing sources that judge the quality or ranking of US residency programs rely on survey instruments with little validity or hard quantifiable data. These surveys of physicians are strictly based on reputation and recognition scores, and consequently the resulting lists of rankings lack standardization, reproducibility, and validity. In the survey by US News and World Report,3 the ophthalmology rank is determined by the percentage of responses; therefore, the list is not truly a rank list at all. Dr Finkelstein appropriately points out the inherent problems and disadvantages created by such rankings. Dr Guyer, on the other hand, provides a nice counterpoint and boldasizes the advantages and utility of rankings (especially for peer-derived surveys such as the Ophthalmology Times list).