gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Four plus One - fifth year of german ophthalmology residency training in a developing country

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author M. Schulze Schwering - CCBRT - Disability Hospital, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; University - Eye Hospital Tübingen
  • V. Klauß - University - Eye Hospital Munich

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogSO.08.04

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Schulze Schwering et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Millions of people remain visually handicapped or blind due to poverty. This should be an unacceptable situation for the richer industrialized nations. In Germany one ophthalmologist is taking care of 15 000 patients whereas in most developing countries one doctor theoretically looks after more than one million patients. The long German training of five years does not have much hands-on experience and does not qualify directly for a commitment abroad. Nevertheless there are many interested and motivated german ophthalmology residents who would like to get on-the-job training in a developing country, including surgical training.


The German Committee for the Prevention of Blindness developed a new model with the co - sponsor Christian Blind Mission: Four plus One is targeted at ophthalmology residents interested in working in developing countries. The candidate applies for a Four plus One position with the German Committee and his own university eye hospital. The Committee seeks the following employment qualifications: social engagement in Germany or overseas, experience in OPD work, research and teaching, and the ability to speak fluently the main language of the country to which the candidate is applying. The resident must possess a willingness to perform qualified ophthalmology in OPD and OR for a 12-month period while living within a developing country environment. In preparation for this one-year commitment the resident will be trained in ECCE / PC - IOL during a two-month period organized by the German Committee. It is necessary that the German employer grants the resident a 14-month unpaid leave. The German employer is expected to rehire the returning candidate through the end of his residency. With the help of the German Comittee for the Prevention of Blindness, the German Ophthalmological Society (DOG) is willing to provide an equivalent certificate for the time having worked abroad.


With the succinct experience of Four plus One, the young resident will be motivated and prepared for greater opportunities within developing countries. Additionally, working and training in OPD and OR within this environment will greatly benefit the graduated resident seeking a long-term commitment within a developing country.