This study aims to assess whether ophthalmic surgical skills can be taught successfully online to a diverse international and interprofessional student group. Mixed methods study involving 20 students and 5 instructors. Each student completed a pre-session and post-session questionnaire to assess their perceptions regarding online instruction. Changes in questionnaire responses were analysed using Wilcoxon signed rank (SPSS 25). Semi-structured interviews were conducted to assess instructor perceptions towards virtual surgical skills teaching. Thematic analysis was undertaken using NVivo 12.0 software. There was a 100% completion rate of pre- and post-session questionnaires. Prior to the session, lack of instructor supervision and inability to provide constructive feedback were emergent themesfrom students. Pre-session concerns regarding online delivery: 40% of students thought their view of skills demonstration would be negatively impacted, 60% their level of supervision and 55% their interaction with instructors. Following the session 10%, 15% and 5% held this view respectively. All students were 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' regarding the 'Surgeon's View' camera angle as well as the use of breakout rooms. 75% perceived an improvement in their confidence in instrument handling, 80% in cable knot tying and 70% in suture tying. Overall student rating for the virtual surgical skills session was 8.85 (±1.19) out of 10 (10 being most satisfied). We demonstrate that successful delivery of a virtual ophthalmic surgical skills course is feasible. We were able to widen accessibility and participation through virtual delivery, which has future implications for ophthalmic surgical teaching and its reach.

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