Background: Ophthalmology education in medical school has historically neglected the impact of autonomous motivation on student learning and wellbeing. This study aimed to understand ophthalmology educators’ consideration and application of student motivation in ophthalmology medical
education. Material and methods: Lead ophthalmology educators from Australian and New Zealand medical schools participated in an online semi-structured in-depth interview. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Codes were generated and aligned into overarching themes. Findings: Six educators participated in the study. Five main themes arose from the transcripts: the lack of explicit consideration of student motivation, implicit consideration of motivation in curriculum design and in teaching practices, the impact of innovation on motivation and the relationship between teacher and student motivation. Participants also commented on trends in ophthalmology
education including generalists’ confidence in managing ophthalmic disease, the role of fundoscopy in medical education and time pressure on ophthalmology in medical schools.
Conclusion: There has only been an implicit instead of explicit consideration of motivation in ophthalmology education in medical school, which leaves an unfulfilled potential for teaching practices to impact the affective along with cognitive and metacognitive aspects of learning. This study highlights the need for motivation to be explicitly incorporated into the development of teaching
practices and curriculum reform.