The Geisinger Ophthalmology Residency is designed with an emphasis on comprehensive ophthalmology education with rotations in the subspecialties of ophthalmology. Residents complete all of their clinical training at the main campus at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
Residents have their clinic in the same venue as the faculty and have the staff immediately available for consultation. The residents enjoy increasing levels of autonomy as their experience and knowledge allows and the resident works up each patient on their own before the attending physician is brought in to confirm their findings and diagnostic plan. All faculty and residents draw patients from the same pool of insurers and patient pathology. Educational and service needs are balanced by the evaluation of each rotation and clinical experience by the program director.
In addition, the program director assures that there are a number of levels of supervision available to the residents. These include the sub-specialists in the clinic who are available at any time for consultation, the physician on call, and the supervising physician who is available each day in the clinic for routine questions or other supervisory needs. The faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology believes that residents learn best when they are given the opportunity to examine patients under appropriate supervision and with the availability of diagnostic tools and subspecialty consultation.
During the time on call, the other clinical duties of the staff person are scaled back. Patients admitted to the ophthalmology inpatient service are co-managed by the resident on call at the time of admission and by the attending on call at the time of admission, as well as any appropriate specialists. Inpatient consultations are performed by the third-year ophthalmology residents, and emergency consultations on inpatients are performed by the resident on call, again with appropriate staff supervision.
Strengths of the program include the presence of a full-time attending staff with rapid reliable access to attendings and sub-specialists, and with a faculty-to-resident ratio of 9:6. All subspecialties are represented, and this allows the resident to take advantage of the broad range of pathology available in this general clinic setting. There are excellent physical facilities in the Department of Ophthalmology with all significant diagnostic and educational technologies available including corneal topography, OCT, HRT, Wavescan and digital photography with a full-time ophthalmic photographer.
The Department of Ophthalmology functions as a large clinic with the residents and attending staff drawing from the same pool of patients. There is no distinction made for "private versus clinic" or insurance type of patients. A staff member is always available for supervision during their one-week on-call period, and all medical staff share this responsibility on a rotating basis.