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The majority of the didactic instruction in basic and clinical sciences in ophthalmology is covered during the morning lecture series from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., Monday through Friday. Monthly schedules for this series as well as any afternoon, evening, or weekend, lectures are posted and circulated to all staff and residents. The design and oversight of the curriculum is the responsibility of the residency director who coordinates the lectures based on the curriculum designed by each subspecialty. Each set of didactic lectures is designed to be rotated on a 12- to 18-month schedule to insure repeated exposure of the ophthalmology residents to each subject and to avoid material being completely missed by a resident during their three years. This curriculum is supplemented by the Institutional curriculum, the Wills Eye pathology rotation in ophthalmic pathology, invited guest lectures, and the Lancaster course in basic science in Waterville, Me.

Progress is monitored informally through discussion and observation in the clinic and formally through the Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program test given nationally each spring. These tests are used to assess both the performance of the individual resident and the performance of the residency in the individual subtopics. Attendance is also monitored at the didactic lectures through the use of a sign-in sheet.

Clinical case presentations occur at grand rounds held each Friday, morbidity and mortality conference, pathology CPCs and in conjunction with the individual subspecialty didactic lectures. Journal club is held monthly and the chief residents attend monthly departmental administrative, and quality improvement meetings. Residents present clinical case material at grand rounds, and occasional fluorscein angiogram conference, and present cases for discussion to guest lecturers. The chief residents are responsible for organizing and presenting morbidity and mortality rounds and pathology conference to the staff and residents. Pathology lectures utilizing material from the clinic, are given monthly for one hour in a CPC format.

Medical students receive their instructions through a series of didactic lectures presented by the attending physicians aimed at their level of expertise in ophthalmology. The residents may attend the basic lectures and the medical students are invited and encouraged to attend the regularly scheduled ophthalmology conferences.

The first-year residents in ophthalmology supervise the students in walk-in clinic and all residents and staff participate in one-on-one supervision of the medical students at other times. On average there are two students rotating at any one time. There is similar chain of command and responsibility with rotating residents from emergency medicine, internal medicine and family practice. These residents rotate for three to four weeks at a time on an elective basis.


  • Optics, refraction, contact lenses, low vision
  • Uveitis and ocular tumors
  • Retina and vitreous
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus
  • Corneal and external diseases
  • Glaucoma
  • Lens and related anterior segment surgery
  • Oculoplastics including orbit, eyelids, and adnexa
  • Ophthalmic pathology
  • Refractive surgery
  • Ethical issues, socioeconomics of healthcare, cost-effective medical practice