DESCRIPTION AND ELIGIBILITY
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco
has an integrated residency program, which utilizes the clinical facilities
of three major hospitals. These institutions are the University of California
Medical Center, the Veterans Administration Hospital and San Francisco General
We train five residents per year in each of three residency years. The principal
objective of our program is to train outstanding
ophthalmologists who have
strong backgrounds in basic and clinical ophthalmic science and who are capable
of entering any future career pathway in the vision science field including
ophthalmic practice, and/or ophthalmic teaching and research. It is our intention
to provide this training through a combination of excellent formal teaching
sessions throughout residency, exposure to appropriate clinical cases at all
levels, and ongoing close relationships between residents and an outstanding
faculty. The programmatic areas covered in our residency are ophthalmic basic
science, ophthalmic pathology, orbital and adnexal diseases, plastic and reconstructive
surgery, conjunctival and corneal diseases and surgery including refractive
surgery, ocular microbiology, uveitis, diseases and surgery of the lens, glaucoma
and glaucoma surgery, vitreoretinal diseases, pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus,
neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, and ocular emergency care and trauma.
We attempt to teach critical, inquisitive, and innovative thinking, and we
provide research opportunities to all interested residents.
service, training year and site-specific goals and objectives for our
residency training program, please click
here to view (or right-click to download) our Goals and Objectives
Applicants are eligible
for appointment to the Department of Ophthalmology if they meet one
of the following requirements: (a) Graduate of a US or Canadian medical
school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. (b)
Graduate of colleges of osteopathic medicine in the US accredited by
the American Osteopathic Association. (c) Graduates of medical school
outside of the United States and Canada who either (i) have a currently
valid certificate from the Education Commission for Foreign Medical
Graduates prior to appointment, or (ii) have a full and unrestricted
license to practice medicine in a US licensing jurisdiction in which
they are in training
All applicants entering
ophthalmology training programs must have taken a post-graduate clinical
year (PGY-1) in a program accredited by either the ACGME or the Royal
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The PGY-1 year must include
training in which the resident has primary responsibility for patient
care in fields such as internal medicine, neurology, pediatrics, surgery,
family practice, or emergency medicine. At minimum, six months of this
year must be a broad experience in direct patient care.
ORGANIZATION OF TEACHING SERVICES AND FACULTY
Our faculty consists of 31 full-time members including 15 Professors of Ophthalmology,
7 Associate Professors of Ophthalmology and 9 Assistant Professors of Ophthalmology.
In addition, we have a large clinical faculty of more than 100 individuals
including 8 Emeritus Professors and Clinical Professors, many of whom are world
renowned and are very active in our teaching programs.
The department has numerous subspecialty clinical services including cornea
and external eye diseases, refractive surgery, anterior segment surgery, glaucoma,
pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, neuro-ophthalmology, vitreoretinal
disease, uveitis, ophthalmic plastic, reconstructive and orbital surgery, ocular
oncology, ophthalmic pathology, pharmacology, electrophysiology, visual fields
and perimetry, ophthalmic genetics, refraction, optics and contact lenses.
Each of these services is integrated into our teaching program through a combination
of case study teaching in the clinical setting and formal seminars, conferences,
and rounds utilizing audio-visual materials, lectures, and patient presentations.
OF FORMAL TEACHING SESSIONS
Each year is divided
into a ten week summer period directed at first year residents and
the remainder of the academic year during which the ongoing conferences
and teaching sessions are scheduled. In the ten weeks of the summer,
first year residents are given a core course in ophthalmic knowledge
each day of the week between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. and all day on Thursdays.
The balance of the first year residents' time is spent in the general
clinic seeing patients in very small numbers at first and only gradually
increasing to larger numbers toward the end of the summer. In the first
week, a first year resident will have one patient scheduled per half
day and will be instructed on that patient by one faculty member. Subsequently,
the patient numbers will be increased to two per half day and then
gradually to three per half day, four per half day, etc. This summer
curriculum is designed to introduce the resident to necessary basic
information in ophthalmology concurrently with a gradually graded clinical
experience. By the end of the summer session, residents are competent
to do skillful ophthalmic examinations with enough basic information
to benefit maximally from their subsequent clinical experiences throughout
Following the summer curriculum for first year residents, the formal conference
and seminar schedule proceeds throughout the remainder of the academic year.
A monthly calendar is published and sent to all residents and faculty concerning
conference times, topics, and participants.
A typical week of teaching sessions includes an external disease conference
Wednesday morning between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.. On Thursday, residents participate
in rounds and teaching conferences for the majority of the day. The schedule
for Thursday is as follows: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m., Morbidity, Mortality and Microsurgery;
8:30-9:15 a.m., patient case presentations and discussions; 9:15 - 10:15, grand
rounds lecture given by a visiting professor or a faculty member; 10:30 - 3:00,
a series of subspecialty conferences including glaucoma, plastic surgery, oncology,
pathology, external disease, uveitis, vitreoretinal diseases, and pediatric
ophthalmology. The majority of these lectures rotate on a two-year cycle. From
12:30 to 2 p.m. each Thursday, there is a fluorescein and fundus photography
conference given by members of the Retina faculty.
In addition, a 2-day intensive course in orbital anatomy with cadaver dissection
is given for first and third year residents. A 5-day course in ophthalmic microsurgery
for each resident class occurs yearly. Residents also attend a 1-day hands-on
ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery course each year. Residents are
present at the yearly 2-3 day Continuing Education Course given by the Department
of Ophthalmology of UCSF. A basic science course based on the format of the
American Academy of Ophthalmology Basic and Clinical Science course (Fundamentals
of Ophthalmology) is conducted for first and second year residents. This course
takes place one week per year for the first two years of residency. Residents
attend the annual Cordes Eye Society Meeting, at which former residents of
the Department of Ophthalmology at UCSF give presentations.
The first year is divided into five 10-week blocks, with the first block being
the summer session, described above. In the subsequent 40 weeks of the first
year, two rotations are at the University of California (UC) Medical Center,
one rotation is at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital and one rotation
is at the San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). One of the rotations at the
UC Medical Center focuses on ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery,
while the other encompasses a broad range of exposure to subspecialty areas
of ophthalmology. Ophthalmic pathology and contact lens fitting are incorporated
into these rotations. Each of the rotations at the VA and SFGH involve the
comprehensive care of patients with eye diseases, both medical and surgical.
Inpatient consultations, night call and emergency experience is obtained during
all four rotations.
The second and third years of the residency program are divided into five 10
week rotations. Two of these blocks are spent at the UC Medical Center and
one each at the VA and at SFGH. At any one time, with the exception of the
summer months, there is a first, second and third year present at both the
VA and at SFGH. In the second year at UC Medical Center, each resident rotates
for 10 weeks on the neuro-ophthalmology and pediatric service. An additional
10 weeks are spent on the vitreoretinal service studying both medical and surgical
retinal diseases. The remaining 10 weeks are divided between a 5 week cornea
rotation and a 5 week research experience of the resident's choosing, which
may include international travel if desired.
At the conclusion of the second year, a significant amount of ophthalmic surgery
plus all specialty rotations have been experienced. This qualifies each resident
to function as a chief resident on each service through which he or she rotates.
The four third year rotations include the UC Cornea, Anterior Segment and Refractive
surgery service, the UC Glaucoma and Oncology service, the VA Hospital, and
San Francisco General Hospital.
It should be apparent from the foregoing that residents progress through our
program into positions of increasing responsibility. From early in the first
year, ophthalmic outpatients are managed by residents with close supervision.
By the third year, residents take care of patients with only minimal supervision.
All residents have the opportunity to run services as chief resident, and all
residents have the opportunity to do all levels of surgery which are part of
ophthalmic practice. The actual surgery done, both in type and quantity of
cases, depends on the faculty assessment of each particular resident's capabilities
and clinical maturity.
Research opportunities for residents are made available when the residents'
aptitude, interest, and willingness are apparent. All second and third year
residents are expected to present the results of a research project at an annual
meeting. The Department of Ophthalmology has more than 40,000 sq. ft. of space
devoted to research laboratories, including an electron microscope. Our microsurgical
laboratory, equipped in a virtually identical manner to an operating room suite,
is available and is used for training of residents in microsurgical techniques.
There are over 20 funded research grants in the Department, a CORE Research
Center Grant, and a total federal funding for vision science in the institution
which is one of the largest in the United States.
The Department of Ophthalmology offers both research and clinical fellowships
for a fourth or fifth year of training beyond residency. Research positions
are in the majority, and every effort has been made to assure that these fellowships
are of the highest quality but do not interfere with the basic residency. The
principal mechanism for achieving this end has been to situate the surgically
related fellowships in major ophthalmic practices on which a resident is not
always present. Through this mechanism, competition for surgical cases between
residents and fellows is minimized. On the other hand, fellows attend our teaching
conferences, see patients in our group consultation sessions, and attend surgical
cases for the residents at the VA and San Francisco General Hospitals. The
resident-fellow interaction, therefore, is ongoing and stimulating.
The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco
is devoted to academic excellence. It trains outstanding ophthalmologists through
a fortunate combination of a renowned and highly qualified faculty, an appropriate
level of clinical material available in varied clinical settings, excellent
physical facilities, and high caliber residents, fellows, and students. Further
information about Graduate Medical Education at UCSF can be found here.