Joint intern rotations take place at the VCU Medical Center. Prior to joining the clinic and consult service, interns will attend a two-week introduction to ophthalmology course, which covers:
- Basic sciences of the eye
- Ophthalmic examination and diagnostic modalities
- Management of ophthalmic emergencies
These concepts will be reinforced with graduated responsibility in subsequent rotations in the clinic and hospital, with the primary goal of achieving independence in the workup and initial management of ophthalmic emergencies prior to PGY-2.
During PGY-2, residents rotate at the VCU and VA medical centers, with a focus on comprehensive ophthalmology and exposure to the following subspecialty areas:
- Ocular genetics
- Pediatric ophthalmology
- Ophthalmic pathology
Residents take primary call every fourth day except for Sunday evenings, with three free weekends out of four. PGY-2 residents are paired with those in the above class for the first two weeks of primary call, and closely supervised during each consult for the first six weeks.
This training year focuses on subspecialty care and surgical experience. Residents rotate through the following clinics:
- Oculoplastic surgery
- Pediatric ophthalmology
- General ophthalmology
Residents assume more ophthalmology leadership in the management of clinic patients and triage care, and take primary call on Sunday evenings (divided among the four residents).
The final year of residency emphasizes all aspects of ophthalmic surgery, including:
- Pre-operative patient care
- Intra-operative patient care
- Post-operative patient care
- Trauma surgery
Residents spend nine months at the VAMC, manage general ophthalmology clinics under the supervision of faculty, take secondary call and provide leadership in the clinics.
Residents participate in a comprehensive multimodal curriculum, which includes:
First Tuesday of the month, 6:15-8 p.m.
Residents and faculty present interesting cases; faculty moderate the discussion.
Third Tuesday of the month, 6:15-7:15 p.m.
Faculty and residents select subspecialty articles addressing clinical and surgical research.
Third Tuesday every other month, 7:15-8:15 p.m.
Residents present a detailed surgical log to discuss challenges and complications, aiming to improve surgical performance, efficiency and safety.
First Friday of the month, 7-8 a.m.
Residents present cases they have followed in various clinical settings, and questions generated during the discussion are developed into projects to identify, quantify, address and monitor for change post-intervention. Faculty facilitate the discussion.
First Monday of the month, 7-8 a.m.
Residents and faculty discuss the fundamentals and principles of retinal imaging, plus the use of these modalities in the diagnoses and management of vitreoretinal diseases.
Third Monday of the month, 7-8 a.m.
Residents present interesting cases encountered in the clinical setting, covering diagnostic data, differential diagnosis and treatment, with emphasis on pathology and information relative to the OKAP exam. Faculty mediate the discussion.
Academic sessions take place on the first, third and fifth Friday of the month, 2-5 p.m. All residents are free of clinical responsibility, with the exception of the on-call resident and senior resident at the VAMC. The following conferences and lectures occur during this time period:
Neuro-ophthalmology core lectures and case presentation: Faculty present material from the basic science series in a traditional lecture format and case-based learning, along with electrophysiology cases.
Cornea case conference: Presented in a format mirroring the ABO oral boards, these case-based conferences focus on cornea and anterior segment diseases and are augmented with examining patients with unique pathology and surgical video reviews.
Research time: Trainees have protected time for research during resident academic sessions, with an emphasis on IRB submission, data collection, analysis and presentation.
Clinical skills lab: Throughout the year, residents attend on-hands workshops in areas such as phacoemulsification wet-labs, suturing, intraocular lens loading and biometry.