The Ophthalmology Residency Program at the University of Washington is designed to develop clinicians well trained in medical and surgical ophthalmology prepared to excel as community practitioners, or to follow a career track that will lead them to academic medicine or biomedical research.
As a small training program, we value compassionate, collegial, inquisitive and hard working residents. Our faculty work closely with the graduate staff and involve residents in all aspects of patient care. There is no ‘private’ practice at the Eye Institute; patients are evaluated by both residents and faculty members. Residents assist at surgery and are trained in surgical technique by all members of the faculty.
As the only ophthalmology training program in the WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) we seek diverse applicants who have a commitment to the people of the Pacific Northwest. We are especially interested in training residents who contemplate practicing ophthalmology within this broad geographic area.
Based at the UW Medicine Eye Institute for the majority of their clinical training, residents also rotate to the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC), Harborview Medical Center (HMC), Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH) and Puget Sound VA Medical Center (VA).
Applications to the residency program are made through the Ophthalmology Matching Program organized by the San Francisco Match (www.sfmatch.org). Selected candidates are invited for an interview and tour in the Fall. Applicants successfully matched are offered the opportunity to complete their R-1 year at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals (http://depts.washington.edu/uwmedres/), but have the option to complete their transitional year at another accredited program. The R-1 year at UW includes rotations in internal medicine, neurology, critical care, emergency, and elective time which can be spent in the Department of Ophthalmology.
The Ophthalmology residency program consists of rotations among the affiliated hospitals with increasing levels of clinical responsibility. All residents work in the outpatient clinics under the direction of faculty members. R-2 residents begin extra-ocular surgical procedures and complete a rotation in eye pathology. R-3 residents begin intraocular surgery and perform strabismus surgery. R-4 residents perform advanced surgical procedures and continue study of ophthalmic pathology. Surgical volume is well above minimum requirements for accreditation. Residents also receive training in pre-and post-operative care of refractive surgery patients and training in refractive procedures.
During the R-3 year, residents rotate to the Seattle Children’s Hospital, located 6 miles from the Eye Institute. This full-service specialty institution is consistently ranked among the country’s top pediatric hospitals and provides a rich experience in diagnosing and treating childhood vision disorders.
During the R-3 and R-4 years, residents spend time at the Puget Sound VA Medical Center, located 3½ miles from the Eye Institute. Ophthalmologists at the VA are also members of the UW Eye Institute and there is close coordination between the two facilities. Residents gain a significant amount of their patient care and surgical experience at the VA.
Throughout the three years of training, residents are assigned to the Harborview Medical Center. This is the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and is a nationally recognized center of excellence for its emergency care. During these rotations, residents are likely to co-manage trauma patients with other surgical specialties. The Department has a full-time faculty member assigned to supervise management of Harborview’s eye trauma patients. As the county medical center, Harborview is also the facility of choice for the city’s most vulnerable populations and is a source of patients with complex medical diseases and vision disorders.
The University of Washington Eye Clinic, located at the UW Medical Center is an important satellite of the UW Eye Institute. This clinic provides the 450 inpatients and substantial outpatient population with ophthalmic consultations and treatment. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides the opportunity to diagnose and treat retinopathy of prematurity and other eye disorders of newborns. The Emergency Care Department at UWMC is another important source of referrals to the Department.
Faculty at the UW Eye Institute are fellowship-trained with experience in all subspecialties including cornea and external disease, refractive surgery, glaucoma, retina, oculofacial plastics and orbital surgery, pediatrics, neuro-ophthalmology, pathology and uveitis. At present, one oculoplastics fellow is trained each year at the Eye Institute. Our philosophy of a resident-centered training program leads to increased responsibility at all levels of patient care.
One ½ day per week is devoted to resident conferences and lectures. The Basic and Clinical Science Course of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is covered twice during the residency (the complete lecture series extends over 18 months). In addition, there are regular educational and instruction opportunities such as Grand Rounds, Journal Club, Continuing Quality Improvement, Pathology conferences, Fundus conferences and OKAP review sessions.
Residents are encouraged to conduct research during their residency. Mentors among the clinical and research staff are available and elective time can be arranged during the R-3 year. Residents are expected to present their research results during at Resident Alumni Day, held each Spring. Residents who have abstracts or presentations accepted at conferences such as ARVO or ASCRS are given the opportunity to attend these national or specialty meetings. Residents are encouraged to attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology during their senior year, and to participate in WAEPS (Washington Association of Eye Physicians and Surgeons), the state specialty society.
On call responsibilities consists of every fourth day for R-2 residents and 1 weekend per month (Friday through Sunday call). Call can be taken from home, but because there are four hospitals to be covered, residents must be available at all times and no more than 30 minutes away. Back up call by R-3 and R-4 residents is one week in four. Call may be traded among residents upon approval of both parties and the Residency Director. There are at least three faculty members on call at any time for resident support and supervision.
Duty hours are limited to 80 per week, averaged over a four week period. The work day for ophthalmology residents generally begins at 8:00 am, Monday through Friday. (Grand Rounds are scheduled for 7:00 am on Wednesdays). Residents are required to be on time for all assigned clinics and conferences and remain to their conclusion. The day is not completed until clinics, surgery, charts and consultations are finished.
Successful completion of the residency will lead to eligibility to apply for examination by the American Board of Ophthalmology. The overwhelming majority of graduates of the UW Ophthalmology residency training program have passed the oral and written components of the board examination without difficulty.
|R-2 year||R-3 year||R-4 year|
|1||Eye Institute||Harborview Med. Ctr.||Eye Institute|
|2||Eye Institute||Puget Sound VA||Puget Sound VA|
|3||Eye Institute||Puget Sound VA||Harborview Med. Ctr.|
|4||Harborview Med. Ctr.||Seattle Children’s Hosp.||Chief Resident|
Each rotation is 3 months.