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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Applications are accepted annually through the SF Match until the last week of September.

How many hospitals are affiliated with the program?

There are two major hospitals affiliated with our program. University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is the home institute for the residents and is the site of all major subspecialty rotations. Four months are spent at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center each year with a busy clinical and surgical population. Two additional months in the third year are spent at the VA. The residents enjoy working with a very diverse patient population there and see a wide range of pathology as a result.

What is call like?

In PGY-1 year, the interns do not take primary ophthalmology call but will shadow a PGY-2 or PGY-3. The residency program covers all after hours care for both the University Hospitals and VA Hospitals systems. Primary call is shared between the first- and second-year residents, and is taken as home call. Third-year residents provide back up call for any questions or complicated cases, including management of all surgical emergencies.

How many surgical cases can be expected from the program?

Residents do not have to compete for general and subspecialty cases and get an ample number of surgeon and assistant surgeries. Due to our graduated and structured surgical curriculum, first year residents get to work on the cataract cases and may have a few primary cases by the end of their first year. They also get to do strabismus cases and laser procedures. Second-year residents get at least 80-100 surgeon lasers (Focal, PRP, ALT, SLT, LPI, YAG) and are the primary surgeons on all extracapsular cataract and strabismus surgeries. They also get to perform intravitreal injections, plastics cases and build up on primary cataract cases. The bulk of surgeries come in the third year, with more than 300 procedures in total achieved by graduation. Third-year residents average over 200 cataracts and gain experience with toric and premium IOLs. They also perform MIGS procedures (I stent inject, Hydrus implant), trabeculectomies, corneal transplants (PKP and DSAEK), and plastic cases.

What can I do in advance in preparation for ophthalmology residency?

Establishing a pattern of interest in ophthalmology if you have time is important for preparation for your application, i.e. research, leadership positions, service. In terms of preparation for residency, we recommend spending time getting familiar with the slit lamp and 90D and 20D lens to better improve your examination skills. Ophthobook and University of Iowa's eyerounds.org pages are great online learning tools.

How does the department support resident research? Is there dedicated research time? Are there funds to support travel to conferences?

There are some half days built into the schedule for research. Most of the research has to be done on your own time. Residents pick a research mentor in their second year to help them with research projects. Residents receive funds from the department to support travel to a meeting.

Please visit our research website.

What kind of teaching/didactics do the residents receive?

In addition to weekly morning report and grand rounds, residents have 3-4 lectures a week either in the morning before clinic or after clinic. These are given by attendings or residents on topics that correlate with BCSC reading schedule.

How much ophthalmology exposure is required in the joint intern year?

Interns are required to spend 12 weeks with the ophthalmology department at the home institution, per ACGME guidelines. The time will be split between UH (4 weeks) and the VA (8 weeks).

How much vacation is allowed?

Residents have four weeks (20 working days) of vacation each year. The weekends before and after vacation week may usually also be taken as well. These weekends to not count toward vacation days.