Overview

Four residency positions are available at the PGY-2 level. Our program participates in the Ophthalmology Matching Program sponsored by the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology and administered by the San Francisco Matching Program.

The Department of Ophthalmology provides each new resident the twelve-volume set of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Basic and Clinical Science Course.  During the month of February each year, the first-year residents are sent to the Houston Basic Science Course.  This four-week course is a unique opportunity for first-year residents to synthesize and review all of the material found in the BCSC book series prior to the annual Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Program. Beginning residents are also required to purchase their own lenses for slit lamp stereomicroscopy of the fundus and indirect ophthalmoscopy.

Each August, second-year residents are sent to a week-long orbital dissection course hosted by the joint military training programs at the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC), where they spend time honing their knowledge of orbital anatomy.

Second-years are also required to submit an abstract of their original research for presentation to the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). All second-year residents who submit abstracts are given the opportunity to attend this five-day ARVO meeting in the spring each year.

All third-year residents are sent to the four-day annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) held in the fall.

First- and second-year residents perform primary on-call duties covering University Hospital System and the VA hospital that are connected by an enclosed walkway. On-call is from home, rather than in-house call. During July of each year, first-year residents perform “buddy-call” with second-years prior to taking call on their own in August. Residents will complete roughly two-thirds of their primary call during Year One and the rest during Year Two. Third-year residents perform “back-up” call, which occurs every fourth weekday and every fourth weekend. Trauma volume is high, and residents become very experienced at managing lacerated globes, orbital fractures, eyelid lacerations, and other injuries involving the eye and ocular adnexa.

Academic activities include daily morning video-teleconferences covering material from the Basic and Clinical Science Course. These are conducted in association with the ophthalmology departments at Wilford Hall Air Force Medical Center and the Brooke Army Medical Center. The lectures follow a theme each month pertaining to a specific BCSC book (i.e. glaucoma), and residents are provided a multiple-choice test at the end of each month to assess mastery of the material. The military ophthalmology faculty and residents also join us, along with community ophthalmologists, in weekly Grand Rounds on Friday mornings, in which interesting and challenging cases are presented for examination and formal discussions. Didactic sessions with local faculty or guest lecturers follow the Grand Rounds events. Monthly Journal Club meetings provide an opportunity for discussion of the latest literature in informal, social settings, often hosted in the homes of our community faculty.

A Resident’s Surgical Skills lab is available for learning and practicing surgical techniques. This lab is equipped with an operating microscope, phacoemulsification machine, and a variety of instruments.

Applicants for our residency program must clear a screening process to ensure that they are not listed by a federal agency as excluded, suspended or otherwise ineligible for participation in federal programs. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio performs the screening at no cost to the applicant. We comply with all Equal Employment Opportunity and American with Disabilities Act requirements.

Our graduates must be eligible to sit for the examinations of the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO), for which they apply immediately upon graduation. ABO examination candidates must have a valid medical license in the United States, its territories or a Canadian province. Therefore, it is required that residents entering our program have successfully passed all parts of the USMLE necessary for state licensure. We expect our residents to concentrate on mastering ophthalmology, without the distraction of preparing for other examinations during their ophthalmology residency.

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