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Residency Curriculum

The Ophthalmology Residency program at Tulane University is a three-year ACGME-accredited program. Tulane’s residency program offers rotations at a varied set of hospitals, including Tulane Medical Center, University Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Hospitals of New Orleans, Alexandria, and Biloxi and Rapides Regional Medical Center. The diverse experiences at our multiple sites aims to provide maximum exposure to a diverse patient population and broad depth and breath pathologies for a well-rounded clinical and surgical training experience.
Residency education is the premier objective of the faculty at the Tulane School of Medicine. The residency program aims to provide the residents with a solid foundation of general ophthalmology training and ophthalmologic subspecialty experience. Academic success and achievement is encouraged with all the residents, as show by many residents graduating to complete prestigious fellowships and assuming full-time faculty positions in academic departments around the country and others continuing to teach trainees in private practice throughout the world.
Residency training is designed in a graduated fashion with increasing responsibility.

Training Objectives by Residency Year

Internship (PGY-1)

Residency training is designed in a graduated fashion with increasing responsibility. The residents start their training in PGY1 year with a well-designed internship integrated with the Department of Internal Medicine, and 3 months of longitudinal ophthalmology training spanning the year, where they will be introduced the basics of the slit lamp examination, indirect ophthalmoscopy, and refraction. They will also learn the basics of microsurgery with the use of the EyeSi simulator and wet-lab curriculum.

First Year (PGY-2)

In the PGY2 year, residents spend their year learning medical ophthalmology while also receiving early hands-on surgical exposure and learning with close faculty mentorship. Residents start their surgical learning by assisting faculty and senior residents on all cases. As their skills advance, they will become involved in various steps of surgery under the close guidance of faculty. A structured wet-lab curriculum with mentorship from faculty and senior residents spans the year to complement surgical skills gained in the OR. Most of our residents perform at least 5-10 cataracts surgeries as primary surgeon before the end of their PGY2 year. First year residents also serve as primary surgeon on many oculoplastics cases and assist in and perform trauma and open globe repairs.

Second Year (PGY-3)

The PGY3 year is dedicated to ophthalmic subspecialties where residents work with faculty one-on-one. This provides the residents the opportunity to consolidate the foundation of knowledge in each of the subspecialties while also building upon the general ophthalmology knowledge they acquired during their first year. Residents rotate through Cornea and External Disease, Glaucoma, Pediatric Ophthalmology, Retina and Vitreous, and Oculoplastics rotations. Additionally, one rotation during PGY3 year is dedicated to preparing the residents for more independent practice and maintain their continuity in education in general ophthalmology at the Rapides rotation in Alexandria. The PGY2 resident works with supervised independence under the mentorship of the full-time attending at Rapides, and serves as primary surgeon in all procedures, including laser and surgeries.

Third Year (PGY-4)

In their final year, residents spend all their time focusing on the medical and surgical management of ophthalmic diseases with increased independence. The rotations at three Veterans Hospitals and the University Medical Center is always supervised by full-time faculty. The senior residents also take on the responsibility of teaching and mentoring junior residents, both on-call and in the clinic. Residents gain significant surgical experience during this year and all residents become competent ophthalmic surgeons through their broad and high-volume experience.

Didactic Curriculum

Basic Ophthalmology Course

This course is given for three weeks during July of every year and mandatory for all first-year residents to attend.

Lectures and Conferences

Each subdiscipline conducts a series of lectures covering the subspecialty areas of ophthalmology preceding Grand Rounds, which are held every Wednesday afternoon except for the month of July. The Department also conducts the Resident’s Research Weekend and O’Brien Professorship Lectures every year. During this program, invited speakers and faculty lecture to the residents and guests, and the residents present their research papers.

The Department sponsors senior residents to attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. All residents also are required to attend the annual meeting of the New Orleans Academy of Ophthalmology.