Ophthalmology Residency Program 

The ophthalmology residency program at University of Colorado focuses on the development of outstanding clinical and surgical skills. Our residents experience is both broad and deep, with extensive exposure to the evaluation and management of both common and rare ophthalmic diseases.

Our residents' growth is assisted by faculty dedicated to resident education, cutting-edge research programs that keep them up-to-date on the latest developments, teaching sessions that build a solid fund of knowledge, and busy clinic settings that balance autonomy and oversight. At the end of the program, residents have a foundation that allows them to become highly competent leaders.


After the intern year in partnership with the University of Colorado Department of Internal Medicine, residents complete three years of ophthalmology training. Here, they attend science lectures and journal clubs given by faculty to enhance their fund of knowledge and their ability to review literature critically. Weekly clinical conferences give them experience presenting cases as well as exposure to a variety of approaches in disease management. Organized wet labs guided by faculty allow them to hone their surgical skills prior to working on live patients. 

As the only academic medical center for hundreds of miles, our residents have the advantage of working at a range of unshared university-affiliated hospitals that see patients from the entire state of Colorado as well as surrounding states. These include a Veterans Administration Hospital, Denver Health Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center. The high surgical volume and balanced clinical experience at these facilities allows for an exceptional learning environment. We are proud of our training program and our residents, and we constantly strive to maintain an environment that allows them to develop into skilled ophthalmologists.  

The University of Colorado Ophthalmology Residency Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Residency Rotations

Preliminary Medicine Year (PGY-1)


All of our incoming ophthalmology residents spend their first year as internal medicine interns. In addition to required rotations on the internal medicine wards, interns spend three rotations on ophthalmology to start building the foundation for their future residency. These ophthalmology rotations include one month each of:

  • Working alongside our optometrists and low-vision specialists, including:
    • Becoming familiar with refraction
    • Using the slit lamp
    • Performing a basic eye exam in clinic
  • Inpatient consults
    • Working alongside the consult resident
    • Seeing patients in the emergency department and inpatient hospital
  • Introduction to the operating room including
    • Pre and post-operative care
    • Working in our dedicated ophthalmology operating rooms to become familiar with surgical tools and equipment 

Each of the three years of ophthalmology residency is divided into six rotations each lasting approximately eight weeks. Details for each year are in the following tabs.


Residency Program Director

Ertel Monica

Monica Ertel, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology

Residency Program Director, Department of Ophthalmology

Residency Program Coordinator

Young, Renee

Renee Young

Residency Program Coordinator, Department of Ophthalmology