The ophthalmology residency at the University of Colorado focuses on the development of outstanding clinical and surgical skills. The experience of the residents is both broad and deep, with extensive exposure to the evaluation and management of ophthalmic diseases, common and rare.
The residents' growth as ophthalmologists is assisted by a faculty dedicated to resident education, cutting-edge research programs that keep them abreast of the latest developments, didactic teaching sessions that build a solid fund of knowledge, and busy clinic settings that balance autonomy and oversight so that residents can develop solid decision-making skills. At the end of the 3-year program residents will have a foundation that will allow them to become highly competent leaders in ophthalmology, whether in private practice or academics.
Throughout the three years of residency, the residents attend basic science lectures and journal clubs given by faculty to enhance their fund of knowledge and their ability to review the 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 such as Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. These include a tertiary care Veterans Administration Hospital, Denver Health Medical Center (Level 1 trauma center), Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center at the University of Colorado (Level 1 trauma 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.
All of our incoming ophthalmology residents spend their first year as preliminary internal medicine interns. In addition to required rotations on the internal medicine wards, ophthalmology interns spend three rotations on ophthalmology to start building the foundation for their future residency. These ophthalmology rotations include one month each of:
Each of the three years of ophthalmology residency is divided into six rotations each lasting approximately eight weeks. Details for each year are given below.
The first year focuses on attaining the basic clinical skills and fund of knowledge needed to properly evaluate and manage the majority of ophthalmic pathology encountered. Lectures, clinical conferences and wet lab training combine with extensive guided clinical experience to achieve this goal. First year rotations include:
Having developed their clinical skills in the first year, second year residents begin a year that includes a high volume of procedures in the fields of strabismus, oculoplastics, and retina. Additionally, they perform their first cataract procedures as primary surgeon. Second year rotations include:
The third year is an intense year of surgery, focusing mainly on cataract surgery, although our residents get experience in a variety of cornea, glaucoma, oculoplastics, and retina procedures as well. Our cataract surgery numbers (as primary surgery) are well above the national average and far exceed the minimum surgical requirements established by the ACGME. The senior resident also serves as consultant for the junior residents, both in the clinics and on call. They have a high level of responsibility in both the care of patients and the organization of their surgery schedule. Though functioning with greater independence, senior residents have an attending available at all times for questions and surgical supervision. As the year progresses, the residents’ surgical skills and decision-making mature so that upon completion of residency they should feel comfortable addressing any ophthalmologic situation that arises. Third year rotations include:
Six first-year residents begin training each July. Appointments to the residency program are made one and one-half years in advance through the Ophthalmology Residency Matching Program at SFMatch.
All applicants must meet the following requirements by the residency appointment date:
The residency application process is managed through SF Match, where application requirements and deadlines are listed. For questions unanswered on the SF Match website, you may contact our Residency Coordinator.
The University of Colorado Ophthalmology Residency Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).