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The Wilmer ophthalmology residency program offers outstanding clinical training and professional development in a collegial environment. Our residents enjoy the abundant resources available in a large ophthalmologic institute, from the superb physical facilities to the numerous full-time faculty members. The faculty offer expertise in all areas of specialization and research in ophthalmology and are readily available to the residents for teaching and consultation.
In addition to the dedicated faculty, residents are supervised by a Chief Resident (Assistant Chief of Service). He or she is a fellowship-trained junior faculty member and former Wilmer resident who works closely with all of the residents, from supervising first-year residents in the Wilmer Emergency Room to precepting senior residents in the operating room. The ACS also functions as a liaison between the residents and the faculty.
One of the continued strengths of the training program is the independent Ophthalmology Resident Service (General Eye Service), which is separate from the private practices of the faculty. In 2011, Eric Singman, M.D., Ph.D. joined Wilmer as the division director of the residents’ General Eye Service (GES).
Residents have a Continuity Clinic in the GES (dedicated time one day every week) to follow their own patients for the duration of their residency. This fosters the development of long-term physician-patient relationships and allows the resident to see how disease and its physical, social and emotional impact evolve over time.
Other strengths include the large volume of patients and ophthalmic surgical cases available to the residents, dedicated ophthalmology operating rooms and staff, an outstanding Ocular Pathology division headed by Charles Eberhart, M.D., Ph.D., and a superb ophthalmology learning resource center (The Friedenwald Library of Ophthalmology, with 1 full-time librarian).
A dedicated microsurgical laboratory for the residents was established at Wilmer in 2002 (now located in one of the former Wilmer operating rooms no longer used after the opening of the Bendann Surgical Pavilion in 2009), providing the opportunity to develop surgical skills on synthetic and animal eyes as well as a computer-based simulator. Each resident works closely with Charles Castoro M.D., to develop microsurgical skills during their first year of residency. The facility is currently undergoing a major renovation to increase the numbers of stations available to enable multiple residents and faculty to simultaneously practice together. Additional anterior segment, oculoplastic, and medical retina practicums are provided for the residents each year.
Every Thursday morning there is a formal "Grand Rounds" conference at Wilmer, in which the residents and fellows present the most fascinating cases. Afterward, there is a three-hour didactic session that combines lecture, small-group discussion and hands-on learning. In addition there is a weekly "Professor’s Rounds" held Wednesday mornings, principally led by the Chairman, Dr. Peter McDonnell. Each subspecialty division also holds journal clubs and conferences throughout the year that resident are invited to attend and often give presentations.
In addition, the program incorporates formal didactics in other important aspects of the practice of ophthalmology including ethics, business of medicine, professionalism, patient safety and quality improvement and personal professional development.
Rotation schedules vary year to year, but current samples are available: