• classof2023
  • Main_resident_slider_photo2cropped
  • Main_resident_slider_photo1cropped
  • Main_resident_slider_photo4cropped
  • Main_resident_slider_photo5cropped
  • res_main_slider_1200px_450px_class2019

Curriculum Overview

Learning – in the classroom, clinic, operating room, or wetlab microsurgical suite – is a foundational part of the Ophthalmology residency at UCSF. Our faculty are committed to teaching in both formal and informal settings. Below, you will find details about some of the structured learning opportunities and curricula built into our program.


Our residency program has partnered with the UCSF Department of Surgery to offer a joint internship tailored to the needs of our residents. Over the past 5 years, the internship has been improved based on feedback from our trainees. Currently, the internship consists of the following rotations:
• 6 months General Surgery (ENT, OMFS, Plastics, Neurosurgery, Trauma, Cardiac),
• Dermatology
• Neuroradiology
• 3 months of Ophthalmology
• 1 month of elective (done with research mentor)

Our interns participate in ophthalmology didactic sessions during their non-surgery rotations, and also have a dedicated wetlab curriculum that occurs over 5 months and includes the following sessions:
• Microscope Basics and Introduction to the Eye OR
• Laser lab
• Corneal laceration repair and Scleral Tunnels
• Strabismus basics
• Intravitreal injection
• Introduction to intraocular surgery


Summer Session:

The first year of residency at UCSF begins with our unique six-week Summer Session, which is designed to introduce the first year residents to necessary basic information in ophthalmology while delivering a graded clinical experience. Residents spend half a day in a core didactic course in ophthalmic knowledge each morning followed by afternoons spent in a specially-structured hands-on clinical experience. During this hands-on time, they will either see patients and practice all the components of a comprehensive eye exam, or join our faculty mentors in one of several structured wet-lab curricular sessions. In addition, the first year residents take a “field trip” to visit Guide Dogs for the Blind in Santa Rosa, where they experience first-hand the many challenges faced by visually impaired patients. By the end of the summer session, residents feel fully confident to perform skillful ophthalmic examinations with enough basic information to benefit maximally from their subsequent clinical experiences throughout residency. They are also ready to perform their first mentored intraocular surgeries.


Weekly Didactics:

Every Thursday of the year is reserved for faculty-led didactics, conferences, and seminars. A typical Thursday schedule looks like this:

  • 7:30 – 8:30 AM         Morbidity, Mortality, and Microsurgery conference
  • 8:30 – 9:15 AM         Patient case presentations and discussions
  • 9:15 – 10:15 AM       Grand Rounds lecture given by a named lecturer, visiting professor, or faculty member
  • 10:30 – 4:15 PM       Subspecialty lectures and BCSC fundamentals course

Weekly conferences also occur for the retina service and the Francis I. Proctor Foundation, focusing on inflammatory and infectious diseases of the eye.

Additionally, the week before the Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) exam, residents are excused from clinical responsibilities to attend a week-long review course taught by UCSF faculty.

“What really stood out about UCSF was how focused and dedicated the program is in prioritizing residency training. The senior residents I met were all very confident with their surgical skills and knowledge, not surprising given the impressive numbers residents obtain here. More importantly, residents and faculty alike were incredibly friendly; I felt at home with the community and there was definitely no other place with as approachable a Chair and program leadership as UCSF. The integrated internship option is a huge treat as well, enabling me to get a head start practicing my exam skills and bond with my fellow co-residents. And to top it off, UCSF has an unbeatable location!”

Stephanie Chen, MDStephanie Chen, MDThird Year Ophthalmology Resident


Surgical Conferences and Courses:

In addition to these weekly lectures, the following courses occur annually:

  • July:  Orbital Anatomy wetlab course with cadaver dissection
  • July:  Bay Area Resident Strabismus Surgical Course
  • July-Aug:  Beginning Ophthalmic Microsurgery wetlab (5 half day sessions)
  • October:  Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery wetlab
  • December:  UCSF Continuing Medical Education December Course
  • April:  UCSF Department of Ophthalmology Resident Research Day
  • May:  UCSF Department of Ophthalmology Faculty Research Day
  • June:  Intermediate Ophthalmic Microsurgery wetlab (5 half day sessions)
  • June:  Advanced Ophthalmic Microsurgery wetlab (5 half day sessions)