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Program Curriculum


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 concurrent to a gradually graded clinical experience . Residents are given a core didactic course in ophthalmic knowledge each morning followed by afternoons spent in a specially-structured clinic in which they see patients and practice all the components of a comprehensive eye exam. 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 do skillful ophthalmic examinations with enough basic information to benefit maximally from their subsequent clinical experiences throughout residency.


Weekly Didactics:

Following the summer curriculum for first year residents, a weekly didactic schedule including conferences, seminars, and lectures proceeds throughout the remainder of the academic year.

On Thursdays, residents participate in rounds and teaching conferences for the majority of the day:

  •   7:30  –  8:30 a.m. – Morbidity, Mortality, and Microsurgery conference
  •   8:30  –  9:15 a.m. – Patient case presentations and discussions at Grand Rounds
  •   9:15 – 10:15 a.m. – Grand Rounds lecture given by a named lecturer, visiting professor, or faculty member
  • 12:15  –  1:15 p.m. – Fluorescein and fundus photography conference by Retina faculty
  • 10:30  –  4:15 p.m. –  Subspecialty lectures and BCSC fundamentals course

On Wednesday afternoons from 12:00-1:00 p.m., a teaching conference at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation takes place focusing on inflammatory and infectious diseases of the eye. Residents rotating on the cornea and uveitis services attend these conferences while they are on service.

“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, MDFirst Year Ophthalmology Resident


Annual Conferences and Courses:

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

  • July: Orbital Anatomy wetlab course with cadaver dissection for first and third year residents (joined by residents from CPMC)
  • July: Bay Area Resident Strabismus Surgical Course for second year residents (joined by residents from CPMC, Stanford, and UC Davis)
  • September: Beginning Ophthalmic Microsurgery wetlab course for first year residents
  • October: Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery wetlab course for first and second year residents (joined by residents from CPMC)
  • December: Two-day UCSF December Course and Cordes Eye Society Alumni Scientific Meeting, a continuing medical education conference provided by department faculty
  • March: Five-day “Fundamentals of Ophthalmology” didactic course for first and second year residents prior to the OKAP exam
  • April: UCSF Department of Ophthalmology Resident Research Day and Transamerica Professorship Lecture
  • May: UCSF Department of Ophthalmology Research Day
  • June: Intermediate Ophthalmic Microsurgery wetlab course for first year residents
  • June: Advanced Ophthalmic Microsurgery wetlab course for second year residents