Third year residents rotate through MWHC, VA and FFX Eye Clinics, and have ample opportunity for urgical experience in a wide variety of cases, directly supervised by a diverse and fully qualified attending staff. It is highly desirable, and the final year resident schedule is designed, to offer the longest possible opportunity for pre-op, operative, and post-operative management of a demographically diverse clinic population. Senior residents also have the option to participate in an international mission trip, usually for one week, during which time they receive first-hand experience with the rigors and difficulties involved with obtaining adequate medical and surgical treatment in Third World countries.
During the third year, residents are in the operating room one to two days per week, assisting and performing surgery on their own cases, always under direct attending supervision. In the clinics, the day is spent seeing pre-operative and post-operative cases as well as a large variety of cases from the general clinic and subspecialty clinics. Operative and post-operative complications are reviewed at a monthly surgical morbidity conference. In addition, the third year residents participate in the contact lens clinic, the cornea clinic, the oculoplastics clinic, retina clinic, and the glaucoma review board, and perform laser surgery on selected cases approved by a glaucoma, refractive or retina attending. It is expected that the third year rotations provide clinical and surgical opportunities for education, diversity of patients and attending physicians and practice environment, to better prepare residents for their subsequent fellowships and careers.
During the contact lens/general clinic rotation at MWHC, residents become proficient in hard, soft and extended wear contact lens practice. Additionally, residents may become certified in laser refractive surgery and may perform cases of their own, under the supervision of experienced surgeons.
The third year residents also have an intensive retina rotation at MWHC. During these 2 months, they actively participate in the diagnosis and management of a variety of complex retinal diseases. They work with experienced subspecialty attendings, retina fellows, and junior residents, and perform both laser and intraocular retinal surgeries as primary surgeon.
At the conclusion of the third year, residents have performed more than 2000 ocular surgical procedures as primary surgeon and have participated in more than 3000 surgeries as both primary surgeon and first assistant. Throughout the residency, each resident must enter his or her surgical cases into the ACGME Case Log System, including those as primary surgeon as well as first assistant. Case Logs are monitored weekly by the Program Director.
The third year residents develop sound judgment and technical expertise in the management of surgical and medical cases, and are fully prepared to practice competently and independently upon completion of their training.