Department of Ophthalmology

Residency Program

Overview

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio offers a three-year ophthalmology residency. We seek highly motivated individuals with excellent academic qualifications. Residents are challenged in the clinical and surgical settings, and they are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many research opportunities within our department. Our graduates are well prepared to enter a busy comprehensive practice or successfully pursue fellowship training in the area of their choice. Approximately one-half of our graduates have entered fellowships after residency and the other half have gone into private practices. Our program is located in San Antonio, a vibrant city with rich cultural diversity, excellent schools and affordable housing. Our historic city has a population of nearly 1.5 million and ranks among the ten largest cities in the United States; yet, its warm and friendly citizens give it a small town feel.

 

Photos of San Antonio

 

Four residency positions are available at the PGY-2 level. Our program participates in the Ophthalmology Matching Program sponsored by the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology and administered by the San Francisco Matching Program.

 

The Department of Ophthalmology provides each new resident the twelve-volume set of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Basic and Clinical Science Course. During the month of February, the first-year residents are sent to the Houston Basic Science Course.  During the month of February each year, the first-year residents are sent to the Houston Basic Science Course.  This four-week course is a unique opportunity for first-year residents to synthesize and review all of the material found in the BCSC book series prior to the annual Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Program. Beginning residents are also required to purchase their own lenses for slit lamp stereomicroscopy of the fundus and indirect ophthalmoscopy.

 

Each August, second-year residents are sent to a week-long orbital dissection course hosted by the joint military training programs at the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC), where they spend time honing their knowledge of orbital anatomy.

 

Second-years are also required to submit an abstract of their original research for presentation to the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). All second-year residents who submit abstracts are given the opportunity to attend this five-day ARVO meeting in the spring each year.

 

All third-year residents are sent to the four-day annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) held in the fall.

 

First- and second-year residents perform primary on-call duties covering University Hospital System and the VA hospital that are connected by an enclosed walkway. On-call is from home, rather than in-house call. During July of each year, first-year residents perform “buddy-call” with second-years prior to taking call on their own in August. Residents will complete roughly two-thirds of their primary call during Year One and the rest during Year Two. Third-year residents perform "back-up" call, which occurs every fourth weekday and every fourth weekend. Trauma volume is high, and residents become very experienced at managing lacerated globes, orbital fractures, eyelid lacerations, and other injuries involving the eye and ocular adnexa.

 

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Academic activities include daily morning video-teleconferences covering material from the Basic and Clinical Science Course. These are conducted in association with the ophthalmology departments at Wilford Hall Air Force Medical Center and the Brooke Army Medical Center. The lectures follow a theme each month pertaining to a specific BCSC book (i.e. glaucoma), and residents are provided a multiple-choice test at the end of each month to assess mastery of the material. The military ophthalmology faculty and residents also join us, along with community ophthalmologists, in weekly Grand Rounds on Friday mornings, in which interesting and challenging cases are presented for examination and formal discussions. Didactic sessions with local faculty or guest lecturers follow the Grand Rounds events. Monthly Journal Club meetings provide an opportunity for discussion of the latest literature in informal, social settings, often hosted in the homes of our community faculty.

 

A Resident's Surgical Skills lab is available for learning and practicing surgical techniques. This lab is equipped with an operating microscope, phacoemulsification machine, and a variety of instruments.

 

Applicants for our residency program must clear a screening process to ensure that they are not listed by a federal agency as excluded, suspended or otherwise ineligible for participation in federal programs. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio performs the screening at no cost to the applicant. We comply with all Equal Employment Opportunity and American with Disabilities Act requirements.

 

Our graduates must be eligible to sit for the examinations of the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO), for which they apply immediately upon graduation. ABO examination candidates must have a valid medical license in the United States, its territories or a Canadian province. Therefore, it is required that residents entering our program have successfully passed all parts of the USMLE necessary for state licensure. We expect our residents to concentrate on mastering ophthalmology, without the distraction of preparing for other examinations during their ophthalmology residency.


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As of July 2017, the rotations are as follows:
First Year (PGY 2):

  • Veterans Affairs:
    • Residents work in the general, retina, glaucoma, ER follow-up, and procedure clinics along with staff.
    • Residents perform laser procedures and intravitreal injections during procedure clinic.
  • Resident Clinic:
    • Residents spend time at the University Center for Community Health (UCCH) in the resident clinic.
    • One half-day-a-week the resident is in the OR assisting with surgery and becoming familiar with perioperative tasks for eye surgery including ophthalmic blocks.
  • Plastics/Cornea: The block consists of six weeks of plastics rotation and six weeks of cornea rotation.
    • Plastic rotation:
      • Residents work closely with core faculty, associated faculty in private practice, and ASOPRS fellow.
      • Residents spend time in clinic with core faculty and also spend time in private clinic.
      • Residents spend one-and-a half-days in surgery every week.
    • Cornea rotation:
      • Residents spend time in attending’s clinics and spend one day a week in surgery.
  • Neuro/Path:
    • Residents spend time in neuro-ophthalmology clinic, consult service for the county hospital, and pathology lab.
    • Residents have the rare opportunity to spend time in pathology lab two half-days per week.
    • When spending time on the consult service, the first-year resident assists the second-year resident with patients in the ER and hospital.

Second Year (PGY 3):

  • Veterans Affairs:
    • Residents spend one day a week in the OR performing cataract surgery as the primary surgeon with staff.
    • Residents also spend another day in the OR with retina staff.
    • Clinic consists of retina clinic, resident’s clinic for cataract preop/postop, and laser clinic.
  • Pediatrics:
    • Residents work with core faculty and associated faculty in private practice.
    • Residents spend one-and-a-half day a week in the OR.
    • Residents spend one-half day a week in ROP rounds.
  • Retina/Glaucoma:
    • The block consists of six weeks of retina rotation and six weeks of glaucoma rotation.
    • During retina rotation, residents work with core faculty, and with community faculty in private practice and spend one-and-a-half days a week in the OR.
    • During glaucoma rotation, residents work with core faculty, and with VA faculty. Residents spend one-and-a-half days a week in the OR.
  • Consults
    • Residents have AM clinic within University Hospital and see consults from ER, trauma, and inpatient services during the daytime.
    • Residents will be in the OR for emergency and trauma cases with staff as needed.

Third Year (PGY 4):

  • Veterans Affairs:
    • Residents spend two days a week in the OR performing cataract surgery.
    • Clinic consists of general and cataract preop/postop.
  • Plastics/Cornea: The block consists of six weeks of plastics rotation and six weeks of cornea rotation.
    • Plastic rotation:
      • Residents work closely with core faculty, associated faculty in private practice, and ASOPRS fellow.
      • Residents spend time in clinic with core faculty and also spend time in private clinic.
      • Residents spend one-and-a-half days in surgery every week.
    • Cornea rotation:
      • Residents spend time in attending’s clinics and spend one day a week in the OR
      • Residents will spend two weeks performing corneal refractive surgery as primary surgeon at the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Center, one of the biggest refractive surgery centers in the world.
  • Retina/Glaucoma: The block consists of six weeks of retina rotation and six weeks of glaucoma rotation.
    • During retina rotation, residents work with core faculty and associated faculty in private practice and spend one-and-a-half days a week in the OR.
    • During glaucoma rotation, residents work with core faculty and faculty from the VA. Residents spend one-and-a-half days a week in the OR.
  • Resident clinic:
    • Residents will have general clinic at the University Center for Community Health (UCCH).
    • Residents will be in the OR one day a week performing mainly cataract surgery along with ocular surface/cornea surgery.

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Facilities

 

UCCH

University Center for Community Health (UCCH)

VA Hospital

Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital-South Texas Veterans Healthcare System (STVHS)

   

MARC

Medical Arts and Research Center (MARC)

McDermott Clin Sci Bldg

Robert F. McDermott Clinical Sciences Building

 

The two major residents' clinics are the UT Health–San Antonio Ophthalmology Clinic at the University Center for Community Health (UCCH) located on S. Zarzamora Street, and the Ophthalmology Clinic of the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital (STVHCS), located on Datapoint Drive. Combined clinical activity is well over 20,000 annual patient visits. Our resident consult service receives referrals from the VA Hospital's and University Hospital's in-patient services and emergency department; over 1000 initial consults are seen annually.

 

There are a wide variety of surgical experiences, with residents exceeding required minimum procedure numbers. During subspecialty rotations, the residents will spend some time in the faculty's clinics at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Ophthalmology located at the Medical Arts and Research Center (MARC) on Floyd Curl Drive. Refractive surgical experience is included on the cornea rotation during Year Three at the Joint Warfighter Refractive Surgery Center at Wilford Hall Medical Center (located at Lackland Air Force Base). In addition, some rotations include time with community faculty. On those rotations, the resident will be at their private offices and may go to one of our other affiliated hospitals for surgery. Most offices and hospitals are within the Medical Center area in northwest San Antonio.

 

Pathology and basic science research laboratories, as well as the administrative offices of the Department of Ophthalmology, are in the McDermott Building, and our Lions Low Vision Center is in the Research Administration Building, both located in the Medical Center's Greehey Campus, about two blocks northwest of the medical school and University Hospital.


*Please Note*

The resident will need to meet the requirements for a base pass in order to be admitted to Lackland Air Force Base in order to participate in all parts of the residency program.  While this is subject to change, as of 2017, some of the critical learning experiences at Lackland Air Force Base include:  refractive surgery and simulated surgery and well as other educational activities.

 

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Additional Benefits


The University Health System the primary teaching facility for the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio) offers the following benefits:

  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance (click here)
  • Optional Insurance & Other Programs (click here)
  • Paid Time Off (click here)

The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio-Department of Ophthalmology will provide:

  • Library Copy Privileges (upon request)
  • Malpractice Liability Insurance

Click here for more info about San Antonio!

 

For additional information, please contact:

 

Lauren Belasco Lauren Belasco
Program Coordinator
Education Office
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive, MSC 6230
San Antonio, TX 78229-3900
(210) 567-8406