Ophthalmology

Residency Training

The Ophthalmology residency program at IU School of Medicine was founded in 1908 and is a three-year ACGME-accredited program that provides excellent educational experience across clinical and surgical subspecialties of ophthalmology. Residents enjoy increasing levels of responsibility within the field as they progress through the program. Six positions are offered annually for the ophthalmology residency program, and appointees must have completed at least one post-graduate year of training.

Ophthalmology residents are responsible for the examination and evaluation of clinic patients in a diverse range of settings, as well as the pre- and post-operative management of surgical patients. They also assist with procedures, studies and interpretations, including computerized visual fields, diagnostic ultrasonography, fluorescein angiography, fundus and slit-lamp photography, tonography and the full spectrum of electrophysiologic studies. All residents become well-trained in all aspects of ophthalmic surgeries, including laser surgery.

Throughout the duration of the training program, residents can expect to play a primary role in approximately 500 cases. They rotate through a variety of clinic settings, including the clinic at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute, which serves as the department’s primary academic and clinical facility for adult services as well as the location for most didactic educational activities. Other clinical settings include the Indiana University Health Methodist and University hospitals, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital, the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and the Indiana University Health Springmill Eye Clinic.

Senior residents have an opportunity to attend the annual American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. Participation in research is required during the second and third year of residency training, and all residents are encouraged and supported to present their research at national scientific meetings. Residents also have opportunities to gain experience in international ophthalmology by serving as an Associate Ophthalmologist with Orbis International during a one-week rotation at various sites throughout the world.

Program Highlights

  • IU School of Medicine has the only ophthalmology residency program in the state of Indiana
  • Approximately 40 percent of IU School of Medicine trainees stay in Indiana to practice
  • Approximately 50 percent of department trainees go on to do a fellowship
  • We have trained more than 500 residents and fellows
  • Residents receive training in a variety of settings, including the VA, a university hospital, a county hospital, a children’s hospital and in private practice.
  • Residents are supported with time and funding to pursue experiences in international ophthalmology with Orbis International.
  • Indianapolis is home to 11 professional sports teams, including the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Pacers, and hosts the Indianapolis 500 each May, which is the largest single-day sporting event in the world.
  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the world’s largest children’s museum.

First-year residents learn how to take histories, perform refractions and use specialized instruments and equipment to diagnose and treat common ocular problems. They rotate through the services of low vision, pediatric ophthalmology, retina and the general and sub-specialty clinics at the VA and Eskenazi hospitals. Residents complete initial ophthalmologic evaluations under the supervision of IU School of Medicine faculty and begin surgical experience with pediatric ophthalmology and retina. Primary call is split between PGY1 and PGY2 residents.

Second-year ophthalmology residents concentrate on subspecialty training with rotations through oculoplastics, neuro-ophthalmology and the general and sub-specialty clinics at the VA and Eskenazi hospitals with increased surgical and consultative responsibilities. Residents begin to learn techniques of intraocular surgery, including cataract extraction and oculoplastic procedures. Additionally, all second-year residents are expected to present a research paper at IU School of Medicine’s annual Trainees’ Research Day.

During the third year of training, residents gain significant experience as primary surgeons in all areas of ophthalmic surgery, including cataract, cornea, glaucoma, retina, oculoplastics, pediatrics and refractive surgery. In-depth rotations through the subspecialties augment knowledge and skills obtained during the first two years of residency. Residents in the third year assume more responsibility for patient care in clinics and ORs and serve as primary surgeons during ocular trauma cases.

Three PGY4 residents are selected as chief residents in areas of academics, administration and surgery. These individuals serve as the liaison between the residents and the department chair and program directors. In addition, they are given administrative responsibility for medical student education, resident didactics, grand rounds assignments, rotation schedules and many other aspects affecting resident life at IU.

Glick Eye Institute Resident Surgical Skills Transfer Course

The annual surgical skills transfer course provides an outstanding opportunity for department residents to enhance their surgical skills and explore new surgical procedures in a setting that is highly mentored by expert faculty and industry partners. This half-day course takes place every year and involves residents from all levels of training.

Admission Requirements

Current medical students and/or medical school graduates interested in applying to the Department of Ophthalmology Residency Program must do so through the SF Match website. All required supporting documentation must be submitted in order to be considered for an interview. Supporting documentation includes a completed application, an official undergraduate transcript, an official medical school transcript and three letters of recommendation.

In addition, non-U.S. medical graduates must provide an ECFMG Certificate, proof of U.S. clinical experience, three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a preceptor during their U.S. training.