The first year of training commences with a 4 week basic and clinical sciences introduction to ophthalmology. This is followed by rotations in the general eye clinic and subspecialty services, giving residents the opportunity to develop clinic judgment and management skills. Minor surgery and laser surgery experience begins during the first year.
During the second year of training, the residents are given increased responsibility in the clinic and are introduced to intraocular surgical procedures and ocular laser therapy. Second year residents answer impatient consults and participate in the teaching of non-ophthalmic house staff rotating through the eye clinic. A significant portion of the second year is set aside for studying ophthalmic pathology, primarily done during a four month rotation at the Armed Forces Institution of Pathology. The resident is expected to gain expertise in both the gross and microscopic examination of ocular tissues and is also responsible for presenting the biweekly Clinical Pathologic Correlate conference. They are expected to continue the investigations that they initiated during the first year, or are given the option of selecting a new research topic.
During the third year, the residents gain most of their surgical experience. The third year residents assist the attending staff on private surgical cases, and third year residents, under the supervision of the ophthalmology attendings, do essentially all of the intraocular surgical procedures for non private patients. The senior resident is responsible for ensuring that all consultations are seen in a timely fashion. Administrative responsibilities of the senior residents include the development of the resident on call schedule, the assignment of topics for the weekly resident home study review course, the weekly grand rounds, and the monthly journal club.
The teaching activities of the department include weekly grand rounds and subspecialty lecture series. Registration for selected local conferences is provided to residents. An annual board review course registration and travel with room and board for the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting are provided to the senior residents.
Howard University, George Washington University, and Georgetown University form the Washington Ophthalmic Resident Consortium (WORC). All residents meet at each site once month for didactic lectures and surgical wet labs.
The Howard University Hospital Department of Ophthalmology has clinical affiliations with the Orlando VA Outpatient Center (Orlando, FL), the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Washington, DC), and the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD). These affiliations offer our residents a varied population base and a comprehensive enhancement in surgical experience.