Currently, we have 15 residents with 3 CMG positions offered each year.
What are your program strengths?
Early surgical exposure, beginning in the PGY-2 year, to ensure that the resident is extremely well trained surgically before entering the OR.
A large volume of didactic and interactive teaching with staff. High-quality teaching is done by staff not residents. Structured academic half days every Friday ensure all ophthalmic subspecialty topics from the AAO manuals are covered in completion twice during one's residency.
Daily morning subspecialty teaching clinics in neuro-ophthalmology, retina, uveitis and glaucoma to ensure junior residents hone early on their exam and clinical skills. These low-volume clinics facilitate one-on-one teaching allowing residents to interact directly with the comprehensive or subspecialist ophthalmologist.
High volume emergency afternoon clinics: there is nothing you would have not seen and be comfortable managing once you graduate from our program.
An elective designated for a rotation at the Baffin Program in Iqaluit. Senior residents serve as primary surgeons for minor oculoplastics procedures, lasers, and injections.
A unique opportunity for a two-week elective at the Srikiran Eye Institute in India to learn small incision cataract surgery and see unusual cases.
A resident rotation dedicated to ophthalmic diagnostics (B-scan, UBM, OCT, Orbscan, Pentacam, Corneal confocal microscope, Zeiss in vitro laser confocal microscope, etc).
An intense five-day course in eyelid, nasolacrimal and orbital anatomy involving a thorough dissection of a human cadaver orbits.
Opportunity for residents to participate in refractive surgery: a unique experience among ophthalmology programs.
Dedicated time to conduct and complete research. Residents also have access to the Department of Ophthalmology Research Fund (DORF) in order to support their research endeavours.
Each resident is formally paired with a mentor, with whom he or she can turn to for personal and professional guidance on an ongoing basis.
What are the didactic sessions like?
High-quality teaching is done by staff not residents. Structured academic half days every Friday morning ensure all ophthalmic subspecialty topics from the American Academy of Ophthalmology Manuals are covered in completion twice during one's residency. In addition, there are professor rounds twice a week and grand rounds every Wednesday.
Do residents get time off for conferences?
Yes! The time off available for residents to attend conferences is mandated at a provincial level by PARO (Professional Association of Residents of Ontario) which allows for seven days off in addition to regular vacation time. We certainly encourage our residents to use this time to attend and present at national and international ophthalmology meetings. In fact, we cover the registration costs and ensure call protection for the annual Sally Letson Symposium, which is a yearly ophthalmology conference held in Ottawa!
Do you have a wet lab for residents to practice?
The University of Ottawa Ophthalmology Program introduces early surgical experience via the Surgical Simulation Centre to ensure that each resident is extremely well trained surgically before entering the OR. The Ophthalmology Surgical Simulation Centre (wet lab) offers the residents a place to learn and practice surgical procedures with the pig eye model developed by one of our staff physicians. In addition, the residents have access to an EYESI simulator.
Dr. Ralf Buhrmann, Director of the Ophthalmology Surgical Simulation Centre (OSSC) has developed great hands on training programs for the residents such as: Instruction to Microsurgery Course (basic suturing); Basic Cataract Surgery Course; and Advanced Cataract Surgery Course.
What is the number of applications you receive each year?
The average number of applications received by our program in the last five years is between 51– 200. The average percentage of applicants offered interviews is 5 - 25 %.
Is there a forum to present issues affecting residents?
The Postgraduate Training Committee meets monthly to discuss all issues pertaining to the residency program. Many changes are implemented regularly to address the changing needs and requirements of the residents. Key faculty and all residents are invited to participate.
Are the attendings approachable?
Absolutely. Each resident is matched with an attending mentor. Given the centralized facility at the Eye Institute, residents have ample opportunity to interact directly or indirectly with attendings on a daily basis. By the end of their training years, most residents have developed close relationships with many of the attendings.
Is there any time for electives?
Our program offers an eight-week period of protected time for electives. In addition, during senior year, there is a two-week elective designated for a rotation at the Srikiran Eye Institute in India. This elective allows the resident to get exposed to small incision cataract surgery and offers an opportunity to see unusual cases.
How is life in Ottawa?
From city life to outdoor activities and a cultural atmosphere, Ottawa has something to offer to everyone. For urban living lovers, the Byward Market, the Glebe, Elgin Street and Westboro are lively spots that offer vibrant city life options. For outdoor activities, about a 20-minute drive away from the city you will find numerous hiking/running/cycling trails in Gatineau Park. Don’t forget the world's largest skating rink in the historic Rideau Canal Skateway with a length of 7.8 kilometers. Culturally, the Nation’s Capital is the home of many galleries, theatres and museums. It is no surprise to us that Ottawa has been ranked as one of the best places to live in Canada.
Are residents required to perform research?
Residents actively participate in at least one research project from PGY2 to PGY4 and their results are presented at the annual departmental Research Day in May. Residents are encouraged and supported when they present papers and posters at national and international meetings. We have dedicated research time for our residents in PGY-2 to PGY-4, to the equivalent of 1/2 day per week.