Anatomy and Wet lab

Anatomy and wet lab skills courses

University of Ottawa Ophthalmology gives residents early surgical exposure starting in their 2nd year 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 a pig eye model developed by Dr. Buhrmann. In addition, the residents have access to an EYESI simulator. The surgical training course runs throughout the course of the year, regardless of which rotation a resident is on. This allows for spaced repetition. There are two main longitudinal courses that help develop a resident’s surgical skills.


Ophthalmic surgical skills course

Dr. Ralf Buhrmann, a glaucoma and anterior segment surgeon, and Director of the Ophthalmology Surgical Simulation Centre, has developed a superb hands-on training program for the residents. This program is split into 4 courses: Introduction to Microsurgery (PGY-2); Introduction to Cataract Surgery (PGY-2); Intermediate Cataract (PGY-3); and Advanced Cataract Surgery (PGY-4 and PGY-5). Other surgical teachers join in on some of these sessions to provide further expertise.

During these courses, residents get ample opportunities to practice their skills and ask questions outside of their formal OR days. This environment allows residents to get detailed and insightful feedback. Each surgical station includes video capabilities to record surgeries for later review and teaching.


Anatomy course

Dr. David Jordan, an oculoplastic specialist, runs a comprehensive anatomy course for the PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents that is both didactic (following a finely tuned anatomy manual that Dr. Jordan has put together over 30 years) and hands-on, with the resident’s own individual cadaver head. Over 5 days, residents learn about the cranial nerves (origin and destination), the cavernous sinus area, as well as all the important structures in the eyelid, nasolacrimal system, and orbit. This occurs through a detailed dissection of a human cadaver head, with close supervision by Dr. Jordan, who is there for the duration of the course, helping the students identify key structures and highlighting their clinical importance. This unique aspect of the program provides residents with a solid foundational understanding that they can then apply in the clinic or operating room.

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