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Fourth Year Medical Students

OP 486 Introduction to Ophthalmology
Fourth Year Medical Student (MS 4) Elective 

Faculty Supervisor: Johanna Seddon, MD, ScM, FARVO

Program Coordinator: Louise Tetreault
Phone: 508-334-6181

Location: The Eye Center at UMass Memorial Hahnemann Campus 281 Lincoln Street Worcester, MA  01605                    

Day One Instructions: Report to The Eye Center, 3rd floor, at Hahnemann Hospital Campus. Students will complete required online Module 1 Integrative Clinical Anatomy of the Eye - Intro/the clarity and beauty of the eye prior to attending the first day.  

Introduction to Ophthalmology Elective Course Description:

The fourth-year (MS 4) Introduction to Ophthalmology Elective (OP 486) is specifically designed to allow a senior medical student advanced studies clinical experience in ophthalmology, exposure to ophthalmology sub-specialties clinics, exposure to ophthalmology sub-specialty operating room and on-call experiences, provide more focused guidance in eye examination techniques and present better understanding of ophthalmic differential diagnoses and basic management decisions of ophthalmic conditions.

Students will complete required online Module 1 Integrative Clinical Anatomy of the Eye - Intro/the clarity and beauty of the eye prior to attending the first day. 

First day Ophthalmology Clinic Orientation will reinforce aspects of clinical ophthalmology and ophthalmic research to the fourth-year medical student.  Attendance is required unless Dr. Faustina is notified ahead of time.  Students will attend all core sessions which are designed as Problem-Based Learning Modules.  Students will prepare presentations, which will include either a clinical presentation of a case, or a research hypothesis.  There will be a Post-Test at the end of the rotation.

Core lecture sessions (class/modules):           

1) Intro-The Clarity and Beauty of the Eye (Required prior to reporting for first day) 

2) Acute vision loss

3) Chronic Vision Loss

4) Differential Diagnosis of Red Eye

5) Ocular & Orbital Injuries

6) Pediatric Ophthalmology

7) Neuro Ophthalmology

8) Ocular Manifestations of Systemic Disease


Core practical sessions (clinic):         

1) 8- Part eye examination

 2) Vision exam, visual acuity and beyond

3) Slit Lamp Examination (SLE) Techniques

3) Funduscopic examination

4) Visual field examination

5) Imaging of the eye & diagnostic testing including ERG

Introduction to Ophthalmology Elective Learning Objectives:

  1. The fourth-year medical student will be able to take a focused history with regards to ocular complaints.
  2. The fourth-year medical student will be able to perform a basic eye examination including:
    1. Measure the Visual Acuity using patient appropriate techniques
    2. Evaluate the Pupils & Extra-Ocular Motility
    3. Use a Slit Lamp Biomicroscope
    4. Measure the Intraocular Pressure
    5. Perform Direct Ophthalmoscopy
  3. The Ophthalmology Elective student will learn diagnostic tests frequently utilized in clinical ophthalmology
  4. The Ophthalmology Elective student will practice differential diagnosis skills to demonstrate basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the eye and visual system and common pathologies
    1. Acute vision loss
      1. Retinal detachment
      2. Acute hemorrhage
      3. Retinal vascular occlusions: central retinal artery occlusion
      4. Optic neuropathies: papilledema, giant cell/temporal arteritis, optic neuritis/multiple sclerosis
    2. Chronic vision loss
      1. Cataracts
      2. Glaucoma
      3. Macular degeneration
    3. Differential diagnosis of the red eye
      1. Conjunctivitis
      2. Herpetic eye disease
      3. Inflammatory conditions: scleritis, uveitis
      4. Acute angle-closure glaucoma
      5. Stye vs. chalazion
    4. Ocular and orbital injuries
      1. Chemical injury
      2. Corneal abrasion
      3. Ruptured globe
      4. Orbital cellulitis
      5. Orbital fractures
      6. Eyelid lacerations
    5. Pediatric ophthalmology
      1. Amblyopia
      2. Strabismus
      3. Retinoblastoma
      4. Non-accidental trauma
    6.  Neuro-ophthalmology
      1. Pupil abnormalities
      2. Cranial neuropathies: Cranial nerve III, IV, VI, VII palsies
      3. Visual field defects
    7. Ocular manifestations of systemic disease
      1. Diabetes
      2. Hypertension
      3. Thyroid disease
      4. Sarcoidosis
      5. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
      6. Syphilis

UMass Chan Competencies:   Professional, Scientist, Communicator, Problem Solver, Advocate, Person

Evaluation Type:  Attendance, clinical assignments, case presentation, participation in clinic, rounds and meetings

Availability:    Two fourth-year medical student on each available block



E2 |


T9B | March 11, 2024-March 22, 2024

Opportunities available to students:

Students who are interested, may be given the opportunity to participate in the following activities:

  1. Author or co-author a clinical paper that is submitted for publication
  2. Presentation at national/regional meeting
  3. Author or co-author a review paper
  4. Author or co-author an original research paper