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Curriculum Overview

The core didactic series is designed to cover ophthalmology broadly. It is constructed based on the American Academy of Ophthalmology Basic and Clinical Science Course. This list of topics is designed to repeat every 12 months, so that each resident has the opportunity to cover each topic 3 times PGY-2 through PGY-4 graduation.  The schedule is designed to lead up to the “In-service” examination.

The core didactic series is offered through a variety of teaching techniques including lectures, small group discussions, case presentations and topic reviews. Grand rounds presentations and Journal Club offer additional ways of covering further aspects of ophthalmic conditions. 

Residents are expected to read, critically review, and discuss selected articles in Ophthalmology and other selected journals, as determined by the faculty facilitator for journal club conferences. 

“In-service” exam

The Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) examination is administered by the American Academy of Ophthalmology annually (usually in mid-March) and will serve as our “in-service” exam.

Each Fall, the residency program will register the residents for the computer-based examination. The program will provide it's own location and protocols for the day of the exam. 

The OKAP is a 260-item, computer-based, multiple-choice test that is administered at Prometric test centers to ophthalmology residents throughout the United States and Canada. It is designed to measure the ophthalmic knowledge of residents, relative to their peers, to facilitate the ongoing assessment of resident progress and program effectiveness. All residents take the same examination. Percentile ranks are assigned based on their PGY level of training.

As a planned practice-based learning and improvement exercise, post-OKAP score meetings will be held with each resident. The resident will be allowed time to review scores and areas of strength and weakness and independently develop a learning plan for continued improvement with self-reflection and the guidance of their faculty mentor. This learning plan and progress or challenges can be reviewed in their semi-annual milestones meeting with the Program Director.

Weekly: Didactics based on American Academy of Ophthalmology Basic & Clinical Sciences Course set of texts

Monthly: Ophthalmic Pathology Conference, Vision Seminar Series, Culture Conferences, Quality Conference, Journal Club, Grand Rounds, Continuous Quality Improvement

Yearly: Department of Ophthalmology Residents Symposium

Didactics: Didactics are scheduled every weekly morning for two hours. Sessions will include lecture, small- group teaching, case presentations, review of study questions, continuous cuality improvement projects and case-log reviews.

Ophthalmic Pathology Conference: These two-hour sessions are led by faculty member Nora Laver, the curriculum is based on the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) slide set which is a comprehensive curriculum in Ophthalmic Pathology.

Vision Seminar Series: This one-hour session is held nine times each year on the 3rd Thursday of the month (No seminar July, August, & December). The Vision Seminar Series hosts a visiting professor. Residents and attendings are expected to actively participate, with case discussions, review of journal articles, and lectures by the visiting professor. This is an evening event at which dinner is served.

Culture Conference: These lectures constitute a critical component of our department's educational efforts to broaden and disseminate ophthalmic knowledge in regard to quality, ethics, advocacy, diversity, professionalism, inclusion and leadership.

Quality Conference: This one-hour conference will take place each month in the Department of Ophthalmology. The residents will prepare the M&M list as well as an evidence-based review for select cases (with the guidance of the Attending of record).

Journal Club: This one-hour conference will be held each month. There will be a rotating core of faculty who are responsible for moderating Journal Club, and thus the moderating Attending is required to attend. Attendance of faculty in whose specialty area the journal articles are being presented are also expected to attend.

Grand Rounds: This one-hour conference will take place each month. Residents and Attendings alike will be responsible for identifying cases to present in this conference. The residents will then present the case. This conference serves as the foundation of the residents’ didactic experience during their training. The format will include both topics that are presented by the residents and topics that are presented by teaching faculty. Each resident will prepare a grand rounds presentation on a topic for a minimum of twice each year.

Annual Department of Ophthalmology Residents Symposium: Each June, residents will present their scholarly activity for that academic year and attendings are expected to actively participate. Faculty from all sites and visitors will be invited.