Clinical Curriculum

PGY-1

The first year is spent building a base of patient care skills. The PGY-1 year will begin with rotations in:

  • Emergency Medicine
  • ENT
  • Dermatology
  • Neurology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Trauma and Acute Care
  • and at the VA Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont

The final 3 months will be spent in Ophthalmology learning ophthalmology examination and testing skills, office procedures, and introduction to the operating room. After passing our accelerated Ophthalmic Technician Skills Training Course, residents will refine their skills in faculty specialty clinics, assist in the operating room, start the surgical simulator curriculum, and join faculty on call.

PGY-2

The second year is spent primarily in resident clinic and working with the faculty doctor on call for consults and emergencies. The goal is for the resident to establish a cohort of outpatients whom they will follow for all 3 years. There is close supervision of resident clinic encounters; the faculty members each supervise 1 or more sessions regularly, every week, allowing certain days of the week to take on a subspecialty flavor. Second-year residents will see pediatric patients twice a week, every week upstairs in our pediatric eye clinic. Second-year residents will develop extensive experience in performing office laser and minor surgical procedures, and will be introduced to OR procedures. Residents will attend the pathology and optics portion of the Lancaster Course at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

PGY-3

The third year is spent in 3 four-month blocks working on faculty services learning subspecialty ophthalmology. Residents will work up patients in the faculty subspecialty referral practices and participate in the management of complex problems. As well, third-year residents will assist faculty in the OR, with increasing surgical involvement as competence increases. Third-year residents will continue to see their own patients in resident clinic 1 day per week. During this year, residents will also attend a 2-week pathology and refractive surgery rotation at Massachusetts Eye and Ear (MEE). This rotation also includes a proctored wet lab at the MEE surgical simulation center. Third-year residents will attend the annual MEE spring cataract surgery course.

PGY-4

Fourth-year residents spend alternating 3-month blocks working in the ophthalmology service at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont, and serve as Chief Resident at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The VA has a general ophthalmology service, a large portion of which is dedicated to cataract care. The goal of the resident rotation at the VA is to care for the veteran ophthalmology population and perform a significant volume of cataract surgery under the direct supervision of the VA faculty.

The fourth-year resident serves as chief of the Resident Clinic and is the primary advisor of the junior residents. The Chief Resident performs all surgery generated from resident clinic and on-call emergencies and additionally performs all hospital consultations (with faculty supervision). Finally, the Chief Resident is expected to help provide administrative and managerial support for the residency in appropriate ways, such as resident scheduling, call, and conference assignments

Senior residents will be given time and funding to attend the American Academy of Ophthalmology conference and have time away for job or fellowship interviews.