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Ophthalmology Residency Columbia - Curriculum

Ophthalmology educational experiences

Residents will evaluate patients in the WJB Dorn Veterans Administration Hospital (VAH) eye clinic, Prisma Health Ophthalmology resident clinics, Prisma Health retina clinics and Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital clinics. Inpatients are seen as consults at Prisma Health Richland Hospital, which is adjacent to the Prisma Health Ophthalmology main clinic.

First- and second-year residents work primarily in primary eye care continuity clinics with exposure to specialty clinics. First- and second- year residents also spend time in the operating room assisting surgical procedures. Second-year residents become more involved in the operating room and help supervise first year residents. Third-year residents supervise all junior residents, perform the majority of the surgical procedures and repeat key specialty areas of their choosing originally introduced in the second year.

Program goals:
  • To become an integral member of the team of educators who teach medical students and other medical residents ophthalmology.
  • To become aware of and to promote the mission and goals of our medical school and hospital.
  • To acquire core knowledge required to function as a higher-level resident.
  • To develop skills and behaviors required to optimally interact with patients, staff and physicians in the provision of a quality service both in ambulatory clinics and in the hospital setting.
  • To become involved and understand the role of ophthalmic research in promoting and developing new techniques and strategies to improve the overall eye health of our community.
  • To prepare at least one original research project that could be presented at a national convention.

Curriculum schedule

Didactic program

Our program has an extensive and rigorous didactic program to adequately prepare residents for the annual OKAP test and boards following graduation. Didactics are held every Friday afternoon during designated lecture time. In addition, evening lectures are held throughout the week by visiting lecturers including fluorescein-angiogram conference, journal club, wet labs and specialty topics. Presentations from local ophthalmologists, as well as specialists across the state and southeastern region, provide residents with in depth evidence-based background knowledge as a foundation to build quickly advancing clinical skills.

The residents also give weekly grand rounds and present M&M video cases in review of cases that were seen in clinic. Review of past cases allows an open-forum discussion provoking different thought processes from each of the residents and faculty which provides for individual growth as well as team-building amongst the resident classes.

Residents also have the opportunity to practice and prepare their clinical skills in vitro prior to surgical procedures on humans. The residents are given access to a fully stocked wet lab of bovine eyes to practice procedures and more fully understand ocular anatomy early on in their residency training.

One of our most prized didactic components is that of our phenomenal OKAP review. The BCSC books are provided to every resident on July 1 of their first year. A comprehensive reading schedule is implemented to ensure that each resident has read the entirety of the BCSC series by December. The residents meet every Wednesday morning to review that week’s required reading assignments. Quizzes are administered after each book is completed and the residents have monthly OKAP quiz bowl for further repetition of topics.

Monthly journal clubs are held at local restaurants with a panel of local ophthalmologists. This format allows residents an opportunity to discuss new, upcoming technologies and procedures as well as traditional studies with practicing physicians of the community.

Community outreach to educate other clinical staff outside the specialty of ophthalmology is performed by the residents. Residents help explain basic eye care protocol to different health care professions. This helps to educate the entire health care population about how to properly take care of patients with eye care needs. Also, it allows these programs to consult with patients for their eye care needs more efficiently.

Research projects must be performed by each resident over the course of their three-year ophthalmology residency. Each resident chooses an area of interest and works closely with one of the faculty members to conduct research. On resident graduation day each June, junior residents present their research project updates and graduates present their research outcomes.

Posters, Publications, etc. Each resident is required to participate in at least one instance of publishable scholarly activity over the three-year period