Department of Ophthalmology

Intern/Rotation Schedule

First Year Rotation Schedule
Second Year Rotation Schedule
Third Year Rotation Schedule
Academic Schedule

The department of ophthalmology offers a unique opportunity for completion of the internship year of residency. After matching for ophthalmology residency at Storm Eye, residents have a surgery intern position automatically available to them with the department of surgery at Medical University of South Carolina. This cooperation with the surgery department offers the interns a modified surgery internship schedule which enjoys a full four months of ophthalmology rotations. Three months are spent in the general ophthalmology clinic and one month is spent in an oculopathology rotation.

Intern Year
A general surgery internship position at MUSC is offered to every matched Ophthalmology resident.  Dr. Megan Baker is currently the Surgical Internship Program Director, and Sue Wetherholt is the Program Coordinator.  Their contact information is listed below:

Traditional general surgery duties typically include the following one month rotations:

  • Trauma A & B
  • CT Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Night Float Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Urology

Additionally, there is an opportunity to do 2 or 3 months of elective time in Ophthalmology, and the balance of the year may include 2 or 3 additional electives, at the discretion of the General Surgery Program Director.

While on the Ophthalmology service, the intern is responsible for performing the procedures for fluorescein angiographies. They also assist in pre-operative preparation of patients for surgery. The intern has no weeknight or weekend call duties and is scheduled to participate with patient care under the supervision of the residents and attendings.

First Year Rotation Schedule
The first year of residency here at Storm Eye Institute is an exciting year divided into four rotations of three months each.

General (w/ Pediatric) Clinic: First year residents participate in the general ophthalmology clinic and begin to independently care for patients under the supervision of attending physicians. The general clinic is staffed by great technicians and several community ophthalmologists. The different community attending physicians have been the strength of this rotation by providing excellent supervision, education and a variety of sound practicing styles. The first year is part of a team with the technicians and staff which also includes an intern, a second year resident and a senior resident. The general clinic team also has a glaucoma half-day. The first year also spends two half-days in the pediatric ophthalmology clinic.

Cornea Clinic: The first year is the primary resident on the cornea service sharing time with the cornea attending physicians. There are two clinic days and two surgery days. As the primary resident on this rotation the responsibilities are many but the learning experience is great as are the opportunities to participate with procedures both in the operating room and clinic.

Plastics: This first year resident rotation is where residents work one-on-one with the Oculo-Plastics specialist. There is ample exposure to both in-office procedures as well as the operating room for the wide variety of pathology that is encountered.

Neuro-ophthalmology (w/Retina) Clinic: This rotation with our neuro-ophthalmology attending physician gives the first year resident a great experience with additional exposure to uveitis patients. There is also time spent gaining experience with the retina service both in the clinic and the OR.

After additional instruction with on-call issues, the first years begin to take first call responsibilities. The first years take thirty-two weeks of first call including the four major four day weekends. The second years take the remainder of the call.

Second Year Rotation Schedule
Since  ophthalmology is a surgical subspecialty, the second year of residency begins the surgical experience by allowing the second year resident to perform procedures in addition to valuable clinic time in the following rotations described below. The second years share twenty weeks of first call but this does not include any of the major four day weekends.

General Clinic: While there is a senior resident on service with the second year resident, this clinic has traditionally been considered the second year resident’s show to run with ample backup. Second years are responsible for the day to day clinic flow as well as in-patient adult ophthalmology consults. As described previously, the different community attendings are great physicians and their different approaches add tremendously to our education. The variety of pathology that is seen in the general clinic is fantastic. During this rotation the second year will have the opportunity for cataract surgery as the primary surgeon.

VA: The incredibly busy clinical service is balanced by two surgery days. Here the second year begins to build their volumes of surgeries as primary. The ophthalmology attending physicians at the VA are excellent teachers, and definitely make the transition into primary surgeon comfortable. Additionally, there is a half day dedicated to minor procedures such as injections, biopsies and laser surgery. The majority of the surgery will be cataracts but there is one oculoplastics surgery day a month as well as retina and glaucoma surgeries.

Retina: The primary resident on the retina rotation divides their time between our vitreo-retinal specialists. There are 2-3 surgery days per week but there are often added cases throughout the week. The Retina clinics provide exposure to diverse pathology. During these three months there is experience performing panretinal photocoagulation, focal lasers, and intravitreal injections. The retina service is supported by a full array of imaging modalities with residents learning to interpret findings side by side with attending physicians. Surgical cases likewise provide a diverse exposure and an opportunity to learn the basics of vitreoretinal surgery. In the operating room residents are involved as active participants with each case.

Pediatrics: The three months in the pediatric ophthalmology clinic are spent with some of the world’s foremost pediatric ophthalmologists. The resident participates in busy clinics where the basics of pediatric ophthalmology are learned with the fellow and attendings including ROP clinic. Surgery time is shared with the fellow but since there are three surgery days amongst the pediatric ophthalmologists, primary surgical numbers for the resident exceed the ACGME minimums. The resident is responsible for the inpatient pediatric ophthalmology consults.

Third Year Rotation Schedule
As a senior resident, the final year of residency focuses on perfecting surgical skills. The senior year concentrates on surgical cases for the residents.The seniors share secondary call which primarily consists of on-call surgical cases.

General Clinic: The role of the senior resident here is primarily to back-up the second year resident and to perform the surgeries produced from clinic. These surgeries include cataract surgeries with our community physicians and staff general ophthalmologist. Select cases will also be performed with the cornea service as well as day trauma cases.

VA: During the VA rotation, the residents will perform the majority of their cataract surgeries which come with two dedicated surgery days per week. Additionally there is one oculoplastics day per month as well as scattered retina surgeries.

VA/Elective: On top of the traditional VA rotation, residents get a rotation with three VA clinic day and one VA surgery day. Surgeries consist primarily of cataracts. This rotation affords incredible flexibility for concentrating on special interests during the days not spent at the VA.

Glaucoma Clinic: The third year is the primary resident on this rotation with the glaucoma service. There are two surgery days in the week, one dedicated for resident surgery. Surgical and laser glaucoma procedures easily exceed ACGME minimums.

Academic Schedule

Grand Rounds - Grand Rounds are held every Thursday afternoon in the 8th floor auditorium and include presentations by attendings, researchers and guest presenters.  Previous guest speakers include Jai G. Parekh, M.D., M.B.A., Clinical Associate Professor, Cornea Service, The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mt. Sinai, NY, Managing Partner, Brar-Parekh Eye Associates, NJ, Chief of Cornea & External Diseases/Director of the Research Institute, St. Joseph's HealthCare System, NJ.

Tuesday Morning Conferences -

Every Tuesday morning at 7:15AM, the residents attend didactic conferences with concentration each week on a specific sub-specialty.  Case diagnosis, management and treatment are discussed.

Academic Fridays - Every Friday afternoon is dedicated to academics with mandatory attendance by all residents except for the on-call team.  Typically, there are three lectures given by attending physicians.  We have initiated weekly require reading schedules with a quiz every Friday.  Each resident is asked to provide two questions form the readings for the quiz.  After taking the quiz, the residents go over the questions in a very low stress (no attendings) environment.  The scores are known only by the chief resident sho keeps scores amongst the resident teams for our academic competition.  The winners receive monies to be used towards book or other resources.

Peds Small Group – Every Wednesday morning at 7:15AM – Mandatory for the second year on the pediatric rotation, but open to all residents.

Resident Educational Symposia – Once a month residents, attendings and members of the Charleston Ophthalmology community come together for a fun night of dining and education. Typically three articles are presented by residents for a Socratic discussion in a social atmosphere.

Resident Surgical Volumes

Cataract Surgery: 200-250 cases as Primary Surgeon

Open Globe Surgery: 10-20 cases as Primary Surgeon

Glaucoma Surgery: 5-20 cases as Primary Surgeon

Corneal Transplants: 1-2 cases as Primary, 10-20 as Assistant

Strabismus Surgery: 25-30 cases as Primary Surgeon

Oculoplastic Surgery: 30-40 cases as Primary Surgeon

Vitrectomy Surgery: Assist only

Laser Surgery: 50-75 Focal, PRP, YAG and LI’s


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