The residency program is three years long and designed to help students enhance their examination, diagnostic and surgical skills.


The purpose of the initial year of residency training is to develop skills in basic ophthalmologic examination, the use of instrumentation, and the development of medical ophthalmology skills in differential diagnosis. First year training also begins the process of developing solid surgical skills. Each resident spends six months of the year in the Comprehensive ophthalmology clinic focusing on a broad range of ophthalmic disorders and being involved in medical and pre-operative evaluation of patients as well as operative management.

The resident begins performing portions of cataract surgery and will typically complete one or more cases of topical, clear corneal cataract surgery as primary surgeon by the conclusion of the rotation. In addition, the resident will be introduced to subspecialty ophthalmology, spending six months in the Neuro-Ophthalmology Service. During this time the resident will also be on the Consult Service and will be introduced to the management of ocular trauma and participate in operative management.

The purpose of the second year is to solidify the resident's diagnostic skills while refining his/her intraocular surgical techniques. Three months are spent at the state-of-the-art Mather VA facility where the resident will work side by side with the VA faculty and manage his/her own patients and clinic. During this year the resident will rotate through the Pediatrics service, participating in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of eye alignment disorders. The resident may also rotate to Kaiser and Sutter/Mercy affiliate clinics, obtaining additional experience in Pediatric ophthalmology. Three months each are also spent rotating on the Glaucoma Service and Cornea and External Eye Disease Service where additional subspecialty clinical and surgical experience is provided.

The emphasis of the third year is in perfecting advanced surgical techniques and diagnostic skills as well as gaining experience in managing a clinic. Each resident will spend three months at the Martinez VA clinic running his/her own clinic with direct one-on-one faculty supervision. Three additional months will be spent as Chief resident, arranging his/her own clinic schedule and surgical practice. As Chief, the resident may select from a variety of academic and clinical faculty with whom to expand his/her operative skills. The resident can learn to perform such advanced techniques as capsular tension rings, toric IOLs, capsular staining, multifocal IOLs, iris retraction and limbal relaxing incisions.

Three months are spent on participating in the Vitreo-Retinal service, learning a myriad of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities and three months. Three months are spent on the Oculoplastics Service where the resident learns to assess and manage a variety of oculoplastics disorders as well as participating in orbital surgery. The resident also participates in refractive surgery such as LASIK and PRK, becoming certified in excimer laser and microkeratome use, typically performing 2-4 cases as primary surgeon.

The resident completes the program with extensive surgical experience in all aspects of ophthalmology. The UC Davis Eye Center program currently has Fellows in Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma, and Vitreo-Retinal surgery. The program is structured such that the Fellow greatly benefits the resident’s education without taking away from the surgical volume. Throughout the three-year program, the resident participates in a wide variety of didactic programs and conferences provided by the department.


Teaching Conferences

The UC Davis Eye Center has an extensive collection of regularly scheduled lecture programs and conferences. These provide a solid foundation in both basic science and clinical ophthalmology.

As part of their training program, the resident is required to work on a research project, mentored by a faculty member, and give a presentation at the annual Resident & Fellow Symposium. The resident completes a research project of their choice during their second and third year. The projects may be in either basic science or clinical research. These experiences are not specifically aimed at promoting a career in ophthalmic research, but rather at providing a solid base for the understanding and evaluation of ophthalmic literature.

Scheduled once a week, this conference affords the resident the opportunity to learn how to read and interpret fluorescein and indocyane green angiography for a wide variety of clinical retinal problems.

During the first year an Optics conference is held once a week to provide the resident with a basic working knowledge of theoretical optics and their clinical applications. During these sessions, the resident is also provided with practical problems in clinical optics as well as lectures.

Pathology lectures are given by a guest lecturer twice a year during Professor Rounds, and also by teleconferencing approximately six to seven times a year. In addition a guest lecturer also provides a hands-on training two hour session once a month in the Pathology laboratory.

This hands-on course is held twice a year to cover the basics of phacoemulsification.

Professor Rounds are held for two hours in the morning on a weekly basis. Case presentations are discussed in detail by faculty, residents and fellows with an emphasis on the latest literature and treatment modalities. Visiting Professor Grand Rounds are held approximately six times a year, to which community physicians are invited, with visiting guest speakers on specific subspecialties of ophthalmology.

There is a weekly evening lecture series which covers all areas of ophthalmic subspecialties. This lecture series is ongoing throughout the year and is designed to provide the resident with the full spectrum of basic clinical ophthalmology twice over a three year period.

This is a working conference in which operative and post-operative problems are discussed among the full-time faculty and residents. The purpose of this conference is to provide the resident with a teaching experience that will form a positive impact on quality assurance in the care of patients.