Clinical RotationsResidents in our program participate in a variety of clinical rotations designed to enhance their expertise in different areas.

We offer 12 different areas of service. Each subspecialty service has one resident participating at a time to provide one-on-one faculty instruction.

Six months of the first year are spent in the Comprehensive Service acquiring diagnostic and therapeutic skills. Residents participate in surgical evaluations while learning the basics of intraocular surgery. During this rotation residents will become comfortable with wound construction, capsulorhexis and lens implantation as well as learning the basics of phacoemulsification. By the end of the rotation, the resident will typically have performed one or more topical, clear corneal cataract surgeries as primary surgeon. During this time on the Comprehensive Service, the resident will also rotate to the local Society for the Blind facility where he/she will learn skills to deal with low vision.

In the first year, during the Neuro-Ophthalmology rotation, the resident will participate in the inpatient consult service. Under the supervision of clinical faculty, the resident will perform independent examinations and develop treatment plans for both urgent and emergent patients with a wide range of pathology.

Three months in the second year are spent in the Cornea/External Disease service. The resident will participate in the diagnosis, as well as medical and surgical management, of a variety of anterior segment disorders.

Three months in the second year are spent in the Glaucoma Service. The resident will have primary responsibility to the Glaucoma Service participating in advanced diagnostic and treatment modalities.

Six months of the first year are spent in the Neuro-Ophthalmology Service. The resident will participate in the diagnosis and management of complex neuro-ophthalmic disorders as well as learning how to use botulinum toxin for a variety of disorders. During this time, the resident will also participate in the Consult Service.

Three months in the third year are spent in the Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service. The resident will have extensive exposure to a wide variety of pathology and participate directly in surgical procedures. In the absence of full-time faculty, the resident will have the opportunity to work with volunteer clinical faculty at the Kaiser facility in Sacramento.

Three months of the second year are spent in the Pediatrics service. The resident will participate in the diagnosis and management of routine and complex pediatric disorders as well as strabismus surgery. In the absence of full-time faculty, the resident will have the opportunity to work with volunteer clinical faculty at either the Kaiser or Sutter/Mercy affiliates in Sacramento.

Refractive surgery is the most common form of ophthalmic surgery performed in the United States and training in this procedure should be a part of any residency program. The resident receives an introduction to refractive surgery during his/her Comprehensive Ophthalmology and Cornea and External Eye Disease rotations. This includes assisting in pre and postoperative management as well as participating in surgical planning and observing all forms of refractive surgery including: LASIK, LASEK, PRK, AK, LRI and clear lens extraction. During the third year, the resident will receive formal training in microkeratome and excimer laser use, becoming certified in both. A program of reduced fees for patients having LASIK with residents allows each resident to perform 2 - 4 LASIK cases prior to graduation. The resident completes his/her training with a thorough understanding of refractive surgery principles and techniques and is well prepared to incorporate such surgery into his/her practice.

Three months of the third year are spent in the Vitreo-Retinal Service. The resident will participate in fluorescein and ICG angiographic evaluation of patients as well as their medical and surgical management. He or she will perform extensive laser treatments and intraocular injections as well as participate in the office and operating room management of retinal detachments and will be exposed to a variety of advanced retinal surgical techniques, in addition to the management of intraocular tumors.

Each senior resident spends three months as Chief Resident during the third year. During this time the resident will schedule and run his/her own clinic as well as schedule his/her own surgeries. Administrative responsibilities such as arranging the resident call schedule are included. The Chief Resident also participates in the surgical instruction of junior residents while learning the most modern techniques in cataract surgery. During this rotation, the Chief Resident will also spend one day a week working with a volunteer clinical faculty in Oculoplastics at the Sutter/Mercy affiliate in Sacramento. This rotation provides each resident with the opportunity to serve as an autonomous comprehensive ophthalmologist, to refine leadership and managerial skills and to develop surgical maturity before completing the residency.

This rotation, which is taken for three months during the third year, offers the resident an opportunity to expand his/her knowledge and expertise in a broad spectrum of medical and surgical ophthalmologic areas. Under the direct supervision of the Chief of Ophthalmology at the Martinez VA, the resident runs his/her own service with a focus on anterior segment and cataract surgery.

This three month rotation provides second year residents with a solid foundation in medical and surgical ophthalmology with an emphasis on cataracts and glaucoma. Direct one-on-one faculty instruction is provided by the VA faculty and the resident learns to manage his/her own clinic. The resident also spends time working in the VA Vitreo-retinal service, participating in a variety of surgical and medical therapies.