The New England Eye Center, Tufts University School of Medicine Residency in Ophthalmology offers a three-year program that blends clinical training, academic activities, and research opportunities. There are four residents in each of the three years of the program.
The Department of Ophthalmology faculty consists of more than 15 full-time members. There is a large associate staff of part-time attending ophthalmologists, and a supporting staff of technical personnel. Three affiliated hospitals, each with active inpatient and outpatient services, as well as research and teaching facilities, are utilized to enhance the residency experience.
The Ophthalmology Department of New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, at the New England Eye Center is a regional, national and international referral center. Approximately 50,000 patients per year visit the New England Eye Center, most for tertiary eye care. Residents participate in state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for these patients.
Part of the residency program is spent at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center (in Burlington and Peabody) and New England Eye Center-St. Elizabeth’s in Brighton.
Each facility has its own unique qualities. The New England Eye Center provides intensive faculty contact with private practice in an academic setting. The Lahey Clinic blends tertiary and primary care ophthalmology in a community setting. New England Eye Center at Caritas St. Elizabeth Medical Center is a private practice setting with an emphasis on glaucoma, general ophthalmology and cataract surgery.
There may be additional short-term rotations in other hospitals. Use of these facilities provides the residents with a wide variety of experience with unique patient populations and settings.
In addition to these area programs, residents also spend three months at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The foundations of the didactic program of the residency are weekly educational conferences in each of the subspecialties, and Grand Rounds. In addition, there are lectures by visiting professors, research seminars, rounds on non-ophthalmologic topics in medicine, evening conferences and journal club meetings.
The New England Eye Center is well known for providing courses covering state-of-the-art information on diagnostic, therapeutic and technological aspects of Ophthalmology. Resident participation in these courses is strongly encouraged.
During the three years of the program, the resident assumes increasing responsibility for patient care and education. Residents prepare case presentations, organize journal clubs and special lectures, and assist in teaching medical students rotating in Ophthalmology. In addition, senior residents, together with the attending staff, are expected to supervise and teach junior residents. Staff members are assigned and available for consultation with the resident in all rotations.
The First-Year Resident performs complete ocular examinations in the outpatient facilities. At this stage the resident becomes proficient in special examinations, including gonioscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy, tonometry, biomicroscopy and perimetry. Skills in refraction and physiologic testing are developed. The resident gains extensive experience in evaluating walk-in and emergency patients. There is exposure to the specialty services including glaucoma, cornea and external disease, neuro-Ophthalmology, retina, oculoplastics, vision rehabilitation and contact lenses. The first-year resident informally reviews fluorescein angiograms at the end of each day with the retina attending. The earliest encounters with ocular trauma are during the first year of residency. The resident begins assisting at surgery during this year and performs minor surgical procedures.
The Second-Year Resident is responsible for the general outpatient service and, on a rotating basis, for the eye plastics and orbit, pathology, glaucoma, pediatric Ophthalmology and neuro-Ophthalmology services. During this year the resident’s duties include inpatient consultation service and teaching of medical students at The New England Eye Center. At the Lahey Clinic, the second-year resident actively participates in surgical care.
The Third-Year Resident conducts specialty service consultations, pre-operative and post-operative evaluations, and participates on the cornea and anterior segment, glaucoma, retina and pathology rotations. The resident at this stage of training performs surgery under the supervision of the full-time and associate staff. This resident also helps to supervise residents in the first and second years of their clinical training.
The chief resident responsibilities are assumed on a rotating basis by the senior resident on the cornea service at New England Eye Center. These responsibilities include organizing and monitoring the weekly grand rounds, attending monthly resident education meetings, and other coverage issues and in general serving, as liaison between the residents and the faculty.
The research interests of the Department of Ophthalmology center on glaucoma, corneal diseases, immunology, genetics, molecular biology, neuromuscular disorders, retinovascular diseases, strabismus, amblyopia, the visually evoked cortical potentials and image analysis of ocular structures. There is a strong emphasis on laser-tissue interactions and advanced ophthalmic technology. Ocular physiology and pharmacology are integral parts of the research program.
There is a fundamental belief in the concepts of the clinician-researcher and the inquisitive physician; the residency program allows the integration of both clinical and research aspects of training. Research experience is an essential element in medical training. Residents are therefore expected to participate in a research project and encouraged to develop their own research interests. The Department offers laboratory facilities and the guidance of staff members who are involved full or part-time in research.
Residents are encouraged to present their research at national meetings such as those held by The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and The American Academy of Ophthalmology; the department makes every effort to support these activities.
Residents are provided three weeks of vacation per year. In addition, each senior resident is allowed one week to attend a major meeting and three interview or personal days.
To register with the San Francisco Ophthalmology Matching Program, please contact them at 415.447.0350 or email them at sfmatch.org. All letters of recommendation and additional materials should be sent to the OMP. Registration forms will also be available through your student affairs office.
It is a requirement of the program that residents must have satisfactorily completed a post-graduate clinical year (PGY-1) in an approved accredited program by the ACGME, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
A committee composed of staff members and residents makes the final selection of residents. A personal interview is required. After the screening committee reviews applications, individuals selected to be interviewed will be notified.
Inquiries regarding the program should be directed to:
Kamden R. Kopani, MD
Director, Tufts Medical Center Ophthalmology Residency Program
Elizabeth Cook, Ophthalmology Residency Program Coordinator
800 Washington Street #450
Boston, MA 02111