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Ophthalmology Residency

Saint Louis University Eye Institute (SLUEI) offers a three-year residency program with an opportunity for residents to explore a wide array of eye diseases while developing clinical and surgical skills. Residents are given every opportunity to become well–trained, proficient ophthalmologists both medically and surgically.

With full-time faculty providing a one-to-one ratio and state-of-the-art clinical facilities, residents gain exceptional experience in all subspecialties of ophthalmology, easily exceeding the minimum Association Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) procedure guidelines.

Our faculty encourage a friendly, teamwork approach to daily learning and clinical duties at Saint Louis University Eye Institute. Extensive didactic lectures provide more formal opportunities for discussion about common problems and difficult management issues. Many social events are also planned to help build lifelong friendships among the residents, faculty and staff.

Lecture Schedule

Grand Rounds
Each Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. is reserved for Grand Rounds presentations by the residents, medical students, faculty and visiting professors. All residents are required to attend. The meetings are held at the Saint Louis University Eye Institute in the third-floor auditorium.
Journal Club

 At least three journal clubs are scheduled each year in the homes of our faculty members. Mixing business with pleasure, these social events are used to discuss current issues and journals in ophthalmology.

Didactic Lectures


Wednesday evenings are used for the education lecture series. Faculty members and community ophthalmologists follow the information in the basic science lecture series books in preparation for the Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) examination.

OKAP Preparation  

The OKAP test is held every April and is required for all SLU ophthalmology residents. A teamwork approach is used among residents to perform well on this assessment. Weekly quizzes with question and answer discussions are held and the didactic lectures in the weeks leading up to the test are structured towards review for the exam.

Fluorescein Conferences
 Fluorescein Conference is held one Friday per month at 7 a.m. Faculty and community retinal specialists donate their time to teach various diagnostic and treatment modalities.

Rotation Schedule

First Year

First year ophthalmology residents at SLU learn the anatomy, physiology and function of the normal eye. Outpatient clinic time involves mastering detailed ophthalmologic examination and refraction. Time each week is allotted in the operative room to assist and learn basic surgical skills. Residents rotate through the glaucoma, cornea, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology, contact lens and low vision services.

Second Year

Subspecialty studies are prominent in the second year and residents develop surgical skills in the areas of anterior segment and strabismus. Rotations include: neuro–ophthalmology, oculoplastics/pathology, cornea, pediatric ophthalmology and retina.

Third Year

Third year ophthalmology residents at SLU continue to sharpen their clinical and surgical acumen with time devoted to the cornea, oculoplastics, pediatric ophthalmology, retina and glaucoma services, as well as the outpatient clinic. Independent decision making is fostered during this year, in addition to the opportunity to rotate again through a number of subspecialties.

Subspecialty Rotation Schedule

Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology residents at SLU have the opportunity to evaluate and manage a large variety of disease processes through examination techniques and understanding ophthalmic instruments and patient care. The Saint Louis University Eye Institute has one full-time faculty member devoted to comprehensive ophthalmology.

The cornea service offers extensive training in the medical, surgical and refractive aspects of corneal disease through the large volume of corneal transplants and refractive procedures performed annually.


Adult and pediatric patients, referred from general ophthalmologists in the community, are treated by means of medical, laser and surgical care. The Saint Louis University Eye Institute has two full-time glaucoma specialists on faculty with no fellows.


The disciplines of ophthalmology and neurology are integrated for better understanding of the relationships of the eye to the central nervous system in our neuro-ophthalmology subspecialty Rotation. Residents gain multiple perspectives in the assessment and treatment of disorders. SLU has two full-time neuro-ophthalmologists with no fellows.

Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery

Residents participate in a full range of eyelid, orbital and lacrimal procedures, and in comprehensive consultative services through rotation and weekly oculoplastic rounds. The Saint Louis University Eye Institute has one full-time faculty oculoplastic surgeon. Residents also spend time at outside surgical facilities with another part-time surgeon at the Eye Institute.

Optometric and Contact Lens Services
Residents learn to fit and manage patients using a wide variety of lens designs from soft disposable to the more complex toric and bifocal designs. The service offers custom designs and therapeutic lenses for prosthetic purposes and low vision assistance. The Saint Louis University Eye Institute has two optometrists. 
Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus
Pediatric patients are examined at both SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and the Saint Louis University Eye Institute. Adult patients are examined and treated at the Eye Institute. The Eye Institute has two full-time pediatric/strabismus faculty members with no fellows. 
 The retina/vitreous service provides residents with clinical and didactic training in the medical and surgical approaches to posterior segment disease and trauma in all patient age groups. The Saint Louis University Eye Institute has two full-time retinal surgeons with no fellows.

Application Process

SLU ophthalmology residents must successfully complete a PGY-1 year of training at an ACGME-accredited U.S. residency before beginning ophthalmology training in our program. In addition, residents may not begin training until a completed “Summative Evaluation of Competencies for Preliminary Year Residents” is received from their PGY-1 training program.

Prospective applicants interested in residency training at the Saint Louis University Eye Institute should obtain a residency application via the Ophthalmology Matching Program Central Application Service (SF Match).

Residents are selected from among eligible applicants on the basis of residency program-related criteria such as their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity. The program does not discriminate with regard to sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability or any other applicable legally protected status.

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