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Our residency program includes an integrated internship year in partnership with our Internal Medicine residency training program. For the first nine months, residents will have the opportunity to work with internal medicine hospital teams as well as the neurology and ICU services. Additionally, interns are able to rotate in a variety of electives including ENT, neuro-radiology, plastics, and rheumatology. Throughout the first nine months, interns will also spend approximately a half-day each week working with Ophthalmology residents in our Urgent Eye Care in order to start building exam skills as well as have the opportunity to develop relationships with co-residents and faculty. The last 3 months of intern year are dedicated to on-boarding in Ophthalmology. This time is spent honing foundational exam skills as well taking buddy call with more senior residents.


The PGY2 year is spent in oculoplastics, pediatric ophthalmology as well as in the Urgent Eye Care and consultation services. During the subspecialty rotations, residents have the first opportunity to enter the operating room and perform extra-ocular surgical cases as well as get exposure to Ocular Genetics. The Urgent Eye Care is a clinic staffed by Flaum Eye Institute faculty and provides our residents the experience of evaluating and managing urgent Ophthalmic patients. Through our Urgent Eye Care, the residents are exposed to a wide breadth and depth of ophthalmic pathology, and have the opportunity to work with colleagues in the Emergency Department as well as on the inpatient wards to coordinate urgent care for our patients.


During this year, residents will rotate through subspecialties including Cornea and External Disease, Glaucoma, Retina, Neuro-ophthalmology, and Uveitis. Rotations are designed for an immersive experience and one-on-one mentoring from faculty in both the clinic and operating room. During this year, residents are also trained in the fundamental steps of cataract surgery. Working with cataract surgeons throughout the year, each step of surgery is mastered individually as well as the pre-op cataract evaluation and post-operative care.


During senior year, residents focus primarily on anterior segment surgery and honing their clinical acumen as comprehensive ophthalmologists. Surgical volume is high with the average number of primary cataract cases >200, and opportunities to be the primary surgeon in glaucoma cases, including MIGs. PGY4 residents also each take turns acting as a chief-resident, providing administrative support to the residency program and servings as a liaison between junior residents and faculty. Elective time is provided during this last year of training as well to allowed for additional learning in particular subspecialties or to travel to India to broaden their global ophthalmology experience at the LV Prasad Eye Institute.

General Clinics

At each participating institution, 50-70% of patients present to a general clinic, which is precepted by a member of the full or part-time faculty. This experience provides exposure to a broad spectrum of vision care needs and ophthalmic pathology. It simulates the environment of a comprehensive ophthalmology practice. Interesting or complex patients are referred to regularly scheduled subspecialty clinics where they are seen, discussed, and managed with subspecialty faculty.

Subspecialty Rotations

Over the three years of training, each resident is assigned to different subspecialty rotations. These include: cornea/anterior segment, glaucoma, pediatric ophthalmology, medical and surgical retina, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, and refractive surgery. Subspecialty clinics are held regularly at Strong Memorial, and Rochester General Hospitals and at the private offices of some of the part-time faculty.

Subspecialty Clinics

Subspecialty clinics are held regularly at Strong Memorial, and Rochester General Hospitals. Full-time and part-time clinical faculty oversee these clinics. Residents must show up on time and must work-up and be prepared to discuss the management of all of these patients. Patients sent to the subspecialty clinics should be patients who cannot be adequately managed in the general clinic, be of special interest, have difficult problems or be surgical candidates.

  • Anterior Segment (Cornea, Cataract, Refractive Surgery)
  • Glaucoma
  • Medical Retina
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Oculoplastics
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
  • Vitreous/Retinal Surgery

Surgical Experience and Statistics

Our residents participate in and perform the entire breadth and depth of ophthalmic surgeries in FEI’s modern operating rooms. From day one, each resident learns surgical techniques from FEI faculty who perform procedures at our medical center location and our suburban refractive surgery and facial aesthetics center. Residents also participate in rotations at ambulatory surgery centers where our community preceptors operate, and third-year residents may choose to do a surgical elective at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India. Each resident will develop and hone their abilities in our surgical skills laboratory featuring the Kitaro surgical simulator. The number of procedures performed by FEI residents is routinely at or above the national medians and well above the minimum requirements from the ACGME. Our residents have the opportunity to perform the most complex of surgeries during their training.

“I just want to thank you again for all the cool stuff we did in residency. I never would have taken a case like this on without that training.”
-Justin Aaker, MD