Residency Program

2012 KU Ophthalmology Graduates: Left to right front (sitting): Timothy Lindquist, M.D. and Ryan Pine, M.D.; Middle standing: My Le Shaw, M.D.; Left to right back (standing): John Sutphin, M.D., Luther and Ardis Fry Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology and Thomas Whittaker, M.D., Residency Program Director and Vice-Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology.

Ophthalmology residents at the University of Kansas have a full schedule of academic training and clinical practice during their three-year residency. The residency program begins with a two-week orientation period. Hospital and medical school orientation are provided as well as training in routine eye examination by faculty, residents and technical personnel. There is additional training in standard diagnostic instrumentation, patient scheduling, coding, medical record procedures and eye bank operation. New residents begin taking at-home call with their assigned senior resident immediately, and are scheduled for full after-hours call after the first four weeks of their residency.

Each resident is enrolled in the American Academy of Ophthalmology's basic science self-study course, with self instruction supplemented by weekly study sessions involving all residents. Acquisition of technical and surgical skills is guided by the Skills Transfer Checklist, a programmed course required of all residents. In addition, residents participate in our monthly grand rounds and clinical conferences. Clinical staff gives numerous regularly scheduled lectures.

These lectures are augmented by weekly morning reports, and monthly fluorescein angiography, cornea, and neuro-ophthalmology case conferences. Pathology lectures and slide reviews are held within the department twice a month. The Surgical Practice Lab is available to practice surgical and microsurgical techniques; practice is mandatory under the Skills Transfer Checklist prior to entering the OR. Residents also participate in the Kansas City metropolitan area Journal Club, a meeting held four times a year featuring invited speakers and an opportunity to interact with community ophthalmologists. There are also annual meetings of the Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology and grand rounds at the University of Kansas, and Children's Mercy Hospital.

 Journal Club

Subspecialty Journal Club is held every other month with each resident critically reviewing a selected article published in a major ophthalmic journal. In addition to the medical center's Dykes Library the department maintains its own library, including video journals and a CD-ROM library of reference textbooks. The department provides computer facilities for residents and access to the Internet for information retrieval and medical data base search. Residents participate in continuing medical education courses sponsored by the department and in the education of medical students rotating through the department. Residents receive regular objective evaluation of their performance by the faculty, and meet semiannually with the Program Director and annually with the Chair. All residents are required to take the annual Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) examination.


First year residents master basic ophthalmic skills including slit lamp examination, applanation tonometry, indirect ophthalmoscopy and refraction at the KU Medical Center in comprehensive ophthalmology clinics under the direct supervision of teaching physicians. The chief resident begins the year in the clinic with the first year residents and assists them in their acclimation to the residency program. . During this rotation they are involved in vision care provision and fitting of contact lenses. Clinical responsibilities of the first year residents increase with their knowledge and experience, and residents will perform minor surgical procedures under staff supervision. First year residents will rotateDr. Jason Sokol and residents

on the neuro-ophthalmology, uveitis, cornea, plastics and pediatrics services. Beginning the first part of August each resident takes after-hours calls from their homes approximately every fourth night and shares weekend call with PGY III residents. A senior resident is always available for back-up on call.


Second year residents participate in subspecialty rotations including pediatrics, glaucoma and retina. These rotations are performed at the KU Medical Center, Kansas City VA Medical Center, Leavenworth VA Medical Center, Children's Mercy Hospital, Retina Associates and Stiles Excellence Eye Care Center.

While at the VAMCs, the residents are involved in the evaluation and management of patients with general ophthalmic disorders and begin their intraocular surgical training. While on rotation at the KU Medical Center and VAMCs, the second year residents continue to participate in comprehensive ophthalmology clinics and inpatient consultation. At-home weekday and weekend call, with a senior back-up, continues during the second year.


Third year residents rotate through the KU Medical Center (providing comprehensive ophthalmic care) and the VA Medical Center as chief ophthalmology resident. Third year residents perform the majority of the surgical procedures. Most are cataract extractions but there are a variety of glaucoma, retina, oculoplastics and some cornea operations. In addition, these residents rotate through the plastics, cornea / refractive, glaucoma and retinal services. Call from home to provide backup coverage for the more junior residents is split evenly among the three residents. Third year residents may attend one major meeting during the year and additionally participate in a variety of professional educational and social activities

For additional information on the KU Ophthalmology residency program, contact Audrey Morrison, Residency Coordinator, at 913-588-6660.

Last modified: Jul 11, 2013