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Snapshot of Each Residency Year

Each year of the University of Kansas Department of Ophthalmology Residency Program presents new and different challenges and opportunities.

Take a look at each year of residency

We participate in a joint internship with the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center.  Application information is through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Learn more about the Internal Medicine Residency Program.

The new interns will spend 3 months of their 12 month internship with us, seeing comprehensive ophthalmology patients in clinic and on ophthalmology consults at The University of Kansas Hospital, while learning basic ophthalmology skills and exam techniques. They will participate in department conferences, skills labs, Grand Rounds, and didactic lectures. 

photo of Dr. Whittaker and Dr. Wishna
photo resident lecture
photo of Drs. Wishna and Kimple

For additional information on the University of Kansas Department of Ophthalmology residency program, contact Darwin Ball, Residency Coordinator, at

residents in work area, and Resident and W. Abraham White, MD, Faculty, in wet lab"

The University of Kansas Ophthalmology residents embark upon a challenging schedule of academic training and clinical practice during their four-year residency. PGY-2 is stimulating because our residents are immersed in ophthalmology full-time. This year, residents will rotate at the University of Kansas Eye Center, the University of Kansas Hospital, Children's Mercy Hospital, and the VA Medical Center. Residents begin training in routine eye examination techniques guided by faculty, residents and technical personnel.


Children's Screening JayDocSecond-year residents start to master basic ophthalmic skills, including slit lamp examination, applanation tonometry, direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy, refraction for glasses and contact lenses -- all under the direct supervision of senior residents and teaching physicians. The Surgical Practice curriculum builds with an introduction to surgical and microsurgical techniques. Practice in the wet lab is mandatory prior to participating in surgical cases. Residents rotation on the comprehensive, neuro-ophthalmology, glaucoma, uveitis, cornea, retina, plastics and pediatrics services. Clinical responsibilities increase as residents gain knowledge and experience, and residents will perform minor surgical procedures under staff supervision.


Pictured below are residents on their field trip tour of our local eye bank, Saving Sight. Here, they learn about the donation process, donor tissue, autologous serum drops and other ways we partner for vision restoration.

Tour of Saving Sight Residents Tour of Saving Sight


Second-year residents begin taking at-home calls with their senior resident mentor immediately. Starting In early August, each second-year resident takes an at-home call approximately every fourth night. A senior resident and faculty member are always available for backup on call.


Alapati, Haghnegahdar, Miller, Krachmalnick, and Chu at WIO 2022Second-year residents also begin initial research and quality improvement projects. The program pays for residents to attend regional or national meetings in order to present their results. Pictured to the left are KU Medical Center participants in the Women in Ophthalmology 2022 meeting. Our residents have presented at prestigious meetings including, but not limited to, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and the four-state ophthalmology society Table Rock Regional Round-Up.

Resident Teaching

Teaching and mentoring opportunities abound as our residents and faculty staff the free medical student clinic at JayDoc. The department also has the KU Eye Lions Club that runs a free eye clinic and sponsors free eye surgery in the department's ambulatory surgical center. Residents run the periodic lecture series covering basic ophthalmologic topics for department and health system technicians and nurses.

For additional information on the University of Kansas Department of Ophthalmology residency program, contact Darwin Ball, Residency Coordinator, at

Kimple Welcome BBQ

 The third year is perhaps the most exciting as the full breadth of surgical ophthalmology opens before the resident.  With this opportunity, of course, comes greater responsibility. PGY-3 residents continue to participate in comprehensive and sub-specialty rotations including cornea, neuro-ophthalmology, plastics, pediatrics, glaucoma and retina.

Cataract Surgery

At the Kansas City VAMC, the residents perform the comprehensive evaluation and management of patients with cataracts and other general ophthalmic disorders, beginning the experience of primary intraocular surgeon training under the watchful eyes of senior residents and faculty.  Most residents have around 30 primary cataract surgeries under their belts by this year, as well as primary surgeon experiences in multiple sub-specialty surgeries. At-home weekday and weekend call, always with senior and faculty backup, continues during PGY-3, allowing progressively greater independence and autonomy for the residents. 

Drs. Gillmor and WishnaResidents must participate in original research, and the program pays expenses for such residents to present their projects at regional and national meetings. All PGY-3 residents present a Grand Rounds case at the Annual KCSO&O Conference, which is attended by ophthalmologists from throughout the region.  Senior and Chief Resident, Christina Gillmor and University of Kansas Eye Center faculty, Anne B. Wishna, MD, are pictured to the right with Dr. Gillmor's poster presented at the August 2019 Women in Ophthalmology Meeting.

For additional information on the University of Kansas Department of Ophthalmology residency program, contact Darwin Ball, Residency Coordinator, at

Resident surgery

Fourth year residents focus on expanding their surgical and clinical expertise.  By graduation, our residents are well-prepared to practice independently, averaging between 180-250 primary cataract surgeries and participating in primary surgery opportunities in oculoplastics, retina, strabismus, glaucoma and cornea. While many have chosen to go on to fellowships, many others feel completely comfortable and ready to go directly into practice. Through comprehensive and sub-specialty rotations at University of Kansas Eye Center and the VA Medical Center, they perform the majority of the surgical procedures.  The bulk of these surgical cases are cataract extractions, but include a variety of glaucoma, retina, oculoplastics and cornea operations. Seniors also have a month of elective time and many choose to spend time in private practices in the Kansas City area, in which many of our volunteer faculty practice. Senior residents provide backup and surgical coverage for the more junior residents on call, but no longer take primary call. 

AAO Receptions

Fourth year residents typically attend one major meeting during the year, paid for by the program, but may attend other meetings, such as the Annual AAO Meetings, at which they present their own research.  

A highlight of PGY-4 is the rural rotation. The residents complete a one-week rotation at a practice in western Kansas. Locations include Fry Eye Associates in Garden City, KS, with alumnus Eric Fry, MD and Salina Regional Health Center with alumnus Gary Weiner, MD in Salina, KS. 

Drs. Gillmor and Wishna hiking Aug 2019

Grand Affair 2020

To the left is (left to right): Drs. White, Brass, Alapati, Quick, Champion and Wishna) at the Grand Affair, annual gala honoring medical school faculty and students.  Dr. Brass was nominated for the Excellence in Residency Award and faculty came out to recognize and support this achievement. 

For additional information on the University of Kansas Department of Ophthalmology residency program, contact Darwin Ball, Residency Coordinator, at

KU School of Medicine

7400 State Line Rd
Prairie Village, KS 66208
Phone: 913-588-6600
Fax: 913-588-6655