The role of "Medical Expert" is imparted through clinical, didactic, and self-study programs that include periodic review and evaluation by faculty. During the PGY2 & 3 years, each resident independently studies the thirteen sections of the Basic & Clinical Science Course given by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. At the end of the PGY2 year towards the beginning of PGY3, each resident attends a formalized Basic and Clinical Science Course in ophthalmology, taught by leading experts at either Lancaster or Stanford University, USA. During the PGY4 year, each resident attends an Ophthalmology Board Exam review course at a leading academic center for ophthalmic training and research. In the PGY5 year, each resident attends the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. There are several hundreds of courses offered at this meeting, allowing ample opportunity to pursue specific interests and to enhance special skills.
In addition to the various courses listed above, our on-site academic program consists of weekly grand rounds alternating with clinical rounds (September to June) to discuss interesting cases, ethical issues, and research presentations; a visiting professor program with presentation to the department, followed by an academic half-day session with the residents; bimonthly journal clubs (September to June) to develop critical thinking skills and establish evidence-based practice patterns; and an academic half-day series of lectures given on a two-year cycle, to ensure up-to-date and comprehensive acquisition of knowledge in each subspeciality. Attendance at local and surrounding area academic events are also encouraged, including Stringer Day (Hamilton), Sally Letson (Ottawa), Walter Wright (Toronto), and Jack Crawford Day (Toronto).
Competency in the use and interpretation of various diagnostic modalities is attained during clinical rotations throughout residency training in a progressive manner. Laser and other surgical skills are acquired using a planned and graduated approach, with progressive involvement and increasing responsibility beginning early in the core years of the program. Skills in acute care and trauma are acquired through emergency call, and clinics in the various rotations. Skills in long-term care of patients are also acquired and developed through clinics in the various rotations. In-patient consultation for patients on other medical and surgical services are provided by residents, commencing in their PGY2 year.
Formal evaluation of knowledge is carried out internally with faculty involvement by mock written examination administered each winter, mock oral examination administered each spring, and evaluation following each of the two-monthly rotations based on rotation-specific goals and objectives in CanMEDS format. Formal evaluation is also carried out externally by the standardized multiple-choice examination administered annually to all residents in Ophthalmology in the United States and Canada (Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP)), serving to rank resident knowledge across several domains relative to fellow residents in the same level of training. The Program Director meets with residents every six months to review and discuss the sum of evaluations