Offering a balanced curriculum training residents to become leaders within their field of study. Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Eye Center sees over 80,000 patient visits per year, providing an ideal environment for resident clinical experience.

Our program includes a continuous care clinic, inpatient consultation service at a Level I trauma center and high-volume surgical experience.

Subspecialty rotations are held in the mornings (where residents work side-by-side with attending subspecialists in all major areas), and then a continuous care clinic, the Comprehensive Eye Service, is held in the afternoon.

First-year residents have one-month subspecialties during the first year, allowing them to gain more familiarity with all areas of ophthalmology early in training. The second-year rotations are more intensive, and residents are expected to function with a higher level of expertise.

PGY-1 Year

Drs. Martin and Atkinson discuss the Ophthalmology Residency PGY-1 Year at Wake Forest.

Clinical Rotations

Resident Schedule and Responsibilities

During the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years of training, residents spend 4 months of the year at the VA hospital and clinic in Salisbury, NC (about a 45-minute drive). Senior residents rotate through a continuous cycle, allowing each senior resident a full operating day each week at the VA. Each senior resident will operate in Kernersville (15-minute drive) twice a month, and Charlotte (1.5 hour drive) twice a month.

Residents’ clinics are busy, with many comprehensive and cataract patients as well as glaucoma and retina subspecialty consultations.

Junior residents perform many laser, intraocular injection and minor procedures. The VA hospital has a full optometric service, which means that patients encountered at the VA clinics are essentially prescreened for pathology. This is especially true for patients who have cataracts. A high percentage of patients initially encountered at the ophthalmology clinic continue with the resident for cataract surgery. About 70 percent of resident cataract surgery is performed at the VA.

On Call Responsibilities

All call is from home.

Another highlight of our program is a separate Day Consult/Night Float rotation. Two residents cover this service each month, dividing night and day weeks between themselves. The resident covering the night service is free of clinical duties during the day for that week. 

Weekend call is divided amongst first and second year residents, making average call responsibilities one weekend day per month when not on the Day Consult/Night Float rotation. 

Senior residents take "second call" and thus are on call on average one of every four nights for backup call. Senior residents are expected to come to the Eye Center after hours as needed (admissions, emergent procedures or when the junior residents have clinical questions).

Faculty coverage is available at all times, and faculty staff supervises all trips to the operating room, both scheduled and unscheduled.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the only hospital for which we have call responsibilities. 

Resident Research

Each resident is required to pursue a clinical research project of his/her choice under the supervision of a faculty person and encouraged to publish at least one paper in a peer-reviewed journal before the training program can be considered to have been successfully completed.

Residents are given specific instruction in presenting case reports and scientific papers, and they benefit from superior audiovisual services for academic and scholarly pursuits. Each resident is sent to at least one Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the department also fully sponsors residents who have papers accepted at national meetings.