Most medical schools around the country don't give students exposure to the field of ophthalmology unless the student seeks it out as an elective during 4th year. We want to give Wake Forest University School of Medicine students an opportunity to learn more about the specialty early in their medical education. With ophthalmology becoming more competitive (68% match rate overall) and SF match being completely different platform from ERAS (including an earlier timeline), we want to give students the information and experiences that would make them successful applicants.

Students will interact with several ophthalmology faculty who can provide mentorship and detail their journey to ophthalmology.

Curriculum Overview

Duration: 10-12 months

Timing: Preclinical and clinical. The structure of the program is flexible and can be completed across any number of years of school.

Requirements necessary for completion

  • Participation in twelve hours of service related to ophthalmology, 
  • Attend 80% (10/12) of didactic offerings, can use department of ophthalmology Grand Rounds or journal club to make up missed talks (tentative).
  • Three hours shadowing in department of ophthalmology
  • Completion of learning modules through
  • End-of-certificate service-learning ophthalmology related capstone project of student choice. 

Teaching modalities: Guest lectures, experiential sessions, student led presentations, and service learning; shadowing through Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist

Student assessment: Reflections at end of at least 3 didactics to inform final community service project; requirements will be tracked through a spreadsheet


Introduce students to the field of ophthalmology in addition to the following subspecialties of ophthalmology: 

Medical Retina


The student will also:

  • Coordinate with the existing Ophthalmology Interest Group (OIG) to provide educational activities such as the slit lamp workshop and Question and Answer panels with M4s who matched in the field.
  • Provide instruction for visual exams (fundoscopy, visual fields, IOM)
  • Explore global health opportunities in ophthalmology
  • Outline requirements for applying to ophthalmology (SF Match instead of ERAS)
  • Serve the community in ophthalmology related community service (IFB, Sight Savers, CWD eye clinic)
  • Use learning modules through to teach basic/intermediate ophthalmology concepts.

How to Apply

Interested students can apply online for the Ophthalmology Curriculum Certificate Program