Clinical Experience
Clinical Experience
Extensive clinical experience is one of the hallmarks of the Loyola Ophthalmology Residency Program. Residents are given increasing responsibility during the three-year curriculum. They care for patients in exceptional facilities at Loyola University Hospital and the Loyola Outpatient Center, as well as nearby Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital.

Throughout their training, residents participate in the department’s busy consultation service, which performs about 2,000 inpatient and E.R. consultations a year. Most consults take place at the medical center, although Loyola faculty also provide ophthalmology consultation for several primary and tertiary care facilities in the area.

Residents are divided into four teams. Each team includes a first-, second- and third-year resident and is led by the third-year resident; an arrangement that fosters teamwork and a supportive environment. The rotation sequence differs for each team.

First Year Responsibilities
First-year residents develop fundamental skills in diagnosis and medical management of common ocular diseases and refine their refracting and technical examination skills during their first year.

After completing a one week orientation that includes presentations, a formal refraction/optics course and reduced clinical and on-call responsibilities, full rotations begin. The schedule includes six months at Hines VA and six months at Loyola.

One Three-Month Rotations at Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital
One three-month rotations are spent at Hines, where each resident is given primary responsibility for patients, with faculty available for consultation and guidance. Hines has two full time as well as 13 part-time faculty ophthalmologists, representing all subspecialities.

During these rotations, residents spend four days a week in the outpatient clinic; rotate through the weekly fluorescein angiography/fundus photography service for one-half day a week; participate in weekly subspecialty clinics which include retina, cornea, glaucoma and plastics; and perform minor surgery one-half day a week. At the end of their rotation they perform two phacoemulsifications with lens implantation.

First-year residents also evaluate patients from the Central Blind Rehabilitation /Center at Hines, an experience that provides significant exposure to unusual ocular pathology. This inpatient facility, one of only ten of its kind in the country, offers a 6-18 week program for blind and severely vision-impaired veterans that includes training in the use of a cane, the activities of daily living, manual skills, low-vision, electronic devices for mobility and communication, courses in Braille and other skills.

Two Three-Month Rotations at Loyola University Medical Center
First-year residents also spend six months at Loyola participating in general and subspecialty clinics. They will have a cornea/glaucoma/contact lens rotation over three months and a retina/uveitis rotation over three months.

For more details see Ophthalmology Resident Manual.

Second Year Responsibilities
Second-year residents continue to gain experience in the microsurgical management of patients and receive in-depth training in the subspecialties. Their schedule includes four three-month rotations, two of them at Loyola, two at Hines.

Two Three-Month Rotations at Loyola University Medical Center
One of the rotations is spent primarily in the pediatrics / strabismus service and additional experience is gained in the medical and surgical management of strabismus. Residents also provide subspecialty care on campus at the Loyola Outpatient Center. Residents spend a half-day each week in the ultrasound service during this rotation. The first Tuesday of each month of this rotation is spent in electrophysiology service at the Ear and Eye Infirmary at the University of Illinois (Chicago).

During the other three-month Loyola rotation, residents participate primarily in the oculoplastics service with high surgical volume and inpatient consultation service.

Two Three-Month Rotation at Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital
One of the three-month rotations at Hines is a clinic rotation where residents provide general and subspecialty care. This rotation involves seeing clinic patients five days a week, learning important patient management skills and also assisting with training first-year residents.

The other three month rotation at Hines is a surgical rotation where residents complete cataract surgeries as a primary surgeon. They also evaluate patients in clinic on days when they are not in the OR.

Third Year Responsibilities
Third-year residents spend six months at Loyola and six months at Hines. They have increased responsibility for patient care. They are primarily in the OR and are responsible for the follow up care of all their surgical patients. They are also primarily responsible as a team leader for the Ophthalmology Grand Rounds which take place every Wednesday. Third-year residents are responsible for Basic Clinical and Science Course series lectures, journal club and M & M presentations.

Two Three-Month Rotations at Loyola University Medical Center
These Loyola rotations involve the resident as primary or secondary surgeon for most outpatient surgical procedures, five days a week. The remaining time is spent in the general and subspecialty clinics.

Two Three-Month Rotation at Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital
The two Hines rotations include intensive medical and surgical experience, in all subspecialities where third-year residents serve as primary surgeon three days a week and have primary responsibility for post-operative management. This experience allows residents to master their surgical techniques and have complete follow-up care of their patients. Two days a week, third-year residents perform laser procedures, and participate in general and subspecialty clinics.

Surgical Experience
Supervised surgical experience is an important aspect of the Loyola Ophthalmology Residency Program. Coupled with the Hines V.A. Hospital, Loyola is well-known for it’s high surgical volume.

Refractive Surgery
Residents participate in excimer laser refractive procedures during their third year. All residents also attend a certification course so they may safely perform LASIK procedures.