Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the Eye Institute

Residency Training Program

The Medical College of Wisconsin residency training program in Ophthalmology is designed to prepare resident physicians to achieve sufficient professional ability to practice competently and independently in the diagnosis and management of medical and surgical diseases of the eye. Full-time faculty with a wide range of subspecialty interests and a commitment to teaching, a diverse patient population and excellent clinical and research facilities all contribute to the fulfillment of this objective.

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Medical College of Wisconsin Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Graduate Medical Education

Hear from chair of the department, Deborah Costakos, MD, MS about all that Milwaukee, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences have to offer.

Hear from MCW Ophthalmology Residents

What is the resident experience like at MCW? Find out what our residents had to say.

Ophthalmology Clinical Locations Tour

As an ophthalmology resident or fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin you will work at the Eye Institute, but you will also work at and become familiar with Children's Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital and the Zablocki VA.

Reasons to live in Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a one-of-a-kind city with a vibrant and diverse culture, this charming, yet metropolitan must-see is just 90 minutes north of Chicago and nestled on the coast of Lake Michigan. Whether you’re catching a show at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, immersing yourself in the old world charm of the Historic Third Ward or taking in the sights and sounds of one of the many cafés, beer gardens or restaurants that line the city’s riverbank and shoreline, Milwaukee never disappoints. Find out why MCW residents and fellows take pride in calling Milwaukee home.

Ophthalmology Residency Training Program 

Statement of Goals
The goal of this program is to train resident physicians in developing the proper clinical judgment and surgical skills to care for patients with a wide variety of medical and surgical diseases of the eye. The training will allow resident physicians to develop sound academic principles, utilizing a learning environment with graded autonomy. Upon completing the residency, physicians are required to obtain competence in the six general competencies to the level expected of a new practitioner.
Outline of Training Program
 All of our residents have the same rotations and therefore equivalent educational opportunities across our three training facilities, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute, Children's Wisconsin and the Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Each of the three institutions has excellent, well-equipped physical facilities for the examination of eye patients. Annual outpatient clinic volume and surgical volume for the three teaching institutions total approximately 70,000 outpatient visits and 4000 major surgical procedures.

The three institutions have different educational emphases: the Eye Institute being the site at which the residents participate in faculty clinics and surgery to provide broad exposure to all aspects of ophthalmology in a tertiary-care setting; the Children's Wisconsin being the site at which residents gain experience examining children and familiarity with pediatric ophthalmic diseases and surgery; and the VA being the site at which residents have the most primary patient-care responsibility.
Didactic and Teaching Conferences
Residents receive a structured didactic lecture series through the course of their residency training, providing instruction in the basic and clinical sciences pertaining to ophthalmology. The didactic lectures are based on a 18 month cycle, such that all residents receive each lecture twice during their training. Teaching and case presentation conferences (including Grand Rounds, Rotating Clinical Conferences, Morbidity and Mortality Conference, Fluorescein Angiography Conference and Cataract Conference) allows residents to establish a broad knowledge base in ophthalmology.
Surgical and Procedural Experience
 Ophthalmology is a discipline in which surgeries and procedures are an important part of the specialty. Training and experience in these procedures is offered on many levels and by many modalities.

A fully equipped microsurgical practice laboratory is available for resident use. The laboratory is equipped with a Zeiss operating microscope with foot-switch activation, and many surgical instruments. Eye bank tissue and cadaveric animal eyes are available for surgical practice. Residents are introduced to the laboratory early in their first year and are encouraged to use the laboratory throughout their residency. A surgical log is completed by each resident after their practice session and a log is kept for their practice surgical time and experience.

Residents are also taught on the various aspects of cataract surgery management utilizing a monthly Cataract Conference. Eye Institute full-time and part-time faculty members bring in cases and video tapes of surgical procedures for review and discussion, illustrating key points of surgical treatment and management. Residents are invited to bring video tapes and materials to discuss some of their own surgical experiences, particularly the third-year residents.

A structured, didactic, practical surgical skills curriculum has been developed, meeting monthly for an 18-month cycle. Monthly didactic and wet lab experience introduced residents to fundamental surgical principles and procedures with hands-on instruction and supervision by the faculty. These skills can then be reinforced in the surgical practice lab by the residents themselves at their own convenient times. The surgical skills practicum is conducted in the eye operating room, incorporating the actual equipment the residents would use during ophthalmic surgery. Incorporated into this curriculum is the annual Phacoemulsification Course held in Madison, Wisconsin, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Iowa's Departments of Ophthalmology. It also includes the Orbital Dissection Course offered biennially.

Residents receive a progressive procedural and surgical experience through the course of their residency, based on the level of training and their individual progress. First year residents are supervised in the performance of certain anterior segment laser procedures, such as Yag Capsulotomy and Peripheral Iridotomy. First year residents also assist in strabismus, cataract, glaucoma, retinal and oculoplastic procedures. In addition to assisting in the same procedures, second year residents are supervised in performing strabismus surgery, glaucoma operations, and extracapsular cataract extractions with progression to phacoemulsification, as well as diabetic laser treatments and office based oculoplastic procedures. Third year residents have the majority of operative experience in cataract, oculoplastic, glaucoma and retinal surgeries, in addition to having opportunities to perform diabetic laser treatments. Second and third year residents are also supervised in the surgical management of the trauma patient.
Resident Application Procedures

Three residents per year are selected for the Medical College of Wisconsin Ophthalmology Training Program. Applications for appointment to the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals Residency Training Program are processed through the Ophthalmology Matching Program, P.O. Box 7584, San Francisco, California 94120-7584. Contact the SF Match office by telephone at (415) 561-8535.

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Contact For Ophthalmology Resident Program

SF Match - Ophthalmology Residency

Program Office
(415) 561-8535 

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Program Director

Andrea L. Stahulak, MD 

Medical Education Coordinator

Leslie Bencivenga

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