McGill University - Ophthalmology - Montreal


Program Director

Dr. Daniela Toffoli


Program Director

Dr. Daniela Toffoli

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Lots of surgical exposure including cataract surgery, pediatric and adult strabismus, oculoplastics, glaucoma, retina, cornea and ocular oncology.

There is also access to a wetlab and organized wetlab activities.

We offer opportunities for research with a vibrant research community including basic and clinical researchers, a head of resident research to help with resident projects and a yearly McGill Research Day whereby residents can showcase their research projects.

We have a staff/resident mentorship program, which starts in PGY 2 though to PGY 5.

“Bottom-heavy” resident call schedule with less call as the resident becomes more senior in the program.

We have many opportunities for senior residents to act as “junior staff” including in the OR and on call.

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The McGill Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences regards the education of residents and fellows as one of its key priorities. Our residents take advantage of the latest technology and train from the highly skilled clinical staff at four McGill-affiliated sites. The program is well suited for a hardworking, team oriented, and versatile individual. Montreal offers a diverse patient population and the program offers exposure to primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary-level cases. Our residents are well-prepared for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada examination in Ophthalmology.

Our five-year program is comprised of:

  • PGY-1: This year is comprised of several rotations designed to give the resident a well-rounded clinical experience in medicine and prepare the candidate for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II. The final 6 weeks will be spent at the Toronto Ophthalmology Residency Introductory Course (TORIC).

  • PGY-2: This is the first full year of ophthalmology and it is designed to develop the basic skills needed for a career in ophthalmology. It is comprised of rotations in comprehensive ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology and adult sub-specialties with a focus on ensuring comfort with most ophthalmic emergencies. It also allows the resident to acquire a basic knowledge of medical and surgical problems in ophthalmology.

  • PGY-3: During this year, the resident will have dedicated sub-specialty clinical rotations and will start ocular surgery.

  • PGY-4: The penultimate year of the residency program places heavy focus on anterior segment surgery such as cataract surgery. As the seniors on the ophthalmology service, the residents develop their teaching and mentoring skills. Finally, they reinforce their comprehensive knowledge base and take part in emergency ophthalmology surgery.

  • PGY-5: In the fifth year, residents reinforce their medical sub-specialty knowledge and take part in sub-specialty clinics and surgery. They will continue to gain surgical experience in anterior segment surgery. This year also allows for elective rotations provincially, nationally and internationally.


There is a longitudinal approach to research, comprised of regular meetings with research mentors and annual presentations at McGill Research Day.


Is knowledge of the French language mandatory to undertake residency at McGill?

Knowledge of the French language is not mandatory but incoming residents are highly encouraged to learn the language and to have at least a basic working knowledge of French.

Do residents have access to taking a French language course offered by McGill?

McGill offers French language course and there are other courses which you can take outside of McGill.

When is competence by design going to be launched in ophthalmology at McGill?

Competence by design will be rolled out as of 2022. This timeline may however be postponed due to the COVID pandemic.

How do you become chief resident, is it based on performance?

We work on a rotating chief resident schedule during the academic year, so each R5 has the opportunity to hold the chief resident position.

Do we offer research time

Yes, all research requests must be submitted in advance to the Head of Resident Research.

Do we hold resident retreats, resident activities?

Yes, we encourage resident activities and organize 2-3 events per year.