University of Alberta - Ophthalmology - Edmonton


Program Director

Dr. Carlos Solarte


Program Administrator

Devra Samay

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We have:

  • A large catchment area of diverse patient populations resulting in large variety of pathology and high surgical volumes

  • Enthusiastic and supportive teaching staff with representation is all subspecialty areas

  • Responsive Program Director, Department Chair, Program Administrator and Residency Program Committee committed to continually improving the program

  • A fully equipped Ophthalmic Surgical Skills Centre with virtual surgery simulator, surgical instruments and the latest phacoemulsification machines for teaching and practice of surgical techniques throughout all years of residency.

  • A well-established Mentorship Program to assist in maximizing the educational experience of each resident and provide staff the opportunity to share life lessons while developing a professional relationship in a collaborative learning environment

  • Promotion of resident wellness via Resident Wellness Day, staff/resident events and the mentorship program

  • An exceptionally cohesive and supportive resident group

  • Local, national and international electives opportunities. Residents have undertaken electives in the USA, England, El Salvador, Fiji Islands, Austrailia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cameroon, Guatemala, Ivory Coast and others.

The Department fosters a culture that promotes an outstanding teaching and learning environment. Sessions for staff and residents in promotion of this environment have included giving and receiving feedback, professionalism and cross generational communication and appreciation.

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  • The U of A ophthalmology residency program is based primarily out of the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Having a home base for the residency program facilitates cohesiveness and collaboration between members of the resident group. Residents also rotate through staff clinics and the Stollery Pediatric Eye Clinic at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

  • Edmonton is a medium- to large-sized city. The vibrant downtown area near the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Whyte Ave. near the University of Alberta Hospital are packed with restaurants, boutiques and cafés.

  • The city is just a few hours from Jasper and Banff, renowned national parks with camping, hiking, skiing and snowboarding.

  • There’s always something to do in Edmonton, including cultural festivals, an excellent food scene and river valley trails for running and walking.


Why did you choose your specialty?

This area of medicine offers a combination of medical and surgical treatments to help patients with eye problems, of which there is no shortage. It is personally rewarding to help patients maintain and even improve their quality of life—people value their vision. There are many opportunities to apply our training in international settings and the developing world. There is opportunity to identify life- threatening systematic and neurologic disease through eye exams.

What is your residency program’s orientation and focus?

The program’s mission is to produce skilled and competent comprehensive ophthalmologists and to prepare residents to be competitive for subspecialty training programs if they are interested in pursuing further training. We do this in a supportive and collegial environment that strives to learn what is known and contemporary, but also to provide and generate new knowledge to provide better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of visual disorders. Trainees are encouraged to follow their own carefully chosen path to create a career tailored to their needs and interests. Edmonton provides a mid-size program, a large catchment area and an excellent surgical load without the impersonal nature of large programs with fellows.

What is the availability of experience in subspecialty areas during training?

There is substantial exposure to the following subspecialty areas to achieve good comprehensive training, while also allowing residents to make informed career choices: oculoplastics, glaucoma, uveitis, neuro-ophthalmology, cornea and external disease, retina.