University of Ottawa - Ophthalmology - Ottawa


Program Director

Dr. Chloe Gottlieb


Program Administrator

Ginette Snook

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Formal Teaching Schedule

  • Academic Half Day Formal Schedule: uOttawa boasts a formal Academic Half Day Teaching Program where the American Academy of Ophthalmology Manuals are covered in completion twice during one's residency. All half-days are taught directly by staff ophthalmologists or visiting professors.

  • Professor Rounds: Twice weekly during the Academic Year, residents receive morning teaching for one hour by staff ophthalmologists covering topics of specific interest as selected by staff or residents.

  • Journal Clubs & Grand Rounds: In addition, residents attend and present at weekly Grand Rounds and at monthly Journal Clubs with the entire department.

  • Formal Courses: Residents participate in external courses including the Toronto Ophthalmology Residency Introductory Course (TORIC) (PGY1), the Halifax Ophthalmology Ethics Course (PGY2 or PGY3), the Sally Letson Symposium (all years) and review courses as selected by senior residents (PGY4 and PGY5).

  • Clinical Exposure: uOttawa residents partake in clinical care covering a large area (Champlain LHIN) with coverage of Nunavut (Iqaluit and Baffin Island). This large catchment area results in a wide variety of cases and a large volume creating a great learning environment.

  • Surgical Teaching: Residents have early exposure to cataract surgery in PGY2 as part of the below mentioned simulation courses in addition to their junior (PGY3) and senior cataract surgery rotations (PGY4). Residents undergo formal surgical simulation as part of the Ophthalmic Surgical Skills Centre (OSSC) including the Introduction to Microsurgery Course (PGY2), Introduction to Cataract Surgery Course (PGY2), Intermediate Cataract Surgery Course (PGY3) and the Advanced Cataract Surgery Course (PGY4/5). The OSCC includes three full surgical stations (including surgical microscope and standard phaco machine) as well as an electronic surgical simulator.

  • Research: Residents have dedicated time roughly equivalent to one-half day a week distributed across PGY2 to PGY4 to conduct and complete research. Residents also have access to the Department of Ophthalmology Research Fund (DORF) in order to support their research endeavours. Residents are funded by the Department of Ophthalmology to attend conferences at which they are presenting scholarly endeavours. Staff surgeons are very available and happy to mentor residents through their scholarly endeavours.

  • Environment & Call System: Residents train at three separate sites during their time in Ottawa. The University of Ottawa Eye Institute offers a centralized facility with access to a large volume of sub-specialists. Residents spend four to five months in PGY3 and one to two months in PGY5 at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) learning pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus surgery. Residents spend half of their PGY2 year at the Riverside Eye Care Centre (RECC) learning community ophthalmology and four months in PGY4 learning cataract surgery. uOttawa is proud to have a buddied call system where junior residents always have access to their senior resident on-call in addition to their staff surgeons to review cases.

  • Electives: Residents at uOttawa have the opportunity to visit and complete electives in Nunavut and India in their PGY5 year. In addition, many staff surgeons ask uOttawa senior residents to accompany on eye missions through organizations including EyeVan and Orbis International. Other elective opportunities are available and can be arranged as per the residents preferences and interest.

  • Resident Body & Wellness: uOttawa prides itself on having a close knit team of residents. Food is provided for all morning and evening teaching sessions. A GoodLife Gym is available at discounted rates for all residents located in the basement of the The Ottawa Hospital General Campus where the University of Ottawa Eye Institute is located. A Resident Retreat is organized every year where residents are excused from clinical responsibilities dedicating time to formal team building; retreats in the past have included mini golfing, escape rooms and cooking classes. Seasonal faculty gatherings are organized by the Program Director; past events have included the annual Inner-Tube Water Polo Staff versus Resident Party, Laser Tag and Bubble Soccer. Residents have a dedicated lounge space with access to personal lockers, couches, a refrigerator, a microwave, a tea kettle, two computers and a lunch table in which to socialize. Finally, each resident is formally paired with a mentor with whom he or she can turn to for personal and professional guidance on an ongoing basis.

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All candidates must meet the Ontario criteria of eligibility.

  • Three separate sites at which residents train, one site providing subspecialty medical and surgical teaching, one providing comprehensive surgical and medical paediatric eye care, and one site providing comprehensive community practice training.

  • Early surgical exposure, beginning in the PGY-2 year, to ensure that the resident is extremely well trained surgically.

  • A very large volume of didactic and interactive teaching with staff.

  • Large amount of one-on-one teaching allowing residents to interact directly with the comprehensive or subspecialist ophthalmologist.

  • A regular opportunity to delve in a wide variety of research topics.

  • A regular opportunity to attend national and international meetings.

  • A very warm and friendly atmosphere between residents and staff.

  • Very responsive Postgraduate Training Committee set on resolving any personal or academic matters that arise promptly and fairly.

  • The clinical facility and research labs are in very close proximity and thus there is often interaction between PhD researchers, clinicians and residents. This includes work on resident research projects.

  • University of Ottawa Ophthalmic Surgical Simulation Center provides a non-intimidating, dynamic yet controlled surgical environment. Junior residents meet with a surgical preceptor to refine surgical approaches and techniques. This is a unique feature of our program in Ottawa to recognize the value of early surgical training by creating dedicated surgical training time for PGY-2s. Their experience in the wet lab is coupled with OR time with the center's director, who works with the residents to translate the skills acquired in the simulation center and apply them to live patient encounters in the operating room. The EYESi Ophthalmic Surgery Simulator (VR Magic), which includes a cataract and vitrectomy training modules is state of the art technology that allow residents the ability to refine many of their surgical skills.

  • Participation in the External Cataract Surgery Skills Courses.

  • Summer clinical skills enhancement course.

  • A resident rotation dedicated to ophthalmic diagnostics.

  • National and International partnerships.

  • Opportunity for residents to participate in refractive surgery. A unique experience among ophthalmology programs.

  • Dedicated research time.

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