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University of Pennsylvania Health System

Department of Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology Education

Other Information

There is an orientation program at the beginning of the residency. This program consists of introductory lectures and practical sessions to aid in the transition to the ophthalmic examination. Emphasis is on teaching practical techniques for refraction and how to use instruments needed for the eye exam. Presentations by faculty emphasize commonly encountered ophthalmic problems and differential diagnosis. Residents have increasing responsibility for clinical care and increasing involvement in surgical procedures as the residency progresses.

Night Call
First-year residents are responsible for night call at the Scheie Eye Institute. This call is taken from home. The frequency of on-call responsibilities is approximately every 5th night. The senior resident is available as on-call backup for consultation. During the first 2 months, a third-year resident accompanies the first year resident at all times during the overnight call. During the second year, night call coverage is from home, every 5th night, covering HUP, CHOP, and the VA. Third-year residents provide backup call for the first and second year residents. They also are responsible for any surgical emergencies that are performed at any of the four hospitals. Attending night call coverage also is provided on a rotating basis by all faculty with surgical privileges.

Salary and Benefits
All residents receive a salary determined by their PGY level and set by the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The salary is comparable to other programs in the Philadelphia area. Residents have health insurance covered through the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Other benefits, including life insurance, are extended as well.

Each resident has three weeks of vacation per year. First-year residents are encouraged to take one of these weeks during the Christmas or New Year weeks. The remaining weeks can be scheduled anytime, albeit with the following considerations: no vacation is allowed during the surgical senior rotation, during July and August, or during the last week of each academic year. Prior approval by the Residency Program Director is required to be certain that two residents on the same rotation (Retina, VA, CHOP, etc.) are not away at the same time. Both the Residency Director and the Chair must approve exceptions to the above policy in advance.

Resident Meetings
Residents meet with the Chairman, Residency Program Director, and Assistant Program Director regularly to discuss administrative, academic, and other issues related to the day-to-day activities of the residents. This meeting is an open forum in which residents have the opportunity to ventilate, compliment, suggest, or discuss global events.

OKAP Examination
In the spring of each year, the OKAP (Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program) examinations are administered. Residents throughout the country take this test as an in-service exam to monitor their knowledge base. The department pays the fee for this exam. This exam functions primarily as a self-monitoring device and is not used to penalize the resident. After receipt of OKAP scores, each resident meets with the Chairman or Residency Program Director to discuss the results. At this time, the resident's performance for the entire year is reviewed and efforts are made to address any problems.

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