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University of Pennsylvania Health System

Department of Ophthalmology


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Ophthalmology Education



Medical Student Education


Prithvi S. Sankar, MD
Director, Medical Student Education

John A. Dempsey
Director, Educational Programs
Phone: 215-662-8069
Fax: 215-243-4696


The Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Pennsylvania offers several educational opportunities, from a one-week introductory clerkship to one-month elective rotations for Penn and visiting medical students.

In addition, research electives, and the opportunity to work with senior faculty in the field, are available throughout the year in many of the sub-specialties.

Ophthalmology 200: Introduction to Ophthalmology

A one-week course that introduces the student to the diagnosis and management of common ophthalmological problems. This course is available only to Penn Medical students.

Ophthalmology 300: Clinical Ophthalmology

A one-month elective course during which special attention is paid to the acquisition and development of technical skills. The course is flexible and designed to accommodate the student's interest.

Ophthalmology 301: Pediatric Ophthalmology

A one-month elective course that offers an in-depth experience in pediatric ophthalmology. This elective is designed for students interested in ophthalmology, who have a special interest in pediatric ophthalmology or students interested in other related pediatric disciplines.

Interdepartmental 340: Clinical Neuro-Ophthalmology

A one-month elective course dedicated to the study and practice of Neuro-ophthalmology, a specialty that bridges the disciplines of ophthalmology and neurology and involves the diagnosis and therapy of disorders of the afferent visual system.

Visiting Student Information

If you are interested in enrolling in one of our one-month electives as a visiting medical student, visit the Perelman School of Medicine's visiting students web site for an application. Note that only students enrolled in U.S. and Canadian medical schools are eligible to apply to be visiting students.

Research in Ophthalmology

Whether you are searching for a project for your scholarly pursuit or you simply want to explore ophthalmology at the research level, there is a project waiting for you. Use the link above to browse our current medical student research offerings. Contact the faculty in charge of the research directly if you would like further information.

Jeffrey W. Berger Medical Student Research Award

The Department of Ophthalmology is proud to continue Dr. Jeffrey Berger's commitment to mentoring students in medical research. Funding through the Jeffrey W. Berger Research Scholarship Fund is available to help to fund student research at Penn. Eligibility and application information