Department of Ophthalmology

The Ophthalmology Residency

Residency Program Director: Dr. Lane Ulrich (Began: 7/2005)
lulrich at augusta dot edu
Assistant Program Director: Dr. Amy Estes (Began: 7/2017)
aestes at augusta dot edu
Length of program:36 months
Residents per year:3
Vacancies as of Feb/18/2018None
Coordinator:Ms. Audrey Forbes
email:aforbes at augusta dot edu
1120 15th Street, BA-2721
Department of Ophthalmology
Medical College of Georgia
Augusta, GA 30912
» Resident camaraderie
» Good learning environment
» Attending involvement in teaching
» Quality surgical training
» Quality & diversity of medical training
» Competitive cost of living
Res & Grad Stats:
» About 55% do fellowships
» About 25% enter academics
» Full ACGME accreditation

Thank you for your interest in our department. It is our aim to present through these pages a description of our residency program. We are a midsized, closely connected department in downtown Augusta, Georgia. Our educational mission is to prepare the resident physician with a broad scope of medical and surgical experiences that will prepare them to immediately enter private practice or embark into fellowship training.

We have two main and three accessory sites where the educational mission is carried out. The first main site is within the Augusta University hospital (* see caveat below) of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), and the second is adjacent and walkway connected downtown division of the Augusta Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). The connector between these facilitates easy interaction between the two campuses. The bulk of residency training occurs in these two venues.

Other training is provided in our accessory sites. First is our affiliation with Eye Care One (ECO). Their office is fifteen minutes from the main campus and in this venue Dr. David Bogorad works with one of the ECO Optometrists (Dr. Tracie Sponseller) in our LASIK enterprise. The next site is about 25 minutes away and closer to the growing West Augusta market. General ophthalmology, pediatrics, oculoplastics and cornea are available at the present time in that facility. Dr. Stephanie Goei has the bulk of her practice in that venue.

The final site I wish to speak to is the Augusta State Medical Prison (ASMP). A subsidiary of Augusta University holds a contract with Georgia Department of Corrections to provide care throughout the Georgia state prisons. Twenty to twenty-five minutes from our main campus is a prison which acts as a health care hub for the state. Dr. Ulrich operates in this venue (cataracts, pterygia) most Wednesdays and has clinics there on Thursdays and Fridays. We use a Centurion phaco platform in the OR and we have 2 lanes in the adjacent clinic. This clinic is fitted with Spectralis OCT, HVF, corneal topography, and IOL Master and a B-scan. There is also a laser that delivers YAG energy as well as green spectrum photocoagulation. The pathology that can be seen in this venue is particularly rich and the boost in cataract surgery has been a boon to the residency since 2007. There have been no ophthalmology related security incidents to my knowledge throughout this time. Our policies do allow a resident to opt out of this experience. To date only 1 resident has, however. It has generally been received by our residents and staff as a favorable experience.

Prior to July 2017 our residents rotated through a set of rotations in 4 month blocks. It was felt that this could be improved by switching to shorter rotation blocks (mostly monthly). This allows for "refreshers" in neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, and pediatrics in the final year of training while ensuring that throughout the senior year surgery is being don.

In December and June of each year evaluations of the resident's performance are done. The results are compiled and reviewed with each resident by the program director or assistant program director. In the spring of each year all residents participate in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) in-training examination. An award is given to the highest scoring resident on this text. All residents scoring above the 65th percentile get a small stipend toward the purchase of books or eye equipment.

The educational program includes a number formats. Grand rounds occurs on most Monday mornings and attendance is required for all faculty and residents. The presentations are resident or medical student driven with occasional guest or faculty speakers. A schedule is drawn up with 2 resident or medical student presentations on any given morning. They are responsible for identifying patients in the on-call clinics or from their rotations, speaking with the associated faculty member and then presenting their case. On the first Monday of each month ethics and M&M conference share the time.

As we shifted the rotational pathway in July of 2017 we also shifted the lecture format. Lectures are scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday evenings. Faculty deliver a percentage of these and in the sections not taught by faculty residents work through the Basic Clinical Science Course books. In general there are no weekend lectures. There are usually 2 invited lecturers to our annual Resident-Alumni Meeting. Six to 8 times per year relevant journal articles will be presented by the residents in journal club meetings. There is a micro-surgical skills lab and beginning each year in April a formal teaching course occurs taught by the faculty and senior residents to teach the first year residents skills in operating under a microscope. The 172,000 square foot J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons building houses our EyeSi Surgical Simulator. The first years are required to attend our wetlab sessions and complete courses A and B on the surgical simulator. Certain benchmarks must be met.

* There are 3 hospitals nearly co-localized in the same area. One is called University Hospital, but University Hospital is a private hospital. I cannot recall the reason for the name at this point. Some residents from other departments rotated there, but there is no ophthalmology connection. Augusta University is where the residency occurs. It is adjacent (and connected) to the VA hospital. Both of these are located on 15th Street.

** A little disclaimer...this structure and these parameters are only summaries. We reserve the right to alter them according to the needs of our training program.