Creating a New Kind of Doctor
We recruit and train physician leaders as comfortable taking on systemic challenges in health as caring for individual patients.
Discovery to Impact — Faster
We reward creative thinking and encourage rapid experimentation, using collaborative programs to speed promising research to market.
Improving Care. Improving Health.
We’re here to make health — including health care — better. The end goal is a complete revolution in how people get and stay healthy.
In This Section
More Information
Health in the Landscape of Life
Enabling the healthscape, the ecosystem outside the clinic, requires improving the system to pay for health drivers.
More Information
Meet Dell Med
We’re rethinking the role of academic medicine in improving health — and doing so with a unique focus on our community.
More Information
Make an Appointment Give Faculty Students Alumni Directory

The Ophthalmology Residency program at Dell Medical School is uniquely designed to provide residents with a comprehensive foundation of medical and ophthalmic knowledge and skills. Clinical training is augmented with a robust didactic program. Graduates will be positioned to enter independent practice as an ophthalmologist equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide quality care to their patients. The conception and completion of a publishable research project is required.

Didactic Curriculum

Didactics will take place in three constructs: lectures, conferences and grand rounds.

Lectures will be a combination of both online and in-person lectures. The online lecture curriculum will be tailored per PGY level to maximize learning efficiency. 

Conferences will be in-person, taking place with the entire residency and with a different faculty member every week. Conferences will go through actual patients from the faculty member’s clinic and incorporate skills that emphasize critical thinking and problem-solving.  

Grand rounds will be formal and on a monthly basis. UT Austin faculty and invited visiting professors will present during grand rounds.

Curriculum Information by Year

Residents will join the Dell Med Transitional Year PGY-1 class and will spend nine months in required four-week clinical rotations in surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, neurology and ER.

Three months of the intern year will be dedicated toward ophthalmology. During the ophthalmology months, residents take one-month rotations through the Mitchel and Shannon Eye Institute and see patients independently in their own clinic.

Resident clinic: Residents will manage their own patients in the Mitchel and Shannon Wong Eye Institute and VA Outpatient clinics under direct faculty supervision. At the Mitchell and Shannon Wong Eye Clinic, residents will have their own independent clinic schedule and have a longitudinal clinic throughout their entire residency. The resident template will increase each PGY year to be appropriate for each level of training. Resident clinics are in the same space as faculty clinics, and residents will participate in the same administrative duties as faculty, including clinic improvement meetings and medical billing sessions.

Subspecialty faculty clinics: Residents will rotate through subspecialty clinics with both core and affiliate faculty. These subspecialties include, cornea, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, pathology, pediatrics, retina and uveitis. Residents are exposed to a number of different faculty and practice sites so that they will rotate with one of the program’s 38 faculty members. This hybrid model also allows residents to compare and contrast both academic and private practices.

Call: Residents will take primary call throughout their entire PGY 2-4 years. Residents will never serve as backup to junior residents. Faculty will always be always the direct backup to residents during their entire residency. Residents will be on call every 9 days at maximum, but the program aims for call to be once every 2 weeks. Currently, private physicians take call for the city of Austin. Only the private physicians that are regular faculty members will be allowed to have a resident on call, allowing for an every 14 day call schedule.

Surgery: Residents will start in the operating room in July of their PGY-2 year. There will be a graded surgical curriculum that will slowly introduce the steps of cataract surgery. The goal is to have a PGY-2 resident able to complete a full cataract surgery case with faculty assistance by the end of the PGY-2 year. The program features a state-of-the-art wet lab with an EyeSi virtual simulator and six wetlab stations, each with their own microscope, phacoemulsification machine and surgical equipment. The surgical curriculum will involve structured exercises in both the wet lab and in the operating room.

PGY-3 residents will have the goal of doing two full cataract cases in the first half of the PGY-3 year and three full cataract cases in the second half of the PGY-3 year. Residents will also assist faculty with surgical cases respective to their subspecialty rotation.

Procedures and lasers: PGY-3 residents will start doing both procedures and lasers while at the Eye Institute clinic starting their PGY-3 year. Procedures will include intravitreal injections, oculoplastics procedures, anterior segment lasers (YAG capsulotomy, peripheral iridotomy, etc.) and posterior segment lasers (pan-retinal photocoagulation).

The last year of training is the primary surgical year, where residents will operate under faculty supervision at the UT Health Austin Ambulatory Surgery Center and Ascension Seton Medical Center. Residents will have a weekly longitudinal surgery day throughout the entire PGY-4 year. Longitudinal operating days allow residents to continuously build and keep up their skills without any breaks from operating in the year. Aiming for 4-6 cataracts per surgical day longitudinally will result in an average of 250 cases in the PGY-4 year alone. Dependent on the rotation, there will be a second subspecialty operating day.

Residents will also have the unique opportunity during their PGY-4 year to have a 4-month block as a faculty member in the department of ophthalmology at the Mitchel and Shannon Wong Eye Institute. During this block, residents will have a full technician complement and have the same clinic and surgery schedule as one of our faculty members. This allows residents to experience work life after residency at an academic institution. Residents will be required to attend all activities and duties required of faculty members at the department of ophthalmology during their 4-month block.