Medical Student Education

Message from the Director

Welcome to the Medical Student Education Program at the McGovern Medical School Ruiz Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science. The department is dedicated to providing students with an exceptional clinical experience and a comprehensive didactic curriculum in Ophthalmology. Whether they pursue a career in ophthalmology or another field of medicine, we believe that all medical students should possess core skills in ophthalmology upon completion from medical school.

First and Second Year

Ophthalmology education begins in the first year of medical school with an introductory lecture to ophthalmology and neuro-ophthalmology followed by a small group session covering the basics of the eight-point eye examination and some of the common pathologies seen by ophthalmologists. The second year builds on the first year with an introduction to the clinical ophthalmic examination where students are taught the basics of the pupil examination and direct ophthalmoscopy.  In addition to formal educational experiences, there are opportunities for students to participate in basic science and clinical research as well as shadowing opportunities with the department faculty.

Third Year

Students interested in a more hands-on learning experience are encouraged to enroll in the subspecialty ophthalmology rotation during their surgery core rotation. Students on this rotation will be able to observe and assist in the operative room to learn the basics of cataract surgery, retina surgery, oculoplastics surgery, and more. Third year medical students also work closely with residents and attendings in clinic to learn how to evaluate patients in an outpatient setting. In addition to formal educational experiences, there are opportunities for students to participate in basic science and clinical research as well as shadowing opportunities with the department faculty.

Fourth Year

MSIV Four Week Course OPHT 4001:  This fourth year elective is designed to give students experience, under the supervision of staff and residents at the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, in the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with ophthalmic diseases. Students will acquire skills in the use of basic ophthalmic equipment, including the slit lamp and direct ophthalmoscope. Students will observe and possibly assist in ophthalmic surgery, attend conferences, and have an opportunity to initiate and participate in investigative ophthalmic research. This course is designed specifically for students who have decided to pursue a career in Ophthalmology or whose chosen specialty will include vision care; i.e., Family Practice, Emergency Medicine, etc.  Students are required to make an end of rotation presentation.

MSIV Four Week Course OPHT 4002:  This advanced fourth year elective is aimed at medical students who are dedicated to applying to ophthalmology to allow them more in-depth experience to work on improving their ophthalmic examination skills. Students will work independently at the level of first-year ophthalmology residents to come up with a differential diagnosis, assessment, and plan and work closely with residents and attendings in direct patient care. Students will observe and possibly assist in ophthalmic surgery, attend conferences, and have an opportunity to initiate and participate in investigative ophthalmic research. This course is allowed only for students who have completed the OPTH 4001 course and have decided to pursue a career in Ophthalmology. Students are required to make an end of rotation presentation.

Visiting Students:

A one-month elective is available for visiting medical students enrolled in U.S. or Canadian medical schools. Students interested in a visiting student rotation should contact Anthony Darby for an application.

Students are expected to attend weekly didactic conferences, and will be involved in clinical duties from 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Friday. Students will demonstrate competency of the material gained during the rotation by taking a final written examination. Students are required to give an end of rotation presentation.