Four months are spent at the Albany Medical Center, where the resident evaluates all of the inpatient and emergency department consults during the day. Albany Medical Center is a 631 bed tertiary care center with a wide variety of subspecialists. The pathology encountered is diverse. A subspecialty clinic is staffed by faculty each day, sometimes accompanied by a senior resident. Screening for retinopathy of prematurity is performed weekly with a retina attending at the hospital’s 50 bed NICU.
Eight months are spent at the Albany VA Medical Center. This hospital boasts a state-of-the-art ophthalmology facility with access to optical coherence tomography (OCT), fluoroscein angiography, Humphry visual field perimetry, and corneal topography. Each resident has his or her own dedicated schedule to promote continuity of care. Attending supervision is available for each patient seen. There are regularly scheduled clinics in general ophthalmology, oculoplastics, cornea, glaucoma and retina. There is frequent interaction with senior residents during these rotations.
The pediatric ophthalmology and glaucoma rotation allows the resident to participate in all of the surgeries performed by two busy practices. The resident spends about 2 ½ days per week in the operating room and performs approximately 50-60 strabismus cases and 10-15 trabeculectomies and drainage surgeries. The remaining time is spent in clinic at the Lion’s Eye Institute and Albany Medical Center. During glaucoma days, the resident participates in glaucoma laser procedures.
The oculoplastics rotation allows the resident to operate one-and-a-half days a week and participate in clinic with the attending and fellow in oculoplastics. A wide variety of adenexal and orbital pathology is encounter in this setting. Each resident performs approximately 100 procedures and surgeries.
The second year VA rotation allows residents to assume more surgical responsibility. The resident performs all pan-retinal photocoagulations, glaucoma lasers such as YAG peripheral iridotomies and selective laser trabeculoplasties (SLT), YAG capsulotomies, intravitreal injections and VA oculoplastic procedures. The resident also begins cataract evaluations and has one half-day per week dedicated to cataract surgery, gradually increasing his or her participation through the rotation.
The cornea rotation involves approximately two days per week in the operating room, including some cataract extractions. The Cornea resident is also responsible for all cornea surgeries at the VA. The remaining time is spent in clinic at the Lion’s Eye and Albany Medical Center. Additionally, an opportunity is provided to observe refractive surgery.
Third year residents at the VA are dedicated full-time to the evaluation, surgery and post-operative care of patients with cataracts. Two full days per week are provided in the operating room with the supervision of approximately five different attending physicians. Each resident completes approximately 120 cataract surgeries or greater during the course of residency. VA glaucoma surgeries are also performed by the third year resident.
Residents follow two busy retina practices, devoting approximately 2 ½ days a week to clinic and 1 ½ days to surgery, including multiple vitrectomies. One day per week is dedicated to the busy VA retina clinic where the third-year resident performs all focal lasers and surgical procedures.
There is a wide variety of research conducted by the Department of Ophthalmology at Albany Medical College, which produced over 60 publications last year. Each second and third year resident is required to conduct one research project per year and present the findings at the yearly research conference in October. Funds are generously made available through the local Lion’s club to allow residents to present posters and papers accepted at national meetings. Likewise there is a variety of local funds available to assist in research.
Residents receive 3 weeks paid vacation each year. In addition, one week of conference time is provided each year for a conference of the resident’s choosing.