Four months are spent at Albany Medical Center, where residents evaluate all of the inpatient and Emergency Department consults during the day. As a 766-bed tertiary care center, 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 Stratton VA Medical Center. This hospital boasts a state-of-the-art ophthalmology facility with access to optical coherence tomography (OCT), fluorescein angiography, Humphrey visual field perimetry, and corneal topography. Residents have their own dedicated schedule to promote continuity of care; attending supervision is available for each patient seen. There are also regularly scheduled clinics in general ophthalmology, oculoplastics, cornea, glaucoma, and retina, with frequent interaction with senior residents during these rotations.
During the pediatric ophthalmology and glaucoma rotation, residents participate in all of the surgeries performed by two busy practices, spending approximately two-and-a-half days per week in the operating room and ultimately performing 50 to 60 strabismus cases and 10 to 15 trabeculectomies and drainage surgeries. The remaining time is spent in clinic at the Lions Eye Institute and Albany Medical Center. During glaucoma days, residents participate in glaucoma laser procedures.
During the oculoplastics rotation, residents operate one-and-a-half days a week and participate in clinic with the attending and fellow in oculoplastics. A wide variety of adnexal and orbital pathology is encountered in this setting. Each resident performs approximately 100 procedures and surgeries.
During the second year VA rotation, residents assume more surgical responsibility. They perform panretinal photocoagulations, glaucoma laser procedures such as YAG peripheral iridotomies, selective laser trabeculoplasties (SLT), YAG capsulotomies, intravitreal injections, and oculoplastic procedures. Residents also begin cataract evaluations and have one half-day per week dedicated to cataract surgery, gradually increasing their participation through the rotation.
During the cornea rotation, residents spend approximately two days per week in the operating room, including performing some cataract extractions. The cornea resident is also responsible for all cornea surgeries at the Albany Stratton VA Hospital. The remaining time is spent in clinic at the Lions Eye Institute and Albany Medical Center. Residents also have the opportunity to observe refractive surgery.
During their rotation at the Albany Stratton VA Hospital, residents are dedicated full-time to the evaluation, surgery, and post-operative care of patients with cataracts. Two full days per week are spent in the operating room, with the supervision of approximately five different attending physicians. Each resident completes approximately 120 cataract surgeries during the course of residency. Third-year residents also perform glaucoma surgeries at the VA hospital.
Residents follow two busy retina practices, devoting approximately two-and-a-half days a week to clinic and one-and-a-half 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 laser and surgical procedures.
Conferences & Didactics
Monthly case management conferences are held at the Lions Eye Institute. Three residents each present an interesting case and lead discussion. These are attended by all residents and fellows, as well as by attendings affiliated with the program and from the community.
The didactic schedule is modeled after the Basic Clinical and Science Knowledge (BCSC) series from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The schedule is repeated on a twelve-month basis, so each resident goes through it twice during the course of his or her residency. A complementary set of BCSC books is provided by the program.
In addition, there are monthly subspecialty case conferences, including an FA conference, and a weekly Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program review session held by the residents in the three months preceding the OKAP exam. In total, there are approximately two to three lectures each week.
A wide variety of research is conducted by the Department of Ophthalmology at Albany Medical College, which produced over 60 articles for 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 Lions 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. Current research initiatives include:
- Endothelial regulation of leukoembolization and blood flow impairment in retinopathies
- Cell signaling in rosacea
- Immune checkpoint regulation of cutaneous malignancies
- Clinical outcomes in orbital cellulitis
- Outcomes of endothelial keratoplasty
- Clinical features and outcomes in orbital necrotizing fasciitis
- Comparisons of techniques in strabismus surgery
- Predictive features of retinal detachment outcomes
- Complications of retinopathy of prematurity
- Effect of corticosteroids on intraocular pressure after selective laser trabeculoplasty
- Expression of pain molecules in blind, painful eyes
- Identifying waste in ophthalmic surgery
During the first six weeks of residency, each new resident will be paired with a senior resident for every patient seen on call. Thereafter, a senior resident and an on-call attending are available as backup and for surgeries. First- and second-year residents are on call every sixth day. Call schedules are flexible and may be arranged by the residents. Third-year residents take backup call every third week and perform any necessary surgery with the supervision of an attending physician.
Residents receive three weeks paid vacation each year. In addition, one week of conference time is provided each year for a conference of the resident’s choosing.
Cornea, External Disease & Refractive Surgery Fellowship
We currently offer a one-year clinical and research fellowship which has been filled continuously since 1991.
The fellow works with Robert L. Schultze, MD, and Robert Eden, MD, who maintain a very active referral-based practice and perform approximately 150 cornea transplants a year as well as other varied anterior segment and reconstructive procedures (DMEK, DSAEK, DALK, PK, KPro, sutured IOLs, etc.). Additionally, they perform 900 cataract and 1,000 refractive procedures annually. While they serve as the academic division of cornea and refractive surgery for Albany Medical Center, they also maintain a private office setting, Cornea Consultants of Albany, allowing the fellow exposure to all possible future practice settings.
We accept one fellow yearly and feel that this ensures the greatest exposure to the varied patient population and allows for a maximal surgical experience. The fellow works closely with both physicians, in addition to maintaining patients as his or her own "practice" and teaching residents in our program.
The practice is typically involved in many national studies, and the fellow is expected to participate in ongoing research projects as well as develop a project on his or her own. Upon acceptance of an abstract, travel is supported to AAO and/or ASCRS.
Our Cornea, External Disease & Refractive Surgery Fellowship is distinguished by the opportunity to perform a truly exceptional volume of surgeries, commensurate with the level of competency. We perform 90% of all cornea transplants within a 100-mile radius, with a population of more than one million people. Our offices are modern, friendly, well-equipped, and well-staffed. Albany is an easy place to live with a reasonable cost of living, state capital charm, and an abundance of activities.
Our fellowship program participates with and supports the AUPO – Fellowship Compliance Committee (AUPO-FCC). Fellowship guidelines can be found on the AUPO-FCC site and on the Cornea Society site. Our fellowship program is in full compliance with AUPO-FCC guidelines for Cornea, External Disease & Refractive Surgery. We participate in the SF Match Central Application Service; interested applicants should register at SF Match.
Oculoplastic Surgery Fellowship
We offer a two-year oculoplastic surgery fellowship, approved by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). The goal of this program is to provide a well-rounded training experience in the core areas of functional and aesthetic oculofacial plastic surgery with additional exposure to affiliated disciplines.
The core curriculum is provided in both academic and private practice settings. Albany Medical Center includes a 766-bed hospital and multiple regional satellites, and is the sole academic health sciences center in the 25 counties of northeastern New York and western New England. The Lions Eye Institute functions as the main referral center for oculoplastic and ophthalmology services. Specialty clinics are also held at the main hospital and the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center. Fellows have the opportunity to work with an excellent group of affiliated surgical specialists in the areas of otolaryngology, cosmetic facial surgery, Mohs surgery, general plastic surgery, craniofacial surgery, and skull base neurosurgery, and are encouraged to actively participate in teaching and research. Our fellows graduate with rich clinical, academic, and surgical experiences.