The University of Ottawa’s Department of Ophthalmology held their first of four virtual CaRMS Open House information sessions on October 27th, 2021. The event was enthusiastically hosted by the Program Director, Dr. Chloe Gottlieb, along with Dr. Solin Saleh, Dr. David Maberley, and Dr. Danah Albreiki as well as a handful of residents and recent alumni.
The session began with Dr. Gottlieb discussing her journey to ophthalmology, and the factors that led her to choose ophthalmology. In addition to presenting the academic program, subspeciality exposure, resident research and teaching opportunities, wellness initiatives, and much more, there was ample time for students to ask questions directly to the panelists. Topics discussed were wide ranging, touching on both the academic merits of the program and what it is like to live in Ottawa. The following are some of the highlights:
- The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) consists of 3 main campuses around the city. All are within a 10-minute drive of each other and share a common EMR. The General campus is where the Eye Institute is located and is where the residents spend an overwhelming majority of their time. The Riverside campus focuses on community ophthalmology and is one of the highest volume cataract centers in Ontario.
- There are extensive rural and international elective opportunities in locations such as Baffin Island (Nunavut), India (Srikiran), Columbia, etc. Participating programs are Orbis and EyeVan.
- There is a strong focus on resident teaching and protected time for studying. For example, patients with high educational value are specifically booked in the morning teaching clinics so residents can learn about subspecialty topics early in their training. Staff will go through the AAO BCSC textbooks on a 2-year cycle and break it down for residents to learn during their protected time. Additionally, fellows from multiple subspecialities provide the abundant informal teaching to residents.
- Research opportunities are ample, and funding is provided.
- Wellness initiatives are a priority! They include periodic check-ins, peer support, leadership program titled “Women trainees in ophthalmology”, resident retreats organized twice a year, and various dinners and leisure activities throughout the year (e.g., annual summer BBQ at a staff’s house and staff-resident holiday party).
- The residency program sponsors a 1-year membership to “The Raft” a leadership program for women physicians led by Dr. Maumta Gautam.
- The resident wellness program consists of 3 workshops, with the first one focused on ergonomics in the clinic and OR, the second on nutrition and fitness (including a presentation from a nutritionist and a cooking class), and the third on financial wellness for residents.
To learn more about this event or about Ottawa Ophthalmology in general, follow them on Instagram @ottawaophthalmology.
Check out their upcoming information sessions on January 12, and March 8!
Authors: Daiana Roxana Pur, Clara Long, Anne Xuan-Lan Nguyen, Stuti Misty Tanya, Amirthan Sothivannan, Cody Lo
(Image Source: University of Ottawa Ophthalmology Website)