• Cody Lo, Eisi Mollanji & Rishi Gupta

Event Summary: University of Ottawa Town Halls 1&2

Updated: Jan 23, 2021


Source: University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa’s Department of Ophthalmology held their first two information sessions on October 21th and November 25th 2020. They were hosted by the program director, Dr. Chloe Gottlieb, the previous program director, Dr. Bernard Hurley, a handful of residents, and recent alumni. There were prepared presentations by the department followed by ample time for questions from the student audience. Topics discussed have been wide ranging, touching on both the academic merits of the program and what it is like to live in Ottawa. Here are just a few takeaways from the discussion:


  • The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) network is several hospitals that have amalgamated together – Ottawa General is where the Eye Institute is located. They share this space with basic scientists in the building which facilitates collaboration within the department

  • The program has ALWAYS interviewed people who have not done an elective in Ottawa and it is definitely NOT a requirement to be accepted into the program!

  • Most attendings teaching the various subspecialties are fellowship trained in their discipline with many faculty having trained at prestigious eye hospitals around the world

  • Ottawa is a “medium” size city meaning you get the benefits of having all types of restaurants and amenities close by without the busyness that may come with living in a larger metropolitan area

  • Many residents have had the opportunity to pursue an elective in India where they learn extracapsular cataract extraction

  • UOttawa has a dedicated rotation for learning how to obtain the various ancillary tests used in ophthalmology. The residents mentioned that they feel very competent in obtaining their own B-scan ultrasounds or OCT scans, which can be helpful on call!

  • Residents also have opportunities to work in the “Eye Van”, which is a Medical Mobile Care Unit operated by the CNIB that travels to various rural communities in Northern Ontario

  • Multiple residents have had children during the program and felt supported throughout this process!

  • Wellness seems to be a huge focus at UOttawa! The PD, Dr. Gottlieb, represents the ophthalmology department for wellness and has done peer support training in this area. This sentiment was echoed by many of the residents!


In case you could not attend this session, they will be hosting a final session on December 16th!


Cody Lo is a 4th year medical student at UBC and is the Director of External Affairs for the Canadian Ophthalmology Student Interest Group. Eisi Mollanji and Rishi Gupta are medical students at the University of Ottawa and are the COSIG Representatives for the University of Ottawa.