The University of Toronto Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences held their inaugural Toronto Ophthalmology Virtual Open House on Wednesday December 9th, 2020. It was hosted by a large number of the residents across all years. The Program Director, Dr. John Lloyd, made remarks which highlighted the quality of preceptors in Toronto. The Associate Program Director, Dr. Amandeep Rai, also gave remarks which highlighted the diverse pathology and expertise that residents are exposed to. The chief residents then gave a prepared presentation about the program and its many highlights. This was followed by breakout rooms where a small group of CaRMS applicants got to chat with residents informally. Here are some takeaways from the event:
- Toronto is the largest ophthalmology program in Canada, covers the most hospitals, has the largest department, and has one of the largest catchment areas. Therefore, the program was described as “running like a well-oiled machine” as there are so many concurrent rotations that all the residents are doing
- There are funded opportunities to attend conferences every year with many opportunities for global ophthalmology electives
- Many of the residents have gone on to do prestigious fellowships in their field of choosing and now have staff positions in large centres across North America
- There are multiple staff in every subspecialty who are recognized experts in their field which means ample opportunities for mentorship and learning
- Many complex cases are referred to Toronto which exposes residents to pathology you may otherwise only see in textbooks
- In contrast to other programs, Toronto is so large that each hospital is considered its own “program” while you rotate there. Which means your call responsibilities are only for that specific hospital - which means no commuting between different hospitals during the day!
- As a large research centre, there are many opportunities for residents to explore research projects in essentially any area of their choosing. Residents also have a half day off every week as dedicated research time.
If you have any questions, please reach out to the residents @toronto.ophthalmology on Instagram!
Authors: Cody Lo & Anne Xuan-Lan Nguyen
Cody Lo is a 4th year medical student from UBC and is the Director of External Affairs for the Canadian Ophthalmology Student Interest Group. Anne Xuan-Lan Nguyen is a 2nd year medical student from McGill and is the Executive Director for the Canadian Ophthalmology Student Interest Group.