Western University’s Ophthalmology program held their first of two Virtual Open Houses on January 6th. This event was hosted by Drs. Yiannis Iordanous (Program Director), Stephanie Cote (PGY-4), Heather McDonald (PGY-3), and Gaya Sivakumar (PGY-1). There was a prepared presentation about the program followed by a breakout room where a small group of attendees were paired up with a resident. This allowed for informal discussions about the program, life in London, and CaRMS applications. Here are some takeaways from the presentation:
- In Year 1 you are mostly doing “off service” rotations but residents felt all the specialities were relevant to ophthalmology. There is only call on 1-2 rotations so overall residents feel the workload was very manageable as you adjust to residency.
- In Year 2, you are sharing day call with your co-resident. However there are many ways that the PGY-2’s are supported during this year such as: always having senior back up in July/August, you don’t take night call until Sept, and the evening residents helps you finish up clinic if you’re running behind.
- In Years 3 and 4, you spend 2 months at a time in each of the main subspecialty clinics each year. The residents cited this as a nice progression to build your knowledge base in a particular area. The majority of your surgical training is also done during these years.
- Western recently made changes to their call schedule which they cited as a recent large improvement to the program! This includes a graded schedule where more senior residents take progressively less call and the PGY2s have more senior support in the early portion of their training.
- There is also flexibility in when residents do their elective time, particularly if residents want to do a particular fellowship. Many of Western’s residents go onto do fellowships.
- Residents also receive full funding to attend many courses throughout residency such as TORIC, Lancaster, the Stanford course and more.
- Overall residents felt they received very good surgical exposure as there are high volumes, a favourable consultant to resident ratio (21:8), the program actually has a sizable catchment despite being in a smaller city, and there are no fellows.
- Residents said that London is a very nice city to live in as you often have a short commute, there are nice restaurants with patios in the summer, and lots of accessible nature close by.
Check out Western Ophthalmology on Instagram @westernophtho! You can also email the program at email@example.com
Authors: Cody Lo
Cody Lo is a 4th year medical student from UBC and is the Director of External Affairs for the Canadian Ophthalmology Student Interest Group.