The history of The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary as a teaching institution proceeds from its earliest days, as its original charter gave physicians from every county in New York State the "right to witness and practice surgery" at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Formal lectures on diseases of the eye began in 1823, and the residency program was organized in 1862. The quality of this program is witnessed by the long list of illustrious ophthalmologists who received their residency training at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.
The ophthalmology residency at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary offers an exceptionally balanced program wherein a highly active clinical three-year training program is combined with academic teaching. Residents enjoy the broad clinical experience that only a specialty hospital can offer. A large clinical faculty and strong representation by all subspecialty facets of ophthalmology in the training program ensure that the resident graduates as a well-rounded ophthalmologist with superb clinical and surgical experience.
The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary sees approximately 142,000 outpatients and performs over 20,000 surgical procedures annually. All outpatients are managed by resident staff with close supervision by the faculty in both the clinic and the operating room. The clinical exposure is complemented by a coordinated program of didactic instruction in the Basic and Clinical Sciences.
Basic science teaching begins at the first year level with participation in the Greater New York Basic Science Course from July through September and is supplemented for each of the two years thereafter with basic science lectures and seminars. This course continues through the remainder of each year as a clinical lecture series at which resident attendance is expected.
The goal of the teaching curriculum is to integrate the core material contained in the American Academy of Ophthalmology Home Study Course into a program which offers the resident a comprehensive education in every facet of clinical ophthalmology. All residents are provided with, and are expected to complete, the most recent version of the Home Study Course during their residency.
The Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) examination is given each year in the spring to allow residents and faculty an opportunity to gauge resident learning. In addition to the basic and clinical science education, a comprehensive program of surgical skills courses is provided on-site at appropriate stages during training to allow development of skills required in the operating room. The surgical laboratory is available to all residents for group courses as well as individual practice sessions.
Active research in basic and clinical and visual science is conducted in permanent laboratories at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and on the main campus of its major affiliate, New York Medical College. This relationship has enabled The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary to expand research activities into otherwise impossible arenas. We receive support for research through various National Institutes of Health grants and private funding. Glaucoma, laser technology, computer science and bioengineering, ocular imaging, retinal physiology, and cornea represent major areas of research at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.
The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine provides outstanding support for resident and attending-based projects. Residents are expected to take part in research projects while at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, and an annual Resident's Day allows presentation of this work. Residents are encouraged to publish their work and present it at major meetings.
Daily teaching conferences are held at 7:30 AM, including Grand Rounds every Friday. These conferences involve both formal lectures and interactive teaching conferences in the various subspecialties involving discussion of clinical material. The Visiting Professor Lecture Series allows exposure to lecturers of national and international reputation.