Our goal is to provide excellent clinical and surgical training so that residents have the skills and knowledge to become outstanding ophthalmologists. Loma Linda University’s mission has always been “to make man whole”. We take pride in preparing ophthalmology residents for a lifetime of service both locally and globally, with opportunity for mission works during residency. Learn more about mission work.
The ophthalmology residency is a three-year program designed to provide intensive clinical training in an academic environment, which encourages close interaction between the residents and faculty. Five residents are accepted to our program each year.
Residency Program Director: Samantha Perea, MD
The ophthalmology residency has full and continued accreditation by the ACGME. The ACGME has also approved the programs request for a permanent increase in resident compliment allowing the program to now accept five new residents a year.
The Loma Linda University School of Medicine mainly uses four institutions as education resources for its ophthalmology residency program.
The Loma Linda University Medical Center serves as both a university and community hospital. The Eye Institute, which serves a large population, is conveniently located at the Faculty Medical Offices directly across the street from the main Medical Center building. This facility serves as the primary training site for the subspecialty rotations.
The Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, just five minutes away, serves as the referral center for a large portion of California. Veterans travel from as far as Arizona and Nevada to seek medical care at this facility. A new outpatient eye clinic, including wet lab, opened at this facility in 2005. It is a primary training site for comprehensive ophthalmology, including cataract surgery.
The Riverside University Health System (RUHS) is the county hospital for Riverside County. RUHS is located in the neighboring community of Moreno Valley, approximately 25 minutes away. It was built in 1998 and features a modern clinic. Its busy clinics serve a large indigent population with a mix of many immigrant groups. The faculty and residents run a comprehensive eye clinic at this facility.
The Arrowhead Regional Medical Center is a teaching hospital located in Colton, California within Southern California’s Inland Empire. ARMC is owned and operated by the County of San Bernardino.
San Diego Naval Medical Center Refractive Rotation
The San Diego Naval Medical Center Refractive Rotation in July 2007 introduced a refractive surgery elective for our senior residents through the San Diego Naval Medical Center. During this one-month rotation, our residents receive "hands on" refractive surgical training. The elective includes certification in Intralase, keratome usage, PRK and LASIK. Our residents have averaged 70 refractive surgical cases within this rotation. Our residency is now one of the few programs in the country that provides such a comprehensive refractive surgery experience for its residents.
San Diego Naval Medical Center Pathology Rotation
The San Diego Naval Medical Center Pathology Rotation is for our first year residents. They spend three months (one day per week) at the San Diego Naval Medical Center training in Ocular Pathology. This rotation is under the direction of Dr. Todd Mondzelewski and Dr. John Cason.
San Diego Naval Medical Resident Rotation at Riverside University Health System
The San Diego Naval Medical Center senior residents currently rotate through the RUHS for a 1-month rotation. During this rotation, the SD Naval residents serve as the senior resident at Riverside County, working with Loma Linda University junior residents. Additionally, the residents provide "globe trauma" call coverage for the duration of the rotation. This eye trauma rotation serves a vital role for the SD Naval residency, providing critical experience for their residents before they begin their tours of duty after graduation.
Components of Residency Training
Didactic instruction includes faculty and guest speaker lectures and an ongoing program of weekly grand rounds, conferences, and lecture series that cover all subspecialties. Didactic lectures are held from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 on Fridays. Grand Rounds, Neuro-Imaging and Fluorescein Conferences are held on a once to twice monthly basis on Wednesdays from 7:00 am to 8:30 am. Clinical training includes specialty clinics in retina, cornea, and refractive surgery, cataract management, glaucoma, pediatrics and strabismus, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, and uveitis, as well as extensive surgical experience in general and subspecialty ophthalmology. The residents and faculty work together within the clinics, and faculty are readily available for assistance.
Residents are encouraged to pursue research projects and to seek post-residency fellowships; however, the first priority of the program is to insure the highest level of clinical knowledge and skill. Residents are required to complete one quality improvement project and one research project during their residency. One project must be submitted for publication. Residents are allotted time from their academic schedule and provided financial support to present their research at major medical meetings.
The training is divided into four three-month rotation blocks per academic year. This will change as we increase our resident compliment up to five residents per year.
Residents rotate through most subspecialties twice throughout their residency. All of the facilities provide the resident with a great variety of general ophthalmology patient care experiences as well as management of chronic and age-related disease.
The PGY-2 residents focus mainly on clinical skills during their first year. Surgical focus of the PGY-2 trainee is on extra-ocular surgeries (mainly strabismus and oculo-plastics). The PGY-2 residents also become proficient in the use of various lasers and intravitreal injections for in-office procedures.
The PGY-3 residents have designated surgical days and focus on extra-ocular as well as intra-ocular surgeries. PGY-3 residents perform cataract surgery at the VA Medical Center and RUHS, and achieve a significant surgical volume (approx. 40 cases) before they begin their PGY-4 year. They also play a crucial role in the education of medical students and PGY-2 residents.
The PGY-4 residents spend three months at each rotation site. The PGY-4 residents are the chief residents at their respective sites and have the responsibility of arranging journal clubs and grand rounds meetings as well as training the PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents. There is a strong emphasis on refining intraocular surgical skills during the senior year. Surgical case volume has consistently remained in the 80-90% versus the national averages. Here is the latest surgical case log data from our residency program compared to the national averages.
The videos below will help you understand the depth and breadth of the surgical training of our residents: