Residents see differing populations of patients coming from all walks of life. At each site, whether in clinic or surgery, the resident has attending supervision in accordance with UC San Diego and VA policy: one-on-one teaching with increasing responsibility for decision-making according to the level of training and competency. 

The three main sites for scheduled resident rotations are: 
  • UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute 
  • UC San Diego Medical Center/Hillcrest
  • VA San Diego Health Care System/La Jolla 

There is a combined total of 106,470 patient visits for all of the UCSD and VA facilities. The Shiley Eye Institute alone has over 60,000 patient visits annually; and the VA Eye Clinic, around 20,000 annually.

Although the resident sees mostly outpatients, there is a substantial number of inpatient consultations at our two inpatient Medical Centers (Hillcrest and La Jolla) where the resident cares for patients with the Ophthalmological manifestations of systemic disease. 

In addition, patients might also be seen at: 

 Shiley Eye Institute Campus: 

  • Ratner Children’s Center for pediatric ophthalmology and the monthly Thyroid Eye Clinic 
  • Jacobs Retina Center 
  • Hamilton Glaucoma Center 

UC San Diego Medical Center/La Jolla (Thornton Hospital) for inpatient consults 

  • Jacobs Medical Center 
  • Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center 
  • Moores Cancer Center 

At each site, with its unique “flavor” and patient population, residents participate fully in the evaluation of the patients.

Shiley Eye Institute Campus

The Shiley Eye Institute is a state-of-the-art, free-standing outpatient facility with 24 fully-equipped examination lanes and a surgical suite with four ophthalmic operating rooms, preoperative area, and post-operative recovery space. A full range of ancillary services includes digital photography; visual field testing; ultrasonography; wavefront analysis; corneal topography; OCT; GDX, Argon, Krypton, and YAG lasers; optometric and low vision services; and a full optical shop.
The extensive electronic collections of UC San Diego’s Biomedical Library are available to all residents either on the main campus or via computers in the Weyland Resident Library on Shiley’s second floor. Shelves are filled with specialized Ophthalmology texts and DVDs graciously donated by our supportive alumni; and current technology is available to help residents prepare presentations.
The Shiley Conference Room, with seating for 80, is home to educational events such as Grand Rounds, invited speakers, and weekly didactics. Larger meetings make use of the stadium seating in the Goldberg Auditorium in the Moores Cancer Center next door.
The Abraham Ratner Children’s Eye Center, a free-standing facility with 8 examination lanes, has been specially designed to meet the needs of the pediatric population. The two Pediatric Ophthalmologists have about 6000 patient visits per year in just their subspecialty.
Basic and clinical research facilities on the Shiley campus include the Hamilton Glaucoma Center, the Jacobs Retina Center, and multiple corneal research laboratories at Shiley itself. In these settings, residents might interact with patients who are in clinical trials.
The Lamont Ericson MD Microsurgical Practice Lab is available to residents any time to practice their surgery skills. The microscope includes computer hookups for recording surgeries to review with faculty. During the year, additional surgical wet labs are scheduled with in-depth instruction to emphasize correct surgical techniques.
A short walk from the Shiley Eye Institute is the Thornton Hospital (UCSD Medical Center/La Jolla) with 119 beds, the Perlman Ambulatory Care Center, and the Moores Cancer Center—all sources of referrals to the Shiley Eye Institute.

UCSD Medical Center Hillcrest Eye Clinic

About a twenty-minute drive from Shiley is the UC San Diego Medical Center/Hillcrest, a Level I Trauma Center that includes a 434 bed hospital and ambulatory care facility. It serves a wide range of patients including the indigent and jail populations. The Emergency Department has a fully-equipped exam room dedicated to ophthalmology patients after regular clinic hours, and there is also an operating room dedicated to Ophthalmic cases.
The Eye Clinic has 7 outpatient exam lanes, and attendings there cover all the subspecialties, including Ophthalmic Pathology. In addition, Ophthalmology consultations are provided for other inpatient services such as the neonatal intensive care unit. Residents can be expected to take part in about 2000 inpatient and other urgent ocular conditions annually. The Eye Clinic itself has ancillary services including ophthalmic photography, visual field testing, OCT, RetCam, lasers, pachymetry, ultrasound, and a procedure room. Optometric services are also available at UCSDMC Hillcrest. In the resident room in the Eye Clinic, there is online access to the electronic collections of the UC San Diego Biomedical Library.

VA San Diego Healthcare System

VA San Diego Healthcare System on the UCSD La Jolla campus is a 238-bed hospital and outpatient facility less than one mile from the Shiley Eye Institute and about a minute’s walk from the UC San Diego Medical School. The VA Hospital is where residents have most of their surgical experience, including lasers. Along with Comprehensive Ophthalmology and Cataract clinics, the five residents scheduled there for rotations also have subspecialty clinics in Strabismus, Glaucoma, Neuro-ophthalmology, Cornea, Retina, and Oculoplastics. In addition, a telemedicine rotation was begun in 2014 under the direction of Residency Program Director Jeffrey Lee, MD.
The VA Eye Clinic has almost 20,000 outpatient visits per year (19,975 in 2011) and provides a wide range of pathology for the residents, as well as increasing responsibility for patient management. The institution has one OR dedicated to eye surgery and almost 1,000 cases per year are performed by residents under supervision.
The VA Eye Clinic has 13 fully-equipped examination lanes with a procedure room, as well as lasers, IOL Master, ophthalmic photography, pachymetry, and OCT. All ancillary testing is available at the VA and each examination lane has its own computer for EMR and access to the Biomedical Library’s electronic journals and book collection. In addition, the VA provides optometric services including Low Vision and contact lens consultations.

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