Ophthalmology Residency Program

The UC San Diego Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology Residency Program emphasizes excellence, ethics, and humanity while training residents to become exceptional ophthalmologists equipped to succeed in any aspect of ophthalmology, be it academics, research, or the private sector. The overarching goal is the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, clinical judgment, and attitudes necessary to provide skilled and compassionate care to patients.

During the program's three years, residents are provided with clinical exposure in multiple facilities to gain mastery of the ophthalmology knowledge and judgment needed while assuming increasing levels of responsibility for the medical and surgical management of patients with a wide variety of acute and chronic ophthalmological diseases. Because we recognize that ophthalmology education continues beyond the residency training years, we emphasize the importance of self-directed study habits.

Four residents begin training each July for a total of twelve. While training at our multiple facilities, each resident is exposed to a high volume of cases in a diverse patient population with a wide variety of ophthalmic needs—all of this while being given increasing responsibilities in a one-on-one teaching environment with our attendings.

For more information on the UC San Diego Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology Residency Program, please contact Robyn Austin, Residency Program Manager, at rkaustin@health.ucsd.edu 
Meet Robyn and learn more about the program in the video below!

To give you an idea of what our dozen residents might experience, here are some data from our department’s 2020 Annual Report
  • A combined 110,454 Patient Visits (all sites)
  • 4,482 Surgeries
  • 72 NIH Grants
  • 185 Publications
  • 49 Clinical Trials
  • 760 Free pairs of glasses given by the EyeMobile in 2020
  • 990 Free dilated exams by the EyeMobile

More Numbers

  • Patient age span from 1 to 108 years of age
  • 14 US patents issued by the faculty
  • Received 21 invention licenses
  • Created 15 start-up companies
  • 227 faculty and staff 
  • 293 Lectures
  • 534 Residents & Fellows trained since 1972 from 38 countries
  • 238,803 EyeMobile Free Vision Screenings in San Diego County (Since 1999)
The 91,000’ square Shiley Eye Institute includes the Ratner Children’s Center, the Jacobs Retina Center, and the Hamilton Glaucoma Center—clinics, surgery suites, research labs, administrative space, and, in the main Shiley building, the Weyland Residency  Library. Because we are a multi-facility department with a complex patient profile, the clinical and surgical experience of the UC San Diego Ophthalmology resident is outstanding. Several Faculty have been added in the past couple of years which has opened up more  surgical opportunities to residents, as evidenced by the following surgical totals reported by our recent graduates:
  • For the combined 2014 to 2018, total procedures averaged over 1000 per resident year as the primary surgeon