The overall goal of the Ophthalmology residency program at Queen's University is to produce excellent ophthalmologists—confident medical and surgical experts, and accomplished communicators with the skills and values to be leaders within both the medical community, and the community as a whole. We are an education-focused department providing innovative, in-depth learning opportunities in a collegial atmosphere, and our extensive and varied educational programs prepare residents for success across the complete spectrum of ophthalmology. From the world of academia, to community based comprehensive practice, Queen’s graduates excel.
Our program fosters an inclusive environment in which diverse personalities can flourish. To that end, we strive to provide a collegial atmosphere where residents can work, learn and ask questions with confidence. While we challenge our residents to reach their potential, we maintain the flexibility to allow individual strengths to thrive, and weaknesses to be addressed in a constructive manner. Queen’s residents are regarded as colleagues, integral members of our team, and the lifeblood of our academic department.
I hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about our program and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.
Dr. Stephanie Baxter, MD, FRCSC
Postgraduate Program Director
The Queens University Ophthalmology Residency Program consists of a 5-year curriculum. In the first year, residents rotate through a series of medical and surgical specialties with direct links to ophthalmology, such as plastic surgery, endocrinology and neuro-radiology. First year residents conclude their introductory year by attending the 6-week long TORIC course, where faculty from across Canada, including eminent teachers from our department, deliver an excellent and intensive introductory course for ophthalmology trainees.
Residents in years 2 through 5 move through a carefully planned series of rotations, which ensures that all areas are extensively covered. The PGY-2 year consists of intensive training in emergency eye disease management; however, subspecialty training also occurs during this year. PGY-3 focuses on pediatric ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology and oculoplastics. PGY-4 focuses on intensive training in intraocular surgery, as well as continuing medical education in vitreo-retinal diseases. Finally, the focus of PGY-5 is the refinement of skills in the surgical and medical management of corneal diseases and glaucoma, as well as the fine-tuning of advanced cataract surgical skills.
Surgical education is a priority at Queen’s. Thousands of operations, covering all areas of ophthalmology, are performed in our department every year. We are extremely proud that residents are involved in virtually every procedure. Moreover, our residents have the opportunity to work one-on-one with attending surgeons over extended periods, which fosters the close relationships so vital to surgical training. As a result, our residents have tremendous opportunities to perform many procedures, and become confident in the complete range of ophthalmic surgical procedures. We also have a fully supplied surgical skills development lab and a structured skill development curriculum, which allow residents to hone their skills and enhance their progress in the operating room.
Residents are required to attend a variety of academic activities on a regular basis. These include:
There are other organized scholarly activities that are recommended to residents. These include:
At Queen’s we strongly believe that being at the cutting edge of medicine requires a solid grounding in research fundamentals. Each resident participates in important research projects from PGY-2 through PGY-5. Significant support - including idea generation, methodological and statistical consultation, and funding are provided.
Residents are also provided with significant time to carry out their research (generally 10% of their time). Residents showcase their research at our annual departmental research symposium, and many also present at national and international conferences. Many Queens’ residents have been honoured with national awards for research excellence.
Developing a broad view of the world of ophthalmology is an important component of residency training. To that end, our program has been open to innovative opportunities for learning. In addition to the extensive time and support provided for Queen’s residents to attend courses outside of Kingston, our residents have the opportunity to organize elective blocks at other institutions. These are an opportunity to expand horizons, or investigate future fellowship locations. We also offer regular formalized opportunities to work in developing nations, such as Ghana and Jamaica, under the supervision of Queen’s attending physicians.
At Queen’s, we believe in providing our residents with the opportunity to learn from a broad range of sources. To that end, all of our residents are provided with generous amounts of time and funding to attend an inspiring array of the world’s best courses and conferences.
Our residents usually attend meetings of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Many conferences, workshops, and other leadership opportunities are also available at Queen's and these include:
The Queen’s Conference on Academic Residency Education (QCARE) is an annual two-day conference that takes place in May for all first year residents. Attendance is mandatory, thus residents are released from service responsibilities for those two days. The vision for QCARE is to provide education on the CanMEDS non-medical expert competencies in a practical, innovative, and engaging manner. The two days include plenary speakers and smaller group workshops.
Kingston Resuscitation Institute
The Kingston Resuscitation Institute (KRI) hosts a Leadership Series for senior residents. The purpose of this series is to develop promising senior trainees for future leadership roles and to stimulate their interest in leadership. The series addresses some of the CanMEDS roles shared by all of our training programs that are difficult to address in the regular clinical setting, including the Physician as Communicator, Collaborator, Manager and Professional. The KRI also hosts a Residents’ Medical Education Seminar Series that takes place over the Fall and Winter months. The purpose of the series is to engage learners with theoretical frameworks, curricula development, principles of teaching, assessment strategies, program evaluation, research, and remediation processes.
A Chief and Senior Resident Workshop is offered in May to all residents in these leadership positions. In particular, sessions on leadership and conflict management address effective and appropriate management, administration, and leadership skills. Chief Residents are selected residents who are full members of the Residency Program Committee (RPC). In this role, s/he is responsible for bringing the concerns of other residents to RPC meetings.