FAQs

How many positions does your program offer?

There are five positions available each year.

What is your accreditation status?

We received full accreditation for 10 years from the Residency Review Committee during our last in-person review in February 2013. Our annual reviews from ACGME have had no citations since 2015.

How many letters of recommendation are needed?

In addition to the MSPE (Dean’s letter), three letters of recommendation must be submitted through the San Francisco Match program. At least one of these must be from an ophthalmologist. We will accept additional supplemental letters submitted directly to Ms. Helen Howell, our Program Coordinator.

What are your minimum scores for USMLE, step 1 & 2?

We do not have a minimum USMLE score requirement. Our program is highly competitive and applicants’ entire applications are reviewed thoroughly and holistically. USMLE Step 2 scores are not required (but are optional) at the time of the application process, but must be submitted after you have matched into the program. Submission of all USMLE results is required for international students.

Do your residents go on to competitive fellowships?

Our residents have been very successful in obtaining their choice of fellowship positions in every subspecialty at the top programs throughout the country. In recent years, between 60-70% of graduating residents have gone on to fellowship training in all fields, including oculoplastics, cornea, retina, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, uveitis, pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, and global ophthalmology.

Is there a research requirement?

All residents (in conjunction with their research mentors) are required to develop one or more projects suitable for presentation at a national conference and/or publication in a high-impact, peer-reviewed journal. The background, design, and results of these projects are presented at the annual Resident and Alumni Day meeting each June. The Department of Ophthalmology covers all registration and travel fees for three days for residents who present their research at national meetings. Travel to international meetings is possible in selected cases with advance approval from the Program Director.

How frequently do residents take call?

Initially, new residents share a period of “buddy call” with more senior residents for the first five weeks. After this orientation period, since there are five residents in each class, PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents are on call approximately every 10th night. Call is taken from home, but sleeping quarters are available at the Institute for use by residents for their convenience. PGY-4 residents are on call as surgical backup from home for a seven-day period every five weeks on average. Fatigue time is granted on an as-needed basis to all residents who require part or all of a post-call day off.

Are residents expected to present Grand Rounds?

Yes, each resident will present cases at Grand Rounds 2-3 times each year.

Are there any changes planned for the future?

We recently constructed a new state-of-the-art Retina Clinic in our 148,000 square foot facility, and have remodeled and upgraded our 70-seat auditorium. Our residency program has now expanded to five residents per year, and we plan for our integrated PGY-1 year to begin in July 2022. Our redesigned resident schedule allows expanded time for individual electives, a new experience in ophthalmic oncology and pathology, and enhanced surgical volume from the Resident Clinic. We continue to recruit new clinical and research faculty and remain one of the nation’s top recipients of research funding from the National Eye Institute.