Surgical Experience

Dean McGee Eye Institute Residency Surgical Experience

The resident surgical experience at the Dean McGee Eye Institute (DMEI)/University of Oklahoma (OU) Department of Ophthalmology is truly unique. With the volume of a large multi-specialty private practice, and the complexity of an academic tertiary referral center, residents experience the best of both worlds.

For PGY-2 residents, surgical training starts immediately with extensive oculoplastics exposure. Residents are able to build a strong microsurgical foundation during their first year thanks to dedicated attending mentorship and training. Residents are provided with an abundance of oculoplastic cases as primary surgeon, and often finish their first year with more than double the ACGME minimum. The first-year surgical foundation is rounded out with early strabismus and intraocular surgery, with many PGY-2 residents completing multiple primary cataract surgeries enhanced by hours of simulator training in DMEI/OU’s microsurgical training facility.

Through the second and third years of training, the surgical experience continues to grow and evolve. An appropriate increase in the level of autonomy, based on each resident’s own individual learning curve, allows residents to develop the confidence needed to operate independently by the completion of training. A healthy, ethical, and constructive relationship with industry leaders gives residents exposure to the latest and greatest surgical technology, including femtosecond laser, intraoperative aberrometry, and advanced intraocular lens technology. Residents also receive extensive training with multiple microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) devices and finish residency with some of the highest MIGS numbers in the country.

Though surgical teaching by the fellows and upper-level residents plays an important role in the surgical curriculum, the vast majority of surgical training at DMEI occurs one-on-one with faculty, many of whom are leaders in the field. With multiple providers in every subspecialty, residents are exposed to a variety of surgical techniques and styles. Finally, residents have the benefit of operating in both a hospital setting and the extremely efficient, “eye only” ambulatory McGee Eye Surgery Center with highly skilled and supportive staff.

All of these factors, and many more, enable DMEI/OU to provide residents with one of the most diverse, highest volume, and truly comprehensive surgical experiences in the country. We are successful in our goal for each resident to become comfortable in the operating room and to graduate prepared for the future practice environment of his or her choice.