Ophthalmology Residency Program

Director: David M Ringel, DO
Co-director: Kenneth Heist, DO
Positions: 7

The three-year ophthalmology residency program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine prepares residents to be confident and well-qualified in both ophthalmologic surgical procedures and ophthalmologic office practice. It is designed so that residents, through comprehensive didactic and clinical training, meet the basic requirements for board certification in ophthalmology.

As a student you will, at your own pace, learn to take a focused ophthalmic history, examine patients, and assist with in-hospital consultations. You will also be introduced to ophthalmic surgery, including cataracts, cornea, glaucoma, retina and oculoplastics. This is a hands-on rotation and we consider our students part of the eye clinic team.

During our program, residents will:

  • gain perspectives on ophthalmic basic science and clinical ophthalmology.
  • be introduced to the key principles underlying ocular structure, function and pathology.
  • receive practical exposure to ophthalmic disease, patient care and treatment strategies.
  • observe various types of ophthalmic procedures and surgery.

As a resident, we expect you to be motivated to improve your skills in ophthalmic history and examination. Specifically, we want you to learn slit lamp biomicroscopy, direct ophthalmoscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy and applanation tonometry. Towards the end of your rotation, we want you to gain enough skill to primarily assess selected outpatients.

We want to engage you clinically and academically. Therefore, the student will make one 10–15 minute presentation on the topic of his or her choice to the residents and attending physicians on service. This may be as formal as a PowerPoint lecture or as simple as a discussion with a hand-out. Either way, we just want you to learn.

During our program, the ophthalmology PGY-1 resident spends two full clinical months on the ophthalmology service and is encouraged to participate in resident clinic throughout the year. A basic science course beginning the first year leads to observation of cases, participation in patient care and review of radiologic films. The first-year resident also partakes in the introductory course and a one-month pathology rotation held at Wills Eye along with the other residencies in the Philadelphia area. Instrumentation study and wet lab prepare the resident to perform some surgical and laser procedures under supervision.

During the second year, residents see patients in the clinic and gain increasingly varied surgical experience with cataract, cornea and advanced anterior segment surgery, glaucoma, vitreo-retinal surgery, strabismus, blepharoplasty, ptosis repair, ectropion/entropion, lid reconstruction, and orbital surgery for fractures, thyroid disease, tumors and more.

During the third year, residents are responsible for pre- and post-operative patient care and expand their surgical knowledge in all the subspecialties mentioned above. The resident performs surgeries of greater complexity and assists attending physicians on additional cases. Third-year residents are also responsible for training medical students, interns and junior ophthalmology residents in the clinics.


Our residents and attending physicians gather routinely for journal club. Activities at these meetings vary and include case discussions, journal topics, presentation of landmark research publications, and wet labs. Formal lectures occur each morning at Wills Eye Institute. In addition to these formal daily lectures, there is weekly tumor conference and retina imaging conference, also at Wills. Attendance at the Wills Eye Institute conferences is not mandatory but highly recommended. You will also have the opportunity to spend a few clinic days at Wills while on rotation with us.

Particpating Healthcare Sites

Lankenau Hospital Wynnewood, PA
Moore Eye Institute Philadelphia, PA
Wills Eye Institute Philadelphia, PA


Application Process

Visit our How to Apply page for detailed information regarding the application process for the program.


Department of Graduate Medical Education

Department of Graduate Medical Education
4190 City Avenue, Suite 409
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone: 1-800-778-4723
Email: GME@pcom.edu