The Weill Cornell Medicine Ophthalmology Residency Program is founded upon a dedication to quality education, innovative research and excellence in patient care. Our faculty members are committed to educational excellence through the comprehensive didactic and clinical nature of our program. In conjunction with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, our three-year Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited program accepts three residents per year.
Our robust didactic program consists of:
- Daily, morning education conferences and lectures from our own distinguished faculty.
- Weekly fluorescein angiography conferences led by our retina fellows and attendings.
- Monthly journal clubs.
- One-on-one cataract, corneal, glaucoma and retinal surgery wet labs staffed by our faculty.
- Interdisciplinary rounds with the neuroradiology, otolaryngology and neurology departments of Weill Cornell Medical College.
- Weekly grand rounds with renowned ophthalmology leaders as well as our own residents and fellows.
- Pathology teleconferences with Dr. Robert Folberg of the University of Illinois.
- A Greater New York lecture series at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.
- A Columbia University basic ophthalmology science course for first-year residents.
- A Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary intensive cataract surgery course.
- New York Eye and Ear Infirmary's Board and Ophthalmic Knowledge and Assessment Program (OKAP) review course.
The first year of residency represents a concentrated introduction to the basic principles and theories of general ophthalmology and ophthalmic surgery. First-year residents master the basic techniques of ophthalmic exam, as well as the diagnosis and management of a variety of ocular diseases, while rotating on our comprehensive eye service. First-year residents have the opportunity to assist with and perform minor surgical procedures including chalazia and pterygia excisions as well as minor eyelid procedures and temporal artery biopsies. While on our cornea rotation, first-year residents participate in care, workup and surgical assistance for both routine and complex refractive, cataract, cornea and external disease patients.
In addition, our first-year residents rotate on the following services:
- Ocular oncology: with Dr. David Abramson at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.
- Low vision: at the world-renowned Lighthouse International.
- Refraction and contact lenses: with our two full-time optometrists.
The second year of residency at Weill Cornell Medicine is one of subspecialty immersion. Residents spend their time on the glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric/strabismus, oculoplastics and vitreoretinal services, obtaining significant experience in the diagnosis and medical and surgical management of complex eye diseases. During the second year, surgical experience includes all strabismus cases, retinal and glaucoma lasers, complex eyelid and orbital cases and an introduction to cataract surgery. Second-year residents also develop skills and expertise on the busy inpatient consultation service at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, serving as specialty consultants, working with and teaching those from other disciplines while caring for inpatients with ophthalmic disorders.
During their second year, through our comprehensive cataract surgery wet lab experience, each resident must complete a minimum of 20 attending-supervised practice cases before their first surgery. At the end of their second year, all residents attend Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary's Intensive Cataract Surgery Course, where several of our faculty members are instructors.
In their third year of training, residents develop mastery of their medical and surgical skills while taking on more leadership, education and administration roles. They spend the year rotating at three institutions, immersed in a broad and diverse ophthalmic experience. At each site, a senior resident functions as the chief resident, with responsibilities ranging from teaching junior residents and rotating medical students to organizing clinic schedules and didactic conferences.
- The NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center is a highly specialized, tertiary care, university medical center. Here, residents provide the highest level of clinical and therapeutic care for patients with a variety of complex ocular pathologies. Residents are also actively involved in the care of inpatients on our consultation service, providing treatment as integral members of interdisciplinary teams, including assisting with care for Stevens-Johnson syndrome complications in nation's largest and busiest burn center.
- The NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Eye Center is a community hospital, located 10 miles from the main Weill Cornell Medicine campus, which serves the most culturally diverse county in the United States. Almost half of Queens' residents are foreign-born, and over half of the population speaks a language other than English at home. This experience enables residents to discover how cultural differences and preferences impact their medical decision-making process. Within minutes of the hospital is Flushing Meadows Park, home to the former Shea Stadium, now Citi Field, where the New York Mets play baseball, as well as the USTA National Tennis Center, where the U.S. Open is held each year.
- The Lower Manhattan Hospital is another community-based, NewYork-Presbyterian affiliate located just over six miles south of the main campus at the southern tip of Manhattan, near the Statue of Liberty and steps away from Ground Zero. It serves a diverse population including the main financial hub of New York City (Wall Street), as well as a large, underserved community of immigrants and a significant charity care population. Senior residents at this site and the Queens site have significant patient care autonomy and responsibility.
Participation in scholarly activity is an integral component of the Weill Cornell Medicine Ophthalmology Residency Program. Our NIH-grant funding is among the highest of any program in the U.S., with diverse research initiatives range from basic retinal and corneal pathophysiology science to a multitude of ongoing prospective studies organized by our in-house clinical trials unit. We also engage in translational projects with biomedical engineering colleagues at Cornell University's Ithaca, NY campus.
Residents have ample opportunities to participate in research projects, and all of our residents have presented their work at major ophthalmic meetings (ARVO, ASCRS, AAO, Retina Society, etc.) and had their work published in respected, peer-reviewed journals. In addition, when a first-author paper or poster is accepted at a major meeting, we reimburse resident travel expenses.
Call scheduling during all three years of ophthalmology residency is 100-percent call-from-home, without overnight in-house call or night float rotations. We maintain compliance with all state, hospital and ACGME-mandated duty hours.
The majority of our graduating residents apply for subspecialty fellowships. In recent years, our residents have matched at Harvard/MEEI, UCLA, USC, Duke, Johns Hopkins/Wilmer, Weill Cornell, University of Pittsburgh, Columbia, Stanford, University of Michigan, UC-Davis and UCSF, for neuro-ophthalmology, retinal, corneal, glaucoma and pediatric fellowships. Over the last 10 years, our graduates have performed well above the national average in first-time pass rates on the American Board of Ophthalmology written and oral exams. Many of our graduates have become world-renowned leaders in clinical and academic ophthalmology.
Stipend & Supplies
We provide new residents with the latest editions of the multi-volume American Academy of Ophthalmology Basic & Clinical Science Course textbooks and Wills Eye Manual, as well as a complete set of retinal indirect lenses (90D, 20D) and a four-mirror gonioscopy lens. A $1,000 stipend is also provided to cover equipment and textbook costs over the course of the three-year residency.
Salary, Housing and Life in NYC
Life in Manhattan is unlike anywhere else in the world, and Weill Cornell Medicine is uniquely situated within one of the safest, wealthiest, and most vibrant neighborhoods in the city, the Upper East Side. This picturesque neighborhood is home to Central Park, world-class museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum and Guggenheim, boutique designer shopping along Madison Avenue, the mansions of Park Avenue, and a plethora of five-star restaurants. The rest of Manhattan and its countless treasures are all easily accessible from the Upper East Side and the Weill Cornell Medical College campus.
Resident salary and benefits are very competitive for New York City. All residents are guaranteed subsidized housing in one of many Weill Cornell Medicine apartment buildings. Our resident housing is among the finest in the city, conveniently located and priced well under market value for the neighborhood.
All residents are entitled to four weeks of paid leave each year.
How to Apply
Residency applications must be submitted through the Central Application Service (CAS) of SF Match. International medical graduates must possess a J-1 visa and be registered with ECFMG.
More information, as well as application and interview dates, are available from SF Match.