Department of Ophthalmology



The residency training program in ophthalmology consists of three years of approved training in Baylor's Department of Ophthalmology Roy and Lillie Cullen Eye Institute and in the Baylor affiliated hospitals. Six positions are available for entry into the first year of residency training each July 1.

The Department comprises 34 full-time clinical and 8 research faculty members, principally located in the Cullen Eye Institute of the Neurosensory Center. In addition, 26 voluntary clinical faculty members assist in the training program.


First Year


All new residents enter the program on July 1. The first two weeks are devoted primarily to an introductory course in ophthalmology. This includes the principles of examination and the utilization of instruments, refraction, and management of ocular emergencies. At the conclusion of this period, the first-year residents begin full-time clinic and operating room activities at Ben Taub Hospital, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Alkek Eye Center, and the Baylor College of Medicine Ambulatory Surgery Center.

The major objectives of the first year of training are to understand the pathophysiology of ocular diseases, become skilled in the diagnosis and management of medical diseases of the eye, and become familiar with the indications and principles of ophthalmic surgery. The resident examines and treats patients in the outpatient clinics and performs inpatient consultations. The resident also develops basic surgical skills, and performs both extraocular and intraocular surgical procedures.

In addition to rotations at Ben Taub and the MEDVAMC, the first-year residents have subspecialty assignments under the direction of full-time clinical faculty members. This includes ocular pathology with Dr. Debra Shetlar and Dr. Patricia Chevez-Barrios; oculoplastic and orbital surgery with Dr. Milton Boniuk, Dr. Debra Shetlar, and Dr. Michael T. Yen; and neuro-ophthalmology with Dr. Rod Foroozan.


Second Year


In the second year, the resident develops skills in extraocular, strabismus and intraocular surgery during general and sub-specialty rotations. Two months each are devoted to subspecialty assignments directed by full-time faculty.

Strabismus Surgery and Pediatric Ophthalmology

The resident on the rotation provides Texas Children's Hospital with consultation services and also spends part of each day in the operating room and in clinic. Surgical experience includes strabismus surgery, cataract surgery, retinopathy of prematurity, retinoblastoma and oculoplastic procedures. One half-day each week is devoted to running the pediatric/strabismus clinic at Ben Taub Hospital. Surgical cases generated from this clinic are performed at Ben Taub by the resident with staff supervision. Attending faculty include Drs. David K. Coats, Evelyn A. Paysse, and Kimberly G. Yen. The service also includes one or two pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus fellows.

Glaucoma and Anterior Segment Surgery

Clinical and surgical management of glaucoma is taught by Drs. Silvia D. Orengo-Nania and Peter T. Chang in the Alkek Eye Center and the Ambulatory Surgery Center. The resident also spends one day per week at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center directing the glaucoma clinic and participating in glaucoma surgery.

Vitreoretinal Diseases and Medical Retina

Comprehensive instruction in medical retina and genetics is provided through the clinic of Dr. Richard A. Lewis. One half-day per week is spent in the multidisciplinary genetics clinic at Texas Children's Hospital. The resident also spends time with Drs. Christina Weng, Tahira Scholle and Ella Leung for an introduction to the surgical management of vitreoretinal disease. One half-day per week is also spent at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center performing retina lasers.

Corneal and External Diseases

Instruction in advanced management of cornea and external disease is provided by Drs. Dan B. Jones, Kirk R. Wilhelmus, Alice Y. Matoba, and Stephen C. Pflugfelder. One half-day per week is spent running the cornea clinic at Ben Taub Hospital. Instruction in contact lens fitting is provided at a weekly clinic. During rotations at Ben Taub Hospital and Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the second year resident participates in all aspects of patient care, provides consultative service, and shares teaching responsibility for medical students, first-year ophthalmology residents, and other post-graduate trainees.


Third Year


Senior residents are primarily responsible for the medical and surgical management of all ophthalmology patients at the two principal integrated facilities, Ben Taub Hospital and Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. These activities include directing the outpatient clinic and consultative services, performing surgery, assisting residents in patient care, and teaching other trainees. Through direct supervision by full- and part-time faculty and by independent performance, the resident acquires skills in a wide range of ocular surgery, including cataract extraction by phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation, corneal surgery, trabeculectomy, vitreoretinal surgery, and oculoplastic surgery.

Cataract and Refractive Surgery

Advanced surgical management of cataract and corneal disease is provided on the services of Drs. Douglas D. Koch and M. Bowes Hamill. All residents receive training in refractive surgery and are able to perform these surgeries if desired.

Surgical Retina

Third-year residents are introduced to advanced vitreoretinal surgery and become proficient in intravitreous injections and retina lasers. Time is divided between the operating room/clinic at the public hospitals and on the private services of Drs. Christina Weng, Tahira Scholle and Ella Leung at the Alkek Eye Center and Ambulatory Surgery Center.


Chief Resident


One senior resident is selected as the chief resident for the full academic year to direct the residency service, assist in organizing the residency training program, and serve as liaison with the department's faculty and administration.