Education | Residency Program | What Distinguishes Us?

Outstanding Features of the Residency Program


  • The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences serves several excellent hospitals. Washington University Medical Center consists of Barnes-Jewish Hospital (North and South Campus), and St. Louis Children's Hospital. The St. Louis Veterans' Affairs Medical Center and Connect Care Medical Center are two miles from the main medical center campus. These five hospitals have over 2,900 patient beds as well as extensive laboratory and diagnostic facilities.
  • The training program utilizes two types of learning experiences. The first is the one-on-one work in the offices of the full-time faculty with exposure to all the subspecialties (glaucoma, retina, oculoplastics, cornea and external disease, refractive surgery, pathology, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatrics, oncology). The second involves independent work where the resident is responsible for the evaluation and care of general and subspecialty ophthalmology patients. All clinics and surgeries are supervised by faculty.
  • All residents have an opportunity for clinical and/or basic science research projects. There are 21 scientists in the department actively engaged in research programs. The Department ranks in the top in the nation in terms of NIH funding for eye research and basic research.
  • The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is associated with the Postgraduate Medical Science Training Program whereby residents with a Ph.D. can maintain laboratory research projects and participate in the scientific programs of the medical school.


Full time University Attendings for all subspecialties in Ophthalmology, including ocular tumors, oculoplastics, and uveitis. We have a very healthy mix of senior, established faculty and junior members, and have hired four new clinical faculty in the past three years.


We are one of the nation's top National Eye Institute (NEI) grant recipients and very high on the list of grants for basic research. As a first year resident, you have the opportunity to work with members of the country's largest full-time ophthalmology research faculty during the 10 week research rotation.


Endowed Research Awards

Rosenbaum $1000 Research Award:
Criteria: Originality and quality of research project

William Ellis Research Prize in Ophthalmology:
Criteria: Outstanding research of a Washington University medical student or resident

Max & Evelyn Grand Prize:
Criteria: Research achievements of a Washington University medical student or resident

Drs. James and Linda Duan-Song Award:
Criteria: Resident award based on clinical and surgical excellence.

Doris P. and Harry I. Wexler Award:
Criteria: Washington University medical student or resident recognizing outstanding research. Alternates yearly between ophthalmology and multiple sclerosis research

Katie & Howard Venable Research Award:
Criteria: Senior Resident of African-American Descent who has demonstrated excellent potential in the field

Heed fellowship
Since 1998, we have had ten graduates receive the prestigious Heed Fellowship for their subsequent fellowships.


American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)

ARVO Annual Meeting (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology)

Travel to Meetings:
ARVO/Academy: Each third year resident will be allowed $1,000 to travel to either ARVO or the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting.
First Authorship: Residents of all years are encouraged to present papers as first author, and are allowed one meeting per year in this capacity in addition to the third year ARVO/AAO meeting. In rare instances and with prior approval of the Program Director, a second meeting will be allowed. In this case, the paper being presented must be different than that presented at the first meeting, and the meeting must be a major ophthalmologic society meeting (AAPOS, ASOPRS, etc.). If a resident in any year is the first author of a presentation at either the American Academy of Ophthalmology or ARVO, the resident will be allowed time off with pay to attend the meeting. This time will not come out of vacation time. Sponsorship for travel costs to the meeting should be identified from the research laboratory or program involved. If presenting at ARVO, it is incumbent upon the resident to apply for a travel fellowship through ARVO. If a resident does not apply for a travel fellowship, he/she will not be eligible for departmental support. If the fellowship is received, the Department will provide additional support in order to bring the total to $1,000. If a travel fellowship is not awarded, then the department will underwrite the cost of the travel up to a maximum of $1,000, upon evidence provided by the resident that a travel fellowship was applied for but not received.

Visiting Professor Series at Washington University, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Presentations coincide with the Ophthalmology Grand Rounds, Vision Science Seminar and the St. Louis Ophthalmological Society.


  • Ranked No. 12 among the nation's best hospitals in US News and World Report
  • Washington University Medical School, Department of Ophthalmology was ranked No. 12 in U.S. News & World Report
  • One of the largest teaching hospital complexes in the nation with over 2000 beds in the complex

Barnes-Jewish Eye Clinic and Wash U Eye Center
St. Louis Children's Hospital
John Cochran Veteran's Affair Medical Center
St. Louis ConnectCare


  • High volume of surgical experience in University Eye Service and the VA Hospital
  • Over 180 phaco cataract cases per resident 
  • Lasers: hundreds of laser procedures
  • Our residency graduates are above the 50th percentile nationally for primary surgeon case number in ALL 11 categories of ophthalmological surgical experience required by the ACGME

9 hours per week

A fully equipped practice laboratory with two phaco machines dedicated to resident use on the 13th floor.

Washington University Medical Center Housestaff Auxiliary - a very supportive group to provide social opportunities for housestaff and their families: Adult Activities, Book Club, Children's Activities, Coffee Talk, Babysitting, Co-op, Craft Club, Gardening Club, Gourmet Cooking Class, Gourmet Dinner Club, Halloween Party, Outreach, Scrappers, Seminars, Spring Picnic, Playgroup, Welcoming Party

With a metropolitan population of 2.5 million, St. Louis ranks 17th among urban areas in population size, ensuring an outstanding mix of big city culture and medicine and small city living. Housing is affordable and convenient. St. Louis has world class sports teams (Rams, Cardinals, Blues), an outstanding symphony, and excellent museums, along with a very active cultural life. St. Louis' central location also makes travel to either coast convenient. Please talk with our residents about living in St. Louis!

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