Cataract surgery is the ‘bread and butter’ of ophthalmology. A ‘good’ surgical program offers 150 or more primary cataract surgeries within a residency, a ‘great’ program offers up to 250 primary cataract surgeries. Here at UF the average cataract volume from a graduating resident is around 350 or more primary cataracts, giving us one of the largest surgical volumes in the nation compared to top tier programs.
1st year: 1-10 primary cataracts
2nd year: 75-90 primary cataracts
3rd year: 250-300+ primary cataracts (including refractive cataract surgery with LensX® laser and ORA®)
Refractive surgery refers to corneal laser corrective procedures such as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) as well as “laser cataract surgery.” None of these experiences are typical of normal residency. The training you receive here will make you more prepared and marketable as an ophthalmologist graduating from our program. This training includes laser training on the Star S4 IR®, ORA®, and LensX® laser systems.
3rd year: 20-30+ LASIK and 50+ PRK with the Star S4 IR® (As well as refractive cataract surgery with LensX® laser and ORA®)
Vitrectomy refers to vitreoretinal surgery for treatments of the posterior segment or back of the eye (Retinal Detachments, Diabetic Retinopathy, etc.). Very few institutions allow residents to perform multiple vitrectomies as a primary surgeon. During your second year you will work closely with our retina specialists and under their close supervision you are given the opportunity to perform vitrectomies as the primary surgeon.
This is particularly beneficial if you plan on applying for a surgical retina fellowship as this will provide you a surgical advantage compared to your peers.
Furthermore, during your time on the retina rotation you can have the opportunity to scrub in and be first assist in an ARGUS II implant surgery. During this surgery an electrode is implanted on the retina allowing people with blinding retina diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa, to see with the aid of integrated glasses that communicate with the retina electrode. We’re currently second in volume in the United States in performing this rare and unique procedure.