Full accreditation status.
Program application language: English
Interested applicants wishing to apply to the Calgary Ophthalmolgy Residency program need to apply through the CaRMS process.
IELTS, OET or CELPIP is required by CPSA for candidates from medical schools in Quebec except for candidates from McGill and for IMG candidates. Please check CPSA https://cpsa.ca/ for ELP updates.
Reference letters should be obtained from faculty members who can comment on your clinical skills, interpersonal skills, and suitability for a career in Ophthalmology. Reference letters from Ophthalmologists are preferred but not required.
Please include a detailed Curriculum Vitae with your application. This should detail your Education, Work Experience, Awards/Accomplishments, Publications, Podium/Poster Talks, Leadership Activities, Volunteer Activities and Extracurricular Activities. Description of key entries should speak to how the experience links to the CANMEDS roles (i.e. being involved in a team sport demonstrates your ability to collaborate with others).Personal Letter
The personal letter should speak to the applicant's motivation to pursue, and suitability for, a career in Ophthalmology. A strong letter will highlight the individuality of the applicant and express why they are a good fit for the Calgary program specifically. Career goals and aspirations should also be included. Maximum 500 word limit.Medical Student Performance Record Medical School Transcript LMCC Certificate
If appropriate.Ophthalmological Report
A report from an ophthalmologist or optometrist that documents at a minimum the candidate's best corrected acuities and stereoacuity.Abstract/Publications
If applicable, please select your 3 most important/significant publications to append to your application.Photo
If appropriate.Graduate Transcript (Master/PhD Degree)
If appropriatePostgraduate Medical Training Certificate
If appropriateResidency Transcript
If appropriate.Name Change
Applications submitted after file review has opened on January 31, 2022
Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened on January 31, 2022
Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on January 31, 2022
The selection process will evaluate prospective applicants on their ability as per the CanMEDS roles. These roles will be evaluated predominantly from the following documents:
- Letters of reference
- Curriculum vitae
- Personal Letter
At the University of Calgary, we aim to train well-rounded comprehensive ophthalmologists, competent in all subspecialties of ophthalmology. Our goal is to provide a stellar learning environment where residents can learn from each other and their staff. We also provide training and support for residents interested in research. Residents who graduate from our program will be strong both clinically and surgically and will be able to work independently in any setting, from community to hospital-based, rural to urban. Our residents who wish to pursue further fellowship training will also be supported through the process with our formal mentorship program.
A successful candidate to ophthalmology at the University of Calgary will demonstrate the following skills:
Review team composition : The review team consists of the residency program director, section chief, two community ophthalmologists, and two residents.
Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200
Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %
|CV||education, past employment (medical and non-medical), research, awards and achievements|
|Electives||Electives will not be considered for file review|
|Examinations||we do not evaluate this file component|
|Extra-curricular||well-rounded activities outside of ophthalmology and medicine|
|Leadership skills||demonstration of initiative and leadership in organizations, associations, teams, and other collaborative efforts such as research and teaching|
|MSPRs||we do not evaluate this file component|
|Personal letters||background and interest in ophthalmology and Calgary|
|Reference documents||clinical skills, interpersonal skills and suitability for a career in Ophthalmology|
|Research/Publications||ability to produce research and work well in a research team|
|Transcripts||competency in undergraduate studies and medicine|
Interview format :
We may accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants due to weather, technology failure, or unforeseen circumstances.
|Collaboration skills||demonstrations of collaborative efforts both within and outside of medical settings|
|Collegiality||pleasant to work and interact with in diverse circumstances|
|Communication skills||ability to listen to questions and answer appropriately, including in difficult situations; communicating views on current topics|
|Health advocacy||QA/QI projects, patient advocacy, knowledge about current advocacy topics and health care issues|
|Interest in the discipline||background to the applicant’s interest in ophthalmology, basic knowledge of the field|
|Interest in the program||interest in the Calgary ophthalmology program, the city/region/province, and any connections to the area|
|Leadership skills||evidence of leadership skills in organizations, committees, extra-curricular activities, and other pursuits|
|Professionalism||professional interactions with colleagues and interviewers, ability to maintain composure, and sound ethical reasoning|
|Scholarly activities||research skills; interest in research, up to date knowledge of the program/discipline|
The Calgary Ophthalmology Residency Program (CORP) is a fully accredited 5-year Royal College residency program that was founded in 2003. In recent years, CORP has established itself as one of the preeminent programs in Canada. CORP prides itself in offering some of the highest surgical volumes in North America. Through a unique agreement with non-hospital surgical facilities, residents will routinely graduate with upwards of 750 full cataract cases.
With over 50 staff surgeons affiliated with the program, CORP has one of the highest staff-to-resident ratios in the country with strong representation in all subspecialties of ophthalmology (3 neuro-ophthalmologists, 3 oculoplastic surgeons, 4 cornea specialists, 4 glaucoma specialists, 5 pediatric ophthalmologists, 6 retinal surgeons, 1 uveitis specialist, 2 ocular oncologists and 2 ocular pathologists). As such, residents are exposed to considerable expertise across sub-disciplines, and achieve substantial depth and breadth in both clinical and surgical ophthalmological training.
Calgary is a major tertiary care centre serving Western Canada and has one of the largest catchment areas in the country. While on general call, the resident will cover the Calgary Zone which serves upwards of 1.4 million people. Certain subspecialties (neuro-ophthalmology, retinal surgery, ocular oncology) serve a population greater than 2 million, including patients from Southern Alberta, Interior British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Territories. Calgary residents routinely participate in the diagnosis and treatment of rare entities otherwise relegated to the training manuals.
CORP offers diverse learning opportunities through a variety of avenues including journal clubs, subspecialty dedicated group teaching, academic half-days, case rounds, M&M rounds and wet lab training. This is complemented by a robust Visiting Professor program that attracts leaders in their field. In the past 5 years, our roster of visiting professors has included Dr. Davinder Grover (co-inventor of the GATT procedure), Warren Hill (creator of the Hill-RBF lens calculator) and Dr. Jeffrey Liebmann (a principal investigator on the OHTS III Trial) amongst others. Visiting Professors are invited to present at Grand Rounds and subsequently provide a three-hour teaching session for the resident group.
CORP supplements these robust learning opportunities with review courses. At the end of the PGY-1 Year, residents attend the Toronto Ophthalmology Resident Introductory Course (TORIC). At the conclusion of the PGY-2 Year, residents attend the Bay Area Ophthalmology course hosted by Stanford University. Finally in the PGY-4 and PGY-5 year, residents have the opportunity to attend a 1-week review session of their choosing.
Our program is flexible and can cater to residents’ individual interests. CORP is invested in the success of their residents and will actively support their career goals by modifying the program to meet their needs. CORP has a mentorship component to pair every resident with a mentor who they can discuss life goals with and specifics in their training and/or career development.
Calgary offers a plethora of resources to their residents. Residents have access to a Wetlab with brand new equipment, 4 operational surgical microscopes and a functional Phacoemulsification machine. Through the Lions Eye Bank of Southern Alberta, residents regularly have access to cadaveric eyes to practice surgical techniques. Residents also have 24/7 access to an updated Eyesi surgical simulator.
Residents trained at the program have achieved excellence both locally and nationally in the areas of research, clinical training and fellowship opportunities. Many of our graduates have secured coveted academic positions throughout Canada.
Living in Calgary
Calgary is Canada’s 4th largest metropolitan area with a population of around 1.3 million people. Calgary has repeatedly been on The Economist’s list of the world’s most livable cities as the most livable city in North America, most recently in 2019 (fifth globally).
Calgary is notably affordable for a major city, with the added advantages of no provincial sales tax and relatively low rent prices. Calgary has a young and diverse professional population, with a requisite array of pubs, restaurants, breweries, and fine dining throughout the city. The nightlife is widely varied, offering options for every niche. Calgary’s summer notably includes the Calgary Stampede: a world-renowned, 10-day festival each July that features daily rodeos, exhibitions, midway, stage shows, concerts, and parties throughout the city, attracting over 1 million visitors per year.
The true appeal to Calgary, however, lies in its natural beauty, offerings for outdoor activities, and proximity to some of the planet’s most incredible landscapes. Banff – recently named one of National Geographic’s Best of the World Destinations – is less than 150 kilometres (75 minutes) from Calgary’s centre, allowing for frequent day and weekend trips to explore a variety of activities in the Rocky Mountains including hiking, biking, skiing and camping in some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain scenery.
This residency program is for 5 years.
Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.
The University of Calgary offers a five-year, fully accredited, comprehensive training in Ophthalmology with subsequent eligibility for the Royal College specialty examination. During the first year, the resident(s) will rotate through medical and surgical disciplines related to Ophthalmology followed by four core years in Ophthalmology with graded responsibility. Note that changes to the curriculum may come beginning 2023 as the Royal College implements Competency by Design in the ophthalmology sections across Canada.
During the first year, residents will complete both medical and surgical rotations to help build a broad clinical background prior to commencing the core Ophthalmology rotations. Rotations are 4 weeks long and typically fall within the following areas: Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, ENT, Pediatrics, Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Neuroradiology, Neurology, Infectious Disease and Ocular Pathology. During these rotations residents also attend a surgical skills course with other surgical subspecialty residents to enhance their abilities and understanding of basic surgical techniques offered by the Department of Surgery. Our PGY-1 year dedicated block of Ocular Pathology is unique in Canada and provides residents with time to read through Eagles textbook while getting one-on-one teaching from Fellowship Trained Ocular Pathologists. At the conclusion of PGY 1 year, residents are sent to the national TORIC course located in Toronto for 6 weeks to learn the fundamentals of Ophthalmology prior to starting their PGY 2 year.
The PGY-2 year is focused on learning the basic Ophthalmological skill set. Residents will rotate through the Urgent Eye Clinic for two 3 month blocks. The remainder of the year will be spent rotating through subspecialty clinics and gaining early surgical exposure.
Residents will rotate through the following Subspecialties for the remainder of the year:
PGY-3 and PGY-4 (First half)
The PGY-3 and PGY-4 are a continuity of each other and provide the residents with the core subspecialty teaching. Residents will rotate through senior blocks in order to consolidate their knowledge, procedural skills and surgical skills. These rotations include the following:
PGY4 (Second Half) and PGY-5
Surgical training commences in dedicated fashion in the 4th year. An introductory 1 week course on Cataract Surgery is hosted by recent graduates of the program yearly to help transition to the surgical component of residency. The unique agreement with Non Hospital Surgical Facilities in Calgary allows for residents to complete a substantial number of Surgical Cases. Our average resident will be able to hit 750 Full cases of Cataracts. Once the resident has been deemed competent with cataract surgery, they can use the remainder of their surgical year to expand their skill set and tailor it to their future practice. Residents pursuing sub-specialty training can spend time with that respective discipline to perfect their skills for fellowship. Residents can also use this time to revisit skills they feel less comfortable with. The final 8 weeks of the PGY-5 year is dedicated study time for the Royal College.
Elective time can be scheduled throughout the residency in order to accommodate career goals. Residents have 3 months of dedicated elective time.
Residents participate in a research project in PGY 2-5 and their results are presented at the annual departmental Ophthalmology Research Day. Residents will be encouraged to present papers and posters at national and international meetings, and can receive support for these endeavours. There are dedicated faculty to support research as well as staff who will assist in data collection, and statistical analysis. Residents have approximately 1 half day of protecting time for research per week.
Option to attend seven weeks of basic science didactic teaching is offered through the Bay Area Ophthalmology Course, a four week course hosted by Stanford, California, USA. Residents are encouraged and supported to attend the Canadian Ophthalmological Society Annual Meeting, American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting, Sally Letson Symposium (Ottawa), Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Annual Meeting (Banff), Southern Alberta Retina Retreat, Brandon Ophthalmic Surgical Course, Toronto Cataract Course, and review courses such as those offered in San Antonio. Some funding for residents is available to aid in attending these courses and conferences.
Academic Half Day Schedule
Academic Half Days are scheduled on Friday Afternoon. The academic half day schedule follows the Basic and Clinical Science Course Manuals from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The curriculum has been redesigned to focus and highlight the material most important for the Royal College Examination. Wetlabs are incorporated into certain half days.
Grand Rounds will be held each Friday (September to May) from 7:30-8:30 a.m. and residents will be required to present with an assigned staff member. Academic seminars and didactic teaching will be held weekly on Friday afternoons. In addition to regular seminars, there will also be Interesting case rounds, Journal Club meetings, subspecialty rounds, and surgical teaching held for the residents.
Subspecialty Rotation Description
Urgent Eye Clinic
In the Urgent Eye Clinic, the Ophthalmology resident will be exposed to a diverse array of common and rare visual complaints. It is expected that the resident will learn to take an appropriate history, become proficient in examining the patient with the standard equipment used by an ophthalmologist and order/evaluate the appropriate tests.
The resident will be expected to create an appropriate differential diagnosis and prepare a treatment plan. Any surgical cases derived from the clinic (trauma or ruptured globe) will be followed through by the resident for continuous experience. In the afternoon, dedicated time can be used to shadow technicians to learn how to perform basic ancillary testing such as OCT, B-Scan and Visual Fields. The afternoon can also be used to attend subspecialty clinics at the RGH Eye Clinic or used for research. Common procedure during this block include:
Our center houses 3 high volume oculoplastic surgeons, and we are blessed with the unique strength of having a robust ocular oncology program as well. Residents obtain early exposure to the range of common oculoplastic procedures in their junior rotation, and accumulate large volumes of blepharoplasties, ptosis repair, biopsies, and familiarity with the fundamentals of cosmetic practice in the senior rotation. Calgary is also home to two oculoplastic fellows at any given time, which augment the learning experience.
The University of Calgary provides a robust, multidisciplinary training program in pediatric ophthalmology. At the Vision Clinic in Alberta Children’s Hospital, residents work with pediatric ophthalmologists and orthoptics to become proficient in performing pediatric vision evaluations, extraocular muscle mobility assessments, cycloplegic and manifest examination, and stereopsis testing. By the end of the senior rotation, residents will be familiar with performing common procedures such as strabismus surgery and nasolacrimal duct probings. Quarterly Pediatric Journal clubs provide a forum for keeping updated on the latest literature in the field.
The University of Calgary is home to a world-class cornea service. This rotation consists of both clinical and surgical experiences designed to equip residents in both diagnosing and managing diseases of the external eye and cornea. Residents have ample and varied learning opportunities ranging from taking part in the care of rare congenital defects such as Peter’s anomaly to applying the latest medical and surgical treatments for more prevalent disease such as Fuch’s Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy. Alongside the four leading cornea specialists in Calgary, the resident will be involved in pterygium repair, superficial keratectomy, corneal cross-linking, PKP, DSAEK and DMEK surgeries as well as therapeutic and refractive laser-based procedures.
The University of Calgary has an excellent Glaucoma teaching program, which has recently started fellowship training as well. This rotation includes both clinical and surgical training from 4 well respected surgical Glaucoma specialists. Residents on this rotation receive significant hands-on training in both the clinic and OR starting in their junior rotation. In the clinic, in addition to patient examination, diagnosis, and management there is also designated time to learn and develop laser skills including LPI, SLT, and laser suturlysis. In the OR our preceptors provide a supportive environment for hands-on anterior segment surgical training including, but not limited to trabeculectomy, drainage implant surgeries, angle based surgeries, and preliminary cataract training. Recently the program also had a wet lab to introduce residents to minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS).
The University of Calgary has a highly robust medical and surgical retina program. Residents spend most of their time working through diverse consults with the vitreoretinal surgeon on call and assisting with cases in the operating room. While on rotation and on general call, residents have the clinical support of two Retina Fellows, who teach extensively. Hands-on surgical experience is still a priority, and residents scrub in on +75% of cases while the fellows are assigned to other areas. We boast 6 vitreoretinal surgeons and a handful of staff who practice medical and paediatric retina extensively. Their training incorporates perspectives from centres including Bascom Palmer, Wills, Weill Cornell (Lincoff), Iowa and Moorfields. Academically, residents present and discuss approaches to complex problems at monthly Retina Rounds, and there are ample opportunities for research. Unique highlights of the program include seeing impressively high volumes of interesting and rare pathology, and exposure to a very high number of scleral buckles and complex surgeries. The rotation accommodates significant flexibility towards residents’ interests, including opportunities to immerse in medical and diagnostic retina, the Multidisciplinary Ophthalmology-Rheumatology Uveitis Clinic, and our Retinopathy of Prematurity Program.
The University of Calgary boasts 3 internationally renowned, Neurology-trained Neuro-Ophthalmologists. This rotation is clinic based and residents will learn the fundamentals of the afferent and efferent examination. From neuroretinitis to carotid-cavernous fistulas, residents will be exposed to a plethora of rare pathologies. The resident predominantly examines the new patients and reviews the case in depth with the staff. Neuro-Imaging is reviewed for each case. Furthermore, residents receive teaching once per month during the Neuro-Ophthalmology rounds. The Neuro-Ophthalmology rotation is one of the strongest in Canada.
Rockyview General Hospital, Eye Clinic
Alberta Children's Hospital, Vision Clinic
Alberta Health Services, Non Hospital Clinics and Chartered Surgical Facilities
Very good representation in all sub-specialties (Retina, Pediatrics, Oculoplastics, Cornea, Glaucoma, Neuro-ophthalmology)
Friendly, enthusiastic, expert consultants
Close-knit resident group that promotes camaraderie and a very strong community presence with offices, centers and NHSF.
Two new, state of the art eye surgery facilities
New surgical training room with two microscopes and access to Eyesim surgical simulator.
Early surgical training starting in PGY-2
Located in vibrant, multicultural city next door to the Rockies
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: Applying competency-based practices to residency education
To contribute to the success of Canadian physicians and the delivery of high-quality patient care, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has embarked upon an initiative to introduce competency-based medical education (CBME) in Canadian postgraduate specialty training and in professional practice in Canada. This initiative, called Competence by Design (CBD), aims to enhance patient care by aligning medical education and lifelong learning with evolving patient needs and empowering learners to more fully engage in their education process.
CBD will use time as a framework rather than the basis for progression. It is not anticipated that the duration of training will change for the majority of trainees. Residency programs will be broken down into stages, and each stage will have a series of milestones based on required competencies. These milestones will create more targeted learning outcomes and involve more frequent, formative assessments within the clinical workplace to ensure residents are developing and receiving feedback on the skills they need.
The Royal College anticipates that all specialty and subspecialty programs in Canada will adopt CBD in gradual phases. All disciplines have been divided into seven cohort groups, each of which will adopt CBD at different times. It is anticipated that national implementation of CBD within certain, individual programs could begin as early as July 2017 - with more disciplines to following in subsequent years.
All programs implementing CBD will continue to undergo the same rigorous accreditation processes as traditional programs. All CBD programs (and traditional programs) will continue to lead to Royal College approved certification. Certification for trainees in both CBD and traditional programs will include the completion of a Royal College examination; however, residents in CBD programs will also be assessed against program milestones throughout their training. Within a CBD program, all milestones (documented within an electronic portfolio) and the Royal College examination must be successfully completed to achieve certification.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any questions can be forwarded to Program Administrator Heather Summersgill who will respond to or direct your email appropriately. Questions can include topics like late applications, city accommodations, or other questions about the program.
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