Rotations Schedule

Total rotations (36m):

VAMC

12 months

General

4 months

Glaucoma

4 months

Peds

4 months

Oculoplastics/Neuro (OP/N)

4 months

Cornea

4 months

Retina

4 months

or image

PGY-2

Cornea

2 months

Retina

2 months

Glaucoma

2 months

Peds

1 month

OP/N

1 month

VAMC

4 months

PGY-3

Cornea

2 months

Retina

1 month

Glaucoma

1 month

Peds

2 months

OP/N

2 months

VAMC

4 months

PGY-4

Ulrich

4 months

Retina

1 month

Glaucoma

1 month

Peds

1 month

OP/N

1 month

VAMC

4 months

Other Residency Links


Training in cornea and external disease occurs at the main campus, the VAMC, and in our West Augusta office. Dr. Amy Estes is chief of this service and she came to us from Wake Forest in 2013. Basic and advanced corneal pathologies are managed together with the resident with ready access to a procedure room for minor immediate interventions. Typical surgeries the resident will have exposure to include DSAEK, DMEK, penetrating keratoplasty, lamellar keratoplasty, ocular surface reconstruction techniques, management of ocular surface tumors, and keratoprosthesis. We have an award-winning ophthalmic photography team on staff. Modalities we currently employ include ultrasound biomicroscopy, Pentacam corneal tomography, and the anterior segment OCT. 

While refractive surgery is generally performed by Dr. Bogorad there can be opportunity for resident-performed surgery depending upon how these patients are identified and patient consent. Our LASIK center is run together with Eye Care One (ECO). This privately owned corporation has an office about 15 minutes from the main campus. One of ECO's optometrists oversees the pre-operative assessment phase and the coordinates with Dr. Bogorad for the days of surgery.

Dr. Zach Lukowski is the director of our retina service. During the retina blocks the resident will chiefly work alongside he and Dr. Diego Espinosa. The retina practice is mature with great breadth of pathology from standard to unusual diagnoses. Laser treatments and injections are done in our clinics and minor procedure rooms. Residents are heavily involved in these procedures.

A full array of imaging systems are available. Included are standard retinal imaging platforms. We have Optos, Spectral domain OCT, OCT-A, standard retinal photography, fluorescein and even ICG angiography remains available. Two full-time ophthalmic photographers orchestrate this and other clinical imaging. Electrophysiology (ERG) is also routinely available.  The resident is expected to understand the indications for these and other studies as well as the interpretation of them. Approximately once per month an imaging conference is held presented by a resident and moderated by one of the retina faculty. While non-laser, non-injection based retinal procedures are generally performed by faculty there are some which may be done partially or entirely by the resident. Dr. Sohail Khan (private retina specialist, and Class of 2010 alumnus) performs retinal surgery at the VAMC and ASMP.

Uveitis

There is dedicated comprehensive uveiti clinic that runs monthly on this service as well. Dr Lukowski and Dr Oliver (AU Rheumatologist) make up the attending staff for this clinic. This service was established in FY2010 and provides a valuable service to our patients and experience for the residents.

The glaucoma service is managed by Dr. Katie Bollinger. She manages not only her own clinic, but works closely with the pediatric, retina and uveitis services. Given the high number of referrals for management of complex glaucoma, residents will be exposed to a high volume of pathology while on this service. The resident will be able to perform tube shunts and trabeculotomies on Dr. Bollinger's service, as well as learn the post-operative management of these procedures. OCT and HRT are readily available to enhance diagnostic capabilities. Humphrey and Octopus visual field systems are in place, as well. At the VAMC, Dr. Brinsko performs glaucoma surgery. The Augusta State Medical Prison all has a large volume of glaucoma patients. While Dr. Lane Ulrich does not perform glaucoma surgery, he has a large medical glaucoma practice both at ASMP and on the main campus.

We have three pediatric ophthalmologists on our staff who routinely work with our residents. Dr. Steven Brooks rejoined our faculty as Chairman in 2021. Dr. Stephanie Goei joined our faculty in 1999 after completing her fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto. Dr. Andrea Prosser joined our faculty immediately upon conclusion of her residency and then practiced pediatric ophthalmology in Cincinnati for two years before returning to our department in 2015. The clinical pediatric ophthalmology experience is comprehensive, providing a sufficient base in common diagnoses and management (vision screenings, refractions, strabismus, amblyopia, nasolacrimal obstructions, etc.). Because we are connected to a full-service adjacent children's hospital, residency training will also include ROP screening and treatment, genetic disorders, craniofacial disorders, metabolic problems and other less typical processes.

The clinical experience is divided between the main campus and a satellite office in West Augusta (about 15 minutes from the main campus). The Children's Hospital of Georgia (CHOG) is an adjoining hospital which is entirely devoted to primary and subspecialty pediatric care. The pediatric surgical experience occurs in that facility. In the operating room, the resident will be assisting in pediatric cataract surgeries and will be primary surgeon for strabismus surgery, nasolacrimal duct obstructions, ptosis repair, examinations under anesthesia, etc. As we have no fellows, there is opportunity to perform re-operations and vertical muscles. There is an accompanying adult strabismus clinic with surgical involvement, as well. While the graduating resident will not function at the level of a pediatric-trained ophthalmologist they should feel very comfortable examining children and doing horizontal muscle surgery.

Oculoplastics

Dr. Dilip Thomas has been involved in resident training for nearly 20 years and he coordinates the oculoplastics rotation. During the months you are with Dr. Thomas, your time will chiefly be spent at Augusta University, though the VA and the Augusta State Medical Prison do provide significant additional pathology with accompanying surgical exposure. Most of the time with Dr. Thomas deals with functional oculoplastic issues, e.g. nasolacrimal duct obstruction, ptosis, facial and eyelid reconstruction, nerve palsies, enucleation and exenteration, orbital fracture repair and thyroid eye disease. While there is an emphasis on functional oculoplastics, cosmetic procedures are also performed. Our plastics case volume is consistently in the highest quartile in the nation.

Neuro-ophthalmology

Dr. Thomas is also an outstanding neuro-ophthalmologist and manages this service for us. I do not put neuro-ophthalmology as a separate heading on our website for it is an Augusta University, referral only, service and while provides suitable educational exposure is not a clinical emphasis in our department. That being said there is most-definitely training in this arena. Coupled to it is also an offered elective to New York City with Dr. Jeff Odel as mentioned in the PGY-3 residency year overview.

The service at the VA hospital provides extensive medical and surgical exposure. There is a close team of physicians and residents staffing these clinics. Dr. Brinsko manages many VAMC clinics and ORs including a number of glaucoma surgeries. Dr. Amie Squires assists seniors in the operating room for cataract surgery. Dr. Thomas provides oculoplastics and neuro-ophthalmology consultant services at the VA, as well. A considerable number of the resident cataracts are done at this facility. Dr. Tam Bloomquist is another key faculty member at the VA and provides medical retina care.  Residents do a large number of injections and lasers under her supervision.  Our first year residents gain significant exposure to Yag lasers and minor procedures while at the VA.

While our residency does not operate resident continuity clinics, throughout the residency general ophthalmic experiences are provided. Residents help manage the on-call emergency clinic throughout all years of their residency.  They also spend time with both Drs. Ulrich and Bogorad in their comprehensive ophthalmology clinics.  The VAMC also provides exposure to a great deal of general ophthalmology.

Our senior residents spend time on rotation with Dr. Lane Ulrich.  Dr. Ulrich's approach is that of providing comprehensive care of the eye patient. One of the key aims in Dr. Ulrich's clinic is to make sure all the various aspects of a patient's eye care are coordinated, being careful to try to avoid overlooking specific issues. Having these months with Ulrich at ASMP and Augusta University help the resident focus a bit more broadly.

The bulk of senior year Augusta University cataracts are done with Dr. Ulrich. His cases are nearly all topical and clear corneal. Most residents are capable of performing horizontal chop techniques upon graduation. Limbal relaxing incisions (considered by the ACGME to be a refractive procedure) also are routinely taught and completed by the residents. The third year general rotation involves weekly visits to the Augusta State Medical Prison where the diversity of pathology is considerable and the resident experience enhanced. There are a number of traumatic cataract cases in this venue and the resident may have opportunity to place capsular tension rings. In AY2018 Dr. Ulrich began recording resident surgery videos, reviewing them and then composing a narrative of his thoughts on each case which he shares with the residents. Once per month, cases will be reviewed and discussed with all of the residents as a group.