Residency Program at Casey Eye Institute

Program director Dr. Thomas Hwang with residents.

The best in ophthalmic education

OHSU Casey Eye Institute is an internationally recognized academic eye center that cares for patients from all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The department is one of the top recipients of NIH funding for ophthalmic research with nationally recognized faculty in all subspecialty areas of ophthalmology.

In cooperation with the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Legacy Health System, we offer a three year ACGME-accredited program with five ophthalmology residents per year. It is a rich clinical and surgical training program with a thoughtful curriculum and opportunities for discovery and service. 

We believe that a supportive and respectful environment that emphasizes team work and service best facilitates development for residents. Our hope is that we will not only train residents with the best and the latest knowledge and skills, but that they would leave OHSU Casey Eye Institute with the tools to become lifetime learners who will adapt and evolve with changes in our field. 

Residency program team

Education ManagerSusan Minnieweather

Program Director - Thomas Hwang, M.D.

Associate Program Director - Daniel Tu, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Program Director - John Clements, M.D.

Associate Program Director - Ambar Faridi, M.D.

Applying to our program

We offer five positions in our ACGME-accredited residency program through the San Francisco Matching Program. Please apply through the SF Match website.

We do not require any supplemental material. The deadline for application is September 15. We send notifications for interviews shortly after the application deadline.

Our interview dates for 2019 are:

Saturday, November 23
Saturday, December 7

The interview day consists of presentations about the program by faculty and residents, four to five interviews with two to three faculty members each, lunch and a tour of the facilities. Candidates are invited to an informal dinner with the residents in downtown Portland. We do not rank candidates without interviewing and we do not offer alternate dates. Last year, we offered 46 interviews out of 534 applications received. Detailed information about the day is included with the invitation to interview. 

For additional information about the application process, please contact: Susan Minnieweather at 503-494-9255.

Group photo of the residents in 2018-2019.

Clinical rotations

Clinical rotations are offered at OHSU, Portland VA Medical Center, and Devers Eye Institute at Legacy Health, just three miles away from the main campus. In the first year, residents build fundamentals through comprehensive ophthalmology clinics and exposure to retina, uveitis, pediatric ophthalmology, oculoplastics, neuro-ophthalmology, and pathology. In the second year, residents continue developing as ophthalmic surgeons and consultant, with emphasis on retina, glaucoma, cornea, and pediatric ophthalmology. The final year offers opportunities for independent clinical management and intensive surgical experience. 

Microsurgical curriculum

Before the residents operate in the patient eye, they are led through a curriculum of wet lab and the EyeSi surgical simulator. The faculty provide individualized instruction for residents and the program provides dedicated time for the residents to practice and improve. During the first two years of the program, residents are exposed to surgery in a graded fashion and perform dozens of cataract surgeries as primary surgeon. This foundation prepares residents for increased surgical volume and complexity during their final year of training. In addition, oculoplastics service runs an annual dissection lab for further training in lid, lacrimal system and orbits.

Academic schedule

Grand rounds

Grand Rounds are held twice a month on Friday mornings. Invited speakers and faculty present lectures on a variety of topics of contemporary interest in ophthalmology.

Lectures

Every Friday morning, the faculty present a lecture series covering all subspecialty areas plus ethics and international ophthalmology on a two-year cycle for the residents. 

Conferences

The case-based conferences encourage learning and quality improvement through interdisciplinary discussions about patient care, the latest literature and outcomes. In addition, we offer a Practice Improvement curriculum, focusing on quality improvement, safety, practice engagement, billing and efficiency. 

Research opportunities

Researchers working on a white board.

There are exceptional research opportunities available at Casey. We have a large complement of clinical and research faculty engaged in projects and who are eager to work with residents and fellows. The department provides support for a statistician and research compliance officer. The residents have produced work in a variety of areas, including basic science, translational and clinical studies. The program provides limited dedicated time for research during the first year.

View a sampling of our faculty research activities.

Service opportunities

Dr. Clements performing surgery internationally

Casey Eye Institute is committed to serving the region and the world. The residents are an integral part of our service mission. OHSU as a university envisions a leadership role in global health through partnerships throughout the world. The faculty members in the department have fostered relationships and served in global health settings, including Angola, Vietnam, Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cambodia, Bhutan, East Timor, Guatemala, South Africa, Myanmar, Thailand and the Marshall Islands.

Residents are encouraged to take part in service opportunities at Casey, which may include:

Casey Outreach Program mobile clinic

Since 2010, the Casey’s mobile clinic has been criss-crossing the state of Oregon serving our community. This 33 foot fully outfitted mobile ophthalmology clinic has seen over 8,200 patients with limited access to eye care in Portland and throughout the state. The residents play a central part in this effort by volunteering to be vision screeners during these clinics. Learn more about our mobile clinic and service opportunities.

ReSpectacle

Run by our residents, the Casey chapter of ReSpectacle cleans, measures, and matches donated eye glasses for redistribution worldwide to underserved communities. 

Service rotation

The residency program sponsors a 2-week experience for residents to serve in a regional or international settings. OHSU and Casey Eye Institute are committed to making a lasting difference through long-term partnerships, and the residents are an integral part of the vision for the Casey International Outreach Program.

For former resident Dan Tu, M.D., this was an opportunity to augment his surgical skills – including manual small incision cataract surgery, a low-cost alternative to phacoemulsification often used in underserved areas of the world. Learn more about our international ophthalmology program.

Recent experiences include:

  • Myanmar
  • Rural Oregon with Casey Outreach Program Mobile Clinic
  • Guatemala
  • Marshall Islands
  • Haiti
  • American Samoa
  • South Africa
  • Angola

Mentorship

Mentorship empowers the development of a trainee through a relationship with an experienced person. We have a formal mentorship program that matches faculty with residents with a focus on wellness and career development.

Living in Portland

Portland, Oregon is famous for its natural beauty and vibrant city life. Situated at the confluence of Willamette and Columbia Rivers, Portland offers easy access to the Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River Gorge. With a mild climate all year around, the city offers great parks, walkable neighborhoods, and a sophisticated public transit system. Local music, food and drinks regularly draw national attention, yet the restaurants and entertainment remain accessible.   

In recent years, Portland's housing market has become more expensive, but remains more affordable than other cities on the West Coast with good options close to the hospital.

View of Willamette River and bridge across Portland

Living in Portland

Find out what Portland has to offer

Life beyond residency

In the last few years, the graduates of our programs have:

  • Pursued fellowships in medical and surgical retina, cornea, pediatric ophthalmology, uveitis, glaucoma, international ophthalmology and oculoplastics
  • Joined the faculty at Casey Eye Institute, UC San Francisco, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, University of Utah, University of Iowa, Medical College of Wisconsin and Tufts
  • Joined successful private practices in the region and beyond
  • Sought long-term service opportunities in international settings