Medical Training Fourth Year

The fourth-year ophthalmology program offers both general electives and a pediatric elective. 

Medical/General Elective

The Duke fourth-year ophthalmology elective (OPHTHAL 422C) is a four-week elective designed to provide students broad exposure to both comprehensive and more specialized areas of ophthalmology. In addition to being of interest to students considering a career in ophthalmology, this elective is highly recommended for those interested in pediatrics, medicine and its subspecialties, neurology, gerontology, and other areas of primary care.
 
All students rotate through the Durham VAMC Ophthalmology Clinic. The Durham VA affords an excellent hands-on experience. Exposure to a large number of Duke ophthalmology faculty, residents, and clinical fellows makes this a very popular rotation. The medical student works as a team member and learns many of the basic elements of ocular diagnosis and treatment. The student will be able to perform many aspects of a routine eye exam. This includes the ability to assess visual acuity, intraocular pressure, anterior segment examination using a slit lamp biomicroscope, and fundus evaluation using direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy. Exposure to various functional tests, for example, visual fields (perimetry), imaging technology and others are integrated into the program. The remaining three weeks of the elective are devoted to subspecialty areas of ophthalmology including retina, glaucoma, cornea / refractive, pediatric, and neuro-ophthalmology. An effort is made to match subspecialty interests with the future goals of the individual student. Additionally, the elective (OPHTHAL 420C) is a lecture series offered January - March.

Course descriptions from Duke Medical School Bulletin:

  • OPHTHAL-420C. MEDICAL OPHTHALMOLOGY. (Duke medical students only) Emphasis is placed on common ophthalmic conditions. The ophthalmic signs and symptoms of ocular and systemic diseases are presented in a lecture series. This course is oriented for those students interested primarily in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, or ophthalmology. This clinical science course can be audited. Credit: 1. Enrollment: min 8, max 20. 
  • OPHTHAL-422C. GENERAL OPHTHALMOLOGY. (Available to Duke and visiting medical students) A clinical preceptorship in which the student participates and observes the regular house staff activities including night call, conferences, lectures, patient care, and treatment including surgery. The use of specialized ophthalmic apparatus is emphasized. Prerequisites: OPHTHAL-420C recommended, but not required. Credit: 4 or 8. Enrollment: max 4.

Course director Tina Singh, MD. Contact: Becky Pendergraft at rebecca.pendergraft@dm.duke.edu or 919-684-6853.

Pediatric Elective

The pediatric ophthalmology elective is a clinical preceptorship in which the student participates in the outpatient pediatric ophthalmology clinics. The student will encounter the more common ocular disorders of childhood including ocular motility disturbances, congenial cataracts, glaucoma, and genetic and metabolic disorders. In addition, adult motility disorders and neuro-ophthalmic disease such as thyroid eye disease, cranial nerve palsies, and optic nerve abnormalities will be encountered. The diagnosis and treatment aspects are emphasized heavily and opportunities to observe surgery are provided. The course meets by arrangement and requires a minimum of five days for credit.

Course descriptions from Duke Medical School Bulletin:

  • OPHTHAL-425C PEDIATRIC OPHTHALMOLOGY. The pediatric ophthalmology elective is a clinical preceptorship in which the student participates in the outpatient pediatric ophthalmology clinics. The student will encounter the more common ocular disorders of childhood including ocular motility disturbances, congenital cataracts, glaucoma, genetic and metabolic disorders. In addition, adult motility disorders and neuro-ophthalmic disease such as thyroid eye disease, cranial nerve palsies, and optic nerve abnormalities will be encountered. The diagnosis and treatment aspects are emphasized heavily and opportunities to observe surgery are provided. The course meets by arrangement and requires a minimum of 5 days per credit. Credit: 1 or 2. Enrollment: max 3.

Course Directors: Edward Buckley, MD, Sharon Freedman, MD.  Contact: Shelia Riley at shelia.riley@dm.duke.edu or 919-684-4584 or Colleen Kelly colleen.kelly@dm.duke.edu or 919-684-0584.

For additional information about registration, contact Duke Medical School: Office of the Registrar