The University of Puerto Rico Department of Ophthalmology Residency Program was founded in 1955 by world-renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Guillermo Picó Santiago. Since its origin, our program has enjoyed full accreditation, formerly by the Medical Council of the American Medical Association, the American Board of Ophthalmology, and most recently by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Residency Training Program
Our residents’ day-to-day experience is based at the ophthalmology clinics of the Puerto Rico Medical Services Administration (ASEM), the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine (PPMI), and the San Juan Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC). In addition, our residents evaluate patients at the ASEM and VAMC emergency departments and the University of Puerto Rico’s adult and pediatric University hospitals. Our clinics have a very dynamic workflow with an average of 32,000 patients examined and 1,200 major surgeries performed annually, in addition to some 2,000 Laser procedures.
During the second semester of their PGY-2 year, our residents enjoy a formal eight weeks basic and clinical science introductory course. Formally named after its founder, the Guillermo Pico Santiago Basic Ophthalmology Course has since 1966 served as the platform for educating our residents and ophthalmology trainees from all across Latin America. Local and guest faculty from the most renowned institutions in the United States and Latin America serve as instructors for this course.
Our residents’ experience is enriched by a weekly educational program that includes formal case presentations, journal clubs, clinicopathological conferences, and grand rounds. Academic and research activity is strongly encouraged, with most of our residents publishing at least several manuscripts in well-renowned peer-reviewed journals by their graduation.
Since early on in their training, our residents have had significant exposure to all ophthalmology subspecialties. Always under faculty supervision, our residents’ surgical duties gradually progress from observants to primary surgeons. The caseload is sufficient to allow our residents to gain proficiency in anterior and posterior segment surgery. Additionally, most of our graduates have a significant opportunity to gain vast surgical experience in their subspecialty areas of interest before fellowship training.
Our faculty consists of 33 American Board of Ophthalmology certified ophthalmologists representing all the subspecialties, most of which participate part-time. Our basic sciences section is led by Sixto Garcia-Castiñeiras, Ph.D., who is an ophthalmic biochemist and a full-time faculty member.
Most of our residents’ surgical experience occurs at two affiliated state-of-the-art private Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Ojos Eye Surgery Specialists of Puerto Rico, LLC and Vista Ophthalmic Ambulatory Center, in addition to the VAMC. All our affiliated hospitals have operating rooms fully equipped for ophthalmic procedures.
Our ambulatory clinics at ASEM, PPMI, and the VAMC have multiple fully equipped ophthalmic lanes. Additionally, each site has laser surgery equipment, ophthalmic imaging suites, biometry, perimetry, and ultrasonography.
Located on the 9th floor of the Dr. Guillermo Arbona Irizarri Building of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, our department’s facilities include a wet lab, administrative offices, and a multimedia lecture hall.