The PGY3 year is divided into four 6-week rotations that are completed once in the fall and repeated once in the spring. This year focuses on development of intraocular surgical skills and serves as a foundation for the autonomy-building PGY4 year.
Residents work one-on-one with two board certified retina specialists, both of whom trained with world renowned retina specialist Dr. C.J. Chen. Intraocular surgical skills are fostered and honed to the point of performing first year retina fellow surgical duties (including but not limited to core vitrectomy, endolaser, suture-in intraocular lenses, ocular reconstruction). There are ample opportunities for clinical laser and injection procedures as well; residents often can meet intraocular injection minimums in one clinic day.
This PGY3 rotation is designed to expose residents to a wide variety of subspecialties including neuro-ophthalmology, retina, and glaucoma. Satellite clinical responsibilities expose the resident to a large variety of private practices in the Mississippi area which develop professional relationships between colleagues and help hone interpersonal skills.
Primarily a comprehensive ophthalmology rotation, the PGY3 resident takes ownership of clinic and provides much needed care to Mississippi's 196,000 US veterans. The PGY3 resident has already started performing cataract surgery during their PGY2 year, and their surgical growth is encouraged further by completing several phacoemulsification cases. This VAMC has premier diagnostic equipment and treatment options including capsulotomy, glaucoma, and retina lasers the PGY3 employs to perform the full range of laser therapy for various conditions.
The PGY3 resident is granted increasing anterior segment surgical responsibility during this rotation and often ends the rotation performing fellowship level duties, including finishing with several penetrating keratoplasty cases and corneal cross-linking procedures. Clinical duties are wide-ranging as this is a combined comprehensive/cornea/anterior-segment/refractive-surgery rotation.
The PGY3 resident moves into an upper-level resident role during after hour call shifts. Surgical cases (both traumatic and retina) are completed one-on-one with faculty with the resident being given supervised control of the case. The PGY3 resident fields after-hours phone calls and assists the first-call PGY2 resident on an as-needed basis.