Residency Program

Residency Program at UVA Ophthalmology

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The three-year residency program is designed to provide the resident with gradually increasing responsibility.  Zeynel A. Karcioglu, MD is the Director of Resident Education.

Training of residents is the main focus of the faculty at the University of Virginia. The strong clinical foundation of the department and the extensive clinical referral population are the principle strengths of the training program. Academic achievement is emphasized with the majority of recent graduates having gone on to take high-quality post-residency fellowships and, after completion of fellowship training, several have assumed full-time faculty positions in various academic departments throughout the country. It remains the goal of the Ophthalmic Training Program to provide a broad, solid foundation for residents, whether bound for full-time academic pursuits or general private practice.

The residents spend most of the first year in the General Eye Clinic, gaining experience with outpatient medical and surgical ophthalmology as well as learning techniques in refraction. The first year residents attend the Contact Lens Clinic, the Oculoplastics Clinic, and the Pediatric Ophthalmology Clinic. During the first year, residents begin surgical training by assisting the full-time faculty, and they also start to perform cases as the primary surgeon. The residents are encouraged to practice surgery on eye-bank eyes in the minor procedure room, on animals in the research facility OR, and the Department’s Eyesi Surgical Simulator.  The first year resident serves as the primary surgeon on minor oculoplastics cases.

The second year is devoted to ophthalmic sub-specialty service rotations. This provides the resident an opportunity to consolidate his knowledge in each of the sub-specialty areas. The extensive clinical volume and unusual pathology help to broaden the experience obtained during the first year. The resident assists in the performance of the surgery done on each of the sub-specialty services. One-half day a week is devoted to the General Ophthalmology Service to enable the resident to maintain follow-up and continuity in the care of complicated patients seen during the first year. Second year residents are responsible for all of the strabismus surgery scheduled through the pediatric ophthalmology clinic and will perform cataract surgery under the supervision of the full-time attending staff. During the second year residency, the residents participate in refractive surgery rotations. They also participate in a pediatric ophthalmology rotation at the Charlottesville office of Dr. Bruce Carter and Dr. Christian Carter.

Third year residents spend four months at the Salem Veterans Medical Center (Salem VAMC) and eight months in the general eye clinic at UVA. Responsibilities include supervision of the first year residents, performing surgery generated by the clinic, and serving as the principle consultant to other clinical services at the Medical Center. The second year residents participate in refractive and Contact Lens Clinic. This is aimed at giving the third year residents the opportunity to become competent in both of these domains. Part of the refractive surgery rotation includes certification of our residents in the Visix laser, which is part of our affiliation with TLC Laser Eye Center. The first year residents rotate with Dr. Maria Kirzhner as part of the oculoplastics rotation.

All residents have their own clinic through which they examine patients and have the opportunity of continuity of care for those patients for the duration of their three years of residency. The residents are supervised during clinic by faculty members and by visiting associate members.

Residency Interview Dates


  • Friday, November 6
  • Saturday, November 7
  • Monday, November 9

Prospective Residents

Our current residents like to get together with the potential candidates in a less stressful environment.  Our residents would like to extend an invitation to all the candidates to a casual dinner the night of the interview date at one of Charlottesville’s lovely local restaurants.

This dinner is not a requirement of the interview and will not influence your ranking in our Ophthalmology Residency Program.  Our residents want to spend some time outside of the clinic getting to know you and answering any questions you have.

Contact Information

Debbie Perry
Education Coordinator
UVA Health System
Department of Ophthalmology
P.O. Box 800715
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0715
Phone: (434) 982-1696

Zeynel A. Karcioglu, MD
Residency Program Director
Professor of Ocular Pathology & Oncology
UVA Health System
Department of Ophthalmology
P.O. Box 800715
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0715
Phone: (434) 982-1696

Residency Application Requirements

We accept applications only through the Central Application Service (CAS) which is run by the Ophthalmology Matching Program (OMP). The deadline for residency application is September 1st. We will contact applicants to interview by letter, email or phone call in late October and early November. Due to the large number of applicants to our program, we will only send letters of invitation.

For further information please contact:

Debbie Perry
Education Coordinator
UVA Health System
Department of Ophthalmology
P.O. Box 800715
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0715
Phone: (434) 982-1696

Ophthalmology Matching Program
P.O. Box 7584
San Francisco, CA 94120-7584
Phone: (415) 447-0350
Fax: (415) 561-8535

Resident Benefits at UVA

For information concerning salaries, benefits, parking, meals, etc., please check the Housestaff website.

Residents Environment at UVA

Any training program is colored, in part, by the milieu of the surrounding academic center. The Health System at the University of Virginia lies adjacent to the central grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s original academical village. Charlottesville and Albemarle County attract cultural and cosmopolitan functions out of proportion to its 125,000 population supplemented by the 23,000 students of the University of Virginia.


Charlottesville offers an impressive variety of cultural, social, and recreational opportunities. There are 26 neighborhood and jointly funded parks and an extensive series of walking trails that run through parkland, residential areas, and along the beautiful Rivanna River.

There is also a thriving art, music and theater community that keeps the creative spirit alive in Charlottesville. A recently opened 4,000 seat Charlottesville Sprint Pavilion amphitheater draws big named acts into the downtown area and hosts a weekly Friday After Five concert in the spring through the fall, a local favorite to kick off the weekend. The downtown pedestrian mall is one of the most successful of its kind in the country and boasts over 150 shops and award-winning restaurants. A magnet for art, music, dining, shopping and entertainment, the mall is now home to a newly renovated Paramount Theater, one of few community-supported restorations of historic theaters in the country. The 1,200 seat theater has hosted nationally-known entertainers. The 16,000 seat John Paul Jones Arena (JPJ) opened in 2006 and has already hosted national caliber events such as The Dave Matthews Band, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel and Cirque du Soleil. JPJ was voted as the Best New Entertainment Venue in the Country.

Other popular activities in the area include world-class tennis, golf, hiking, ballooning, horseback riding and racing, tubing, fishing, biking, camping, and the occasional hunting for antiques. The area also boasts a thriving wine touring and tasting business. The nearly 30+ local vineyards make up the state’s largest collection with several wineries winning national recognition.

The nation’s capital is only 120 miles away and there are excellent regular air connections to Washington, D.C., Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Detroit. The Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, 20 miles from Charlottesville, along with the nearby Appalachian Trail provide some of the best hiking in the United States. Snow skiing is within an hour’s drive, with night skiing available. Across the Blue Ridge Mountains, the vistas of the Shenandoah Valley and the rivers and mountains of West Virginia provide some of the best whitewater canoeing and rafting in the world. Medical students, Housestaff, and Faculty have a share in the stimulating and picturesque ambiance of University life within Piedmont Virginia.

Resident Research Program

Residents are encouraged to undertake clinical or laboratory research, either starting their own individual projects or joining an established ongoing faculty project. A research fund is available to provide materials, animals, and technical assistance for resident-planned projects. While not mandatory, the presentation of project results, with eventual publication, is strongly encouraged. Residents have taken an active role in participating in the annual meetings of the VSEPS (Virginia Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons – formerly VSO), ARVO (The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) and AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology).

Teaching Conference

Lectures are scheduled from 7:00/7:30/8:00 to 9:00 AM each weekday. The small size of our program allows teaching conferences not only to be didactic, but also to involve active participation by all residents in an informal atmosphere.

Glaucoma lectures are held twice a month. Neuro-ophthalmology lectures are held weekly. Oculoplastics lecture is given on an arranged basis. A retina lecture is given monthly. Optics and refraction are covered in a comprehensive lecture series annually. Cornea lectures are held twice a month. Fluorescein Angiography/Imaging Conferences are held weekly, preceding Grand Rounds.

Grand Rounds are presented each Wednesday with special emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of various ocular conditions. The responsibility for Grand Rounds is shared by residents and faculty on a rotating basis. Part-time faculty are encouraged to bring in clinical cases from outside the Medical Center for presentation. Visiting lecturers and faculty candidates may occasionally be invited speakers.

A practice-based learning and improvement conference occurs every two months.

A Clinicopathological Conference (CPC) occurs monthly. In addition, a series of lectures in eye pathology and resident readout activities are also part of the eye pathology curriculum. A nine-headed Olympus microscope makes simultaneous review of microscopic slides possible. Microscopic pathology on glass slides is available for resident review and the Lancaster Ocular Pathology Course is available through the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library.

The department invites visiting professors from various prominent institutions throughout the country. The speakers are leaders and pioneers in their field whose achievements and research endeavors may have changed the way we practice ophthalmology. The visiting speakers discuss educational cases and share their expertise with the audience. During the activity, specific time will be allotted for questioning and case presentations by the audience to the speaker.

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds are presented once a week with special emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of various ocular conditions. The responsibility for Grand Rounds is shared by residents and faculty on a rotating basis. Part-time faculty are encouraged to bring in clinical cases from outside the Medical Center for presentation. Visiting lecturers and faculty candidates may occasionally be invited speakers.

Visiting Professor Lecture Series

The Brian P. Conway, M.D. Visiting Professor Lecture Series is held three to four times a year, generally with two held in the spring of the year and two in the fall. The goal of the lecture series is to bring speakers from outside institutions that will provide cutting edge information on new surgical and medical techniques of treatment, as well as research programs in ophthalmology. CME credit varies per speaker between 2 and 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. TM

To add your name to our mailing list, please contact the Education Coordinator, Debbie Perry, at or (434) 982-1696

Veterans Administration Medical Center

The clinical eye facilities at the Veterans Administration Medical Center (Salem VAMC) in Salem, Virginia, comprise 1500 square feet of newly renovated space and 6 completely equipped eye lanes. Full time ophthalmologists and optometrists assist with the management of the clinical load. This popular third-year rotation encourages independent decision making in a large clinical setting with a high surgical volume.