The University of Arizona

Clinical and Research Rotations
for Medical Students

The Department offers several elective clinical and research rotations for medical students.  For specific information or to schedule a rotation, please contact Rosanna at 322-3800 ext. 219 or via email at

Courses Offered

OPH 800A Research
3 or 6 wks; maximum length of 12 wks; offered year round
Directly supervised/Non-patient care.
Maximum enrollment of 2
Prerequisites: none
Goals: To provide students with an approach to the application of basic principles and techniques of ophthalmologic
investigation to research problems in the field of clinical ophthalmology. No previous research experience is necessary.
Format: The format of this program can be varied to meet the needs of individual students. It will be expected, however, that students will study in-depth concerning some aspects of ophthalmologic disease or research methods applicable to the field.
Evaluation Methods: The student’s progress in regard to this course will be assessed by his/her preceptor. No formal examination will be given.

OPH 815A Ophthalmology (Alvernon Clinic)
Dr. Le Yu
2,3 or 4 wks; maximum length of 4 wks; offered year round
Directly supervised/Patient care
Maximum enrollment of 2
Prerequisites: Fourth year students or third year students upon completion of required clerkships unless special arrangements are made with Coordinator.
Goals: Achievement of minimal skills in ocular evaluation, understanding of ophthalmologists’ role in eye care, referral utilizations and expertise, approaches to emergency care and appreciation of ocular manifestations in systemic diseases.
Format: Emphasis will be a familiarity with the normal eye and recognition of ocular disease through clinical observations. Students will be expected to attend clinics at AHSC, Tucson and/or Tucson VAH, to evaluate selected consultations, to present patients to attending faculty and to discuss at least one ophthalmological problem in-depth through literature review and deductive reasoning. In addition the student will be asked to complete the clerkship evaluation form before a grade is issued.
Evaluation Methods: Students will be evaluated on the basis of how well they accept responsibility to achieve the listed and/or self-stated goals. In addition to the usual criteria the student will be expected to give a brief, high-quality presentation on a topic of their choice if they wish to be considered for honors.

OPH 815B - Ophthalmology Skills Training
Drs. Wm. Fishkind & B. Bakewell
4 wks only; offered year round
Directly supervised/Patient care
Maximum enrollment of 1
Prerequisites: 4th year Medical Students only
Goals: To teach the medical student skills for ophthalmic physical diagnosis including the use of the slit lamp, applanation tonometer and direct ophthalmoscope. To provide an introductory overview of diagnosis and treatment of common eye diseases, as well as the evaluation and treatment of ophthalmic emergencies.
Format: For the first one and one-half weeks of the elective period, the student will undergo intensive introduction to anatomy, physiology and physical diagnosis. For the remaining two and one-half weeks, the student will then perform history and physical exams, develop a differential diagnosis and then make recommendations for treatment for a number of common ophthalmic problems. There will be extensive one-on-one time with the instructors. An introductory manual will be provided.
Evaluation Methods: Standard Division of Academic Resources evaluation forms used.

OPH 816A Ophthalmology 3rd Year Elective (Alvernon Clinic)
Dr. Le Yu
3 wks; offered year round (not offered in July)
Directly supervised/Patient care
Maximum enrollment of 4
Goals: Introduce students to the specialty and the practice of ophthalmology, including the requirements to become an ophthalmologist and how ophthalmologists fit into the modern paradigm of medical care; the types of ocular problems an ophthalmologist sees and the diagnostic tests and instruments used; as well as how an ophthalmologist interacts with other eye care specialists (optometrist, optician).
Format: Students will rotate between the ophthalmology practice at Alvernon Physicians Offices, and the Southern Arizona VA Health Care Systems. All rotations are supervised by clinical faculty and residents.
Evaluation Methods: Assessment will be based on professionalism, interactive participation in outpatient clinics, comprehension of basic examination techniques of the eye and its function, attendance at required didactic presentations, and completion of a multiple choice examination at the end of the rotation. For the grade of honors, students must submit a scholarly manuscript on a topic of their choice.

OPH 891Ai/Au - Ophthalmology
Dr. Le Yu
4 wks; maximum length of 12 wks; offered year round
Directly supervised/Patient care
Maximum enrollment of 1
Prerequisites: Completion of clinical clerkships
Goals: To provide the student with an opportunity to participate in a preceptorship program at an approved hospital in this country or abroad. Students seeking unique preceptorships in any aspect of Ophthalmology must first consult with a member of the Department of Ophthalmology. This faculty member, preferably, would be familiar with the student’s area of interest and with the particular hospital in which the student desires the preceptorship. The student is responsible for furnishing the Student Records Office with the name and address of the preceptor at the outside institution.
Format: As determined by the preceptor.
Evaluation Methods: The form issued by the College of Medicine may be used; however, if the preceptor prefers to use the evaluation form of his/her school, this will be acceptable.

OPH 899 - Independent Study
3 or 6 wks; maximum length of 6 wks; offered year round
Directly supervised/Patient care or non-patient care.
Maximum enrollment varies
Prerequisites: Medical students only
Goals: The goal of this elective is to allow the student to work with a particular faculty member in pursuit of a particular field of study in ophthalmology.
Format: As arranged between student and instructor.
Evaluation Methods: As arranged.

Information for Medical Students Interested
in an Ophthalmology Residency

Medical students considering ophthalmology as a career specialty are encouraged to participate in the clinical and research electives offered by this department or the equivalent at another institution. Faculty evaluations based on direct contact through clinical work and research are important considerations in the resident selection process.

Since residency applications must be submitted by the end of September, clinical rotations should be completed prior to that time and research projects must be initiated well before then. Third year students who are serious about ophthalmology should consider an introductory 3-week rotation available as one of their general surgery elective options to gain experience and initiate projects prior to the beginning of the fourth year. Additional recommended electives during medical school include neurology, dermatology, neuroradiology, and anesthesiology. A post-graduate transition year is required before beginning a residency in ophthalmology and applicants should use this opportunity to obtain a broad-based foundation in general medicine.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact individual faculty members for information on specific clinical interests and research projects. Please contact Dr. Yu or Rosanna Canez for additional general information on electives. More detailed information on the residency program is available elsewhere on this site.

University of Arizona Ophthalmology and Vision Science
Guidelines for Acceptance of Foreign or Non-LCME Medical Students
Interested in Elective Clinical Rotations

University of Arizona College of Medicine
Educational Program Leading to the MD Degree
Requirements for Faculty Sponsors of International Visiting Medical Students

Recommended Resources and References

Resources and References

Web Page  
Red Eye & Trauma Cover Slide Image

Red Eye and Trauma

PDF PowerPoint
Clinical Ophthalmology Cover Slide Image

Clinical Ophthalmology
for Medical Students

PDF PowerPoint
Fundamentals Ophthalmology Image

Fundamentals of Ophthalmoscopy
for Medical Students

Web Page  
Ophthalmoscopy Skills Image


PDF PowerPoint
Ophthalmoscopy Skills Image


PDF PowerPoint

Resident Lecture Schedule