The Department of Ophthalmology has had many evidences of Gods blessing in 2008. With new technologies, additional staff and more equipment, we have had great satisfaction in educating residents, fellows, and medical students as we meet the needs of many patients requiring eye care.
The addition of three physicians in comprehensive ophthalmology, one additional retinal specialist, and a fellow in retinal surgery has enhanced the physician staff. The department is recruiting additional fellowship trained sub-specialists in glaucoma in pediatric ophthalmology.
The added space is already inadequate for our needs in the Faculty Medical Office building. This may be relieved to some extent when the Beaumont/Banning project is complete and some of our staff rotate through our clinic space being developed there. We are looking at satellite office space in the Riverside/Corona area to help serve our current and new patients there.
Ophthalmology is very heavily office based diagnostically. We rarely send patients to a lab for testing but have a myriad of imaging and measuring equipment along with trained technician's right within the clinic. For corneal assessments we have upgraded the OPD scan which assesses higher order aberrations of the cornea and visual system, purchased an Orbscan, which assesses corneal topography, diameter and anterior chamber depth. For cataract surgery intra ocular lens power calculations we have obtained another IOL Master, which measures the length of the eye. For glaucoma assessments and follow-up we have added another DGX machine, which measures the thickness of the nerve fiber layer of the retina. Ultrasound instruments, fundus cameras, portable slit lamps, eye pressure measuring instruments, chairs and stands have rounded out the additional equipment to meet the growing needs of the department.The ophthalmology residency program now officially has 12 residents in the program, accepting four residents per year. We have a full-time senior resident at each of our four man rotation sites: Loma Linda, VA Medical Center, Riverside County Regional Medical Center, and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. This is a welcome change, and is contributing to escalating surgical volumes at each rotation site. Please see our residency website for the complete block schedule rotations located under clinical sites.
We are now sending our second year residents (instead of first year residents) to the Bay Area ophthalmology course, held each July at Stanford. This course remains one of the highlights of the residency. We hope this change will lead to better retention of basic science material and more rapid application of the clinical pearls learned at the conference.
We are continuing to foster a positive relationship with the San Diego Naval Medical Center and residency program. For the last several years, our first year residents have commuted to San Diego for Pathology training. This past spring, we reciprocated with San Diego Naval by having their residents rotate at Riverside County for a one-month rotation. During this rotation, the San Diego Naval residents as the senior resident at Riverside County, in addition to covering globe trauma call. This eye trauma rotation serves a vital role for the San Diego Naval residency, providing critical experience for their residents before they begin their tours of duty after graduation.
Our relationship with the San Diego Naval residency continues to grow with the introduction this academic year of a refractive surgery elective for our senior residents through the San Diego Naval Medical Center. During this one-month rotation, our senior residents will receive hands on refractive surgical training. This will include certification in keratome usage, Intralase, PRK, and LASIK. Our residency is now one of the few programs in the country that provides a comprehensive refractive surgery experience for its residents.
Our clinical trials supported by the National Eye Institute and pharmaceutical companies are continuing under the direction of Joseph Fan, MD, (medical and surgical retina) who is the chair of the research committee. There are also many independent research projects funded by the department research fund to which many of you have generously contributed.
Our dedicated, talented, and experience administrative and technical team led by Wendy Lee and Terry Merrick continues to provide great support to the physicians, front office, and technical staff. Advanced training and certification of technical staff is continuing.
Each year the department presents three major symposia. At the time of the Annual Postgraduate Convention an all day program is held with lectures by staff as well as invited internationally known ophthalmologists. The 2008 meeting featured George Baerveldt, MD, chair of the department of ophthalmology at UC Irvine giving the George Kambara Lecture. Also presenting was his vice chair, Robert Steinert, MD, a cornea and anterior segment surgery specialist. Brian R. Will 85', a clinical faculty from Vancouver, Washington, who is a pioneer and world authority in IntraLase LASIK corneal refractive surgery along with some of our full time faculty completed the full day program. In May the resident's research day provides a forum for the Loma Linda University ophthalmology residence program to highlight the research done in the residency program and department as well as an opportunity to welcome guest speakers. In the fall there is the optometry symposium to update the optometrists in the area on issues in ophthalmology and to allow the physician staff to become acquainted with the referring optometrists.