Program Mission and Goals


Through the exceptional capabilities and caring spirit of its people, the Vanderbilt Ophthalmology Residency Program will lead in the training of pre-eminent ophthalmologists. Our residents attain clinical and surgical experience, along with the values of compassion, advocacy, and dedication to lifelong learning and innovation. Our trainees embody the practice of ethical, evidence based, patient-centered care to protect and restore sight.

The residency program in the Department of Ophthalmology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is committed to train physicians for a comprehensive ophthalmic practice.


After completing their training these physicians possess the tools necessary to work in private practice, academic medicine, research environment, or pursue subspecialty training.

The program is designed to provide training in both the basic sciences and clinical aspects of ophthalmology. It provides a structured progressive educational experience in the broad area of ophthalmic diseases and ocular surgery. The program provides objective assessments of competence in patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, systems-based practice, and surgical skills.

Residents receive a strong educational base that includes:

  • Optics
  • Visual physiology
  • Refractive error correction
  • Retina, vitreous and uvea
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus
  • Cornea and external diseases
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataract
  • Anterior segment
  • Oculoplastic surgery
  • Orbital diseases
  • Ophthalmic pathology
  • Low vision

Physicians in training also gain experience in the areas of practice management, business of ophthalmology, advocacy for the patient and the profession, ethics, and the socio-economic aspects of medicine.

The program consists of 36 months of training at Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Tennessee Valley Veteran’s Administration Medical Center (Nashville and Murfreesboro), and Blanchfield Community Hospital. Our sponsoring institution, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is responsible for the program at all participating sites.

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