Ophthalmology Residency Program

Welcome to the Ophthalmology Residency Program at the University of Alberta.

Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

Canadian medical graduates applicants to our Residency Training Program in Ophthalmology must apply through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). Please consult the CaRMS website for guidelines and requirements.

For general questions or admissions inquiries please contact, Residency Program Administrator.

Residents available to chat!

Please contact Tony Chae (, Gurkaran Sarohia ( or Natalie Arnold ( with any questions.

Contact Us

Dr. Hermina Strungaru 
Program Director, Ophthalmology

Dr. Carlos Solarte
Competency by Design Lead, Ophthalmology

Devra Samay  
Program Administrator 

Contact Information  
Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
2301, 10240 Kingsway Avenue NW
Edmonton AB T5H 3V9
t: 780-735-5954
f: 780-735-4969


Dr. Hermina Strungaru
Program Director


Dr. Carlos Solarte
Competency By Design Lead



Devra Samay
Program Administrator

Welcome to Our Program!

At the University of Alberta Department of Ophthalmology, we provide a supportive learning environment rich in learning opportunities in all the ophthalmic subspecialties. With a referral base of 3 million citizens and one of the largest catchment areas in Canada, residents are trained to manage a wide range of routine and complex, trauma, acute and chronic conditions. Teaching in both outpatient and inpatient settings revolves around clinical and surgical experiences, seminars, conferences and research projects that encourage the advancement of knowledge. Our modern eye clinics are staffed by an extraordinary allied eye care team who work with us to provide world-class patient care. We are one of only few institutions in Canada with a dedicated inpatient ophthalmology ward, which allows residents to apply their general medicine skills.

Our PGY1 residents are paired with a staff mentor, attend weekly ophthalmology academic half days, and spend 8 weeks on the ophthalmology service. The PGY2 resident on night call is supported by a senior resident and a staff person. This buddy call system allows for graduated levels of responsibility that safely develops learner independence. Also, on most weekends an ophthalmic technician assists the on-call resident.

Early surgical exposure is also strongly supported. Residents do not compete with fellows for cases, and our residents attain excellent surgical volumes.

Resident wellness is prioritized through annual wellness retreats and both formal and informal wellness events including the Ron Casey Memorial Golf Tournament, Retina Symposium, External Eye Disease Symposium, Glaucoma Symposium, and Resident Wellbeing Day. We promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and belongingness. Approximately half of our residents and a third of our staff are women or a visible minority.

Residents can pursue their passions within ophthalmology through electives in rural and global settings, research projects, teleophthalmology, or a concurrent Masters degree. Our 43+ experienced, diverse, enthusiastic and collegial staff are committed to medical education, community health and research. Two of the core staff have a Master of Education, four have a Master of Public Health, two have research MSc’s, four have combined MD and PhD credentials with one full-time PhD vision scientist. The University of Alberta is one of the top 75 universities for medicine in the world (Times Higher Education, 2023) and the Royal Alexandra Hospital ranks as one of the best hospitals in Canada (Newsweek, 2023). The University of Alberta has the second-largest research library in Canada.

In summary, our program caters to the unique needs of our residents. We provide you with ample resources to attain the Royal College CanMEDS abilities and Competency by Design requirements, and to become outstanding ophthalmologists. Our graduates have flourished as comprehensive ophthalmologists, and many go on to pursue prestigious subspecialty fellowships.

We aspire to be the premier ophthalmology residency program in North America. We seek diverse residency candidates who are compassionate, conscientious, capable, and resilient, with a strong work ethic and the conviction to improve society. We look forward to meeting you!

Our Program


Our Residency Training Program is a dynamic and clinically active training program with state of the art outpatient, inpatient and surgical facilities. The resident contingent is intricately involved in all aspects of patient care. The residents work closely with most of the ophthalmologists in the Edmonton area to obtain the fundamental principles and skills needed to become competent clinicians. As a cohesive group, they work with the staff to provide quality care for the patients. Teaching revolves around clinical and surgical experience as well as seminars, conferences and research projects designed to encourage the advancement of knowledge.

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is involved in a number of extracurricular activities including the Ron Casey Memorial Golf Tournament, Retina Symposium, External Eye Disease Symposium, Glaucoma Symposium, Resident Wellbeing Day.

Program Highlights


Strong, comprehensive training with extensive subspecialty exposure. Preceptors are very accessible and prioritize clinical teaching, surgical training, and research.

Promotion of resident wellness via Resident Wellness Day, staff/resident events and the mentorship program.

Patients come from Edmonton, Northern Alberta, Northern BC, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Residents are well-prepared to manage trauma and acute and chronic ophthalmic conditions
Our surgical volumes are among the highest in the country.

Interested residents can undertake a Masters in Science or a Public Health degree simultaneously during residency.

Residency at a Glance

Learn about each year of the program with an overview of each year.

Program Overview

University of Alberta's Ophthalmology Residency Training Program is centered at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) in Edmonton. The RAH is the primary referral centre for northern Alberta, northern British Columbia, northern Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. RAH houses the Regional Eye Clinic, which receives approximately 40,000 patient visits annually. Our residents also spend time at the Stollery Children's Hospital and various community offices.

There are 2 to 3 funded residency positions per year and 12 residents in the program annually. Residents work with a supportive and dynamic team of educators, clinicians and researchers throughout their training. Currently there are 40 academic and clinical faculty representing the sub-specialties of: Cataract, Cornea, Glaucoma, Neuro, Pediatric and Adult Strabismus, Oculoplastics, Retina and Uveitis.

Our residency program has full accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

In the first year of training the residents will attend 9 medical departments that will give them experience which will be helpful in the following years of Ophthalmology.

  • 6 weeks Emergency Medicine
  • 4 weeks Internal Medicine
  • 4 weeks Neurology
  • 4 weeks Neuroradiology
  • 8 weeks Ophthalmology
  • 2 weeks Pediatric CTU
  • 2 weeks Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic
  • 6 weeks Plastic Surgery
  • 2 weeks Rheumatology
  • 6 weeks TORIC
  • 4 weeks elective of choice
  • 4 weeks vacation

Residents attend Ophthalmology academic half days through out PGY-1


During the second year, our residency program focuses on day call and exposing residents to as much pathology as possible.

  • 1 week Diagnostics
  • 6 weeks Glaucoma
  • 6 weeks Retina
  • 4 weeks General Ophthalmology
  • 26 weeks Day Call/General Clinics
  • 1 week LMCC
  • 4 weeks elective of choice
  • 4 weeks vacation
PGY-3 & PGY-4
  • 2 weeks Day Call
  • 8 weeks Cornea
  • 8 weeks Elective
  • 6 weeks Glaucoma
  • 16 weeks Pediatrics and Adult Strabismus
  • 12 weeks Oculoplastics
  • 8 weeks Neuro-ophthalmology
  • 6 weeks Retina
  • 4 weeks Stanford
  • 8 weeks vacation
  • 27 weeks of Cataract surgery (the second half of PGY-4 is dedicated to cataract surgery)
  • 27 weeks Cataract Surgery (the first half of PGY-5 is dedicated to cataract surgery)
  • 4 weeks Community Elective
  • 6 weeks Elective
  • 4 weeks Glaucoma
  • 2 weeks Retina
  • 1 week review course
  • 8 weeks study for Royal College exam

Program Supports

  • Dedicated and supportive faculty
  • Tight-knit and supportive resident group
  • Outstanding exam preparation 
  • Formal and informal mentorship
  • Annual Resident Wellness Retreats
  • Strong network of alumni supports
Resident Jasper ski trip.

Edmonton amenities

Edmonton with a population of 1.5 million, is the fifth largest city in Canada and was recognized as the best city in Canada for work and life balance.

Housing is affordable in Edmonton with little road traffic. Our cost of living is less than Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, and London. Edmonton is one of the sunniest places in Canada with sunshine almost 90% of the year.

Celebrating 50 festivals annually, Edmonton is Canada’s “Festival City” with a wealth of cultural venues, innovative eateries, abundant shopping with the largest mall in Canada, and many outdoor activities with beautiful ravines, rivers, nature and wildlife, and Jasper nearby. For sports enthusiasts, the Edmonton Oilers have won the Stanley Cup five times, and Edmonton Elks are 14-time Grey Cup football champions.


  • Cornea
  • Glaucoma
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Pediatric and Adult Strabismus
  • Oculoplastics
  • Retina
  • Uveitis
  • Ocular Oncology

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you choose your specialty?
This area of medicine offers a combination of medical and surgical treatments to help patients with eye problems, of which there is no shortage. It is personally rewarding to help patients maintain and even improve their quality of lifepeople value their vision. There are many opportunities to apply our training in international settings and the developing world. There is opportunity to identify life- threatening systematic and neurologic disease through eye exams.
What is your residency program’s orientation and focus?
The program’s mission is to produce skilled and competent comprehensive ophthalmologists and to prepare residents to be competitive for subspecialty training programs if they are interested in pursuing further training. We do this in a supportive and collegial environment that strives to learn what is known and contemporary, but also to provide and generate new knowledge to provide better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of visual disorders. Trainees are encouraged to follow their own carefully chosen path to create a career tailored to their needs and interests. Edmonton provides a mid-size program, a large catchment area and an excellent surgical load without the impersonal nature of large programs with fellows.
What is the availability of experience in subspecialty areas during training?

There is substantial exposure to the following subspecialty areas to achieve good comprehensive training, while also allowing residents to make informed career choices: oculoplastics, glaucoma, uveitis, neuro-ophthalmology, cornea and external disease, retina.

Resident Testimonials

We asked our residents what they like about Edmonton, their highlights of the program, and one piece of advice for applicants about the interview process. Here is what a few of them had to say.
marvi cheema

What are the highlights of the program for you?  My favourite aspect of residency training has been the warm environment fostered by every member of the team: from the lovely resident group to the caring staff ophthalmologists to the friendly nurses and technicians. I'm so grateful for the training I've received in Edmonton; it's been rigorous and rewarding; there's nowhere else I'd rather be.

– Marvi Cheema (Graduate)
meghan smith

What are the highlights of the program for you?  The patient population is diverse and each patient encounter teaches beyond medicine. The people who come to our clinics and ORs are kind and generous to residents, allowing learners to help in their care process, regardless of the health concern.

– Meghan Smith (PGY-5)
daisy liu

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process?  Regardless of the specialty or the program, residency can be challenging at times. You can obtain a great education from any of the Canadian programs. However, at the end of the day, it’s important to choose a program that best suits your personal learning style, supports you through the tougher times, and gives you the exposure you need to graduate feeling competent and confident in ophthalmology.

– Daisy Liu (PGY-3)
rahul moorjani

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process?  The interviews can be the most stressful part of CaRMS. I think it is important to prioritize your well being, and continue to do the things that have helped you cope with difficult times. For me, family and friends have always been a support system that I lean on when the going gets tough. Come interview day, take a deep breath, and try to be your authentic self. We have all been there!

– Rahul Moorjani (PGY-3)
scott anderson

What do you like about Edmonton?  Edmonton is a fantastic place to live and even raise a family. We have the river valley at the heart of the city for runs, bike rides, and breathtaking views of the city. Edmonton is diverse, rich in cultural resources and has a great food scene. There is something for everyone.

– Scott Anderson (PGY-5)
maya tong

What will you miss the most when you graduate? We are so lucky to have phenomenal teachers, mentors, and role models in Edmonton. One of my favourite weekends in the year is the Annual Retina Retreat, where the whole team attends seminars and enjoys the Rockies together. I’m really going to miss all the wonderful people who are part of this program!

– Maya Tong (Graduate)