Residency Program Overview

UAlberta'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, a leading centre in women's health 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 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.

Program Curriculum: Years 1 - 5 

  • PGY1

    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.

    PGY-1 training includes:

    • 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 must attend Ophthalmology academic half days through out PGY-1.


  • PGY2

    During the second year, our resident program focuses on day call and exposing residents to as many eye conditions as possible.

    PGY-2 training includes:

    • 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


  • PGY3 & PGY4

    PGY3 & PGY4 training combine to include:

    • 2 weeks (or as needed) 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
    • 4/6 weeks Stanford/Lancaster
    • 8 weeks vacation
    • 1/2 day/week Cataract surgery - PGY3
    • 3-4 days/week Cataract surgery - November of PGY4 for one year (into PGY5)


  • PGY5

    PGY5 training includes:

    • 27 weeks Cataract Surgery
    • 4 weeks Community Elective
    • 6 weeks elective of choice
    • 4 weeks Glaucoma
    • 1 week review course
    • 8 weeks study for Royal College exam



History of the Ophthalmology Residency Program at UAlberta

2017 is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Department's residency program.

Dr. Mark Marshall, who was the Department's chairman at the time, was also the Director of Graduate Medical Training at the University of Alberta and played a major role in setting up Residency Training at the University. In 1944, Marshall (then Levey) was also a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Nucleus Committee in Ophthalmology which was organizing to begin offering Certification (1946) and Specialist (1947) exams in Ophthalmology.

At the UofA, Marshall custom-designed the first programs, carefully selected the residents, and saw to it that they received the best training possible - both at the University of Alberta and at other institutions in the US and Canada if needed. By 1949 (the earliest date recorded) the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada University of Alberta Hospital was certified for full training in Ophthalmology and several other specialties (Anesthesia, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Bacteriology, and Urology).

The Residency Training Program at the UofA was set up with the needs of returning Veteran physicians in mind. The Department's first resident, Dr. John Winston 'Wint' Duggan, was one of this initial cohort and he began his training in 1946. He was part of the accelerated medical program at the UofA during the Second World War and graduated in September 1943 before serving in the Royal Canadian Army Corps. After the war Duggan returned to Edmonton and became one of the first individuals enrolled in the residency training program. He trained at the UofA Hospital from 1946-1948 and then in 1949 (as arranged by Marshall) Duggan traveled to Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he completed his residency training in 1950 and earned a Master of Medical Science (M.M.S). He certified in ophthalmology in 1950 and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in 1952.

After completing his residency training, Duggan returned to Edmonton and joined the Department where he was appointed an Instructor in Ophthalmology. He remained with the Department teaching and carrying out clinical research. In 1960 Duggan replaced Marshall who had resigned and was appointed Director of what was now the Division of Ophthalmology. Duggan resigned from this post 1 January 1964 to move to the US where he continued to practice. (Dr. Boyd in turn became Director of the Division of Ophthalmology in 1964 and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology in 1969.)

So in that way Duggan (along with Marshall himself) was one of the first students of ophthalmology at the University of Alberta who trained there, and abroad, and returned to share their knowledge with future generations of students.