Advice from our Residents

Words of Wisdom for Inquiring Applicants

Choose a place you will feel well supported, enjoy living, and a program you are excited about! If you got a call on match day for a specific program how would it make you feel? – Nicole West, 2022 Graduate

Find a program that fits your personality…you are working with these people for 3-4 years! So it’s important to find a good fit.  – Rebekah Huffman, 2021 Graduate

Find a place that is the right fit for you in terms of location and program culture. – John Bader, 2023 Graduate

I made a list of 2-3 things I really wanted in a residency experience. Once I found the programs that met those “must-haves”, I largely ranked those programs based on fit, taking into account the interview experience, how I felt I would fit, the community (for my wife and children), etc. – Eric Peterson, 2022 Graduate

There’s no magic formula to finding the best program, but if you have some goals regarding what you want and where you see yourself in the next five to ten years, then you’ll likely end up in the right place. Surgical numbers, sufficient faculty representing the subspecialties, etc are obviously all fundamentally important and multiple places will offer them—ours included (we also have an awesome program director!). So ultimately you should choose somewhere that fits your personality and future goals, and you can see yourself being excited to come to work everyday for the next four years, possibly beyond.    – Angela Kim, 2022 Graduate

Congrats on choosing an amazing specialty. You are in luck, because there really isn’t a bad option for training out there, just focus on finding what you like. Think about your future path in choosing high research, low surgical volume versus higher clinical focus and less aggressive research drive. All residencies can get you into a specialty of choice or a good starting job if you work for it and help make your own opportunities, but I feel like UK makes it easy for us. A dedicated first year is a major bonus in my mind, and it really helps to have that directed ophtho training during your intern year.    – Justin Gagel, 2021 Graduate

Choose a program where you think you will enjoy going to work every day.  – Justin West, 2020 Graduate

The best advice I can give applicants is to be honest about what makes you interested in certain programs. You want people to know that you are genuinely interested in going to a certain location rather than just having applied broadly to increase your chances. Programs will appreciate knowing which applicants really motivated to match with them. – Tyler Anderson, 2020 Graduate

Be honest with yourself in what you’re looking for in your residency training, and pay attention to how that matches up to what each program offers on interview day. The best place for you may or may not be the best place for the next person, and things tend to work out. – Michelle Abou-Jaoude, 2019 Graduate

Application Process

The recruitment cycle during 2023-2024 is the fourth since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the situation is less fluid, there are still some uncertainties. Below is our most current information, and we will be providing updates periodically. Please look to the SF Match website or contact or program coordinator for more information.

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Resident Schedule

See the curriculum schedule for our first through third year residents.

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Lecture and Didactics

The residency incorporates an extensive lecture series. Residents are also expected to routinely attend and participate in conferences, including presenting at Grand Rounds at least once a year with a faculty sponsor.

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Our department offered a preliminary internship in the departments of medicine and surgery for many years, then switched to a mandated preliminary internship in 2016. With a strong relationship and working knowledge of the surgical and medicine programs at the University of Kentucky, we are fortunate to have the experience and capacity to create an internship experience that we believe provides optimal learning opportunities for our ophthalmology residents.

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Surgical Training and Past Statistics

While completing a residency at the University of Kentucky, there are hundreds of opportunities to assist in the operating room and to perform surgery.  Our residents exceed the national median on the numbers of surgeries they assist on and perform as chief surgeon.

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Resident Research

Residents are required to participate in both a quality improvement and research project each year of training. Learn more about our current research and Resident Research Day.


Medical Student Rotations

Fourth year medical students are offered a four week elective ophthalmology rotation. Students spend time in the clinic and operating room on the vitreoretinal, glaucoma, cornea and external disease, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology, and/or comprehensive ophthalmology services. Students also spend time helping resident staff consults in the emergency room and hospital. They also participate in all scheduled didactic and wet lab activities.

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Learn about our facilities in the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, Kentucky Clinic for Advanced Eyecare, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baptist Health Lexington, Good Samaritan Hospital, and Satellite Community Clinics.

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About Lexington

Lexington, the “Horse Capital of the World”, is located within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the US population.  Nestled between the intersection of interstates 64 and 75 in Fayette County, the city is also easily accessible by air with approximately 100 direct and nonstop flights leaving the Blue Grass Airport (LEX) each day.  The city offers many of the attractions of a large urban area, with the University of Kentucky playing a central role in many activities.  

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