​​​​Our Programs

Our commitment to education includes teaching undergraduate and postgraduate trainees, as well as other health care professionals. Due to our clinical diversity and case volumes, UHN has the largest clinical fellowship program in Canada. On any given day, learners at all levels, including medical students, residents, fellows and observers, can be found in our division. Below is a list of our educational and research programs.

Some education programs at UHN may be suspended or modified at this time. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.

 Fellowship Program

The Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto offers Clinical Fellowships in a variety of subspecialty areas to provide additional specialized clinical and research training. Fellowships typically span one to two years and include rotations through the affiliated hospital sites and eye clinics in Toronto. During this time, Fellows will be exposed to a mix of cases and may participate in elective rotations, lecture series, journal clubs, institutional rounds and conferences. Fellows will also have the opportunity to be involved in cutting-edge clinical and basic science research. The following surgical Fellowship programs offered by the University include rotations at UHN's Toronto Western Hospital or Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Cornea & External Disease & Refractive Surgery

The Cornea & External Disease & Refractive Surgery Fellowship will expose Fellows to a variety of corneal problems, including infections, refractive surgical problems, corneal transplantation and complicated anterior segment cases. Fellows will be expected to allocate one-quarter of their time toward basic science or clinical research. UHN surgeons contributing supervision to this program include:

* denotes Fellowship Director

Glaucoma and Advanced Anterior Segment Surgery

The Glaucoma and Advanced Anterior Segment Surgery Fellowship aims to provide training in current state-of-the-art advanced diagnostic, medical, laser and surgical techniques in the management of anterior segment and glaucoma disorders. Fellows will be exposed to a variety of laser modalities and other anterior segment procedures such as phacoemulsification, iris reconstruction and vitrectomy. Approximately 10% of the Fellowship will be dedicated to basic science or clinical research, with the expectation that Fellows publish at least one major project.

Medical Retina

The Medical Retina Fellowship exposes the trainee to the breadth of common and rare non-surgical retinal diseases, advanced multimodal imaging interpretation, and administration of appropriate treatment. Incorporated into their schedule will be dedicated subspecialty clinics in Uveitis, Ocular Oncology, Inherited Retinal Disease, Low Vision and research time. The fellow will gain exposure to ocular oncology procedures and complicated cataract surgery in the context of retinal and uveitic conditions.

The Medical Retina Fellowship is focused on providing expertise in medical diseases of the retina and vitreous. This fellowship will offer trainees hands-on practical experience in the management of vitreoretinal diseases utilizing advanced multimodal imaging. Fellows will rotate through various subspecialty clinics including uveitis, ocular genetics and inherited retinal diseases, ocular oncology as well as electrophysiology laboratory. Fellows will be responsible for assessing and reporting fluorescein angiograms, optical coherence tomograms (OCT), OCT Angiography and B-scan ultrasounds, and will be allocated laser surgery and intravitreal injection cases. Fellows are expected to participate in clinical research projects with the publication and presentation of one or two projects during the course of their training. UHN surgeon Dr. Michael Brent is the Fellowship Director for this program.


The Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship provides advanced training in evaluating and managing patients with complex and severe disorders of the visual pathways. Fellows will be able to manage complex surgical strabismus cases in patients with neuro-ophthalmic disorders as well as evaluate relevant neuro-imaging (CT, MRI and angiography) of the head and neck. Fellows will be expected to produce at least one publication from a prospective research study and three case report publications and will be encouraged to compile a presentation of cases.

Ocular Oncology

The Ocular Oncology Fellowship will provide experience in the treatment modalities of ocular oncology, including surgical intervention, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapies. Fellows will be exposed to a variety of ocular and periocular tumour cases, as well as patients of systemic cancers with secondary eye involvement. Fellows will be expected to complete at least one clinical study and case report for each year of the Fellowship.

Vitreoretinal Surgery

The Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship provides experience in all aspects of medical and surgical vitreoretinal disease. Fellows will have approximately 20% of their time dedicated to clinical and basic science research. UHN surgeons contributing supervision to this program include:

* denotes Fellowship Director

Further information on application requirements and procedures as well as other details on all of the Fellowship Programs is provided by the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN.

 Resident Program

The University of Toronto offers a five-year ophthalmology residency program to train the next generation of ophthalmology surgeons. Much of the teaching and surgical training is done in a new, dedicated space at the Kensington Eye Institute. UHN's Toronto Western Hospital and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre are two of six hospitals that Residents rotate through. Residents will be trained in modern medical, surgical and treatment methods and gain exposure to UHN's subspecialties in vitreoretinal surgery, ophthalmic oncology, glaucoma and anterior segment surgery, and corneal disease. Residents will be expected to have started a major prospective research project by year three and to present their completed project at the end of the program.

Residents are evaluated in the clinical setting by their supervisor(s) and are encouraged to develop autonomy and skills that will help them on their path toward independent practice.

Resident education includes didactic teaching sessions with specific topics presented over the duration of their rotation, simulation sessions, oral exam practice sessions, ophthalmology seminars, and education and research rounds. In addition, journal club rounds are offered periodically.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, all formal rounds and didactic teaching sessions have been shifted to a virtual interactive format.

Daily Teaching

An important focus of our postgraduate resident education program is the daily teaching, which consists of: informal and formal teaching sessions through resident and Faculty as well as fellow interactions on the ward, in the clinic, the operating room, and on-call.

The entire teaching series has been designed to allow important basic and subspecialty ophthalmology lectures to be completed during each resident rotation.

All members of our division are dedicated educators and participate in these teaching sessions. To ensure a comprehensive curriculum, we include teaching by our non-physician health care colleagues, where appropriate.

Further information on application requirements and procedures as well as other details on the Residency Program is provided by the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN.


Research is integral to many of the educational programs supported by the Division of Ophthalmology Surgery. Our dedicated team of ophthalmic surgeons and vision scientists have worked side by side to uncover the various causes of eye diseases and to explore new frontiers of treatment. Bringing research and patient care together helps us turn possibilities into realities. Many of the Division's surgeons lead cutting-edge research programs and are appointed, affiliated or clinical scientists in the Krembil Research Institute at UHN:

Dr. Peng Yan
Dr. Peng Yan

Dedicated to the preservation of vision and widely recognized as leaders in vision research, our division's clinicians and vision scientists have been actively involved in research projects and clinical trials that bring new hope to patients with debilitating eye disease. Our successes, such as transplanting the first retinal chip into the eyes of legally blind patients, developing an innovative vitreous substitute for retinal detachment, and stem-cell research offer new health solutions. Other exciting ongoing areas of research include vision rehabilitation, vision loss, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, retinal vein occlusion, ocular blood flow, stem cell transplantation, ocular genetics and gene therapy, vitreoretinal surgery and health economics.

All of the Division's surgeons are a part of the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute within the Krembil Brain Institute. The institute combines the expertise of the Division's surgeons with that of vision scientists to advance discoveries from the lab to the clinic.

Some of our surgeons hold additional appointments in departments at the University of Toronto beyond their appointments with the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, such as:

For more information on the research being done at UHN and the University of Toronto:

 Undergraduate Program

University of Toronto Medical Students

The Division of Ophthalmology Surgery has a significant role in Undergraduate Education at the University of Toronto.

The University offers core and elective experience for its undergraduate Medical Students. Second and third-year students receive teaching in Ophthalmology through the pre-clerkship curriculum—the Special Senses Unit within the Foundations Curriculum. They also have the opportunity to participate in clinical electives, meet with surgeons, and do summer research projects. Students in their third year can rotate with the Division of Ophthalmology Surgery as Clinical Clerks at UHN's Toronto Western Hospital. As Clerks, students will be assigned to a team where they will be integrated into the daily patient care activities. By being in the clinic and operating room as well as attending seminars, Clerks will be exposed to an overview of the different types of eye diseases, surgical problems and care.

During their rotation, students will be exposed to a variety of ambulatory ophthalmology patients. They will develop skills in taking an ophthalmic history, performing ocular examinations, and formulating a differential diagnosis and management plan.

Further information on Undergraduate education is provided by the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Elective Program

The Division of Ophthalmology Surgery accepts Elective Students from the University of Toronto as well as universities across Canada and abroad. Further information is provided by the University of Toronto's Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences.

Comprehensive Research Experience for Medical Students (CREMS)

The CREMS Summer Program provides medical students with the opportunity to obtain research experience during the summer months.

The CREMS Summer Program is open to first- and second-year medical students at the University of Toronto.

Applications are submitted, reviewed, ranked and selected by the CREMS Director and a review panel of three other faculty members.

Students in the program present their work at the University of Toronto Medical Student Research Day, which is held in the following year with a poster presentation. Supervisors ensure that students receive the appropriate training needed to conduct their research projects.

Further information is provided by the CREMS office at the University of Toronto.

Patient as Teacher Program

The third-year surgical clerkship for undergraduate medical students at the University of Toronto integrates the Patient as Teacher program. Comprising three workshops and production of a creative reflection piece, this program aims to promote humanism and patient-centred approaches in medicine. Patients share their experiences and insights to provide students with the patient perspective of the surgical journey.

Further information on the Patient as Teacher program »


The Observerships program at UHN provides health care professionals and students from around the world the opportunity to observe examinations and other procedures performed by UHN staff physicians, surgeons, nurses, and health professionals. All Observers require a UHN sponsor—a clinical or surgical staff member who will be responsible for the Observer's learning experience. It is the observer's responsibility to connect with a sponsor and then proceed with the application process.

In addition to the general Observerships program, the International Centre for Education at UHN's Michener Institute of Education offers the Personalized Learning Program.

Personalized Learning Program (PLP)

The PLP at UHN is a fully customizable, observership-based program designed to meet learner goals and objectives. No two PLPs are exactly the same! Various resources and expertise throughout UHN are leveraged to enhance the learning experience. The program office works closely with host program(s) and learners to develop an Education Plan, outlining the activities of the PLP which are meant to meet the learning objectives. One-on-one coaching time and check-ins are also scheduled throughout the program, as needed. Learners are asked to provide a short presentation at the end of the program to summarize their learning and provide feedback. Learners also receive a UHN-Michener Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.

Depending on the PLP, the program may also be done virtually. A virtual PLP will provide one-on-one or group mentorship-like experiences and masterclasses with UHN clinicians and leaders. The virtual programs will be designed around and focused on meeting learners' personalized learning needs and objectives.

Further information on the PLP is available from the International Centre for Education.​

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