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The University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology came into existence in 1925 when University Hospitals and Clinics was built. Dr. C.S. O'Brien was appointed as the first head of the department. He immediately began to emphasize training of academic clinicians and research in ophthalmology. This policy has continued with his successors, Alson E. Braley (1950-1967), Frederick C. Blodi (1967-1984), Charles D. Phelps (1984-1985), Thomas A. Weingeist (1986-2005), and Keith D. Carter (2006-present).
We are proud that our program is recognized as one of the finest ophthalmology training centers in the world. There is a steady flow of patients, the faculty are readily accessible, intellectual curiosity is vigorous and encouraged, and research is active in every area. Five residents graduate from the program each year, together with about twelve postgraduate fellows.
We have a diverse faculty with wide-ranging clinical and research interests. Some of our faculty are internationally known and have been with us for many years. We also have several bright young faculty who bring new interests and enthusiasm to the practice and teaching of ophthalmology. All our faculty participate in the resident training program, in clinical practice, and in research.
In addition to the department facilities at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), there are facilities with clinical faculty at both the Des Moines and Iowa City VA Hospitals; there are also clinical faculty in private practice in Iowa City and Davenport.
The ophthalmology resident training program seeks to give residents a broad general ophthalmology background with the opportunity to gain experience in all subspecialty areas. Residents rotate through every service, working closely with faculty and fellows, and participating fully in surgery under the expert guidance of faculty. Each resident is required to actively participate in research of their own choosing.
Our residents come from schools all over the U.S. and from Canada and have broad interests and abilities and a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Many have advanced degrees outside of medicine. At the end of their ophthalmology training, residents should feel well prepared to choose any of the exciting and challenging paths available to them: private practice, fellowship training in a subspecialty, and/or an academic career. Approximately half of our graduates enter private practice immediately upon completion of their residency. Others may pursue an academic career or follow up with a fellowship before going into practice. Regardless of a resident's choice of career path, he or she should feel fully confident of having received the best possible ophthalmology training, having worked with dedicated and experienced faculty at a modern, up-to-date facility of world renown.