Drexel University

Ophthalmology Pathway

Curriculum through Class of 2019 only. For students graduating Class of 2020 and beyond, please see new curriculum link.

MUST READ FOR PATHWAY 2018-2019: Ophthalmology Pathway Breakout Handout 2018-2019


The Department of Ophthalmology offers a discipline-based Pathway for senior students. The Ophthalmology Discipline-Based Pathway provides basic experience in Ophthalmology, with additional exposure to various subspecialties of Ophthalmology. Because Ophthalmology is a field that touches almost all of medicine, students are encouraged to diversify their course selection. Required courses will include the Internal Medicine and Neurology courses which are essential for practice of medicine in different settings. Hospital-based, clinic-based, and urgent-care courses are encouraged, as is exposure to both pediatric and geriatric practices.

Any student interested in pursuing Pathways in Ophthalmology is encouraged to reach out to the Pathway Director early in your medical school career.

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Sites and Personnel

Pathway Director:
Drexel University College of Medicine
Kelly Williamson, M.D.
219 N. Broad Street, 3rd floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Telephone: 215-762-3937 (Drexel Eye Physicians)
Fax: 215-762-5601 fax (Physician Practice fax)

Telephone: 215-762-6800
Fax: 215-762-4655 fax


The Ophthalmology course in the discipline-based pathway will be available at various locations, including Hahnemann.

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Description of Pathway

Click here for a summary table of the Ophthalmology Pathway.

Goals And Objectives

The primary goal of the Ophthalmology Department's senior year discipline-based pathway is to provide a framework for students to structure their year in preparation for a future career in Ophthalmology. Students choosing to go into Ophthalmology participate in an early match in their senior year, and then do an internship of their choice before entering their Ophthalmology residency for a three year training program. Ophthalmology is a far-ranging discipline in which the practitioner sees young and old patients with both systemic and localized diseases, as well as patients with conditions necessitating surgery. Therefore, the Department of Ophthalmology encourages students to take electives that will expose them to the many and varied conditions that they will be encountering in caring for future patients.

The pathway includes three required courses and six electives. Medicine and Neurology must be taken at "home," and all other courses may be taken at "home" or "away" sites. No more than three (3) elective courses may be taken at "away" sites by School of Medicine regulation.

The required subinternship in Medicine, and the Neurology course are University graduation requirements, and are described elsewhere in detail. The Ophthalmology required rotation should be taken early in the year, due to the early match. The student may require some acquaintance with the field in order to make an informed choice of professions, as well as for letters of recommendation. Students are also encouraged to pursue research projects and are encouraged to consider an away elective in ophthalmology early in the 4th year.

Required Rotation In Ophthalmology
This is a four week course that should familiarize the student with the broad scope of ophthalmic practice, both medical and surgical. The student should become familiar with ophthalmic terms and common eye diseases, as well as with eye findings in systemic diseases.

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Textbooks And Learning Resources

There are excellent texts on reserve in the various libraries, and students who rotate may also choose to borrow from the pathway director a basic text published by the Academy of Ophthalmology.

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Evaluation Of Student Performance
Each student will be evaluated by the attendings with whom the student spends the most time during the elective. The pathway Director will review and sign all evaluations.

All students are required to create a presentation on a subject of their choice in ophthalmology or an interesting case.

Evaluation Of Pathway
At the conclusion of the ophthalmology rotation, all students are required to complete a final evaluation assessing the quality of their experience. These critiques will be shared with the ophthalmic faculty and will help to revise the rotation as needed. Students will also be asked at the end of the year to evaluate the pathway.

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The provisions of The Student Handbook of Drexel University College of Medicine are not to be regarded as a contract between any student and the College of Medicine. The College of Medicine may, at any time, change any provisions, curriculum requirements, teaching facilities, affiliated teaching sites and/or their amenities, bylaws, rules, regulations and policies as may be necessary in the interest of the University, Drexel University College of Medicine of Medicine, and its students.

Revised 09/15/2016 ; email update 20180125 -- Specific questions or comments about the content of this page may be directed to the Division of Clinical Education