Eligibility and Selection

The Wills Eye Residency Program at Jefferson selects only from among the pool of eligible applicants and evaluates each applicant on the basis of their preparedness, ability, academic credentials, communication skills and personal qualities such as motivation, honesty and integrity. The program does not discriminate with regard to sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability or veteran status.

Applicants must fulfill the eligibility and certification qualifications outlined by the ACGME, the American Board of Ophthalmology, the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Eligible applicants must be one of the following:

  1. Expected graduates of medical schools in the United States and Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
  2. Expected graduates of colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
  3. Expected graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada who meet one of the following qualifications: have received a currently valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or have a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a United States jurisdiction. The institution does sponsor J1 and H1 visas and students with questions should contact the Office of International Affairs.
  4. Expected Graduates of medical schools outside the United Sates who have completed a Fifth Pathway program provided by an LCME accredited medical school.Prior to starting residency (PGY-2 through PGY-4), accepted applicants must complete an internship (PGY-1) in a program accredited by either the ACGME or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The PGY-1 year must include training in which the resident has primary responsibility for patient care in fields such as internal medicine, neurology, pediatrics, surgery, family medicine, or emergency medicine. At minimum, six months of this year must be a board experience in direct patient care. A letter of successful completion and a summary performance evaluation from the internship program director are required before matriculation.


Reappointment and Advancement
As outlined in the House Staff Agreement, reappointment of a resident-in-training to the next appropriate PGY level is contingent upon satisfactory performance and the recommendation of the Department of Ophthalmology.

The Department of Ophthalmology adheres to the requirements of the ACGME and the Institution. To be promoted, a resident must meet the training requirements at the time of the recommendation and continue to meet those requirements through the end of the current contract year, as well as remain in compliance with all other terms and conditions of the House Staff Agreement.