President Trump is scheduled to be in Philadelphia on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at The National Constitution Center (NCC) in the Independence Mall area. Increased police presence is anticipated in Center City throughout Tuesday afternoon and evening. Please allow extra time if you are going to Wills Eye. Please be advised of area street closures to vehicles beginning at 1:00PM on Tuesday 9/15. Pedestrian access will also be limited in the area. This is subject to change and area restrictions, which could widen, will be lifted once the President departs the NCC. There are also demonstrations planned for Tuesday 9/15 around Independence Mall as well as City Avenue.


How many residents are in your program?
Currently, we have 24 residents with eight positions offered each year.

When does your program start?
Residency begins with orientation on July 1. If July 1 falls on a weekend, the orientation is held on the preceding Friday.

How do I apply?
We accept all applications through the Central Application Service of the San Francisco Match.

How many applications do you receive and what are you looking for in an applicant?
We receive approximately 500 applications and carefully review each one. Our Selection Committee is comprised of 14 members, both faculty and residents. With so many talented and impressive individuals, it is an extremely difficult decision. We look for intelligent, compassionate individuals who are team players and eager to learn in a program with a large clinical volume.

Do you have a cut-off for USMLE Steps 1 & 2 scores?
Although the average three digit score of interviewees is 245, we do not have a minimum USMLE score requirement. We review all applications thoroughly and do not screen applications based upon scores.

Do you have any unfilled positions?
We do not have any vacancies. The best way to find unfilled positions is to contact the San Francisco Match

Do you consider foreign graduates?
We accept applications from international medical graduates who meet eligibility requirements including GME guidelines and Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine requirements for VISA status and sponsorship during training. For specific questions, please contact Jefferson's Office of International Affairs.

What do your graduates do?
We aim to equip our residents with the foundation and skills needed to do whatever they choose. Depending upon individual interests and aspirations, each year roughly half our residents enter practice and half pursue subspecialty training. Our graduates have pursued fellowship in every subspecialty, although most recently, retina and cornea have been the most popular choices of our graduates.

What are your strengths?
Some of our greatest strengths include our clinical volume and research, the Eye Emergency Department, and expert faculty in every subspecialty – including Ocular Pathology. We are especially proud of our talented residents who continue the Wills Eye tradition of esprit de corps among faculty, staff, trainees, and support personnel.

What is the schedule for each year?
PGY 2:  Residents spend the bulk of their time in general clinics, the Emergency Room, Pathology, Neuro-Ophthalmology Service, and the Oculoplastics Service.  First-years perform minor procedures and lasers as well as extraocular surgery including enucleations/eviscerations and muscle surgeries.  They also rotate through each of the major subspecialty Services. 

PGY 3:  Residents spend more time in the subspecialty Services with increased responsibility for patient care and teaching.  They are primarily responsible for the emergency room both during the day and overnight and for inpatient consults at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.  Second-years perform cataract surgery and more complicated lasers and minor procedures. 

PGY 4:  Residents function with increased responsibility in the general and subspecialty clinics and perform all types of ocular surgery.  Every case is directly supervised; in a supportive learning environment, residents develop skills and confidence so they can perform surgery competently and independently. 

What is a resident's pay and what benefits are available?
Are viewable online and updated annually. 
House Staff Stipends -
Benefits -

Is there any special coursework for the first years as they begin residency?
We provide a three-week "pre-residency course" for first year residents. Half the day is spent attending lectures with first years from local programs. In addition to learning the basics of Ophthalmology, this is an excellent opportunity to get to know your colleagues from other programs. The rest of the day is spent in clinics; during this time, first year residents see very few patients as they gain practical experience with the exam and instruments in a relaxed teaching environment.

What are the didactic sessions like?
We host a robust series of didactic lectures, case presentations, and surgical conferences. The Academic Calendar outlines educational sessions offered throughout the year. The Professional Monthly Bulletin lists specific activities for each day of the month. 

Do you have an OKAP review course?
Wills Eye hosts an evening Night Review Course every February and March. It mirrors the content of the Wills Eye Annual Review Course and is attended by residents and fellows.

Do you have an Ophthalmic library?
Yes. Residents have 24/7 access to the Charles D. Kelman Library at Wills Eye, as well as to the Scott Memorial Library at Jefferson.

Do you have a wetlab for residents to practice?
Yes. Our residents have both wetlab and drylab practice opportunities. Each year, our faculty organizes microsurgical, phacoemulsification, orbital dissection, and refractive surgery wetlabs.

In addition, residents work with faculty in our mentorship program and have 24/7 access to a state-of-the-art practice lab. It contains the same equipment we use in the Operating Room. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, we now have a surgical simulator for drylab training.

Are residents required to perform research?
Yes. Residents may choose from the many research opportunities with faculty in each subspecialty or design their own projects. Although many residents complete several projects, each resident is expected to complete one publication-quality project during training. All research costs as well as travel and lodging related to presentations of projects are funded.