Resident Life at Wills Eye

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The Wills Eye Residency Experience


A Day in the Life of a Wills Eye Resident

Morning Lecture (0730 – 0830): Wills attendings give 1-hour lectures structured upon material from the BCSC series. Continental breakfast is provided daily.

AM Clinics/ORs (0830 – 1230)

Lunch (1230 – 1330)

PM Clinics/ORs (1330 – 1730)

Chiefs Rounds (Friday 0700-0800): Residents present mystery cases and pose questions to attendings to elucidate their thought process and management preferences, so everyone can learn from some of the fields most experienced faculty members. No resident questioning involved!  The cases are live streamed and recorded.

Visiting Professor Rounds (1x/month, 1400-1800): Clinics close for the afternoon when world-renowned faculty are invited to discuss hot topics within their field. The VP lectures for 3 hours followed by Grand Rounds, when tables are turned and residents present challenging cases to the visiting professor and Wills faculty. The day includes lunch and dinner with the VP, providing a great opportunity to engage with leaders in the field on a more personal level.

Elective Educational Activities

  • Monday AM: Oncology Rounds
  • Wednesday AM: Retina Imaging
  • Wednesday Lunch: Monthly Neuro-ophthalmology Rounds
  • Thursday AM: Retina Surgical
  • Friday Lunch: Monthly Glaucoma Rounds


When You're Wills, You're Family

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1st yr residents
1st Year Residents at March 2020 Alumni Dinner Dance
Markovitz wedding
Wedding of Michele Markovitz, married summer of 2nd year
Haller and residents
Dr. Julia Haller and Wills Residents
Wills residents - the Heersink Family ('77, '11, '13, '24)
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Academic Global Ophthalmology fellows ('17, '18, '19)
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William Maul Measey Ophthalmic Surgical Training (MOST) Laboratory

This cutting-edge lab, a complete revision and rethinking of the traditional wet lab, enables our residents, fellows, and medical staff to hone their skills in a realistic surgical simulation environment that includes multiple high-tech workstations, and advanced video-streaming capabilities. Funded through a grant from the Benjamin and Mary Siddons Measey Foundation and the generosity of the Wills Eye Alumni Society.

The MOST Lab features:

  • 8 fully-outfitted individual workstations and a teaching station
  • Three phacoemulsification machines
  • Dedicated instruments for each resident
  • Part-time staff to maintain instruments and lab
  • Regularly stocked tissues (porcine)
  • Kitaro Simulator eyes
  • Two EyeSi simulators

Structured wet labs throughout the year - plus many ad hoc wet labs - include:

1st Year Residents

  • Strabismus muscle suture course
  • Glaucoma laser course
  • Retina laser course


2nd Year Residents

  • Strabismus muscle suture course
  • Phacoemulsification wet lab
  • Glaucoma laser course
  • Retina laser course


3rd Year Residents

  • Phacoemulsification wet lab
  • MSICS wet lab
  • Tube shunt wet lab
  • iStent wet lab
  • Xen wet lab
  • Suturing wet lab
  • Complex cataract wet lab
  • Corneal transplant wet lab


Wills International Resident Experience

In 2012, Wills Eye Hospital initiated a program to provide a structured introduction into global ophthalmology for our senior residents. After creating strong partnerships in the developing world, we created the Wills International Resident Experience (WIRE), which placed our residents at partner sites for up to two weeks to learn, teach and serve in high-need settings.

Since its inception, over forty highly-motivated senior residents have participated in the WIRE program. The residents’ evaluations of these experiences have been glowing, with many citing the WIRE as the highlight of their residency.  These immersive experiences have been both inspirational and instructive.  By giving our residents these opportunities, we hope to empower them to incorporate global ophthalmology into their budding careers, thus spreading Wills’ model of skill with compassion beyond our borders and into the world.

Read their stories.