Medical Students

Oculoplastics, Strabismus & Neuro-ophthalmology Clinics


Elective medical students are welcome in Dr. Ing’s clinic, but must register with the university and hospital first.

Patient population:  Dr. Ing specializes in oculoplastics (patients with eyelid tumours, eyelid malpositions, eyelid reconstruction), orbit (Graves disease, orbital tumours), strabismus (misaligned eyes) and neuro-ophthalmology.

Attire:  Lab coat preferred.  No open toe shoes for safety reasons.




Write down all the clinic/surgery cases you see during the day in a small notebook / your smartphone.

Review the cases at the end of the day/at home.  Consider carrying the Wills Eye manual or Mass Eye manual with you during the day.  If the office cases get repetitive, start reading your manual.



Wills Eye Manual, Kanski’s atlas, the American Academy medical student manual, and optics quizzes are available to you.

The emedicine ophthalmology articles are free and online



Ophthalmic history  (slide script presentation is available, review our hx and px intake sheet)

Common ophthalmic problems (handout)

Vision testing, Confrontation fields, Pupil Testing, Eye movements*

Direct Ophthalmoscopy  (handout)*

Smart phone Fundoscopy

Slit lamp exam   (handout) 

Indirect Ophthalmoscopy  (tape roll).  We can lend you an indirect ophthalmoscope to practice with.

Prisms:  (handout) Practice alternate cover tests.  Use a laser pointer 1 m from a wall, and determine the relationship between the prism bar markings and light displacement.

Surgical assistant

Suturing skills (bring some thread to the office if you don’t know how to instrument tie)


Refractive error and glasses

Operating the visual field machine

Operating the OCT


MAKE A MIND MAPS/FLOW DIAGRAMS  on your approach to:

Vision Loss  e.g. acute painless vs. chronic*

Double vision or eye movement abnormality*




Upon completion of your rotation, you should be able to answer most of the questions below:


What are the elements of an informed consent?

Why are patients NPO prior to surgery?

What is reverse Trendelenberg position?

Which antiseptic(s) should you not use near the eye?

What is your surgical glove size?



What things can you do to prevent needlestick injuries?

How might flash fires start during oculoplastics procedures?  How do you prevent this?

What things can you do to protect the patient’s eyes when they are unconscious?

What can you do to prevent surgical contaminants splashing in your eye?

What is the proper method of pulling a patient stretcher through a narrow doorway?



How do you ensure you will have a square knot?

Name some absorbable and non-absorbable sutures.

What calibre sutures do we normally use on the face?



What things can you do to prevent bleeding during/after surgery?

What is different about hemostasis for ocular procedures, compared to most other surgeries?

What type of cautery is used in a patient with a pacemaker?

What should you check before applying the grounding cautery pad?



What are the essential elements of an operative report?


OPHTHALMOLOGY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS     (* Core competencies suggested by AAO and AUPO)

Explain the anatomy of the eye and visual system.*

What is your approach to the red of painful eye?*

How do you evaluate a patient with eye trauma?*

What are important causes of vision loss in children?*

What are some ocular manifestations of systemic disease?*

What are the most important ocular side effects of systemic drugs?*

What common ocular medications have systemic side effects?*

When should a patient be referred urgently to ophthalmology*

What is the most common operation in Ontario?  If you had to explain this operation to a patient what analogies could you use?

What type of glaucoma surgeries are available?  What is the intent of these procedures?

How does Starlings law relate to strabismus surgery?  What are some techniques to strengthen a muscle? What can be done to weaken a muscle?  What is the spiral of Tillaux?

Is a muscle “hook” a sharp instrument?

How can the surgeon monitor the patient’s vital signs during an operation, without looking at the anesthesia machine?  Why might the anaesthesiologist ask the ophthalmic surgeon to stop surgical manipulations during a strabismus surgery?

What does the specialty of oculoplastic (oculofacial) surgery entail?

A patient has cosmetic blepharoplasty, and that night has severe discomfort with a swollen eye, vision loss, RAPD and high intraocular pressure.  What is the diagnosis, and what should you do?

What are the names for the eyelid malpositions where:

  • The eyelid is too droopy
  • The eyelid is inverted. What are the mechanisms for the involutional form of this disorder?
  • The eyelid is everted

What are the most common skin cancers?

What is the most common orbital disease in an adult?

A patient has tender skin protruberance at the medical canthal tendon, and a purulent eye?  What is the problem and what are the short and long term treatments?

A patient has a large tumour behind his globe, lateral to the optic nerve.  How can this be removed?

What does diabetic retinopathy look like?

If a patient has a retinal detachment, do we stitch the retina back on to the sclera?

A child has leukocoria.  What should you consider?

An adult has a white cataract.  What should you consider?

Under what situations is an eye removed?  What are the different types of surgical procedures for eye removal?




OPHTHALMIC HISTORY:   1) Ask about change in DISTANCE vision because presbyopes complain so much

2) Vision loss & Diplopia: Did you cover one eye? (monocular&horizontal respect=eye / binocular & vertical respect=brain)

3) Fleeting pins and needles; itchy-scratchies burnies, reflex tearing: = Dry eye

4) Vision loss or diplopia in the elderly: rule out giant cell arteritis


OPHTHALMIC EXAM:   1) Record acuity in each eye separately.  (Kleenex or patient’s palm as occluder, not fingers because they can see through the gaps)   Kids will peek.  Parent must cover eye or tape occlude to check. 

 If patient unable to see eye chart can walk them up halfway, then Finger Counting, then Hand Motions, then Light Perception +/- projection

2) Pupils: room lights off; patient looks in distance. Horner’s syndrome is easily missed.  When checking RAPD shine light on each eye for 2 seconds before moving to the other side as quickly as possible.

3) Efficient field testing: count fingers on either side of midline (young children: hand  motions game)

4) In walk-in clinic/private office: use an illuminated magnifier if no slit lamp

5) Slit lamp won’t work:   Is electrical timer on wall?  Check cords. Check pilot light and bulb. Check round knob at bottom of column. Check toggles e.g. magnifier. Check focus of eye pieces. Release the lock.

6) Direct ophthalmoscope: get close to patient; aim slightly nasal

7) Easy to miss trichiasis, entropion, floppy eyelids


EYE DROPS (OD=right eye; )OS=left eye; OU=both eyes; gtt=drop; ung=ointment)

*Dilating drops: Tropicamide 1% (Mydriacyl) short acting dilator: stings

                             Cyclopentolate 1% (Cyclogyl) intermediate length dilator and cycloplegic

Topical anesthetic: Tetracaine/Proparacaine (Stings and later feels cold and numb)

Artificial tears: Refresh,  Liposic, Refresh, Isoptotears 1% Bion Tears, Celluvisc (thicker, preservative-free)

Lubricating ointment: Lacrilube, TearGel

Antibiotic drop:  Polysporin, Tobrex, Vigamox

Antibiotic-Steroid drop/ung: Tobradex (Be wary prescribing topical antibiotic-steroids as non-specialist)

Some Glaucoma drops without cardiorespiratory side effects in adults: Brimonidine (Alphagan), Latanoprost (Xalatan), Pilocarpine, Dorzolamide (Trusopt)


CORNEAL FOREIGN BODIES:  Remove with Chalazion curette (blunt) rather than needle. Evert lid


HOSPITAL CONSULTS:   (Best exam in an examining lane. Bedside exam will not be as detailed.)

Can’t read: Is the bifocal in the right position for the supine patient?

Trauma patients:   Can we dilate? (or are neuro-vitals essential)

Perimetry:   If the patient can’t do confrontation fields, we won’t be able to do perimetry

Eyelid lacerations: Exclude globe rupture before suturing lid.  No knots on corneal side


OUTPATIENT CONSULTS:   1) Dry Eyes: a very common complaint. Patients may have reflex tearing

2) Flashes & Floaters: you can try dilating and looking with direct ophthalmoscope

3) 3rd nerve palsies:  CTA/MRA to exclude aneurysm, especially if pupil-involved

4) Ask patient/parents to bring video/photo of perceived problem for ophthalmologist

5) Eyelid tumours / Eyelid surgery: Respect the cornea!       


KIDS:   1) Amblyopia potential until age 8 yo.  2) Can check refraction (retinoscopy) in neonates  3) Can check acuity Sheridan Gardner (letter pointing game) often by age 2.5 yo or sometimes younger

4) Parents frequently right about exodeviations, but often mistaken about esodeviations

5) Child’s right side [Parents left side]   6) Kids blocked tear ducts: Roll Q tip downwards


HOMEWORK:   A)  Make an analogy to explain to patients:  1) Cataract surgery 2) Wet/Dry Macular degeneration

B)  Construct a mind map / flow diagram on your approach to Vision Loss  You can organize by monocular/binocular with age, time frame, pain, or anatomical references



  1. Critique of recent journal article in ophthalmology /  general medicine that is important to ophthalmologists    AND
  2. A statistics topic from the American Journal of Ophthalmology (or British Journal of Ophthalmology) Statistics and Ophthalmology series or Common Mistakes in Using Statistics.    (see below)



It is important to be able to learn and interpret articles by yourself.

The Role of Statistics in Ophthalmology

Anne L. Coleman

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 147, Issue 3

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF


Descriptive Statistics in Ophthalmic Research

Fei Yu, Abdelmonem A. Afifi

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 147, Issue 3

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF


Risk Interpretation, Perception, and Communication

Nicholas P. Jewell

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 148, Issue 5

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF

Risk Comparisons

Nicholas P. Jewell

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 148, Issue 4

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF


The Use and Interpretation of Linear Regression Analysis in Ophthalmology Research

  1. John Boscardin

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 150, Issue 1

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF


Nonparametric vs Parametric Tests of Location in Biomedical Research

Christina M.R. Kitchen

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 147, Issue 4

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF

Correlation, Agreement, and Bland–Altman Analysis: Statistical Analysis of Method Comparison Studies

Catey Bunce

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 148, Issue 1

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF

Logistic Regression Analysis: Applications to Ophthalmic Research

Stanley Lemeshow, David W. Hosmer Jr

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 147, Issue 5

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF


Survival Analysis: Applications to Ophthalmic Research

David W. Hosmer Jr, Stanley Lemeshow

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 147, Issue 6

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF


Current Research in Biostatistics

Abdelmonem A. Afifi, Fei Yu

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 149, Issue 3

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF

Bayesian Methods for Data Analysis

Robert E. Weiss

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 149, Issue 2

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF

Propensity Score Methods

Donald B. Rubin

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 149, Issue 1

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF

Missing Data: What a Little Can Do, and What Researchers Can Do in Response

Thomas R. Belin

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 148, Issue 6

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF

Statistical Genetic Approaches for Mapping Ophthalmic Trait and Disease Genes

Janet Sinsheimer

American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 148, Issue 2

AbstractFull-Text HTMLPDF


Binary Eye Data   GLMM, GEE






CaRMS Figures

In 2023, forty ophthalmology residency positions were available.

In Canada, past figures suggest that about half the candidates who were accepted for an interview received a residency position.