Medical Students

Oculoplastics, Strabismus & Neuro-ophthalmology Elective/Rotation

Michael Garron (Toronto East General) Hospital


Thanks for visiting!  I hope you will have a useful and enjoyable learning experience.   This subspecialty elective is best suited for medical students with prior experience in ophthalmology.  Beginning medical students are welcome, but may find the subspecialty focus difficult.

Before seeing patients, register with Michael Garron Medical Education, so that you have insurance coverage.  After you have your hospital name tag, come find me in the office (K wing 306)

The office address and details can be found on the home page or “”

Introduce yourself:  If you have time, send me a mini-CV, and your top 3 objectives for this rotation.

Attire:  Lab coat preferred.  No open toe shoes for safety reasons.  No shorts during office hours.  You can either use the hospital greens (cyan blue) or bring your own.

Office managers:  Tracey and Kim

Patient population:  Our office specializes in oculoplastics (eyelid tumours, eyelid malpositions, eyelid reconstruction), orbit (Graves disease, orbital tumours), strabismus and neuro-ophthalmology.  We only see general ophthalmology patients during the weeks we are on call or occasionally when the University of Toronto core medical students come to the office.

Typical Schedule

Clinic:  Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays:  7:50 am start.  Tuesday mornings, Dr. Musewe’s clinic.    When the day finishes is variable depending on whether or not we have a Mohs procedure or temporal artery biopsy.

Tuesday pm Minor Surgery (eyelid surgery)

Most Fridays:  Main OR.  Strabismus, Orbit, Lid Surgery under General Anesthesia:   1st, 2nd, and 3rd  Friday of the month, full day.  Option to go to Univ Toronto rounds at Kensington.




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.



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)*

Slit lamp exam   (handout) IOP with air puff tonometer*

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?



  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)

If you need a CaRMS letter after your CaRMS rotation is done, remind me which article or project you did, so I can use it in your letter.



Optics (3 question and answer modules)

Glaucoma (AAO 2018 EyeNet Articles)

Retina (AAO 2018 EyeNet Articles)

Refractive and Cataract Surgery (AAO 2018 EyeNet Articles)



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







The ophthalmic job market, IF you are applying for ophthalmology

Economics of running an office

Medicolegal problems  (read the informed consents)




Once every 6-8 weeks, our office is on call 7 days.  Your rotation may not coincide with my call weeks.  Medical students  have the OPTION of attending the ER on evenings and weekends when patients are referred.

Weekends on call, the usual hours I run the clinic are Saturday and Sunday from 10-11:30 am.   The number of weekend patients we see is very variable, depending on the cases seen by the emergency room doctors the night before.

It is not mandatory for the medical students to be on call with me, but I think it is a very practical “real world” experience, and you are welcome to accompany me.


CaRMS Figures