Optometry Residency Program Description


Program Description

UPMC is a multi-hospital tertiary care medical institution that consistently ranks among the top healthcare institutes in the nation. The UPMC Eye Center clinical team consists of over 80 providers, encompassing all ophthalmic sub-specialties, dedicated to resident education and unparalleled patient care. Our optometric residency programs in ocular disease and low vision rehabilitation/ocular disease were launched in AY 2022-23. The UPMC Eye Center is comprised of 13 locations and a state-of-the-art 9-story eye care institute scheduled to open May 2023. The 410,000 square foot Mercy Pavilion was designed with the input of a visually impaired architect and boasts 83 exam lanes, 10 rehab exam rooms, on-site surgical suites, 100,600 square feet of research space, a rooftop terrace garden for mobility training, and a life skills apartment and street lab to practice these vital skills.

Our clinics span Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities, offering our residents the opportunity to treat diverse patient populations and serve the community by participating in events such as Mission of Mercy. In 2022, our optometry residents volunteered as part of this initiative to provide free eye exams and glasses for over 700 patients in a single weekend.

Our hospital setting allows residents the unique opportunity to work in primary, secondary, and tertiary clinics. Our residents receive graduated levels of supervision and autonomy as they progress from optometric primary clinical care into the more advanced sub-specialty care ophthalmology clinics such as Glaucoma, Cornea, Neuro-ophthalmic Disease, and Retina, while working alongside ophthalmology residents in various acute care, ambulatory, and in-patient clinical settings. Our ocular disease resident will also have their own primary care clinic and a sub-specialty clinic of their choosing by month six. The combined Low Vision/Ocular Disease resident begins their residency in low vision clinic working alongside our low vision providers gaining advanced competency in low vision rehabilitative care. The second half of the residency allows the resident autonomy in their own low vision clinic. In addition to rotating through ophthalmology sub-specialty clinics, the low vision resident also spends approximately 2 days a month in Inherited Retinal Disease clinic, providing low vision care to patients who come to Pittsburgh seeking care from all over the world. Clinical time is also spent in medically necessary contact lens clinic, providing the resident with another tool to offer patients with visual impairment from corneal disease. Both programs are enhanced by didactic education including journal clubs, case reviews, and weekly sub-specialty lectures. Residents also develop teaching skills by working directly with optometric externs. Opportunities for research are available to all residents. Additionally, we require each resident to prepare a case report of publishable quality with submission to present at a major optometric meeting. Residents will also participate in our weekly Grand Rounds, presenting a case of their own in the fourth quarter of the residency.

Program Affiliate: Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

Program Title: Ocular Disease

Area of Emphasis: 1 Ocular Disease and 1 Low Vision Rehabilitation

Is this a Combined Residency / Graduate Program: No

Program Site: The Eye Center at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Program Address: 203 Lothrop St, Pittsburgh PA 15213

Program Phone: 412-647-2152 (Connie Davila – Administrative Assistant to Ellen Butts, OD)

Program Fax: 412-647-5119 

Program Email: eyecenter@upmc.edu 

Program Coordinator: Ellen Butts, OD

                Email: buttsem@upmc.edu

                Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Doctor of Optometry

                Title: Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Optometry Division Director, Optometric Residency Director

Program Title: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Eye Center Residency in Ocular Disease and Low Vision Rehabilitation/Ocular Disease

Program URL: Optometry Residency | Department of Ophthalmology | University of Pittsburgh

Date Program Established: July 1, 2022

Location: Private hospital

Director of Residency Education: Ellen Butts, OD

Accreditation Status: Pending

Number of positions: 2 (1 in ocular disease, 1 in low vision rehabilitation/ocular disease)

Not affiliated with VA

Program Funding: UPMC – external institution

Program Length: 12 months

Program Start Date: July 1, 2023

Typical Hours:

Monday 8-5

Tuesday 8-5

Wednesday 8-5

Thursday 8-5

Friday: 7am Grand Rounds, 8-5 clinic

After hours: Journal clubs, lectures, and wet labs held after clinic hours. Non-mandatory ophthalmology lectures held most Monday-Thursdays 7am-8am. No on call/after-hours clinical responsibilities.