PGY-3 at Baylor is a consult, subspecialty, and surgical year. Your PGY-2 introduction to surgery is put to the test as your numbers ramp up and you tackle cataract surgery of increasing complexity, perform dozens of strabismus surgeries, and perform your first subspecialty cornea, glaucoma, and retina primaries. You reap the rewards of your busy year of PGY-2 call and use your newfound clinical proficiency to autonomously run the consult services at Ben Taub, the VA, and Texas Children’s Hospital, longitudinally managing acute ophthalmic pathology across these sites.
The year comprises of 6 rotations, each 2 months in duration: Texas Children’s Hospital, Ben Taub, VA, cornea, glaucoma, and retina. Texas Children’s Hospital, Ben Taub, and the VA have your time mostly split between consults and the operating room. At Texas Children’s Hospital, you spend around half the week in the operating room, with case volume including strabismus surgeries, pediatric cataracts, ROP laser, ocular oncology, retina, and oculoplastics. When not operating, you will work on consults or pediatric subspecialty clinics, seeing tertiary referrals of the rarest ophthalmic diseases typically just relegated to board examinations.
At the VA, the PGY-3 resident serves as the primary consult resident, gaining extensive exposure to longitudinal management of acute pathology typically seen in a comprehensive ophthalmology clinic. With open walk-ins for veterans the eye clinic is structured as an ophthalmic urgent care, with an outstanding team of technicians that work up patients, obtain studies, and route less acute patients to our supporting optometrists, freeing the PGY-3 resident to see higher acuity pathology requiring medical or surgical intervention. One day a week is spent in the operating room, gaining increasing experience in cataract surgery.
Ben Taub is structured similarly to the VA, with time split between consults and the OR. Harris Health is among the largest county hospital systems, serving a massive diverse and underserved population in a county of nearly 5 million. Harris Health’s eye care buck stops at the Ben Taub PGY-3, who, with full support of the Ben Taub technicians, nurses, residents, and attendings, runs the consult service, accepting community referrals, ER, and inpatient consults of the most severe, complex, and end-stage acute pathology in the country. Your bread and butter will be diseases like complex atypical corneal ulcers or neovascular glaucoma, in an awesome educational and humanistic experience, as you treat some of America’s most underserved and sickest patients.
Finally, your rotations through cornea, glaucoma, and retina, see you rotating in faculty Baylor subspecialty clinics and operating rooms with Baylor’s many expert-in-their-field faculty. These rotations are of a lighter pace, with continuous one-on-one time with these dedicated faculty, who are excited to sit down and teach residents their high level clinical and surgical knowledge. You will have the opportunity to rotate with affiliate faculty in private practice as well, joining them in their clinics and ORs. As you work extensively with Baylor’s faculty, you may join them on research and get to know them well both personally and professionally.
PGY-3 call remains on an every-6th-day schedule, as your class transitions to covering Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor ophthalmology subspecialty clinics, and Baylor St. Luke’s Emergency Room overnight/weekend calls. This year is of a much lighter volume and intensity than PGY-2, freeing more time to pursue activities of professional development, research, and other interests as you start to better realize your career ambitions over the year. Overall, PGY-3 is an incredible experience in clinical and surgical education, with an excellent balance of autonomy and supervision, as your knowledge and skills continue to grow, and you are primed for your final year of training.