Course Catalog


Courses       4 Clerkships

Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD

Department web site:

Faculty of Opthalmology:

Courses offered by the Department of Ophthalmology are listed under the subject code OPHT on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The Department of Ophthalmology does not offer degrees. The department accepts graduate students as advisees for study and research. Undergraduate students may arrange individual research projects under the supervision of department faculty.

The Department is committed to advancing the understanding and treatment of ocular disorders. Department scientists and clinical researchers collaborate to investigate the origins of ocular disease and devise new diagnostic and treatment modalities, conducting research in such areas as retinal pathophysiology and genetics, retinal neurobiology and prosthetic vision, novel microsurgical tools and therapeutic lasers, advanced diagnostics and imaging, ophthalmic tissue engineering and corneal prosthetics, ocular microbiology and stem cells.


Preclinical instruction is incorporated into basic courses on anatomy, pathology, and physical diagnosis. An introductory course on the fundamentals of ophthalmology is an elective offered to medical students, introducing them to ocular and visual physiology and disease processes and allowing the student to practice the ocular examination. Students are welcome at grand rounds and teaching conferences; a variety of research opportunities exist in the laboratories and clinics. These provide an introduction to basic science techniques as well as the pathophysiology of ocular disease.

Clinical instruction is available through the eye clinics at Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical Center and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. The basic clerkship includes didactic instruction, participation in the outpatient clinic, and observation of surgery. It is designed to teach general ophthalmology to the primary care provider. Special or advanced clerkships are designed for qualified students to incorporate rotations at the other hospitals and take increasing responsibility with patients. Students are expected to learn how to use major diagnostic equipment, to perform a thorough eye exam and to recognize common ocular diseases, and to provide initial management of ocular emergencies.


The Residency Program is a three-year program designed to provide intensive training in an academic environment. The first two months of the program provide a firm grounding in the pathophysiology of eye disease. The remainder of the program involves clinical work at the four Stanford University Medical Center -affiliated hospitals including specialty clinics in retina, cornea, ocular pathology, glaucoma, strabismus, neuro-ophthalmology, and oculoplastics as well as extensive surgical experience in both general and subspecialty ophthalmology. Residents participate in the care of all patients on the service. Ongoing didactic instruction is supplied through grand rounds, clinical conferences in each subspecialty, and a series of ad hoc lectures. Residents are encouraged to pursue research projects and to seek postresidency fellowships; however, the first priority of the program is to insure the highest level of clinical knowledge and skill.


Opportunities for postdoctoral training in Ophthalmology are available. For information, refer to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs home page at or the departmental home page.


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