USC Roski Eye Institute Grows its Residency Program to Seven Trainees Per Year, Representing the First Class Size Increase in More Than 30 Years

LAC+USC Feature

Unparalleled education and clinical training at L. A. County+USC Medical Center, led by nationally ranked expert faculty secured approval by ACGME for resident complement addition

Contact: Sherri Snelling or 949-887-1903

LOS ANGELES – Based on exceptional clinical training opportunities and unprecedented engagement by its nationally-ranked faculty, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved the addition of another permanent resident at USC Roski Eye Institute, the first resident to be added to the ophthalmology program since 1985. This brings the USC program to 21 total ophthalmology residents per training cycle, making it one of the largest residency programs in the country.

Part of the approval process involved the ongoing partnership between the USC Roski Eye Institute and L.A. County+USC Medical Center (LAC+USC) that began more than 40 years ago, as an extension of the medical training affiliation between Los Angeles County and USC which dates back to 1885. Today, the USC Roski Eye Institute remains the exclusive ophthalmology partner for treating patients and teaching residents at the 633-bed safety-net hospital.

LAC+USC Medical Center is recognized as one of the largest public teaching hospitals in the U.S. and the largest single health care provider in Los Angeles County. Residents receive an unparalleled hands-on training experience where LAC+USC treats more than 1 million ambulatory patients each year and is known as one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in the country. It is also the host facility for the U.S. Navy’s Trauma Training Center.

“Our residency program has excelled in combining superb clinical training at one of the country’s busiest hospitals with a rigorous academic program supported by the dedication of our 32 full-time faculty,” says Vivek Patel, MD, ophthalmology residency program director at the USC Roski Eye Institute and LAC+USC. “Our program offers comprehensive exposure and education in all sub-specialty clinical and surgical areas within ophthalmology. Each division is led by nationally respected experts in their respective fields.”

The criteria for ACGME to approve additional residency spots, of which only a handful are granted each year across all medical specialties, hinges upon a program’s commitment by its faculty with respect to clinical training, not just on hospital volume, as well as institutional support for funding the program. Patel notes that the USC Roski Eye Institute residency program is well above the national average in diversity of clinical exposure and depth of surgical training. The program is recognized for offering its residents more autonomy in caring for patients while learning from world-renowned experts in ophthalmology.

The competition to get into USC’s elite ophthalmology residency program is fierce with more than 400 applicants every year. In addition to incredible clinical experiences at LAC+USC, all residents also train at USC Roski Eye Institute’s partner facilities, including Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), a pediatric academic medical center treating more than 500,000 children annually. At CHLA, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 children’s hospital in California, USC ophthalmology residents receive unique training in various sub-specialty areas such as retinoblastoma, the most common type of eye cancer in children.

While training of ophthalmology residents takes place at Keck School of Medicine of USC affiliates including LAC+USC Medical Center, CHLA and the Veteran’s Administration Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center, USC Roski Eye Institute physicians and residents also treat more than 100,000 patients each year at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles as well as at its eye clinics in downtown L.A., Arcadia, Beverly Hills and Pasadena.

Click here to view the video

About the USC Roski Eye Institute (

The USC Roski Eye Institute, part of the Keck Medicine of USC university-based medical enterprise, has been a leader in scientific research and innovative clinical treatments for more than 40 years. Ranked No. 2 in National Eye Institute (NEI) research grants for academically-based ophthalmology departments and nationally ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Hospitals” issue for more than 22 years, the USC Roski Eye Institute is headquartered in Los Angeles with clinics in Arcadia, Beverly Hills and Pasadena. Faculty physicians are also the exclusive ophthalmic doctors affiliated with L.A. County + USC Medical Center (LAC+USC) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

Patients from across the country come to see the USC Roski Eye Institute experts who treat a comprehensive array of eye diseases across the life spectrum from infants to aging seniors. The USC Roski Eye Institute is known for its scientific research and clinical innovation including:

  • Creator of the FDA approved Argus retinal prosthesis implant (also known as the “bionic eye”) for retinitis pigmentosa patients
  • Leader in NEI eye disease research among multi-ethnic populations
  • Developer of stem cell therapies for those who have age-related macular degeneration
  • Discovered the gene that is the cause of the most common eye cancer in children
  • Treatment for eye infections for AIDS patients
  • Inventors of the FDA approved XEN stent, the most widely used glaucoma implant in the world
  • Pioneers of a device for long-term intraocular drug delivery
  • Creator 25 years ago and ongoing leader in OCT research
  • Leading researchers of eye disease prevention and treatment as part of the Human Connectome brain mapping research
  • Share: