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Residency Education

The need for ophthalmologists with a high level of education and training is of critical importance to preserving and restoring vision. This is particularly important in developing countries where there are not an adequate number of skilled eye professionals.

The ICO has the following committees that seek to enhance and improve ophthalmic resident physician training:

  • Committee on Curricula and Expectations for Training Programs – Chair, Peter Quiros, MD
  • Sub-Committee on Residency Training – Chair, Catherine Green, MD

These committees are involved in the education programs listed below.  Questions about ICO education programs should be directed to:

ICO Residency Curriculum

  • Based on analysis of curricula for the training of ophthalmologists from more than 30 countries, collected and reviewed by the task force. 
  • Describes a broad-based curriculum for basic, standard, and advanced levels of ophthalmic training.
  • Presents an international consensus on what ophthalmologists and subspecialists in ophthalmology should be taught and provides a standardized content outline for ophthalmic training.
  • Delivered online, the curriculum is intended to be translated and adapted for use in different countries and cultures.

In 2012, the ICO completed a major update to the 2006 Residency Curriculum.  Sixteen international task force committees, led by Dr. Andrew Lee, participated in the revision.

Updates include the following:

  • New fourth level, “Very Advanced,” corresponding to a “subspecialist” or “fellow” level of training
  • Addition of Community Eye Health section
  • Refractive Surgery as stand-alone section
  • Delineation of “must know” cognitive and technical skills
  • Addition of Community Eye Health section. The section was revised and updated in 2016, to incorporate considerations for making ophthalmic practice accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities, including low vision or blindness, deafness and physical disabilities.

Download ICO Curricula:

 International Council of Ophthalmology - Center for Ophthalmic Educators

  • The Center is located at:
  • The resource center and forum offer the  latest topics, teaching methods, and tools in residency education. 
  • The Center provides ophthalmic educators with information and materials on teaching and assessing.
  • The Center's monthly newsletter, Ophthalmic Educators Letter, includes news and announcements about recently added and updated resources in the Center.
  • The ICO Ophthalmic Educators Group is a network for collaboration and professional development for everyone interested in ophthalmic education.

ICO Residency Program Directors Courses

  • The courses are sponsored by the ICOFoundation and the supporters of the ICO’s Teaching the Teachers Initiative, supported by, and conducted by the ICO since 2004.
  • They are held each year in cities around the world, coordinated through the regional and national ophthalmologic societies.
  • The courses focus on methods of instruction, skill assessment, behavior adjustment, and competence measurement. 
  • Structured as a two-day conference, the ICO Residency Program Directors Course is open to educators on an invitation-only basis.

Courses have been held in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Finland, Ghana, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and the West Indies.



Ophthalmology Residency Education Resources


Principles and Guidelines of a Curriculum for Education of the Ophthalmic Specialist (2006)

This is a curriculum presented by International Task Force on Resident and Specialist Education in Ophthalmology on behalf of… More »

ICO International Guidelines for Accreditation of Ophthalmology Training Programs

The ICO Accreditation and Certification Committee has developed recommended guidelines for ophthalmology  training… More »


ICO Residency Curriculum

The ICO Residency Curriculum offers an international consensus on what residents in ophthalmology should be taught. It is… More »


ICO Residency Program Director Role Description in English and Spanish

The ICO Teaching the Teachers Committee has developed a document describing the role of a Residency Program Director. By… More »

ICO Position Paper on CPD

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) creates position papers to take an official stance on important topics in… More »

ICO Position Paper on Accreditation in English and Spanish

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) creates position papers to take an official stance on important topics in… More »

More Ophthalmology Residency Education Resources »

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