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ICO Residency Program Director Role Description in English and Spanish

Authored by ICO
Posted on June 30, 2014
Topic: Courses for Residency Program Directors, Education, Education Initiatives, Ophthalmology Residency Education
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The ICO Teaching the Teachers Committee has developed a document describing the role of a Residency Program Director. By clearly defining this role, the document will serve to support those already in this position, as a reference to demonstrate this position is needed, and to clarify that this should be a separate person from the department or program chair. The role description is available in English and Spanish.

This resource aims to help interested parties understand the Residency Program Director's role and expectations for the position.

The full Residency Program Director Role Description is available for download in English and Spanish:

Residency Program Director (Director of Education)* in English

The role of the Residency Program Director is to oversee and ensure the quality of didactic and clinical
education, resident selection and evaluation, and patient management.
Specific aspects of the Residency Program Director’s role are listed below.

Reporting Relationships

  • The Residency Program Director reports to his/her Department Director/Chair.
  • The Residency Program Director should continue in his/her position for a length of time adequate to maintain continuity of leadership and program stability.


The following are recommended qualifications:

  • Residency Program Directors will have a minimum of 3 years post-residency experience, with appropriate clinical, educational, and administrative experience beyond residency training.
  • Demonstration of professional standards of ethical behavior that allow the Residency Program Director to serve as a role model.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities
Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Oversight and organization of the activities of the educational program.
  • Monitoring appropriate resident supervision.
  • Developing and implementing explicit written descriptions of supervisory lines of responsibility for the care of patients.
  • Preparing a written statement outlining the goals and objectives of the program with respect to knowledge, skills, and other attributes of residents at each level of training and for each major rotation or other program assignment. Please refer to the ICO Residency Curriculum:
  • Assuring that, at least annually, the educational effectiveness of the entire program is evaluatedby residents and faculty in a systematic manner.
  • Participating in selection of residents for appointment to the program in accordance with institutional and departmental policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring that each resident is formally evaluated at the end of each rotation (or, at a minimum, on a semi-annual basis).
  • Assessing the residents’ knowledge, skills, and overall performance in each evaluation.
  • Developing residency assignments and schedules to meet the educational goals of the program.
  • Evaluating program faculty, and based on the evaluation, approving their continued participation.
  • Ensuring that any national policies governing resident education are enforced (e.g., duty hours).
  • Ensuring that all residents have equivalent educational experiences.

*The title “Director” may vary according to regions/contexts, so you may choose a title that is appropriate for this role in your institution.





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