Contact Us

Thomas Patrianakos, Chairman of Division of Ophthalmology

1900 West Polk Street, Suite 617
Chicago, IL 60612

Phone: (312) 864-5171
Fax: (312) 864-9753

The ophthalmology residency training program at the John Stroger Hospital of Cook County is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and approved by the American Board of Ophthalmology. The goal of the residency is to develop skilled practicing comprehensive ophthalmologists and subspecialists by providing extensive clinical and surgical experience over a 3-year period.

The program accepts 4 residents per year and participates in the central application service (CAS) of the San Francisco Matching Program. Admission is contingent upon the successful completion of an ACGME accredited or Canadian approved internship.

All major subspecialties in ophthalmology are represented in the division with respect to clinical experience and faculty involvement. These include the following:

  • Cornea and External Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Retina/Vitreous
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Oculoplastics
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology
  • Ophthalmic Pathology
  • Uveitis



Education & ResearchWith the addition of a fourth resident and opening of the Provident Hospital Eye Clinic, the first year ophthalmology resident now gains early operating room exposure for three months of the year. One day of the week, the first year resident will assist with cataract and anterior segment surgeries with fellowship trained corneal sub-specialists. Justin Bloomberg DO/OD, was the first resident to rotate at Provident and remarked, “The early surgical exposure was fantastic and it will prove to be beneficial for the procedural learning curve next year.” The resident continues the rest of the year as a comprehensive ophthalmologist in the Stroger Eye Clinic, which handles over 50,000 outpatient visits per year. The diverse patient population in the Eye Clinic provides an unparalleled amount of pathology and clinical experience in ophthalmology. Within a short period of time, residents learn to assume increasing responsibility in managing patients. First-year residents also perform anterior segment laser and retina laser procedures and intravitreal injections as proficiency allows. The year begins with three weeks of orientation in which subspecialty attendings give introductory lectures and provide hands-on instruction in use of ophthalmic equipment and refraction.


The second-year resident (PGY-III) schedule is divided into four blocks. During the three months of the consult rotation, the resident is responsible for treating both outpatient and inpatient consults. The consult resident also gains exposure to pediatric ophthalmology and retinopathy of prematurity screening during this rotation block. The retina rotation comprises a second block, where residents are exposed to extensive retinal pathology. This block provides residents with an opportunity to gain proficiency in intravitreal injections and retinal laser procedures. A third block consists of three months at Oak Forest Hospital (OFH), a County affiliate, which is staffed by Stroger Hospital Ophthalmology faculty. During this rotation, a second year resident is introduced to major intra-operative procedures, including cataract surgery. The resident performs 20 to 30 cataract surgeries as primary surgeon during the Oak Forest rotation. A fourth block is spent as chief of the comprehensive Eye Clinic.. There is one morning per week devoted to ophthalmic pathology under the guidance of our ocular pathologist. With Dr. Bamba, second year residents gross in ophthalmic specimens and review previous slides at the microscope.


The major focus of the third-year resident (PGY-IV) is performing surgical procedures. More than 2,300 major operative eye cases are performed each year. The senior resident performs all surgical cases. All major surgery is supervised by attending physicians. Starting in 2017, a new rotation at Provident Hospital, another Cook County system affiliate, has been established. Stroger Hospital Ophthalmology faculty also staff Provident Hospital. This rotation will allow for 3 days weekly in the operating room, with further emphasis on expanding residents’ surgical skills Senior residents are also responsible for aiding in patient care, junior resident and medical student education in the general eye clinic. One senior resident is selected yearly to function as Chief Resident with administrative and educational responsibilities.


Subspecialty attendings conduct teaching conferences daily in which material in the Ophthalmology Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC), published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), is systematically covered. The BCSC books are provided to each resident at the start of their first year. Monday mornings are devoted to Morning Report to review on-call issues and discuss cases or for invited guest speakers. Fluorescein Angiogram  Conference or other retina lectures are held on Tuesday mornings. There are monthly Chairman’s Rounds held on Wednesdaymornings. Since 2014, second year residents review pathology slides and gross specimens with Dr. Bamba on Wednesdays throughout the year. Thursday and Friday lectures rotate between neuro-ophthalmology, uveitis, cornea, pathology, and oculoplastics. Grand Rounds are held monthly. Formal Journal Club is held on a quarterly basis. Prior to the annual in-service examination (OKAPs) in March, a three day comprehensive review of all BCSC topics is held at Stroger Hospital.

Education & Research 3

In addition to the comprehensive in-house academic program, residents have the opportunity to participate in city wide combined educational programs. The first of these is the Chicago Curriculum in Ophthalmology (CCO), which is a lecture series with faculty from all six Chicago area residency programs participating. Lectures are held from September through April on Saturday mornings. Stroger Hospital Ophthalmology residents also attend the Chicago Ophthalmological Society (COS) monthly meetings free of charge. These meetings are held monthly on Monday evenings at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center from September through April. Nationally known speakers from all ophthalmic specialties are invited to give talks at this excellent forum.

All Stroger Hospital Ophthalmology residents have full privileges at the Stroger Hospital Tice Library and the Rush University’s Medical Library.

All residents are required to participate in at least one research project during their residency. The research project should lead to completion of a structured abstract for paper or poster presentation or a manuscript suitable for submission.


The Eye Clinic is located in the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and opened in December 2002. The Eye Clinic has 16 modern fully equipped eye exam rooms and a minor surgery operating room with a floor-model operating microscope and video display. Each exam room contains an Apple flat screen visual acuity monitor and Haag Streit slit lamps. The clinic also includes a laser treatment room with a new Iridex Micropulse Argon Laser and a photography suite with a new Zeiss Fundus Camera. Retina imaging (OCT and FANG) is performed with a Heidelberg Spectral Domain OCT. Other equipment include: two Iridex diode laser, a iridex micropulse diode laser, a Nd:YAG laser, a SLT laser, a PDT laser, a Keeler Cryomaster, an ophthalmic ultrasound unit, two Humphrey automated visual field analyzers, a manual Goldmann perimeter, a Marco Corneal Topographer, a Zeiss auto-refractor, and a Lenstar 900 optical biometer. The eye operating room in the hospital is equipped with a floor-model Zeiss Lumera 700 operating microscope with video output and digital video recording capabilities. The operating room is also equipped with all three major phacoemulsification machines including the Alcon Centurion, AMO Whitestar, and Bausch and Lomb Stellaris. Vitrectomies are performed with the Alcon Constellation System. In addition there is a fully equipped wet lab facility with an operating microscope and a phacoemulsification machine.

Support Staff

A full-time ophthalmic photographer performs and processes all photography and fluorescein angiograms. Two full-time ophthalmic technician performs and assists in obtaining glaucoma-related testing such as visual fields and nerve fiber analysis. The Eye Clinic has a complement of 6 full-time nurses or nursing assistants who help to facilitate and assist residents in seeing patients including checking visual acuities.


Stroger Hospital of Cook County provides a comprehensive benefits package for housestaff physicians and their dependents. The benefits include Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO or PPO health insurance, dental coverage, vision plan, disability, worker’s comp, life insurance, pension plan, and flexible spending accounts. Salaries are very competitive compared to other area programs. Housestaff physicians are entitled to the following paid leaves per academic year: 21 vacation days, 12 sick days, 12 holidays, 5 conference days, and 3 days bereavement. Housestaff physicians are provided with a generous daily meal plan of $19 per day. Onsite parking is available for $70 per month. An educational allowance of $1000 per year is available for reimbursement of expenses for conferences, seminars, review courses, purchasing of lenses or books. Also, 20- and 90- diopter lenses are available as loaners.