West Midlands School of Ophthalmology
Dedicated to high standards in ophthalmology
General Information
Welcome to the West Midlands School of Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology is a unique career combining medical eye care with advanced high-tech surgical procedures. One may treat a child or a senior citizen in the same day. From the basic medical skill of supporting a young diabetic with permanent visual loss due to retinopathy to advanced laser diagnostic testing and microscopic surgery, this speciality offers a varied and highly rewarding career.
In the West Midlands we can offer training in all areas of ophthalmology, from basic skills to advanced subspeciality training in every aspect of ophthalmic care. We have a team of motivated, dedicated teachers willing to help you become a highly skilled ophthalmologist in whatever area you choose.
Whether you choose to be a service providing ophthalmologist in a district general hospital or a training ophthalmologist in a teaching Trust or a University professor, we have the team and facilities to help you achieve your goal.
The West Midlands region includes the beautiful countryside of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Herefordshire as well as the vibrancy of England’s second city – Birmingham.
Birmingham is a city of culture with the world-renown Symphony Hall and is home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet as well as theatres and museums. Other concert venues include the National Indoor Arena and the LG Arena (the NEC); the latter is also host to many top exhibitions. The city is a shopper’s paradise with the Bullring, and the Mailbox has numerous canal-side bars and restaurants.
The West Midlands is also home to three Premiership football teams, and major sporting events are held in the region. The New Art Gallery in Walsall has welcomed nearly 1.5 million people since it opened in 2000, and you will be transported back in time at the open air Black Country Living Museum and Blists Hill Victorian Town (part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum).
The West Midlands can offer all aspects of social life except the seaside! Finally, with frequent trains, planes and the motorway network, there are fast links to all areas of the country, especially to London and the North.
Surgical Training

Surgical training begins from the first month when we provide a cataract microsurgery (phacoemulsification) course for all newly appointed trainees. A state of the art wet lab training facility is available at the Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre.  We have an Eyesi Ophthalmic Surgical Simulator at Newcross Hospital Wolverhampton for dedicated cataract and vitreoretinal training. We also offer fresh frozen cadaver simulation training for Oculoplastics, Strabismus & Intravitreal injections.

One to one training regularly takes place in the work place, with many trainees appointed to work on varying theatre lists to best meet each level of training.

We offer subspeciality trainee selected components in oculoplastics, glaucoma, medical and surgical retina, cornea and external eye disease, paediatrics, neurophthalmology and inflammatory eye disease. In addition there are post CCT regional fellowship opportunities in glaucoma, medical retina, surgical retina and neurophthalmology.
Academic and Research Opportunities
There are ample opportunities in the West Midlands for research. The Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, University of Birmingham includes a Clinical Professor, Clinical Senior Lecturer and two Non-clinical Senior Lecturers who are based at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre and the new University Research Laboratories at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. They are actively engaged in clinical and basic science (translational research) on the theme of ‘Inflammatory Mechanisms in the Ocular Microenvironment’.
We have two junior academic clinical fellows, one academic clinical lecturer and one University appointed clinical lecturer (ST3+). These trainees work a part time clinical timetable with the full support of the senior academic team to participate in laboratory based research.
Many regular trainees take time out of the programme to undertake postgraduate degrees. We currently have three trainees out of programme, undertaking either an MD or PhD.
In addition to the academic team at the University of Birmingham, there is a substantive chair at Aston University and three personal chairs in the region covering different subspeciality areas of ophthalmology and allowing all trainees ample opportunity to participate in clinical research.
Ophthalmology is a 7 year run through training programme, following a curriculum created by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
There are 58 trainee placements in the West Midlands offering training at all levels, with an average of 8 trainees at each level from ST1 to ST7.
This includes the ability to train flexibly. Currently we have trainees undertaking 50-80% full time training contracts depending on personal circumstances.
eLearning resources
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has developed a number of eLearning resources for trainees through e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH)
Click on ‘Log in to your e-learning’.
If you already have an e-LFH username (GMC number) and password you will be able to log in, otherwise you will need to click on ‘Register for an Account’.
Once you are registered and logged in to the e–LfH Learning Portal click on ‘Launch Ophthalmopaedia’ for information about numerous conditions, or ‘Launch e-LfH Learning Management System’. From the Home screen you should be able to choose a relevant course to view, such as ‘Microsurgical Skills’ and ‘Refraction’. Please remember not to block pop-up windows on your browser or you will be unable to view any of the courses.
Other useful Links