Since 1941, the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at the Columbia University Department of Ophthalmology has offered an ophthalmology basic science course. While the focus of the course is resident training, it has also proven useful for the visual sciences community. Coursework examines the fundamentals of vision and emphasizes how these basic principles relate to patient care.
The curriculum is developed by a committee of active scientists, practicing clinicians and the chief academic resident, and is updated annually to include the most recent scientific advances as well as any controversial developments in the field. It is also continuously revised in response to feedback from previous course evaluations. An international faculty of more than 80 clinicians and scientists is chosen based on expertise, clarity of presentation, and visual aids. In addition to over one hundred hours of lecture, the course includes a two-day orbital dissection, ocular anatomy and histology laboratories, an oculoplastics workshop for fillers and facial rejuvenation, two days of instruction in retinoscopy and refraction, a hands-on imaging workshop including ultrasound, Pentacam and keratography, and a Phaco wet-lab.*
The background reading text for the course is The Basic and Clinical Science Course from The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, San Francisco, CA.