Highlights from The UCSF Department of Ophthalmology – #9 Vision Center in the Country

March 18, 2024

High National Rankings
Once again, ophthalmology at UCSF was named the best in Northern California and among the top 10 vision care programs in the nation in the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Survey.

New Surgery Center and Expanded Locations
Given high clinical demand, we are growing our services with new faculty recruitments and meeting the expanded capacity afforded by new facilities and partnerships, which will allow growth and access rates to continue at double-digit levels this year and in the years to come. Expanded locations include the following:

  • Wayne and Gladys Valley Center for Vision in San Francisco
  • New Bayfront ambulatory surgery center opening this fall in San Francisco, adjacent to the Valley Center, with space dedicated to ophthalmology cases, ensuring we have a contiguous “eye campus” of clinic, operating suites, research labs and teaching space all in one location
  • New ambulatory surgery center in Berkeley opening later this year
  • Partnerships in the East Bay.

Educating to Advance Clinical, Research and Academic Excellence
Our educational mission has never been stronger. We see our training programs as the heart and soul of our department. Today’s incoming trainees represent the pinnacle of emerging talent in our profession, and the level of excellence demonstrated by outgoing residents and fellows is remarkable. They routinely enter fellowship training at first-choice programs. After fellowship, graduates thrive in clinical, research and academic careers. Fifty percent become busy clinician-leaders, and 50 percent begin academic careers as clinician-educators or clinician-scientists at other leading institutions around the country.

We are proud that through our residency and fellowship training we are developing future leaders in ophthalmology. Recently, we polled trainees to ask which features of our program stand out. They indicated the following:

  • Exceptional surgical training (breadth and depth)
  • Emphasis on clinical excellence
  • Diverse patient populations and clinical situations (Veterans Affairs, county and academic campuses)
  • Research mentorship and support.

Once again, this year our resident class comes from top-tier medical schools, including UCLA, Columbia University, the University of Michigan and UCSF. Third-year residents matched at top-tier fellowships in glaucoma at UC Davis, with Sam Masket for Cornea fellowship, and in vitreoretinal disease at USC, the University of Utah, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. We are similarly proud of our incoming fellows from Emory (ocular oncology); Case Western Reserve (glaucoma); UCSF (neuro-ophthalmology); University of Iowa (cornea) and University of Washington (cornea); UC Davis (uveitis); and St. John’s Episcopal Hospital (retina).

We share with pride that our research enterprise continues to match the excellence of our clinical and teaching programs. This year UCSF and the Proctor Foundation achieved the following recognitions:

  • Rose to second in the nation for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Ranked in the top two programs nationally for research funding from the National Eye Institute (NEI).
  • Strengthened our portfolio with the continued success of our NEI Institutional Mentored Physician Scientist Award (K12) program to support training the next generation of clinician-scientists.
  • Faculty lead all eye departments in Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funding.
  • Faculty continue to publish in top-tier journals including the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Communications, Nature Genetics, PNAS, Scientific Reports, JAMA, Ophthalmology, and Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.