Residency is an intense, discrete period of time to accumulate a sufficient background of training to support a career in ophthalmology. While we want our trainees to participate in as much learning and patient care as possible, we also recognize and prioritize health and wellness.  Our residents are forming habits and making wellness and career/life balance decisions that will resonate beyond these formative years.  Along those lines, we fully support wellness measures and make it a point of emphasis during training.


Wellness resources are provided on the UK Graduate Medical Education page as well as the College of Medicine page.  Several important programs include:

Emergency Resources

** If you or someone you know is thinking of dying by suicide, get help immediately.  Call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or text “HOME” to 741741 to the Crisis Text Line ***

  • University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital Emergency Department:
    800 Rose Street; Lexington, KY  40508
    Dial 911 in Emergency Situation
  • University of Kentucky Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency Department:
    310 S. Limestone; Lexington, KY  40508
    Dial 911 in Emergency Situation
  • The Ridge Behavioral Health System:
    3050 Rio Dosa Drive; Lexington, KY  40509
    (859) 268-6400 or (859) 268-6474 for physician’s intake office
    Ask for Assessment Office and identify self as UK resident/fellow needing immediate evaluation

Vacation and Leave:

Institutional policies can be found on the UK GME website .  PGY2-4 residents are provided 3 weeks of vacation leave and 4 additional bonus days during the winter holiday break.  Residents are able to make personal leave requests at any time, regardless of service obligations, and are under no obligation to disclose the nature of personal leave requests.  Examples of personal leave requests include routine doctor/dental visit, personal well-being appointment, personal or family emergencies.

Specific policies for the ophthalmology program:

  • Residents are allowed up to three days of professional leave when presenting a poster or paper at an academic conference.
  • PGY4 residents are all permitted and encouraged to attend the annual Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting each fall
  • PGY 4 residents are granted up to five professional days for job and fellowship interviews.


Several childcare facilities are located on or adjacent to UK.  Please note that some of these programs have a 9-10 month waiting list, so if you are interested, please talk to the directors as early as possible.

Primary Care:

Internal and Family Medicine:  During GME orientation, interns are encouraged to sign up to be placed on a fast track to establish primary care via the internal medicine department.  If needing to establish later in residency both the internal medicine and family medicine departments offer appointments.

Pediatricians:  The University of Kentucky has a very robust pediatrics department, with clinics in multiple locations.  There is also a fully staffed after hour “twilight” clinic on weekdays and weekends.

Dental:  Housestaff are offered dental insurance and can schedule appointments through the dental clinic.

Women’s Health:  The University of Kentucky has excellent OB-GYN coverage, including midwife services.  We also have a very supportive breastfeeding policy.

Stipend and Benefits:

Housestaff stipends and benefits are located on the GME website.  Additionally, UK employees receive discounts at many local, regional and national businesses.


Core to our purpose as health care providers and educators is fostering an environment that recognizes and supports diversity and inclusivity.  This involves continual and ever increasing efforts at an institutional, departmental and personal level.  The Office for Institutional Diversity provides excellent guidance and resources.  For more information or with any concerns, please contact the program administrator or director.

If you ever experience or suspect bias and are unable or uncomfortable discussing this within the department, please complete the official bias incident report or contact the University of Kentucky Police Department (859) 257-8573.

Additional Resources

Headspace:  offering free subscription to healthcare workers through 2020.

The Science of Well-Being:  free online course through Yale University.

AAO Wellness Resources Page.

The Moral Injury Project:  Syracuse University project providing information and raising awareness on moral injury

Duke Ophthalmology Wellness Page:  this website includes several internal and external resources as well as tips related to wellness.

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