The Columbia Ophthalmology Department is pleased to host observers from outside of Columbia University Medical Center throughout the year. Our physicians offer world-class care and our research is internationally recognized. While observers must refrain from "hands-on" patient contact due to hospital regulations, participants are able to observe first-hand, the highest level of medical and surgical ophthalmology. Participants are also encouraged and welcome to take part in research efforts in specialty areas including: 

All observers must complete the pertinent Visitor Medical Attestation forms (links below). Additionally, an updated immunization record is required confirming PPD testing within the past year and Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella immunization or immunity. Observers rotating between September and March must document influenza vaccination. Medical attestation forms must be filled out within three months of the observership start date. A second PPD will be required within the month prior to the observership.

There is a $350.00 USD, non-refundable program fee assessed to accepted Observers to cover administrative costs; however, scholarships are available on a case-by-case basis.

Application is not a guarantee of observership. You will receive a response within 4 weeks of application submission. Please contact Denise Abreu with any questions at

Observership Application Instructions

Observership Application 

        Part I  - Observership Application and preceptor solicitation. 

        Part II  - Upon receipt of conditional acceptance, applicants must complete the application process by submitting the following forms, as described in the Conditional Acceptance notification. Forms to be completed include: 

Observership Fee - is due on the first day of the Observership.

Additional Observer Resources

Upon review and satisfactory completion of Part II of the application process, applicants will receive official word about whether they have been accepted as well as verification of their Observership start date.