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University of Pennsylvania Health System

Department of Ophthalmology

 

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Ophthalmology Education

 

 

Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship

Overview

The Vitreoretinal Fellowship has one open position per two-year period. The fellowship is a comprehensive medical and surgical fellowship which includes all aspects of the specialty.

Education

This is a two-year comprehensive training program, which provides the highest possible level of clinical education regarding the diagnosis and management of surgical and medical diseases involving the retina and vitreous.  During the fellowship, the fellow will work closely with the faculty in the clinics and operating room, and the fellow will learn to provide the most up-to-date care utilizing the most recent results of clinical trials.

Clinical and Surgical Experience

The fellow will start in the operating room on day one, and will be provided increasing surgical responsibility over both years of training.  In the operating room, extensive experience is gained in scleral buckling, vitrectomy techniques (including bimanual techniques for membrane dissection, use of wide-field viewing systems, 23-gauge vitrectomy, etc.), the management of ocular trauma, retinopathy of prematurity, and other pediatric vitreoretinal procedures.

During the fellowship, the fellow can expect to perform 400-500 retinal surgeries, 300 retinal lasers, more than 500 intravitreal injections, and photodynamic therapy treatment during his or her training.

The fellow is responsible for staffing the surgical procedures of both the full time clinical faculty as well as the volunteer faculty who play an important role in the fellowship training program.  The present surgical faculty is made up of Drs. Albert Maguire, Benjamin Kim, Brian Vanderbeek (full time faculty members of the Scheie Eye Institute of the University of Pennsylvania), as well as Drs. Hugo Linares and Joshua Greene (volunteer faculty members).  Clinical time is spent with Drs. Alexander Brucker, Maguire, Kim, and Vanderbeek.

Critical to the training program is the fellow’s rotation at the Veterans Hospital (VA).  In addition to one half day a week of VA “retina clinic,” operating room time to perform surgery on patients generated from the VA clinics and referrals from outside VA facilities is provided.

All surgical cases done at the Scheie Eye Institute and the VA are performed with an attending present.  Fellows are not permitted to perform surgery in the operating rooms without an attending present.

The fellow spends one half-day participating in the uveitis clinic with Dr. John Kempen. Whenever possible, the fellow participates in ROP rounds and treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with Drs. William Anninger and Graham Quinn. Participation in the ocular oncology clinic with Dr. Joan O’Brien is also available. 

Patients are seen at Scheie, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Academics

Participation in regular departmental teaching conferences is expected.  Grand rounds are held every Thursday morning.  The fellow is involved in the monthly Retina Journal Club and weekly IVFA/imaging conferences.  There are also opportunities to teach residents and medical students as the schedule allows. Fellows have access to the Ophthalmology and UPenn libraries.

Research

Clinical or translational research projects are undertaken with guidance from our vitreoretinal, medical retina, and uveitis faculty members. The fellow is expected to complete one or more research projects. In addition, the fellow will participate in our current clinical trials.  He or she is encouraged to present their research at meetings. In addition, it is expected that the fellow will publish one or more papers during their fellowship training. The fellow has extensive research resources available, including the Center for Preventive Ophthalmology and Biostatistics with Dr. Maureen Maguire; the FM Kirby Center for Molecular Ophthalmology with Drs. Jean Bennett, Josh Dunaief, and Dwight Stambolian; and the Center for Hereditary Retinal Degenerative Diseases with Dr. Samuel Jacobson.

Salary & Benefits

This fellowship is funded by the University of Pennsylvania, which provides salary support, medical malpractice insurance, health benefits, and parking.  All fellows carry an academic appointment through the University of Pennsylvania as a Clinical Instructor. First and second year fellows will be paid at the PGY-5 and PGY-6 levels, respectively, as established by the office of Graduate Medical Education.

Licensure

Fellows MUST have an active, unrestricted Pennsylvania state medical license (MD, not MT) prior to joining the fellowship program.

Period of Training

Fellowship Training will begin in July and continue for 24 months.

Evaluation Process

The Vitreoretinal faculty will evaluate the fellow’s progress every three months during the two-year program. Assessments will be made of the fellow’s clinical, consultative, procedural, and behavioral skills in dealing with patients and working with others. Formal feedback to the fellows will be done at least every twelve months in a formal session with the Program Director.

Ancillary Services and Equipment

The Scheie retina clinic boasts of a four-photographer staffed ophthalmic imaging suite that is equipped for standard fluorescein angiography, indocyanine green angiography, autofluorescence, optical coherence tomography, and anterior segment / slit lamp photography. There is also a dedicated ultrasound / biometry suite staffed by a full-time, professional and certified ultrasonographer. All retina exam lanes and laser suites are equipped with a networked OIS/Merge fundus digital imaging system. The laser suite is equipped with a variable frequency wave length “Varia” laser, an Iridex 810nm, and single frequency YAG. Also available from the onsite OR is a 523nm Iridex laser.

Faculty

Fellows will be trained by the Vitreoretinal Faculty. Our faculty include:

Application Process

Applicants for the Retina Fellowship should apply to the SFMatch and complete the CAS Fellowship application.

 

 

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