With an unparalleled record of training and mentoring the leaders in the field, Mass. Eye and Ear's Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery Fellowship Program has served as the foundation for many academic leaders throughout the world. Including our basic scientists, we have more than 35 cornea faculty members and 115 MDs and PhDs who are engaged in corneal research.
Cornea fellows develop advanced diagnostic and surgical skills by providing care for patients with a wide variety of complex disorders of the anterior segment. Fellows will:
- Examine patients and/or research subjects in the Cornea Service
- Participate in corneal and refractive surgeries
- Provide consultation for Massachusetts General Hospital, Shriners Hospital Boston, and Brigham & Women’s Hospital inpatients
- Respond to patient requests and helping with medical needs
- Be available for emergency visits on call
- Attend lectures
- Prepare and deliver case presentations in Cornea Rounds and department-wide Grand Rounds
- Other tasks, as needed
One-Year vs. Two-Year Fellowship
The standard Cornea Fellowship is an intensive one-year program. About 90% of the time is spent providing clinical care, with the rest available for research. Most fellows spend research time performing clinically oriented studies, including reviews, case series, and book chapters.
Fellows with a serious interest in basic or clinical research can dedicate an additional year—typically before the clinical year—to both research and academic development. Prospective fellows who want to pursue a research year should contact Dr. Reza Dana, Director of the Cornea Service.
This fellowship is accredited by the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Fellowship Compliance Committee (AUPO FCC).
- Program Directors: James Chodosh, MD, MPH, and Hajirah N. Saeed, MD
- Program length: 1 or 2 years (beginning in July)
- Number of fellows accepted per year: 2 for one-year fellowship, 1 for two-year fellowship
- SF Match numbers: 4253 (for the 1-year program) and 4292 (for the 2-year program)
- Additional faculty: Peggy Chang, MD; Joseph Ciolino, MD; Reza Dana, MD, MPH, MSc; Emma C. Davies, MD; Claes H. Dohlman, MD, PhD; Kathryn Hatch, MD; Deborah Jacobs, MD; Ula Jurkunas, MD; Z. Katie Luo, MD, PhD; Samir Melki, MD, PhD; Roberto Pineda, MD; Aisha S. Traish, MD; Jia Yin, MD, PhD
Each fellow will commit about 90% of their time to patient care for one year on the Cornea Service, which is located on the first floor of Mass. Eye and Ear. The facility is fully equipped with examination lanes and state-of-the-art laser vision diagnostic technologies, two in vivo confocal microscopes, an anterior segment OCT, and a slit lamp video camera. It also has two excimer lasers (Visx S4, Alcon Wavelight Allegretto) and an Intralase femtosecond laser.
Fellows are exposed to the entire spectrum of refractive surgery technologies and techniques, such as:
- Penetrating keratoplasty
- Ocular surface reconstruction
- Lamellar and endothelial transplantation
- Keratoprosthesis implantation
The medical management of refractive, corneal, and external disorders, as well as the preoperative evaluation and postoperative care of surgical cases, are cornerstones of this fellowship program. Accordingly, fellows are integrally involved in the care of patients at Mass. Eye and Ear's main campus (at Charles St.) and Longwood and Waltham locations. Fellows also see patients at the Boston Eye Group (BEG) with Dr. Samir Melki in Brookline.
The surgical experience of the cornea fellow is derived from the large surgical volume of the Cornea Service faculty. Generally, fellows will operate during all major and minor corneal and complicated anterior segment procedures that are regularly performed by faculty. Assisting during routine cataract surgery is not a requirement of the fellowship, although there is ample opportunity to be involved in phaco/IOL surgery on select cases.
Refractive Surgery Service
The cornea fellows actively participate in the Refractive Surgery Service, including preoperative evaluations, surgery, and postoperative care.
Emergency Room Attending Coverage
Each fellow is required to provide 24 half-day sessions of coverage in the Mass. Eye and Ear Emergency Department, during which they see patients and teach residents and medical students.
Fellows also take turns providing consultation services to patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Shriners Hospital Boston, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, under the direct supervision of Drs. Chodosh and Saeed.
BostonSight and PROSE
Fellows may spend several days at BostonSight (in Needham, Massachusetts) to learn about PROSE (prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem) and other types of contact lenses for the rehabilitation of irregular astigmatism and ocular surface disease. They will work under the supervision of Daniel C. Brocks, MD, Chief Medical Officer, BostonSight.
All applicants must be eligible to obtain a full medical license per the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine. International medical graduates must also be eligible for an H1B visa (eligibility includes passing all three steps of the USMLE and reporting results to Mass. Eye and Ear prior to the Match deadline).
The cornea fellowship participates in the San Francisco Match Program.
- One Year Program: Match # 4253
- Two-Year Program: Match # 4292
Interviews are conducted in October or November. Only completed applications will be considered for an interview.
Cornea fellows are an important educational resource for medical students and residents. They interact directly with trainees in the Cornea Clinic and serve as both consultants and attendings in the Emergency Ward. Fellows may provide these services independently, or in collaboration with a Cornea Service faculty member, depending on the complexity of the case and fellow’s level of expertise.
Scholarship and Research
Fellows are expected to participate in clinical research projects of the faculty of the Cornea Service. Participation includes becoming familiar with the various active projects and protocols and performing study assessments as needed.
Each fellow is also expected to participate in the Fellows’ Course. During the course, fellows work under the mentorship of faculty to help prepare a publishable manuscript.
Conferences and Lectures
The Department of Ophthalmology Grand Rounds are held weekly on Thursdays at 8am. A 60% attendance rate or higher is expected. Each fellow gives one, 30-minute Grand Rounds presentation during their fellowship year.
Fellows also participate in ongoing cornea clubs, including the Refractive Club, Imaging Club, and general Cornea Club. During these informal meetings, fellows and attendings discuss interesting cases. Meetings are typically held in the early evening, with dinner provided.
Fellows also attend the New Frontiers in Cornea Research meeting, held every two to three months in the early evening. During the meeting, a paired clinician and basic scientist discuss topics in corneal diseases.
The Cornea Service also hosts a Visiting Professor Lecture Series, typically four times each year, by leading cornea experts from around the world. Fellows prepare and present interesting cases within the visiting professors’ areas of expertise, with live patient examinations.Finally, Mass. Eye and Ear has extensive formal didactics, including daily lectures (primarily geared to ophthalmology residents) and numerous courses and conferences.
$62,000/1st year, $66,000/2nd year (for 2-year fellows)
The Cornea Service pays for malpractice premiums.
Mass. Eye and Ear offers competitive benefits, including health insurance for the fellows and their families.
Vacation and Sick Leave
Each fellow is allotted vacation time.
Attendance and participation at appropriate meetings is encouraged. Vacation time and travel reimbursement are available.