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Fellowships

UC Irvine's Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and Department of Ophthalmology offers fellowship training to well-qualified physicians in the subspecialties of cornea, glaucoma and retina. These selective programs emphasize both clinical training and research.  To learn more about our Fellowship programs, please watch our video, and read about each of the four fellowship programs below.

We take into consideration performance on the Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) test and the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), letters of recommendation and personal statements, as well as Central Application Services (CAS) applications, before extending an interview offer.

Cornea, Refractive, and Complex Anterior Segment Fellowship Program »

The Cornea, Refractive, and Complex Anterior Segment Fellowship is a 12-month program that begins in July. Fellows accepted into this service receive complete training in the evaluation and management of medical and surgical problems of the anterior segment.

Each fellow works with five members of the cornea faculty: Marjan Farid, MD; Sumit (Sam) Garg, MD, Sanjay Kedhar, MD, Olivia L. Lee, MD, and Matthew Wade, MD. Fellows cover cornea clinics at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at both the UCI Medical Center in Orange and on the UCI campus, and at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System under faculty supervision. Teaching opportunities include working with our highly motivated ophthalmology residents and medical students.  

By working in a referral practice, fellows gain hands-on experience with patient management of infectious and inflammatory disease processes, pre-operative and post-operative care, complicated cataract and IOL surgery, surgical management of cataract surgery complications, anterior segment reconstruction, and corneal refractive surgery (LASIK and PRK.)

Each fellow is expected to initiate a research program or participate in ongoing research efforts. The department emphasizes research in areas related to biomedical engineering, especially in the area of laser surgical techniques and therapies.

The backgrounds and needs of our applicants vary, but there are many opportunities available so that each fellow can tailor an effective program of clinical and research projects to pursue.

Watch this video to learn more about the Cornea, Refractive and Complex Anterior Segment Fellowship Program.

Glaucoma Fellowship Program »

Glaucoma Fellowship Program
The Glaucoma Fellowship is a 12-month program that begins in July. UCI glaucoma fellows gain broad and in-depth experience in the evaluation and management of the multiple medical and surgical problems related to glaucoma.

Fellows work with UCI glaucoma experts Sameh Mosaed, M.D. and Ken Lin, M.D.  They have one-on-one interaction with these faculty members at our glaucoma clinic at the UCI Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute on campus and at the UCI Medical Center in Orange, and at the VA in Long Beach. Teaching opportunities include working with the residents in the glaucoma specialty clinics and participating in glaucoma surgical cases.

Glaucoma fellows, working in a referral practice, gain experience in all aspects of the disease, including pediatric cases. Surgical experience includes goniotomies, trabeculotomies and many combined procedures, including lens extraction and posterior segment intervention with our retinal service physicians. Interaction with other subspecialty areas such as neuro-ophthalmology, cornea and retina, is integrated into the experience.

Clinical research is encouraged for our glaucoma fellows. We have ongoing clinical studies in glaucoma drug treatment and surgical techniques. Our basic science projects involve diagnostic techniques to image aqueous outflow pathways. We have a strong track record of innovation in surgical approaches: the iStent, Trabectome, and Baerveldt implants were all invented by our faculty.  Clinical trials developed to study alternative and herbal treatments for IOP control are also underway.

Our program is tailored to each fellow’s strengths and clinical and research interests.

Watch this video to learn more about the Glaucoma Fellowship.

Oculofacial Plastic and Orbital Surgery Fellowship Program »

The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) accredited fellowship is 24-months in duration and covers the full spectrum of orbit, eyelid, and lacrimal disease, as well as oculofacial cosmetic surgery. A formal didactic curriculum and rich academic atmosphere supplement high volume clinical and surgical training. Dr. Jeremiah Tao is the fellowship director and Dr. Ken Feldman, Dr. Lilangi Ediriwickrema, Dr. Ken Krantz, and Dr. John Park are additional ASOPRS member preceptors.

The fellow gains high volume, hands-on experiences at diverse facilities and healthcare systems. UCI Medical Center is a level-1 trauma center with the full gamut of facial trauma and other oculofacial and orbital disease. The VA Long Beach provides a high-volume source of functional disease. Kaiser Foundation is a large managed care system with a broad range of functional disease and some cosmetic oculoplastic surgery. UCI Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute (GHEI) is a state-of-the-art facility with clinics, ORs, a wet lab, and conference rooms. At GHEI, the fellow sees a full spectrum of tertiary ophthalmic plastics as well as cosmetic surgery. The patient populations at the various sites include a broad range of age, demographic and socioeconomic groups. All sites are approximately 20-30 minutes drive time, except Kaiser that is approximately 40 minutes away from the other sites.

The surgical volume is heavy with the fellow assigned to scheduled OR time of 4 of 5 weekdays. The typical weekly schedule is as follows: Monday (VA Long Beach clinic and OR), Tuesday (AM research time, PM clinic), Wednesday (OR at Kaiser), Thursday (OR at UCI Medical Center), and Friday (OR at GHEI). Some Saturdays, the fellow participates with scheduled OR at UCIMC or VA or both.

Primary fellow cases at all sites drive high levels of surgical competence. Assistant surgeon roles augment the surgical learning.  The following is the approximate case type distribution: orbital 20 percent, trauma cases 10 percent, anophthalmic socket 10 percent, lacrimal 20 percent, reconstructive eyelid 20 percent, and aesthetic eyelid and facial 20 percent.

Formal didactics, including journal club, M & M, grand rounds, and case-based conferences complement the clinical learning. Wet labs, including a cadaver course, are also part of the curriculum.

The fellow has opportunities to conduct meaningful research. Basic science opportunities are available through the ophthalmology department that houses a full research division. 

In summary, the ASOPRS fellowship at UCI offers a diverse and high volume ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive educational experience. The academic environment and research opportunities at UCI foster innovation and teaching skills, as well as prepare the graduate to be an outstanding oculoplastic and orbital specialty surgeon.

Watch this video to learn more about the Oculofacial Plastic and Orbital Surgery Fellowship.  

Retina Fellowship Program »

Retina Fellowship Program

UCI offers training in medical retina and vitreoretinal surgery.  Clinical and surgical training is supervised by Dr. Baruch Kuppermann, Dr. Stephanie Lu, Dr. Mitul Mehta, Dr. Mohammed Riazi and Dr. Andrew Browne at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at the UCI Medical Center in Orange and on the UCI  campus, and at Veterans Administration Medical Center in Long Beach. Fellows receive extensive clinical and surgical experience in treating vitreo-retinal diseases, and they perform a large number of laser and surgical procedures in all areas of retinal disease.

Two training pathways lasting 24-months exist

  • Vitreoretinal Surgery retina fellowship
    • One U.S. board-eligible ophthalmologist is accepted as a clinical/surgical fellow each year.
    • Fellows see patients in UCI and VA clinics as well as perform vitreoretinal surgery with attending staff.
    • Fellows spend 3-5 half days per week in the operating room.
  • Clinical and Research International Retinal Fellowship
    • International retinal fellows are accepted on a rolling basis. International fellows must have completed a retina fellowship in their home country.
    • Current international retina fellows spend about 80 percent of their time engaged in research, about 10 percent seeing clinical patients and about 10 percent observing vitreo-retinal surgery at UCI.
    • Clinical fellows also are expected to engage in research. Time is set aside for conducting experiments and writing manuscripts, typically two or three half days each week. Clinical fellows conduct their research primarily at the department's research laboratories at UCI School of Medicine, working with Dr. Kuppermann and Dr. M. Cristina Kenney.
    • Retinal research fellows, working under the supervision of Drs. Kenney, Kuppermann and Browne have choice of areas in which to conduct their research.
    • To apply for an international fellowship, please e-mail your CV and subspecialty of interest to Department of Ophthalmology Residency/Fellowship Coordinator Doris Romo:  djromo@uci.edu.

Watch this video to learn more about the Retina Fellowship Program. 

American Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship Eligibility Requirements

Fellowship Eligibility Requirements »

Ophthalmology fellowship applicants must have:

Fellowship Application Procedures »

All fellowship applicants must register with and apply through San Francisco Match. Applications should be received by the department by the end of August.

Send supplemental materials — scores on the Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP), a CV and a photograph — via e-mail to:

Doris Romo
Residency / Fellowship Coordinator
Department of Ophthalmology
850 Health Sciences Road
Irvine, CA 92697
Phone: 949-824-0284
Fax: 949-824-4015
Email: djromo@uci.edu

Interview Process  »

Applicants are notified by e-mail if they are selected for personal interviews with faculty members.

Travel Information

Fellowship Salary and Health Benefits »

UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute offers Fellows a competitive salary.

Choices for health, vision and dental insurance are available through the Veteran’s Administration at additional cost.

Life insurance is provided at no additional cost to the fellow.

Long-term disability insurance is offered at an additional cost through the University of California Regents.

Fellows are provided with professional liability coverage for all activities that are approved components of the fellowship program.

Other benefits include:

  • Two weeks of vacation and an academic leave each academic year
  • Financial support to attend major scientific meetings when the fellow is a first author on a paper or abstract

Meet our 2010-11 residents & fellows 

Meet our 2012-13 residents & fellows

Meet our 2013-14 residents & fellows

Meet our 2014-15 residents & fellows

Meet our 2015-16 residents & fellows

Meet our 2017-18 residents & fellows

Meet our 2018-2019 resident & fellows

Meet our 2019-20 residents & fellows

 

For further inquiries please contact:

Marjan Farid, MD
Cornea Fellowship Program Director
Department of Ophthalmology

Mitul Mehta, MD
Retina Fellowship Program Director
Department of Ophthalmology

Sameh Mosaed, MD
Glaucoma Fellowship Program Director
Department of Ophthalmology

Jeremiah Tao, MD
Oculoplastics Fellowship Program Director
Department of Ophthalmology

Doris Romo
Residency/Fellowship Coordinator
Department of Ophthalmology
UC Irvine School of Medicine
850 Health Sciences Road
Irvine, CA 92697
Phone: 949-824-0158
Fax: 949-824-4015
Email: djromo@uci.edu