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The Medical Retina Fellowship Program at Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary

The Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School is offering a post-residency clinical Medical Retina Fellowship at the Retina Service of the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary. The purpose is to provide a broad and extensive exposure to the management of diseases of the Retina as a basis for pursuing a subsequent career in academic medical retina or a medical retina practice.  Our mission is to provide state of the art clinical training and research experience in Medical Retina to the next generation of leaders in the field. This is a one-year fellowship program. 

All applicants must be eligible for 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 3 steps of the USMLE,and reporting results to MEEI prior to the Match deadline).  The requirements of full licensure can be viewed on the website:

Program Director
Deeba Husain, MD



Suzette Profio
617-573-3913 (Phone)
617-573-3698 (Fax),

Length of program
One year, with a start date of July 7th

Fellows per year

Selection criteria
Board eligible in ophthalmology
• ACGME-accredited ophthalmology residency or equivalent
• USMLE parts I, II and III passed
• Full Massachusetts license
• Evaluation of application material including curriculum vitae
• 3 letters of recommendation
• Personal interview
• Ophthalmology Match process (SF match # 4845)

Educational objectives
Clinically, the fellow will be able to demonstrate competency in the evaluation and management of diseases of the retina, vitreous, and choroid including techniques of:
• Comprehensive examination of the retina, vitreous and choroid
• Fluorescein angiography
• ICG angiography
• Ultrasonography
• Optical coherence tomography
• Autofluorescence
• Electroretinography
Additionally, he/she will be able demonstrate competency in laser treatment of retinal and choroidal diseases.  They will be exposed to evaluation and management of retinal conditions including vascular, infectious, inflammatory, neoplastic, degenerative and hereditary disorders.

As a researcher, the fellow will be able to critically review clinical and research articles, and successfully carry out a significant research project that can be presented at national or international meetings and published in a peer-reviewed journal.

• Participation in Retina Service clinics, minor procedures and laser treatments
• Participation in Retina/Macula Conference, and Tutorials in the Retina Service, Grand Rounds, and Fellows’ Course
• Participation in research projects under supervision of Retina Service preceptors
• Supervision and teaching of residents and medical students in the Retina Service and in the Emergency Department
• Attendance and presentation at meetings such as: American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Retina Society, and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)

Evaluation process
Evaluation by the Retina Service faculty every four months

Appointments during fellowship
Clinical Fellow in Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Clinical Fellow in Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Clinical Fellow, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital

Funding sources
Retina Service ($52,000)
This can be supplemented by a Heed Fellowship (100% of stipend to the fellow) and other extramural and intramural fellowships or grants (50% of stipend to the fellow, 50% to the Retina Service).

Duty hours
Clinical coverage: Monday-Friday,
There is no call during this year.  

Clinical Facilities
The Retina Service is located on the 12th floor of the Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary. The current facility is fully equipped with examination lanes, procedure rooms, and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. We routinely perform Heidelberg and Zeiss spectral domain OCT, digital fundus photography, autofluorescence, fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography, SLO videoangiography, RetCam and Optos photography and angiography, Electroretinography, B-scan and A-scan ultrasonography, and UBM.

A fully equipped Laser Center is also located on the 12th floor. The lasers include argon, diode, YAG, Pascal, and PDT systems.

Clinical Responsibilities
More than 2,500 fluorescein angiograms are performed annually in the Fluorescein Angiography Unit of the Retina Service. Indocyanine green angiography and SLO videoangiography are also performed. The fellow, working with the residents on the retina rotation, supervise the interpretation and reporting of angiograms. There is a weekly Retina Macula Conference, at which time particularly interesting cases are prepared and presented by the resident to the first year fellows.  The Retina Macula Conference is a cornerstone in the teaching of fellows, and aims to create a systematic approach towards the diagnosis and treatment of retinal disease. 
In addition, medical retina patients are seen in every clinic, and the fellows gain extensive experience in the diagnosis and management of macular diseases. The fellow also has an opportunity to treat patients with a variety of posterior segment inflammatory disorders and pediatric retinal diseases. Furthermore, a unique aspect to the fellowship is the extensive exposure to the diagnosis and management of intraocular tumors.  The fellow will be involved in managing patients with retinal degeneration at the retinal degeneration clinics. The Medical Retina fellow will take the lead in the management of inpatients admitted for medical retina issues.

Educational Responsibilities
Fellows at MEEI have traditionally played an integral role in the education of residents. The fellows serve as attending staff to the residents in the Emergency Department one half day per week.
Although fellows will not be responsible for giving didactic lectures to the residents, they will be involved in helping organize retina cases, and in addition, the fellows will be responsible for presenting a cases at Grand Rounds of MEEI, the Boston wide medical retina/imaging conferences and  Fellows’ Course at Mass. Eye and Ear.  During the fellowship, the fellow is expected to write a review paper that will be published in an ophthalmic journal, undertaken with faculty mentorship. 

Research Responsibilities
Research opportunities are currently available in many areas. The Retina Service faculty members are involved in a wide variety of projects encompassing a full spectrum of investigation from clinical trials and epidemiology to basic science bench research. Many examples can be viewed at the following web sites:
Fellows who have strong academic inclinations should be aware that MEEI holds an NIH career development grant allowing the institution to extend a K12 Award to a fellowship-trained ophthalmologist. While competition for this award is typically fierce, MEEI fellows who demonstrate strong research potential will be given careful consideration for this award. K12 awards give a graduating fellow junior faculty status with 80% protected time for research.

Fellow Funding and Benefits

Malpractice premiums are fully paid by the Retina Service.

Health insurance
Family health insurance will be provided through the benefits program of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Associates.

Vacation/Sick leave
Each fellow is allowed three weeks (15 work days). All vacation time must be planned in advance and be pre-approved by the Retina Service. 

Attendance and participation at appropriate meetings is encouraged. The fellow is expected to attend at least one meeting per year. Fellows get one week (five work days) to attend meetings. Fellows are reimbursed for travel to meetings up to $1,500.

Application Process
The Medical Retina Fellowship participates in the San Francisco Match Program, #4845. It is expected that the applicant will be Board eligible in Ophthalmology, have performed an ACGME-accredited ophthalmology residency or equivalent, and will be eligible to obtain a full license in the state of Massachusetts (see Selection Criteria on page 1).

Only completed applications will be considered for interview. It is your responsibility to make sure that your application is complete. Applications consist of an updated CV and 3 letters of reference. At least one letter should be from a retina specialist in your residency program. Do not send more than three letters unless the fourth letter is from a research preceptor. The deadline for application will be September 30th, 2014. Applicant interviews will be conducted in October or November.


page updated 2.19.13