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Vision Rehabilitation Fellowship

A Vision Rehabilitation Fellowship of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School will be offered and it will offer comprehensive training in the rehabilitation management of patients with ocular disease that impacts function. This will be accomplished through extensive opportunities for hands-on participation in vision rehabilitation clinics under direct supervision and as an active participant in the multidisciplinary  team including occupational therapists, social work services, peer group facilitators, orientation and mobility instructors and technology educators. The model of Comprehensive Model of Vision Rehabilitation in the MEEI addresses the ‘whole person’ and specifically considers reading rehabilitation, activities of daily living, safety participation and well-being.

The mission is to train highly motivated individuals in vision rehabilitation.  The one-year fellowship is unique in that it provides an intense clinical experience while allowing ample time to engage in significant research pursuits.  As a result, the fellowship will be successful in producing extremely well trained vision rehabilitation specialists who also have experience in applied ophthalmic research.

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 test, and reporting results to MEEI prior to the Match deadline).  The requirements of full licensure can be viewed on the website:

Program Director Mary Lou Jackson, M.D.
Length of program minimum 1 year to be awarded a certificate (Start date is July 7)

Fellows per year: 1

Selection criteria 
     Board eligible in ophthalmology / OD Credentials
     ACGME-accredited ophthalmology residency or equivalent if MD
     USMLE parts I, II and III passed
     Full Massachusetts license / OD equivalent
     Evaluation of application material including curriculum vitae,
       3 letters of recommendation, and 3 evaluations by supervisors
       one of which is from the Residency Program Director
     Personal interview is mandatory
     Ophthalmology SF Match process #4759

Educational objectives

To develop strong competency in the clinical evaluation and provision of rehabilitation interventions in a multidisciplinary team including the following:
          • Accurate evaluation of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, peripheral visual field function and macular perimetry
          • Effective patient communication
          • Sensitivity to patient goals and issues
          • In-depth knowledge of rehabilitation strategies
          • Ability to design a comprehensive rehabilitation plan
          • Ability to coordinate and work within a multidisciplinary team
To carry out a significant research project to be presented at national or international meetings and to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

To develop a strong ability to critical review clinical and research articles relevant to vision rehabilitation and evaluate the evidence-base for vision rehabilitation interventions.

Participation in Vision Rehabilitation clinics
Participation in Vision Rehab Team Case Conferences
Research projects under supervision of Vision Rehabilitation Director
Supervision and teaching of residents and medical students in the    Vision Rehabilitation Clinic at the direction of the Director
Attendance and presentation at meetings such as:
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) /EnVision

Supervision:  Mary Lou Jackson, M.D., Director

Evaluation process: Evaluation by the Director every four months.

Appointments During Fellowship:

 Clinical Fellow in Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
 Clinical Fellow in Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
 Or OD Appointment equivalent to OD Fellowship 
Funding sources Vision Rehabilitation Service (First year $52,000)
Duty hours  Clinical coverage: Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-4:30PM
Clinical Facilities

The Vision Rehabilitation Service is located on the 8th floor of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear.  This new facility is fully equipped with examination lanes, occupational therapy rooms, and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.  We routinely perform scanning laser ophthalmoscope macular perimetry and camera-based macular perimetry.  We have a wide referral base including MEEI clinical services and community ophthalmologists.

Clinical Responsibilities

1. Clinical services

Extensive opportunities for participation in clinical rehabilitation will be provided.  Strong emphasis will be placed on effective patient communication that conveys sensitivity to individual patient issues and realistic hope, and allows the execution of organized, evidence-based, efficient rehabilitation incorporating both low tech and hi-tech interventions, optical and non-optical devices and community services throughout the Boston area. It is anticipated that approximately 1000 new patients will be seen in the MEEI VRC during 2013.
Educational Responsibilities

The VRC fellow will play an integral role in the education of residents and other members of the VRC team by participating in weekly case conferences and educational sessions and by direct supervision of residents providing clinical care.

Fellows may be responsible for giving didactic lectures to the residents and other staff. In addition the fellow will participate and present at local and national educational events.

Research Responsibilities

The fellowship will provide significant time toward the pursuit of clinical or translational research.  The VRC Director, together with other VRC staff will help applicants prepare applications for support from private sources and public sources.

Research opportunities are currently available in many areas.  The Vision Rehabilitation Service members are involved in a wide variety of projects encompassing a full spectrum of investigation from clinical trials  to developing innovative new research concepts. 

The fellow can also tap into the extensive research community in the MEEI and in the Boston area.  This community is extensive, and includes the Schepens Eye Research Institute which is now part of MEEI, Boston University Department of Occupational Therapy and Joslin Diabetes Center to name a few.  It is required that the fellow designs projects in which the Vision Rehabilitation Director  is an integral member of the research team and serves as the intramural research preceptor for the fellow and that other VRC staff are involved in the research, as appropriate. 

Fellow funding and benefits

Salary:   $52,000/year ($55,000 for year two, if a two-year fellowship)

Malpractice:  Malpractice premiums are fully paid by the Vision Rehabilitation 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 3 weeks (15 work days) per year.  All vacation time must be planned in advance and be pre-approved
   by the Vision Rehabilitation Service.

Meetings:  Attendance and participation at appropriate meetings is
   encouraged.  Each fellow is required to attend one meeting per
   year although most attend more than one.  Fellows are reimbursed
   for travel to meetings up to $1,000 per academic year.

Administrative Requirements

Please note: Clinical fellows must meet the requirements for full (unlimited) licensure in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Fellows’ Course Participation in preparation of a publishable manuscript, which will be undertaken with faculty mentorship.

Emergency Ward For Ophthalmology-trained fellows, participation in the evaluation of patients in the MEEI emergency room for 24 clinical sessions per fellowship year, irrespective of extramural or research duty.

   For fellows with an OD degree, ongoing work with the residents on
   refractive training is a requirement in lieu of the EW sessions.

Grand Rounds: Attendance Grand Rounds on a regular basis (60%+).

Application process
It is anticipated that the Vision Rehabilitation Fellowship will participate in the San Francisco Match Program starting in 2012 (#4759).  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).  OD equivalency will apply if the applicant is an OD.

Only completed applications will be considered for interview. Applications consist of a completed Harvard application form, CV, 3 letters of reference and 3 evaluation questionnaires (forms available from the Vision Rehab Service) from the same individuals that wrote the letters of recommendation.  One of the letters should be from the Residency Director, and at least one letter should be from an ophthalmologist  in your residency program.  Equivalent letters will be required if the applicant is an OD. Do not send more than 3 letters unless the fourth letter is from a research preceptor. 

Interested candidates for this fellowship should contact:

Mary Lou Jackson, MD
Department of Ophthalmology
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114