Ophthalmic Pathology Fellowship

Program DirectorFrederick Jakobiec, MD, DSc, Program Director
Other faculty: Thaddeus P. Dryja, MD; Rebecca Stacy, MD, PhD; Natalie Wokolow, MD, PhD
Program length: 1-2 years
Number of fellows accepted per year: 1-2

The David G. Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory offers a one- or two-year fellowship for ophthalmologists or pathologists preparing for academic careers. The combined didactics, specimens, consultations, and laboratory resources of Mass. Eye and Ear and Mass General Hospital will be made available to trainees.


  1. Understand the microscopic anatomy of the eye and the ocular adnexa 
  2. Learn the histologic features of the responses of ocular tissues to injury and/or diseases 
  3. Develop skills necessary to evaluate surgical specimens with the aim of formulating differential diagnoses that include ophthalmic diseases that are common in a modern clinical practice, or that are rare, but especially important because of their life-threatening or vision-threatening potential 
  4. Learn the traditional and newest, modern methods and techniques (immunohistochemical, immunoperoxidase, electron microscopic, etc.) used by pathologists to analyze specimens and how those methods help to distinguish a specific diagnosis among a long list in a differential diagnosis 
  5. Develop research projects in the laboratory and/or based on clinicopathologic material available through the David G. Cogan Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory, MGH Pathology Department, and community-based clinical practices affiliated with Mass. Eye and Ear and its full-time hospital-based staff


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 three steps of the USMLE and reporting results to Mass. Eye and Ear prior to the Match deadline). The requirements of full licensure can be viewed on the mass.gov website.

Selection criteria include

  • Advanced prior training in ophthalmology or pathology
  • Academic career objectives
  • An institutional position as an eye pathologist available in advance
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Prior publications
  • Interest in research and research publications

Fellow Responsibilities

The fellow works under the attending pathologist’s supervision during daily slide-read-out responsibilities, and ultimately reports to the Director of the Cogan Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory. Each fellow is expected to work 40 hours per week, without moonlighting. 

Responsibilities include: 

  1. Participation in daily slide read-out sessions in the David G. Cogan Laboratory of Ophthalmic Pathology 
  2. Participation in monthly tutorials, Pathology Rounds, Grand Rounds, the Fellows’ Course, and Pathology Lecture Series 
  3. Supervision and teaching of residents, other clinical fellows, and medical students rotating in the Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory 
  4. Attendance and presentations of research material at regional and national meetings 
  5. Assistance in the preparation of presentations for attending pathologists, residents, and fellows

During weekdays, the fellow will supervise a resident who evaluates the 10-15 eye pathology cases each day. The fellow collaborates in the generation of microscopic descriptions and tentative diagnoses. After the fellow and resident have interpreted the set of cases, all slides will be reviewed by an attending pathologist and the fellow’s and resident’s diagnosis will either be confirmed or revised according to the attending’s recommendation.

After this one-on-one review and discussion of each case, a preliminary diagnosis is reported to the surgeon by telephone, and the final results will be entered into the MGH CoPathPlus reporting system. Cases of exceptional diagnostic difficulty or of special educational value will be additionally reviewed with appropriate subspecialty pathologists at Massachusetts General Hospital when requested by the attending eye pathologist, the surgeon, the resident, or the fellow. The fellow will oversee this activity and order and collate any special stains to finalize the diagnosis.


The Director of the David G. Cogan Laboratory of Ophthalmic Pathology will provide monthly progress reviews, as asll we written evaluations twice a year. 

Funding and Benefits

A standard PQ salary is offered together with full employee benefits. 


Cheryl Pratt
Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory
Massachusetts Eye and Ear
243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114
Telephone: 617-573-3319

Page Last Updated

August 8, 2018