The Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School is offering a post-residency clinical and surgical Ocular Oncology Fellowship within the Retina Service at Mass Eye and Ear. The fellowship provides a broad and extensive exposure to the management of ocular tumors as a basis for pursuing a subsequent career in ocular oncology practice. Our mission is to provide state of the art clinical, surgical, and research training in ocular oncology to the next generation of leaders in the field.
The Retina Service at Mass Eye and Ear was founded in 1947 and is one of the largest subspecialty groups of its kind in the country. The Retina Service is comprised of 16 faculty who are all nationally and internationally recognized experts in medical retina, vitreoretinal surgery, pediatric retina, uveitis, and inherited retinal degenerations. Some of the contributions of the Retina Service faculty to advances in treatment include:
- Development of proton beam therapy for eye tumors
- Co-discovery of optical coherence tomography (OCT), the most widely used non-invasive imaging tool in retina
- Discovery of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of wet AMD
- Development of the first anti-VEGF therapy for wet AMD (Macugen™)
- Pre-clinical work behind the ranibizumab (Lucentis™)
The ocular oncology faculty are also members of the Retina Service and the ocular oncology fellow will also be an integral part of the Retina Service.
Clinically, the fellow will be able to demonstrate competency in the evaluation and management of ocular tumors including proficiency with techniques of:
- Comprehensive examination of the retina, vitreous, and choroid
- Fluorescein angiography
- Indocyanine green angiography
- Optical coherence tomography
Additionally, he/she/they will be able to demonstrate competency in medical and surgical management of ocular tumors. The fellow will be exposed to the evaluation and management of benign and malignant ocular tumors including melanocytic, vascular, metastatic, hamartomas, and lymphoproliferative diseases.
- Participation in Ocular Oncology clinics, surgical procedures, minor procedures, and laser treatments
- Participation in Retina/Macula Conference, Tutorials in the Retina Service, and Grand Rounds
- Participation in research projects under the supervision of Ocular Oncology 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: International Society of Ocular Oncology, American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists, American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Retina Society, and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
Evaluation by the Ocular Oncology faculty every four months
Clinical Appointments During Fellowship
Clinical Fellow in Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Clinical Fellow in Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Clinical Fellow, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
The fellow will provide clinical coverage Monday through Friday. There is no call during this year.
The Retina Service and Ocular Melanoma Center 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, Zeiss, and Optovue spectral domain OCT/OCT-A, digital fundus photography, autofluorescence, fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography, 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.
All applicants must be Board eligible in ophthalmology and 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.
- ACGME-accredited ophthalmology residency or equivalent
- USMLE parts I, II and III passed
- Evaluation of application material including curriculum vitae
- 3 letters of recommendation
- Personal interview
For the inaugural year, the fellowship selection process will be conducted independently, outside of SF Match.
Applications consist of:
- Cover letter
- Updated CV
- 3 letters of reference (at least one letter should be from an ocular oncologist or retina specialist in your residency program)
As a researcher, the fellow will be able to critically review 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.
Research opportunities are currently available in many areas. The Ocular Oncology faculty are involved in a wide variety of projects encompassing a full spectrum of investigation from clinical trials and epidemiology to basic science bench research.
Fellows who have strong academic inclinations should be aware that Mass Eye and Ear 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, Mass. Eye and Ear 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.
There is a weekly Macula Conference, at which time particularly interesting cases are prepared and presented by the resident to the first-year fellows. The 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, ocular oncology patients are seen in every clinic, and the fellows gain extensive experience in the diagnosis and management of ocular tumors. The fellow will have an opportunity to participate in the medical and surgical management of patients with a wide spectrum of ocular tumors. This includes gaining experience with surgical techniques, radiotherapy, laser treatments, and cryotherapy. The fellow will interact with multidisciplinary teams (radiation oncology, radiation physics, medical and surgical oncology, and others) within Harvard’s teaching hospitals. The Ocular Oncology fellow will take the lead in the management of inpatients admitted for ocular oncology issues.
Fellows at Mass Eye and Ear 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. In addition, the fellows will be responsible for presenting cases at Grand Rounds of Mass Eye and Ear, the Boston-wide medical retina/imaging conferences, and at the annual 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.
Competitive annual salary. 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). Internally, Harvard also offers several educational grants for our current vitreoretinal fellows. The Thomas J. Madden Fellowship provides salary support to one second year fellow annually. The Robert Brockhurst Academic Development provides additional funding support for meeting attendance.
Malpractice premiums are fully paid by Mass Eye and Ear.
Family health insurance will be provided through the benefits program of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Associates.
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.