Retina Fellowship Program

The UTMB Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences offers a two-year fellowship training program in medical retina, vitreoretinal surgery and uveitis.

Retina Fellowship Program

Our goal is to provide a holistic and supportive educational experience for the successful applicant which includes:

  • Excellent medical and surgical retina exposure
  • Teaching and educational development with an expectation for completion of research projects
  • And training in achieving excellent patient satisfaction

During the first year, the emphasis will be on patient evaluation and management. The fellow has an opportunity to learn medical and surgical care of retinal disease in a wide range of clinical settings in which the retina service functions:

  • University Eye Center, Galveston
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center Eye Clinic
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice Hospital and Eye Clinic
  • UTMB Emergency Room
  • Satellite clinics in Friendswood, League City, and Texas City, Texas

The surgical faculty operates at state-of-the-art facilities in John Sealy Hospital,Victory Lakes Ambulatory Surgical Center and MD Anderson Hospital OR. We have access to the latest version platforms from Alcon and Bausch and Lomb and wide field operating scopes. The fellow is expected to become familiar with laser treatment and cryopexy. This includes direct and indirect laser photocoagulation for macular edema, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and peripheral retinal lesions. The fellow also will receive ample experience with intravitreal injections and cryopexy of peripheral retinal pathology.

As part of his/her training, the first-year fellow will be expected to practice on his/her posterior segment surgical skills in the fully equipped wet lab. In addition, he/she will spend an equal amount of time in the surgical simulation lab where an Eyesi retinal surgical simulator is available for use.

As part of his/her duty, the first-year fellow also is expected to spend time in clinical and/or laboratory research. Extensive mentoring is available for both clinical and bench-work studies. The department is a leader in retinal imaging including fundus autofluorescence, spectral domain OCT at all sites, and multimodal adaptive optics imaging of the human eye.

The addition of vascular biologist Wenbo Zhang, PhD, to the department's research faculty, will create new opportunities to make discoveries in mechanisms of AMD and diabetic retinopathy.

Finally, the retina fellow also will take part in teaching. This teaching translates into the daily clinical mentoring of residents as well as presenting "Imaging conferences." These conferences are held every other week and transpire as an interactive learning tool for residents to ascertain the basics of retinal imaging and subtleties of retinal pathology. During the course of these conferences, the fellow will emphasize the latest treatment plans for the various posterior segment diagnoses and review the most current literature as it relates to the discussed topics.

Upon completion of the first-year training, the second-year fellow will be expected to assume the care of more complex surgical and medical retinal pathology. Portions of the year are again spent with Drs. El-Annan and Puthenparambil. In addition, the fellow will act as primary surgeon on patients coming out of the private clinics, including those from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice under the supervision of a retina attending. The goal is to keep the senior fellow as primary surgeon to the limit of his/her ability. There is ample opportunity for the senior fellow to perform laser photocoagulation, scleral buckling surgery, vitrectomy and lensectomy.
  • Opportunity to understand vitreoretinal complications of cancer and cancer treatment at MDACC
  • Train in a diversity of settings, including private, institutional and academic with nationally trained faculty, both in medical and surgical retina
  • Success in training for private practice and academic careers
  • Fellows are appointed as junior faculty in the department
Applicants must obtain a full and unrestricted Texas medical license at the beginning of the fellowship.

Applications must be submitted in July and August of the preceding year. We participate in the Central Application Service (CAS) of the Ophthalmology Fellowship Matching Program (OMFP). We suggest that you contact the OMFP regarding application forms and procedures. Write or call:

SF Match
655 Beach Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

San Francisco Matching Program

Applicants are selected on the basis of their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities. There is no discrimination with regard to sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, or veteran status.

Questions and further information should be directed to:

Residency/Fellowship Coordinator
The University of Texas Medical Branch
Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77555-1106

Office Phone: (409) 747-5801
Fax: (409) 747-5402