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Vitreoretinal Surgical Fellowship

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - In light of the public health challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), all current residency and fellowship interviews will follow a virtual format. We appreciate your understanding!

On behalf of the vitreoretinal surgery faculty at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (BPEI), University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, thank you for taking the time to explore our fellowship training program in Vitreoretinal Surgery.

BPEI retina has been a leader in the field for nearly sixty years. We are extremely proud of our two-year comprehensive training program in the diagnosis and management of surgical diseases involving the retina and vitreous. Our fellowship features:

  • Large faculty providing diverse education: 12 faculty members across retina disciplines with training from a multitude of different fellowships.
  • Exposure to all essential procedures for the modern retinal specialist including vitrectomies, membrane peeling, primary scleral buckles, repair of complex rhegmatogenous and tractional retinal detachments, and secondary intraocular lens cases (anterior, scleral-fixated, and scleral-sutured approaches).
  • Exposure to all subspecialties including ocular oncology (including plaques), pediatrics (including ROP rounds and gene therapy), and uveitis.
  • Diverse and rich breadth and depth of pathology drawing from South Florida, Latin America, the Caribbean, and our trans-Atlantic neighbors.
  • Plentiful opportunities for clinical research projects ranging from case reports and book chapters, to chart reviews, to opportunities to design prospective research. Our fellowship qualifies for Heed Fellowship eligibility ($10,000/year grant).
  • A track record of excellent job placement in both academics and private practice for graduates with lifelong continued mentorship and career opportunities.

Meet Our Faculty

Department Head: Harry W. Flynn, Jr. M.D.
Fellowship Program Co-Directors: Audina Berrocal, M.D. and Thomas Albini, M.D.
Janet Davis, M.D.
William E. Smiddy M.D.
Zelia Correa, M.D.
Ninel Gregori, M.D.
Jorge Fortun, M.D.
Justin Townsend, M.D.
Luis Haddock, M.D.
Jayanth Sridhar, M.D.
Nicolas Yannuzzi, M.D.

Structure

Vitreoretinal surgical fellows gain the majority of their clinical and surgical experience at the Anne Bates Leach Eye Center and Miami Veterans Administration Hospital (Miami Medical Campus). There is minimal satellite travel with the main component being surgical opportunities at our Palm Beach Gardens surgical center featuring heads-up three-dimensional display systems. 

The first year of the fellowship consists of three-month alternating blocks. Fellows spend time in the clinic and operating with Drs. Correa, Fortun, Gregori, Haddock, Sridhar, and Yannuzzi with exposure to medical and surgical retina, as well as ocular oncology. Fellows typically are in the operating room an average of 2 days per week. 

The second year of the fellowship focuses on refining clinical and surgical skills, as well as further subspecialty exposure to pediatric retina and uveitis. Fellows pass through four six-week rotations twice each and are staffed by Drs. Albini, Berrocal, Davis, Fortun, Flynn, Haddock, Smiddy, Sridhar, Townsend, and Yannuzzi. Fellows average 2.5 days each week in the operating room. 

Our fellows participate in nearly all surgical procedures and operate as primary surgeon in numbers that well exceed reported national averages. Vitrectomy systems used include the Alcon Constellation, the DORC Eva, and the Bausch and Lomb Stellaris. Fellows will learn to use both contact (Irrigating contact lens, flat contact lens, AVI) and non-contact (BIOM & Resight) wide-angle viewing systems.

Academics

Clinical research and publication are encouraged and supported as part of the fellowship experience. Each fellow is expected to prepare a project for presentation at the Bascom Palmer Annual Meeting each June and is encouraged (and funded) to present their research at a major national meeting. 

Fellows benefit from an extraordinary didactic program, including weekly Grand Rounds to our weekly Retina Conference, which includes case presentations, journal clubs, and no shortage of lively discussion. We also host multidisciplinary imaging and surgical conferences and separate medical retina and uveitis journal clubs. Fellows also attend Medical Education Conferences sponsored by BPEI and geared toward our global ophthalmology community. Fellows are encouraged to attend major national and international meetings and receive travel funding for domestic meetings in which they present a paper or poster.

Call Responsibilities

Retina fellow on-duty (OD) call is generally taken from home 1 week at a time averaging q6 weeks. Fellows are in charge of the call schedule, allowing for flexibility. Call during weekdays is generally less busy and weekends can vary. 

Fellows are responsible for examining and treating attending patients presenting to the BPEI emergency room, receive calls from answering service for attending patients, and may be consulted by other subspecialty fellows/attendings as needed. There is no trauma call. 

Each fellow is also assigned 2 weeks of University of Miami Hospital (UMH) general ophthalmology call per year, as are all fellows at BPEI regardless of subspecialty. Each fellow is also assigned overnight shifts as attending for BPEI emergency room. These shifts are reimbursed separately from the fellow salary. They are also transferrable to other fellows regardless of subspecialty.

Recent Alumni

Class of 2021

Dr. Noy Ashkenazy: Uveitis fellowship, BPEI
Dr. J. Daniel Diaz: Solo practice, Miami
Dr. Jonathan Russell: University of Iowa, Iowa City
Dr. Nathan Scott: Oncology fellowship, BPEI

Class of 2020

Dr. Sulaiman Alhumaid: Eye Specialists, Miami
Dr. Jose Echegaray: Case Western University, Cleveland
Dr. Nimesh Patel: Mass Eye and Ear, Boston
Dr. Nicolas Yannuzzi: BPEI, Miami

Class of 2019

Dr. Ashley Crane: Retina Vitreous Associates, Tampa
Dr. Rehan Hussain: Retina Associates, Chicago
Dr. James Lin: VR Consultants, New York
Dr. Kimberly Tran: Sanford Health, Sioux Falls

Class of 2018

Dr. Nika Bagheri: California Retina, Santa Barbara
Dr. Sarah Read Choi: Retina Consultants, Honolulu
Dr. Robert Garoon: Center for VR Diseases, Chicago
Dr. Jack Stringham: Retina and Vitreous Surgeons, Salt Lake City 

Class of 2017

Dr. Tanuj Banker: Center for Sight, Sarasota
Dr. Andrew McClellan: Texas Retina, Dallas
Dr. Steven Ryder: Horizon Eye Care, Charlotte
Dr. Basil Williams: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati

Class of 2016 

Dr. Ajay Kuriyan: Mid Atlantic Retina, Philadelphia
Dr. Ella Leung: Georgia Retina, Atlanta
Dr. Carlos Medina: Retinal Consultants, Sacramento
Dr. Ryan Young: Retina Associates, Austin

Application

Our two fellowship positions are filled through Ophthalmology Matching Program, and we utilize the Central Application Service. For more information, please visit SF Match.

Please note: You must have a Florida State Medical License before beginning your Fellowship.
You must have passed all 3 parts of the USMLE for a Florida License and have spent 2 years training in the United States under direct physician supervision.

Deadline for receipt of application is September 15th

Salary and benefits will be commensurate with the other fellowships offered through the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. 

Contact:

Isabel R. Perez (Residency/Fellowship Program Coordinator)
P.O. Box 016880
Miami, FL 33101

Toll Free: 800-329-7000 ext. 6391
Phone: 305-326-6391
Fax: 305-326-6580
Email: irperez@med.miami.edu