Vitreoretinal Fellowship

Program Director: Tongalp Tezel, MD

The vitreoretinal fellowship at Columbia University is a two-year program organized as a comprehensive training period in both medical and surgical retinal disease. Two clinical fellows are selected annually through the Fellowship Matching Program.

The vitreoretinal fellow assists in the examination and surgery of private patients, participates in the teaching and surgical care of patients seen in the retina clinic at three large institutions, and is expected to attend local, regional, and national conferences and meetings. Over the two years, it is expected that the fellow will have participated in at least 500 vitreoretinal surgeries (more than half as primary surgeon), 200 laser procedures, and in at least one research project leading to publication.

The first and final six months of the fellowship are spent with Dr. Lawrence Yannuzzi and colleagues. This portion of the vitreoretinal experience takes place at the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital/Lenox Hill Hospital, Bellevue Hospital and at the private practice of the Vitreous, Retina, Macula Consultants of New York. The retina fellow is involved in the examination, diagnosis and treatment of patients with medical and surgical vitreoretinal diseases. At the practice of the Vitreous, Retina, Macula Consultants of New York, the fellow gains exposure to ophthalmic oncology by working with Dr. Jerry Shields. At the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat and Bellevue Hospitals, the fellow is primarily responsible for supervising activities of the retina service. Working with New York University Ophthalmology residents, the fellow supervises retina clinics, participates in inpatient and ER vitreoretinal consultations and is the primary surgeon for all clinic cases under the supervision of an attending surgeon on the vitreoretinal service of the hospital.

After the first six months, the fellow rotates with Dr. Tongalp Tezel and his colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center/Harkness Eye Institute for 12 consecutive months. The fellow is involved in the examination, diagnosis and treatment of patients in a busy faculty practice at the Harkness Eye Institute. Particular focus is given to surgical vitreoretinal disorders such as complex diabetic retinal detachments and proliferative vitreoretinopathy. The fellow will also be exposed to pediatric vitreoretinal surgery working with Dr. Robert Lopez. In addition, the fellow works closely with the ophthalmology residents, supervising retina clinics and coordinating vitreoretinal inpatient and ER consultations, and is the primary surgeon for all cases presented to the retina clinic.

Didactic conferences, including Fluorescein Angiography/Imaging Conferences and Grand Rounds are held weekly at each site. The fellow is responsible for coordinating and presenting at these conferences.

At the conclusion of the fellowship, the graduate will feel comfortable diagnosing and managing all aspects of medical and surgical vitreoretinal disease.

Participating Faculty

Research Opportunities

Research opportunities are available in both clinical and basic science areas of retinal diseases at both locations. Projects include clinical trials in choroidal neovascularization, diabetic retinopathy and macular edema and clinical studies of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy and central serous choroidopathy. Basic research areas include molecular genetics of age-related macular degeneration, advanced glycation products in diabetic retinopathy, lipofuscin production, retinal transplantation and gene therapy. Affiliated faculty are available as preceptors for these projects.

Contact

For additional information, please contact us at:

The Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute
Fellowship Match Program
635 West 165th Street Box #44
New York, NY 10032
Tel: (212) 305-3339
Fax: (212) 342-2714
E-mail: da229@columbia.edu