Cornea, Anterior, Segment, and Refractive Surgery Fellowship

About the Fellowship

The fellowship program in Cornea, Anterior Segment, and Refractive Surgery utilizes a comprehensive curriculum in medical and surgical diseases of the cornea, drawing on the expertise of multiple faculty members. In addition to patient care responsibilities, fellows in this program are required to participate in clinical or basic research in vision, teach residents and staff, and present cases and research work at various clinical and scientific conferences. One fellow is selected annually through SF Match.

The Cornea, Anterior Segment, and Refractive Surgery fellow will complete twelve months of training at the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at Columbia University. During this period, he or she will work with members of the Cornea Service at Columbia University (Drs. Leejee Suh, George Florakis, James Auran, and Stephen Trokel) and gain experience in the assessment of corneal diseases, refractive surgery, and external diseases in a tertiary referral setting.

The fellow will gain experience in such diagnostics as corneal topography and tomography, anterior segment optical coherence tomography, anterior segment ultrasound, wavescan technology, confocal microscopy, and specular microscopy. In addition, he or she will assist in corneal, cataract, and refractive surgery, and will often be given the opportunity to carry out a significant portion of these procedures. The fellow will assist in faculty cases and teach residents in Cornea Clinic (on a bi-weekly basis). Corneal, refractive, and cataract surgeries derived from the resident clinic will be performed under the supervision of the cornea faculty. The fellow will also participate in surgery cases that require a level of expertise or experience higher than that of a PGY-4 resident. Finally, the fellow will be required to complete a clinical research or basic science project in vision. It is expected that the quality of this work will be original and worthy of publication in peer-reviewed journals and present at national meetings.

The goal of the fellowship is to produce an ophthalmologist with subspecialty skills that allow for independent medical and surgical management of cornea and external disease. Upon completion of the program, the fellow should, at a minimum, be able to:

  • Evaluate a patient with acute or chronic redness of the eye, diagnose acute or chronic loss of vision due to structural changes or anomalies of the anterior segment, create a differential diagnosis for the typical corneal findings, for the specific anterior segment effects of various systemic and ocular medications, and for surgery of the cornea and conjunctiva, to delineate the risks and benefits for surgical procedures of the anterior segment.
  • Probe the patient’s history for relevant review of systems and social history, including the details of the onset and course of the ocular condition.
  • Complete a detailed examination of the eyelids, orbits, conjunctiva, cornea, anterior chamber, iris, anterior chamber angle, lens, vitreous, retina and choroid.
  • Recognize the various tests that are available to aid in the diagnosis of external disease patients including measurement of the tear film, use of the microbiology laboratory, information available from genetic analysis, special ophthalmic examination techniques (e.g. ultrasound, specular microscopy, and corneal topography/tomography).

Participating Faculty

Teaching Responsibilities

The fellow will function as a clinical instructor/attending physician at Columbia University Medical Center, staffing resident clinics and assisting resident physicians in anterior segment surgery. The fellow is directly responsible for supervising activities of the Cornea Clinic and directing the diagnostic workup of patients under the direction of corneal attending physicians.

The fellow is expected to attend departmental conferences, including cornea lectures, Grand Rounds, and specialized meetings. In addition, the fellow will periodically present cases at Grand Rounds and will lecture in the resident lecture series.

Research Opportunities

Clinical research is an important part of the corneal fellowship. The fellow is expected to work on at least one independent research project that is suitable for presentation or publication. The fellow will review the project monthly with a cornea faculty member to ensure that adequate resources are available and that reasonable progress is made.


For additional information, please contact us at:

The Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute
Fellowship Match Program
635 West 165th Street – EI Box 44
New York, NY  10032
Tel: (212) 305-3339