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About the Program

Mission Statement

‘Our goal is to produce physician leaders. We are proud that graduates of our program become the ‘go to’ retina doctors in their communities, respected educators, and high impact researchers. As a major tertiary care center, we have trained over 119 retina fellows since 1962 and strive to provide the best possible educational environment through daily retina didactics; diverse exposure to common, rare and complex medical and surgical pathology; training of fundamental and advanced surgical techniques; utilization of state-of-the art innovations; ample research opportunities in the most exciting areas of medicine; and close mentorship with experienced, renown faculty who care deeply about your success.’

Dr. Stone and Mina ChungOverview of the Mina Chung, MD Inherited Retinal Diseases Fellowship

This 1-2 year long fellowship is designed for ophthalmology residency (ideally vitreoretinal fellowship)-trained physicians to gain specialized expertise in 1) clinical diagnosis and treatment of inherited retinal diseases, 2) laboratory skills related to the molecular genetic diagnosis and pathophysiology of inherited retinal diseases, and 3) research skills necessary for a successful academic career.

Start date for this fellowship is negotiable but preferably occurs July 1. Inquiries for this fellowship should be submitted directly to kim-tolsdorf@uiowa.edu (coordinator) or culver-boldt@uiowa.edu (director). If not trained in the US, all applicants must possess an H1B or O1 visa and be able to obtain permanent licensure through the Iowa Board of Medicine.

This fellowship carries a stipend of $80K per year plus fringe benefits but could be altered in cases where alternative funding source (e.g. local government) is already in place.

Other retina fellowships

Medical retina fellowship

One-year medical retina fellows spend time in the Retina Clinics where they evaluate and treat all medical retinal diseases, performing most laser photocoagulation treatments and intravitreal injections. There is no call taken by medical retina fellows. Medical retina fellows are actively engaged in clinical or laboratory research as well as conference preparation and teaching.

Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship

First Year of Surgical Retina Fellowship
During the first year the fellows spend a majority of their time in the Retina Clinics where they evaluate and treat medical retinal diseases, performing most laser photocoagulation treatments and intravitreal injections. The first year retina fellows do not take call for the first six months of fellowship, which allows time for reading and initiating research projects. The last six months of the 1st year, the fellows operate (typically for scleral buckle, vitrectomy, and plaque procedures) while taking retina call every other week. Any available remaining time is devoted to clinical or laboratory research as well as conference preparation and teaching.

Second Year of Surgical Retina Fellowship
The second year has a surgical emphasis with time split between the operating room and Vitreoretinal Clinics. As a major tertiary referral institution for Iowa and the surrounding 7 states, the fellow acquires extensive diagnostic and surgical experience in the management of simple and complex vitreoretinal disorders. The second year retina fellows do not take call for the last six months of fellowship. Vitreoretinal surgery is performed in both the main OR and ASC of the University of Iowa Hospital as well as the new Stead Family Children's Hospital that is connected directly to the University of Iowa Hospital.