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The mission of the vitreoretinal surgery and medical retinal fellowships at the University of Iowa is to train individuals to be exceptional retina physicians and surgeons who provide high-quality, ethical care for patients with medical and surgical diseases of the posterior segment. Our fellowship is designed to provide well-balanced, broad-based exposure to both “routine” and complex retinal pathology with dedicated subspecialty exposure to medical and surgical management of inherited retinal disease, posterior uveitis, and ocular oncology. We aim to train enthusiastic, intellectually curious, and dedicated fellows to thrive in either academic or private practice careers following completion of the fellowship. We care about our fellows’ development as individuals and clinicians, and the faculty strive to actively mentor fellows throughout their training to help them reach their potential.

Vitreoretinal surgery fellows rotate through each of the vitreoretinal surgery faculty clinics and operating rooms throughout their two-year fellowship. Medical retina fellows likewise rotate through each faculty’s clinic during their year of fellowship and have opportunities to tailor their training to particular subspeciality interests. Fellows perform in-clinic procedures and injections. The fellowships are designed to allow for increasing autonomy and clinical/surgical decision-making as the fellow progresses through training. Our curriculum is designed to allow for a solid foundation in medical retina prior to increasing surgical exposure in the second half of the first year and surgical immersion in the second year of the vitreoretinal surgery fellowship. We emphasize one-on-one mentoring in the operating room and clinic and collaboration between trainees and faculty to provide high-quality patient care. The schedule is structured so that fellows participate in the pre-operative management, surgery, and post-operative care of patients. As a tertiary referral center covering a very large geographic area fellows are exposed to a wealth of unique pathology in a diverse group of patients.

Fellows have access to the many educational resources at the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences including an on-site ophthalmology library, weekly retina imaging rounds, unique didactics such as “Stone rounds” for inherited eye diseases, and have ample opportunity to participate in teaching of residents and medical students both in clinic and on-call in addition to formalized didactic lectures.  Fellows are encouraged to pursue research and have the opportunity to work with clinical faculty and basic scientists in the Institute for Vision Research depending upon their interests. Fellows are financially supported to present their research at one academic conference each year.

We accept two vitreoretinal surgery fellows and one medical retina fellow each year through the San Francisco match.


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Contact us about Our Retina Fellowships

Contact Us

Kenadie Spanier, Retina Fellowships Coordinator
Department of Ophthalmology
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics
200 Hawkins Dr.
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

E-mail: kenadie-spanier@uiowa.edu
Phone: 1-319-356-3185