Medical Retina and Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship



The Department offers a two-year, comprehensive, Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Fellowship Compliance Committee (AUPO FCC) compliant Vitreoretinal Fellowship. This competitive training program is designed to provide exposure to all aspects of medical and surgical retina. 


The Fellowship is sponsored by the Department of Ophthalmology at University of Washington. The fellowship is approved by and monitored by the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Fellowship Compliance Committee (AUPO FCC).

Goals & Objectives

The overall objective of this fellowship is to offer an exceptional blend of clinical opportunities and research experience in an academic setting.  Our goal is to teach competent and compassionate practitioners the medical judgment and special skills required of a Vitreoretinal surgeon. Fellows work with experts in the subspecialty areas of inherited retinal disease/degeneration, uveitis, and intraocular tumors as well as general medical and surgical retina.  A wide range of pathology and a diverse patient population are encountered through the rotations as the fellows are entrusted with increasing clinical and surgical independence and responsibility.



In our application process, one fellow is selected yearly for the two-year fellowship.  Interviews are offered to candidates after a review of all the application materials.  This position is offered through the San Francisco Matching Program (  Please see the dates and deadlines on the website.  Candidates who will have successfully completed their ophthalmology residency training and who are able to obtain a license to practice medicine in the state of Washington are considered.


Salary is paid at an approximation of the Program Year level using ACGME salary scale.  The fellow receives life insurance and health benefits through the University of Washington.  Fellows are provided with malpractice insurance for their fellowship-based activities.  The fellow has traditionally attended specialty meetings or conferences as part of their advanced training.

Eligibility and Selection Policy

The University of Washington Department of Ophthalmology welcomes applicants for our AUPO-certified fellowship programs in vitreoretinal surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, and uveitis and ocular inflammatory disease, as well as our ASOPRS-certified fellowship program in oculoplastic surgery.  Current residents and graduates of accredited ophthalmology residencies are eligible for consideration.  Preference will be given to graduates of ACGME-accredited residencies and individuals eligible for full licensure in the State of Washington.  The Department of Ophthalmology is committed to developing a diverse physician workforce and welcomes applications from individuals from historically under-represented backgrounds. Our program recruits applicants without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Recruitment is based on applicants’ qualifications and ability to do the job. Selection criteria for our fellowships include a record of outstanding patient care; a record of scholarship in ophthalmology; enthusiasm for serving as teacher to junior fellows, residents, and students; excellent communication skills; and a record of exemplary professionalism.

Education & Training

Clinical Experience

The Fellow will be granted the academic title of Acting Instructor at the University of Washington and will be based in the UW Medicine Eye Institute, center for ophthalmology clinical services.  The retina service within the 27,000-square-foot patient care arena has dedicated consultation and treatment rooms.  The Eye Institute is based on the campus of Harborview Medical Center, and fellows learn to evaluate and manage conditions common to the vitreoretinal specialist's practice, along with unusual and rare disorders that present to a quaternary care institution serving the entire WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) region with its catchment area of 11 million patients. In addition to working at the UW Medicine Eye Institute, the fellow will spend two half days each week at the Harborview Medical Center eye clinic (across the street from the Eye Institute), working with Retina attendings to manage the retina needs of the county hospital patients. Fellows are exposed to the full range of modern diagnostic and treatment modalities. They are expected to be proficient in the appropriate use and interpretation of ocular echography, including standardized A-scan, time- and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence, fluorescein, and indocyanine green angiography by the end of the fellowship. They are also exposed to the use and interpretation of multifocal and full-field electroretinogram and electrooculogram. Fellows are trained in a wide array of vitreoretinal procedures, including all modalities of laser photocoagulation, pneumatic retinopexy, intravitreal injections, photodynamic therapy, scleral buckling, vitrectomy with small-gauge instrumentation and a variety of surgical viewing systems that include the BIOM. Well-maintained, state-of-the-art equipment is available at all sites and attending supervision is available for every case.  Well-trained technicians and photographers are present in all clinics.

Research Experience

Fellows are expected to attend and participate in weekly Grand Rounds. The fellows are responsible for organizing the monthly posterior segment imaging conferences and the quarterly retina journal club. Fellows' scholarly activities consist of clinical or basic science research as well as some clinical and didactic teaching for the residents. Fellows are encouraged to submit their work to a peer-reviewed journal and are encouraged to attend local and national meetings where they have the opportunity to present their research.


Residents take primary call for the Department.  The fellow takes second call for emergencies requiring the services of the Retina Division and occasionally takes primary attending call.

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UW Department of Ophthalmology

908 Jefferson St.. Seattle, WA 98104 (academic offices)
Harborview Medical Center (mailing address)
Box 359608, 325 Ninth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.543.7250
Fax: 206.685.7055


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