The mission of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Washington is simple:  we seek to protect and improve vision through the treatment of eye disease.  We do so by practicing the state of the art in ophthalmology, extending the state through scientific research, and by sharing our knowledge with our students, our colleagues, and our community. To that end, 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.

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, the newly opened 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 the 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 fullfield 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.



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 (www.sfmatch.org).  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 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 upon 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.


Current Fellows

Amy Yuan, MD
Kenneth Matthew McKay, MD

Past Fellows

Debarshi Mustafi, MD, PhD(2021)
Ariel Tyring, MD (2020)
Steven Saraf, MD (2019)
Trucian Ostheimer, MD (2016)
Salman Porbandarwalla, MD (2014)
Diana Reeves, MD (2005)
Robert Boada, MD (2003)
Yu-Guang He, MD (2001)
Arpenik Avakian, MD, PhD (2000)
Linda Day, MD (1999)
Charles Birnbach, MD (1998)
Srinivas Sastry, MD, MPH (1997)
Howard Kaplan, MD (1996)
Robert Champer, MD, PhD (1995)
Ray Gariano, MD (1994)
John Stone, MD (1993)
Michael Petersen, MD, PhD (1992)
Thomas Matsko, MD, PhD (1991)
David Drucker, MD (1990)
Robert Francis, MD (1989)
Mark Chittum, MD (1987)
Craig Wells, MD (1984)
Frederick Miller, MD (1982)

Program Information

Program Director    

Lisa Olmos de Koo, MD, MBA
Associate Professor
Medical and Sugical Retina

Education Specialist
Tori Sarsted

Please see the SF Match Website for application deadlines, interview dates, and fellowship start dates.

If you need training verification click here.


Faculty Listing

Teaching Faculty

Emeritus Teaching Faculty

Clinical Sites of Practice

UW Medicine Eye Institute
Harborview Medical Center
VA Puget Sound Healthcare System