The goal of the one year medical retina fellowship at the Cole Eye Institute is to provide the best advanced training in the world for the management of medical aspects of vitreoretinal diseases including basic uveitis and eye tumor exposure. The program’s emphasis is on providing the highest quality clinical experience that allows fellows to become thoroughly familiar with all aspects of non-surgical vitreoretinal diseases utilizing state-of-the-art medical management of these conditions, combined with research to advance the diagnosis and management of medical retina problems.

The various Cole Eye Institute locations provide care for 350,000 outpatient eye visits a year. The fellowship is based at the Cole Eye main campus but complex medical retina patients seen at our various locations are sent in to our main campus for diagnosis and management as appropriate. The diverse patient population that seeks treatment here covers the range of the non-surgical retina diseases, including the usual – age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and vein occlusion, macular hole and traction conditions, dystrophies, various peripheral retinal disorders, posterior segment inflammatory and infectious conditions, and a large number of rare entities. While obviously the fellowship is focused on medical retina, 10 of our 13 retina staff doctors are surgeons; medical retina fellows see patients with most of them and will see some preop and post op surgical cases (but not go to the OR) as well. This mix of some surgical patients into the fellowship is a key strength of the program since we teach which patients benefit from referral to a surgical colleague and what you should expect them to look like when you see them back after surgery.

Fellows gain their clinical experience at Cole Eye Institute locations; but most time is spent at the main campus Cole Eye Institute building where not only outpatients but inpatient consults are also seen from the main campus hospital (highest case mix severity index in the country).

This intensive program of study includes the opportunity for fellows to perform common and advanced in office procedures (injections, lasers, diagnostic taps and therapeutic injections) under the supervision of some of the world’s leading retinal physicians, in one of the finest ophthalmological facilities in the world. Faculty members are committed to developing tomorrow’s leaders in this subspecialty and, therefore, ensure that fellows acquire world-class skills during their training here. Fellows are given the opportunity to play a central role in the care of patients, and enjoy increased autonomy in the Fellow Clinic.

The fellowship includes a significant research component, reflecting the Cole Eye Institute’s underlying philosophy that synergy must exist between research and patient care. Fellows have an opportunity to participate in laboratory research at the Cole Eye Institute in the fields of cell biology, molecular biology, immunology and other relevant disciplines and publish in peer-reviewed journals. Fellows also are expected to conduct clinical research and publish their results. Dedicated research time is incorporated into the schedule. The faculty can assist in developing research projects at both the basic and clinical levels.

Fellows also gain the experience of teaching and giving didactic lectures to residents. During the time that residents rotate through the retina service, the fellows are available for consultation during clinic. They also participate in the residency conference program and are responsible for presenting at the weekly fluorescein angiography conference with the faculty in attendance.

Ultimately, the medical retina fellowship at the Cole Eye Institute seeks to train the next future leaders in their field. Cole Eye Institute offers two medical retina fellowship slots each year.

Diversity & Inclusion

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Staff Clinical Experience

Clinical Experience

  • Exposure to 14 different retina and uveitis faculty
  • Uveitis and pediatric retina built into core rotation
  • Exposure to retinal dystrophies and tumor/oncology service also available depending on your interests
  • High quality support staff, dedicated clinic nurse
  • Multiple lasers, injections, and other clinic procedures
  • Multiple laser systems (Pascal, Iridex, Lumenis)
  • Opportunity to teach residents to perform lasers and injections
  • Outstanding imaging center conveniently located under clinic area with excellent staff
    • Every SDOCT machine commercially available (8 different models)
    • Multiple OCT-A devices
    • Optos and Heidelberg wide-angle imaging
    • Superb ultrasonographers who train fellows in B-scan techniques
  • Lanes with direct access to imaging results (Zeiss Forum viewer)
  • State-of-the-art EPIC electronic medical record with remote access to hospital databases
  • Outstanding advanced imaging research programs
  • OCT reading center
Salary, Rotations & Call Schedule

Salary, Rotations & Call Schedule

Salary & Benefit Information

  • Paid at the PGY5 level
  • Health, vision, dental benefits
    • Discounted Cleveland Clinic health insurance for you, your spouse, and your family
  • Disability and life insurance included
  • Medical license fees paid for by the Cleveland Clinic

Schedule/Rotation Information

Sample Rotation Schedule

Day Rotation
Monday Martin, Retina Uveitis or Rachitskaya, Retina
Lowder, Uveitis
Tuesday R. Singh Retina
Ehlers Retina
Wednesday Schachat, Retina
Kaiser, Retina
Thursday Sears, Peds Retina
Friday Srivastava, Retina Uveitis
Lowder, Uveitis

Additional Time:

  • Traboulsi (Inherited retinal diseases and retinal dystrophies): one day per month
  • Babiuch (Medical retina): one day per month
  • Arun Singh (Ocular Oncology): two half days per month

Call Information

  • No surgical retina call required
Conferences & Research

Conferences & Research


  • Weekly retina conference to discuss interesting cases
  • Monthly fluorescein conference prepared by residents
  • Journal clubs hosted at faculty homes or restaurants
  • Uveitis Update Course, North Coast Retina Symposium, Cole Eye Imaging Summit (Pre-ASRS), Cole Retina Summit (Pre-ARVO), (ISOO) International Society of Ocular Oncology
  • No weekend lectures
  • Periodic national courses hosted by Cole Eye Institute

Research Highlights

  • Potential for scheduled research time
  • Participation as co-investigator in multiple clinical trials
  • $1500 allowance provided for national meetings, if presenting
  • Strong basic and translational science research group onsite
  • Database support to facilitate chart reviews
  • Great electronic access to library resources. Receive rare journal articles delivered directly to your e-mail