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Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus

The Zanvyl Krieger Children’s Eye Center at the Wilmer Eye Institute is a tertiary referral center where clinical fellows enjoy well-rounded exposure to both the clinical and academic sides of pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus. We are privileged to have our pediatric and adult facilities combined in a unified, modern, and child-friendly center, providing excellent exposure to a wide variety of pediatric eye diseases as well as to strabismus in adults.

The Krieger Children’s Eye Center at the Wilmer Institute has trained over 63 clinical fellows in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus since 1979. They have come from a wide cross-section of residency programs, both from the United States and abroad, and a few have come from private practice to start a new career. About 40% are now in private practice, with the other 60% in academic positions, including five full professors and eight department chairs.

Fellowship here is a stimulating and an enjoyable atmosphere that we experienced ourselves during a most productive time of our own careers. One-on-one contact with faculty -- learning, operating, and teaching in the field of pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus – – takes place within a full service ophthalmology department. The division has five full-time clinical faculty, two full-time Ph.D. investigators and three orthoptists. Also our Fellows can take advantage of continued exposure to world-renowned ophthalmologists in all ophthalmic subspecialties, via daily morning lectures and weekly Grand Rounds.

Dr. David Guyton, our Division Chief from 1978 to 2011, serves as the fellowship director. His primary interests are in complicated strabismus, ophthalmic optics, and ophthalmic instrumentation (currently vision screening devices). Time spent with Dr. Guyton will be mostly in strabismus, with a mix of pediatric and adult cases. Adult strabismus cases, comprising approximately 70% of Dr. Guyton’s practice, provide the Fellow a unique opportunity to become familiar with more advanced diagnostic and treatment modalities in strabismus. Adult strabismus is more surgically focused than pediatric strabismus, because of less long-term follow-up needed. Exposure to adult strabismus cases allows the Fellow to become comfortable and familiar with surgical techniques needed for re-operations, as well as crucial diagnostic techniques. More subtle problems that are not always easily appreciated in children, such as those of torsional and vertical strabismus, are magnified in adults, and mastery of management techniques in such situations allows for optimal treatment to be applied to all age groups.

Dr. Michael Repka started with us in 1985 and is now our division chief. He is nationally and internationally known for his contributions in the fields of pediatric ophthalmology, strabismus, retinopathy of prematurity and pediatric neuro-ophthalmology. Time spent with Dr. Repka will provide exposure to all of these areas.

Drs. Anya Trumler and Jonathan Song provide comprehensive care to pediatric patients and perform surgery for adult and pediatric strabismus, pediatric cataract, and minor plastics procedures.  Dr. Trumler has a special interest in pediatric anterior segment disorders and has had additional training in pediatric glaucoma and pediatric cataracts.   Dr. Song has a special interest in pediatric corneal disease and other anterior segment problems.

Our fellowship thus offers a comprehensive experience in pediatric eye diseases as well as complicated adult strabismus. The fellows are involved in six to eight surgical cases each week, taking the surgeon’s role in about half of them. The fellow will gain excellent experience in a wide variety of strabismus surgery, with exposure to hang-back surgery, cyclovertical surgery, and adjustable sutures in both children and adults. In addition, experience is gained in congenital cataract surgery, nasolacrimal disorders, and ROP screening and treatment. Fellows are encouraged to work with Dr. Jim Handa to gain experience in retinoblastoma evaluation and treatment, Dr. Roxana Rivera in pediatric oculoplastics, Dr. Anya Trumler in pediatric glaucoma and Dr. Esen Akpek in pediatric cornea.

We encourage academic pursuits during the fellowship year. We host departmental grand rounds four times each year and have at least six Pediatric Ophthalmology Journal Club evening meetings each year. An average of one-half day per week is available for research. This can be either on projects of your own choosing or on projects we have already started. We encourage fellows to submit their research to AAPOS, ARVO and/or AAO.

We provide a PGY-5 stipend for each of our Fellows (plus fringe benefits, including health insurance). The stipend is supported in part by the Judith and Paul Romano "Binocular Vision and Strabismus" Fellowship Endowment Fund, as well as by endowment income from gifts from Dr. Stewart M. Wolff. To help defray part of this expense, the department requires accepted Fellows to apply to sources of outside funding when applicable, such as the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation, which provides partial fellowship support to U.S. applicants.

If U.S.-trained fellows have a Maryland medical license, we can appoint them as junior faculty members. Fellowship applicants from other countries are not required to have a medical license. They must, on the other hand, have passed Steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE exams (www.usmle.org) and have a valid Standard ECFMG Certificate (www.ecfmg.org) for graduate medical education in the United States. Unlike requirements for residency training programs, Step 3 of the USMLE is not needed for fellowship training,. Applications from other countries are encouraged, particularly from applicants seeking to return to an academic training program in their home country. All Fellows, whether from U.S. or international residency programs, receive the same fellowship experience with the same responsibilities.

We participate in the matching program for pediatric ophthalmology fellowships. Please refer to the San Francisco Match website to register for the match and read about the process for applying to Ophthalmology Fellowship training. Once registered, you can view our program listing on the SFMatch directory website for all required documents:  http://www.sfmatch.org.

Our next available fellowship will begin July 1, 2015, with a few days allowance for relocating as necessary.

We invite promising applicants for an interview here at Johns Hopkins, which will be necessary for further consideration. Applicants from abroad are sometimes able to interview with us at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Questions should be forwarded to:

For administrative inquiries:
Diane Almony
Wilmer 233
Johns Hopkins Hospital
600 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287-9028

Phone: (443) 287-0066
Fax: (410) 955-0809
E-mail: dalmony@jhmi.edu 

For programmatic inquiries or other questions:
Michael X. Repka, M.D., M.B.A.

E-mail: mrepka@jhmi.edu

 

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