Retina Fellowship Program

The Dean McGee Eye Institute-University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Department of Ophthalmology serves as the sole tertiary referral center for eye care in the state of Oklahoma, and additionally serves parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri. The surgical experience provided by Drs. Leonard, Bradford, and Shah is comprehensive and diverse. The fellow can expect approximately 500 vitrectomy surgeries as the primary surgeon and 80-100 scleral buckle procedures as the primary surgeon. 

Our fellowship in diseases of the vitreous and retina provides one fellow every two years a complete and thorough experience, enabling our graduates to enter clinical or academic practice with a high level of experience and proficiency. The Dean McGee Eye Institute is the regional referral center for the entire state of Oklahoma, as well as parts of Kansas, Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas. The medical staff consists of approximately 30 ophthalmologists, including a large comprehensive ophthalmology section and two-four physicians in every sub-specialty. These ophthalmologists provide over 150,000 patient visits and perform more than 7000 surgical procedures each year. The Dean McGee Eye Institute attracts patients with many of the more unusual and difficult diseases. The fellow will be exposed to the full range of pathology while immersed in a supportive teaching environment. Care is taken by the retina faculty to keep the fellowship experience devoted to learning and education with minimal time devoted to patient calls, refilling medication prescriptions, dictations, etc. Fellows receive salary support equivalent to PGY-5 (approximately $58,000) plus benefits.

Educational Experience
Faculty directly responsible for education and training in this fellowship include Drs. Reagan Bradford Jr.,Vinay Shah,  Ronald Kingsley, and Stephen Fransen. Dr. Shah serves as the Fellowship Director. Drs. Bradford and Shah are vitreoretinal surgeons, and Drs. Kingsley and Fransen specialize in medical retina.

The surgical experience provided by Drs. Bradford and Shah is comprehensive and diverse. Each faculty member has a unique and effective technique for vitrectomy and scleral buckling. Dr. Brian Firestone is responsible for ocular oncology and the placement of radioactive plaque treatment of choroidal melanomas. Dr. Bradford performs adult and pediatric vitreoretinal surgery. Dr. Shah conducts a high-volume clinical and surgical practice. The fellow can expect approximately 500 vitrectomy surgeries as the primary surgeon. The fellow can also expect to be well versed in scleral buckle procedures as the primary surgeon. The Dean McGee Eye Institute's retina service also provides advanced vitreoretinal surgery care for patients with ocular trauma and foreign bodies, severe diabetic retinal detachments and advanced PVR cases.

In addition to this exposure to a tremendous breadth and depth of vitreoretinal disease and pathology, the fellow also will participate in the evaluation and management of patients with ocular inflammatory disease and uveitis, including the use of immunomodulatory therapy, with Dr. Fransen. Dr. Kingsley will provide further refinement of medical retina skills and treatment algorithms. Retinopathy of prematurity rounds takes place once a week with pediatric ophthalmologist and residency program director, Dr. R. Michael Siatkowski. 

Research Opportunities
Participation in clinical or basic research projects in the laboratories of our 8 NIH-funded basic scientists is available to the interested fellow. Ongoing NIH-funded research programs are available if basic science research is desired. Various clinical trials are also ongoing within the department. The fellow is encouraged to pursue topics of particular interest, and previous fellows have presented their results at local and national meetings.

Now recognized as one the leading ophthalmologic research institutions in the United States, the Dean McGee Eye Institute holds a National Institutes of Health Core Grant, ranks among the top research programs in the country with respect to National Eye Institute funding, and also is among the United States' top programs in support from Research to Prevent Blindness.

The Dean McGee Eye Institute takes great pride in the unsurpassed quality of vitreoretinal clinical and surgical training offered to our fellow. We offer the advantages of a department ranked in the top 15 of all departments of ophthalmology in NIH funding, with the personalized attention that can only be given to one fellow who does not have to share clinic time or surgical cases. This flexibility, in addition to our culture of providing excellent care and world-class research, results in a unique opportunity for learning and an excellent foundation for a career in clinical or academic ophthalmology.

This fellowship is listed under the Surgical Retina category on the match web site. It is approved by the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology's Fellowship Compliance Committee and participates in the Central Application Service provided by the San Francisco Matching Program. The fellowship application form may be accessed at

It is expected that the retina fellow be eligible for an Oklahoma Medical License and thus must have completed and passed all three parts of the USMLE and be either Board Eligible or Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. No additional application material is required beyond that which is included in the central application service.

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