Oculoplastic Fellowship

  • Overview and mission

    The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) sponsors a two-year oculoplastic fellowship. For the qualified candidate with a career interest in reconstructive and cosmetic oculoplastic surgery, this program offers a blend of supervised and independent activities. Interaction with different services at the Center for Human Appearance at both the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia provides an opportunity for learning "cutting edge" techniques involving concepts in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

    The fellow who successfully completes this program will have mastered the basic and complicated surgical techniques used in the care of both children and adults and will have learned a team approach to the management of complicated problems, especially as they relate to craniofacial disorders. It is our expectation that the fellowship period will serve as the springboard for each oculoplastic fellow to contribute significantly to the evolution of this challenging and rewarding surgical subspecialty.

    Fellowship program director

    James A. Katowitz, MD
    Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology
    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399
    215-590-2791
    katowitz@email.chop.edu

    Division chief

    Monte D. Mills, MD
    Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology
    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399
    215-590-5761
    mills@email.chop.edu

  • About the fellowship

    First year

    The responsibilities of the fellow correspond to an increasing sophistication in dealing with complex oculoplastic programs at a major teaching center. During the first year, the fellow is primarily involved with all clinical activities. The fellow participates in the decision-making process and outlines treatment for routine and complicated problems in the ophthalmology clinics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Scheie Eye Institute and the Veteran's Administration Hospital. The fellow also has direct input into the ophthalmology resident teaching program of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, counseling residents as to appropriate therapy and supervising the completion of that therapy.

    The fellow works closely with physicians who specialize in cosmetic surgery and with additional oculoplastic surgeons. The oculoplastic fellow can also participate in a variety of clinical activities with staff physicians at the Center for Human Appearance (CHA) at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and The Children's Hospital.

    Second year

    The second year of the fellowship affords greater opportunity to work with other members of the oculoplastic service and to pursue electives at both The Children's Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in such affiliated subspecialties as Otorhinolaryngology, Neurosurgery, Dermatology and Radiology. Other electives may also be arranged in Ocular Oncology and Neuro-Ophthalmology. Additional experience in orbital surgery is also available at Columbia University.

  • Research expectations and opportunities

    A wide variety of clinical and laboratory projects are available to the fellow. Laboratory and animal OR facilities are located in the Abramson Research Center and members of the Department of Ophthalmology are currently involved in exciting areas of fetal surgery research with a multidisciplinary group. Ongoing neuroradiology projects include orbital volumetric analysis of microphthalmia, orbital holography and functional MRI eyelid and orbital structures using special surface coils.

    A major clinical and laboratory effort is ongoing in clinical and genetic aspects of congenital anophthalmia/ microphthalmia. It is expected that the fellow will participate in correlating and writing several clinical or laboratory papers during the fellowship years. This is in addition to gathering clinical and/or laboratory data for a major thesis to be submitted for membership in the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

  • Curriculum

    Craniofacial surgery

    The fellow will work closely with the Division of Plastic Surgery. There are opportunities to participate in major reconstruction cases resulting from both trauma and congenital anomalies. Joint research projects may be undertaken in both clinical and laboratory settings. This interaction is viewed as an important part of the close relationship between the Divisions of Ophthalmology and Plastic Surgery at both our adult and pediatric centers. Over 100 major cases are done yearly by the craniofacial team. In addition, because of the team approach, the oculoplastic fellow has frequent opportunities to work with members of the Division of Neurosurgery at Children's Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on major congenital orbital problems and orbital tumors. The Center for Human Appearance provides an exciting opportunity to work with a variety of experts in related disciplines.

    MOHS surgery

    A close working relationship has been established with dermatologists who provide MOHS surgery training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Secondary reconstruction of adnexal defects is performed at Scheie Eye Institute and occasionally in the MOHS surgery suite at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The opportunity for research projects in tumor immunology is also available for the oculoplastic fellow. There are also coordinated activities with the MOHS fellow from the Division of Dermatology.

    Cosmetic surgery

    The Center for Human Appearance, which includes cosmetology, hair transplant and laser programs, provides a unique opportunity for learning cosmetic surgical principles and working with the oculoplastic surgeons in the University group. In addition to cosmetic surgery, these techniques are applied to areas of reconstructive surgery such as acute and secondary facial and orbital fracture repair. There is also an opportunity to work on the prosthetic fabrication of various facial devices created by Kenneth Kent, DMD and the coherent ultra pulse laser.

    Significant experience with other oculoplastic surgeons doing face-lifts, liposuction and laser resurfacing is available through electives.

    Vascular malformation and laser surgery

    Members of the Divisions of Plastic Surgery and Dermatology are available to instruct the fellow in the use of Tuneable Dye and other cutaneous laser techniques. Laser resurfacing is done at the Center for Human Appearance by the oculoplastic group as well as by Plastic Surgery and Dermatology.

    Motility

    There are excellent opportunities for the oculoplastic fellow to work closely at Children's Hospital with the pediatric ophthalmology fellows in managing motility problems. There is an Adult Motility Clinic at the Scheie Eye Institute. The oculoplastic fellow can participate in this clinic where complicated strabismus problems such as those resulting from thyroid disorders or from post-orbital trauma are evaluated.

    Neuro-ophthalmology

    Drs. Steven Galetta, Nicholas Volpe and Grant Liu provide adult services. Dr. Liu also specializes in pediatric neuro-ophthalmology and interfaces with oncology and the Neurofibromatosis Clinic.

    Ancillary studies

    Exposure to ultrasonography, CT scanning, MRI and lacrimal scintigraphy are an active part of the oculoplastic fellowship training program.

    Additional clinic programs

    The Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology works closely with the Craniofacial Reconstruction Clinic, a clinic for children with neurofibromatosis and the Ophthalmic Genetics Clinic. The Division also participates in the Neuro-Oncology and Vascular Tumor Clinics at Children's Hospital. Excellent ophthalmologic ultrasound, sophisticated electrophysiology equipment, visual evoked potential recording and ERG/EOG are available, permitting immediate on-site evaluation of complex problems .

  • Conference schedules

    All didactic teaching and clinical conferences in ophthalmology and plastic surgery are available to the oculoplastic fellow. These include a Board Review course in most major subjects. Conferences in related departments such as Pathology, Dermatology, Maxillofacial, Neurosurgery, ENT/Head and Neck Surgery, and Neuroradiology are also open to the fellow who is expected to supervise clinical conferences whenever appropriate. The fellow has a primary role in supervising residents at Scheie Eye Institute, Children's Hospital and the Veterans Administration Hospital. Monthly multidisciplinary, problem-solving conferences are held at Children's Hospital and at the Center for Human Appearance. In addition, every other year there is a complete review of the BCSC manual on the Orbit, Lids and Lacrimal apparatus.

    The fellow may elect to participate in the Division of Plastic Surgery's Orbital and Facial Dissection Course and will be given an opportunity to be directly involved with formal presentations. In addition, each year there is usually at least one Saturday morning symposium at the Scheie Eye Institute devoted to oculoplastic subjects.

  • How to apply

    You may apply by downloading the Oculoplastic Fellowship application. Print the application, complete the appropriate fields and mail the application to the address listed at the end of the application form.

    Tobacco-free hiring policy

    To help preserve and improve the health of our patients, their families and our employees, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a tobacco-free hiring policy. This policy applies to all candidates for employment (other than those with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey) for all positions, including those covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    Job applicants who apply after July 1, 2014 will be expected to sign an attestation stating they’ve been free of nicotine or tobacco products in any form for the prior thirty (30) days. They will also undergo a cotinine test as a part of the Occupational Health pre-placement drug screen administered after the offer of employment has been accepted but before the first day of hire.

    Exemptions: Attending physicians (excluding CHOP physicians in the Care Network), psychologists, principal investigators and/or Penn-based faculty are exempt from this process to better align with our colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

    Instructions for application

    The two-year fellowship seeks physicians who will have completed three years of training in an accredited ophthalmology residency program and are eligible to sit for the American Board of Ophthalmology examination prior to starting the fellowship. The applicant must be eligible for medical license in Pennsylvania. Applicants who are graduates of medical schools and/or residencies outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico should make careful note of the requirements below. Visa and licensure requirements are the responsibility of the applicant, and cannot be guaranteed.

    Each fellow is required to fulfill all obligations for acceptance into the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). In addition to completion of an ASOPRS approved fellowship, requirements for ASOPRS membership include a written thesis of significance and the passing of written and oral examinations by the Education Committee of the Society.

    The following should be sent to James A. Katowitz, MD:

    1. Completed application
    2. Three letters of reference
    3. Dean's letter
    4. Medical school transcript
    5. Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the USMLE taken within the seven year time frame as required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or equivalent scores
    6. If a graduate of a medical school outside the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico, valid ECFMG certificate or one that does not expire prior to the start of the fellowship
    7. If not a citizen of the United States, copy of permanent resident card or copy of current, appropriate visa

    If you have additional questions, please contact:

    Suzanne Kilmartin
    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology
    34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399

Reviewed on March 05, 2014