Ophthalmology Fellowship

Overview and mission

The Division of Ophthalmology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is a comprehensive specialty pediatric practice, offering care for children with all eye and vision problems. The fellowship program, approved by the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, optimizes the combination of educational and research opportunities available at both The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Ophthalmology, Scheie Eye Institute.

Direct, hands-on training and close interactions with faculty occurs on a daily basis, with the fellow involved in all aspects of diagnostic and therapeutic clinical practice. The fellow will complete the fellowship with more than 250 surgical cases, including pediatric and adult strabismus, oculoplastic surgery, trauma and intraocular surgery. The fellow will be prepared to enter the comprehensive subspecialty practice of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, including primary and tertiary diagnosis and management of the full spectrum of medical and surgical pediatric ophthalmic disorders and pediatric and adult strabismus.

Fellowship training program director

Brian J. Forbes, MD, PhD
Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
3401 Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104

About the fellowship

Physicians in the Division of Ophthalmology provide clinical and surgical eye care within the Children's Hospital system, and care for patients with both routine and complex conditions related to visual development, eye disease, birth defects and injury. In addition to amblyopia, strabismus, developmental eye and visual problems, subspecialty clinics are staffed by full-time faculty as well as consultants from the University of Pennsylvania, Scheie Eye Institute in pediatric oculoplastics, pediatric neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric retina, retinopathy of prematurity, craniofacial anomalies, ophthalmic genetics, and pediatric glaucoma. Adult strabismus clinics are operated in collaboration with the Scheie Eye Institute.

The Division of Ophthalmology provides comprehensive outpatient consultations, diagnostic testing, ambulatory surgery and follow-up care to more than 15,000 children annually, with approximately 1,500 surgical procedures performed per year. Subspecialty procedures include surgical correction of complex strabismus, ocular and orbital tumors, lacrimal abnormalities, congenital and acquired orbital and eyelid problems, pediatric cataract and intraocular lens implantation, pediatric glaucoma surgery, and pediatric retinal surgery. Clinical services available within the Division include orthoptics, aphakic contact lenses, electroretinography, visual evoked potential, ultrasonography, noninvasive functional visual testing, and complete ocular photography.

For children undergoing eye surgery, the hospital team includes specialists in pediatric anesthesiology, nursing and critical care medicine. For children with complex or multiple medical conditions, our pediatric ophthalmologists collaborate with specialists in genetics, plastic surgery, neurology and oncology, many of whom are noted by "Best Doctors in America" as tops in their field. Coverage for neonatal ophthalmology from Children's Hospital includes our own neonatal intensive unit as well as the newborn nurseries at Pennsylvania Hospital, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

The fellow is part of a pediatric ophthalmology team that includes University of Pennsylvania ophthalmology residents and medical students, elective trainees from the Pediatrics Residency Program at Children's Hospital, orthoptists, ophthalmic technicians, and professional administrative staff. The clinical teaching environment is outstanding, with top training programs in all pediatric medical and surgical subspecialties as well as world class clinical and basic research throughout the institution.

Since 1978, 56 fellows have been trained in Pediatric Ophthalmology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Graduates have entered both academic and clinical positions throughout the United States. More than 120 publications and presentations have developed directly from the clinical research done by fellows during their training.

The history, expertise and compassion that make Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia unique are also what makes it the best place for medical trainees.

Research expectations and opportunities

The Division of Ophthalmology is actively involved in clinical research. Projects based at the Hospital include clinical investigations into the epidemiology of myopia and eye growth, eye trauma and retinal injury, pediatric glaucomas, epidemiology and imaging in retinopathy of prematurity, genetic investigations in myopia and anophthalmia, and congenital ptosis. Other collaborative projects are underway with investigators at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Ophthalmology. The Division is also a participant in the Pediatric Eye Disorders Investigators Group (PEDIG), including the Amblyopia Treatment Studies.

The fellow is encouraged to participate in clinical research projects during the fellowship, and resources are available for these projects as well as for presentation of research at national meetings.


Medical students, ophthalmology and pediatrics residents, and other subspecialty fellows work closely with the pediatric ophthalmology fellow in providing the best clinical and surgical care to our patients. The fellow is closely involved with teaching residents and medical students who are integrated into the clinical programs.

In addition to the main hospital campus in Philadelphia, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia operates five large, suburban pediatric Ambulatory Specialty Centers, which are sites for ophthalmology outpatient clinics and ambulatory surgeries staffed by the Division of Ophthalmology. The fellow can electively participate in the practice at these satellite sites on a periodic basis, as well as the primary ophthalmology clinics and surgeries on the main hospital campus.

How to apply

The one-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 the beginning the fellowship. The applicant must be eligible for medical licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Applicants who are graduates of medical schools and/or training programs outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico should make careful note of the requirements listed below:

  • Candidates must be ECFMG certified and eligible for PA Medical Training License. Please refer to www.ecfmg.org for further information.
  • Candidates that have had no formal clinical training in the U.S. must seek a "Waiver of American Training."
  • Candidates must obtain J-1 or H1B visa.

All interested applicants must register for the fellowship match on the SFMatch website.

Other requirements

To carry out its mission, it is of critical importance for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to keep our patients, families and workforce safe and healthy and to support the health of our global community. In keeping with this, CHOP has mandated all workforce members (including trainees) on site at any CHOP location for any portion of their time be vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of employment.

This mandate also applies to workforce members or trainees performing work for CHOP at non-CHOP locations. Additionally, all workforce members based in or regularly scheduled to work at any New Jersey location are mandated to be both vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19, with booster timing consistent with applicable guidelines. The CHOP COVID-19 vaccine mandate is in alignment with applicable local, state and federal mandates. CHOP also requires all workforce members and trainees who work in patient care buildings or who provide patient care to receive an annual influenza vaccine. Employees may request exemption consideration for CHOP vaccine requirements for valid religious and medical reasons. Please note start dates may be delayed until candidates are fully immunized or valid exemption requests are reviewed. In addition, candidates other than those in positions with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey, must attest to not using tobacco products.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, protected veteran status or any other protected category. CHOP is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor seeking priority referrals for protected veterans.

CHOP is committed to building an inclusive culture where employees feel a sense of belonging, connection, and community within their workplace. We are a team dedicated to fostering an environment that allows for all to be their authentic selves. We are focused on attracting, cultivating, and retaining diverse talent who can help us deliver on our mission to be a world leader in the advancement of healthcare for children.

We strongly encourage all candidates of diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to apply.

If you have additional questions, please contact:

Christine Cabello
Academic Coordinator
Division of Ophthalmology
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Next Steps