Pre-Residency Fellowship Programs, Nontraditional

West Coast Region

Ophthalmic Pathology Fellowship Dr. Nick Mamalis & Dr. Liliana Werner
University of Utah Health, John A Moran Eye Center

The fellow will work under Dr. Nick Mamalis and Dr. Liliana Werner. He/she will learn the basics of both the gross and microscopic evaluation of ophthalmic histopathology specimens submitted to the laboratory. In addition, the fellowship involves both basic and clinical ophthalmic research. Fellows are involved in multiple projects involving cataract surgery, intraocular lenses, and anterior segment surgery in general. Research projects are performed using cadaver eyes as well as animal eyes. Clinical research opportunities involve various clinical studies in areas as diverse as cataract surgery adjunct treatments, intraocular lenses, dry eyes, and ocular inflammation. In addition, the fellows are involved in ongoing research projects regarding the analysis of postoperative endophthalmitis/inflammation as well as ongoing studies of complications of foldable intraocular lenses.

Applicants should either have an MD or DO degree. In addition to your resume which you may have already forwarded, please send the following: a personal statement, three letters of reference, US-MLE steps 1, 2, or 3 scores, and any ECFMG certificates if applicable. If it is more convenient, you may simply forward your central application match packet. This fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to gain valuable knowledge in ophthalmology as well as to obtain publications which would help to prepare for an ophthalmology residency program. The basic stipend is approximately $30,000 per year. However, the fellows will do preoperative physical examinations on surgical patients and may have an opportunity to work with Utah Lion’s Eye Bank.


Michelle Seegmiller, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 801-581-6586
Fax: 801-581-3357

Nick Mamalis, MD

Liliana Werner, MD, PhD

Low Vision and Eye Movements Pre-Residency Fellowship
Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

The Smith-Kettlewell Fellowship Program consists of pre- and post-doctoral fellowships in basic, clinical and rehabilitation research relating to the areas of interest of the Program Preceptors. The Fellowship Program consists of postdoctoral fellowships funded by the Rachel C. Atkinson endowment and the C.V. Starr Scholarship Fund at Smith-Kettlewell and available to citizens of any country. The research may be conducted in the fields of visual neuroscience, strabismus and amblyopia and motor and sensory rehabilitation under the guidance of the preceptors.


Information will be posted under vacancies on San Francisco Match when available.

California Pacific Medical Center

The department offers a 4-12 month long fellowship in ophthalmologic research. The pre-residency research fellow, in conjunction with the faculty at California Pacific Medical Center may design studies in clinical or basic science research. Support for projects and research travel is provided by the department through the Pacific Vision Foundation.


Soledad O’Brien, Residency Coordinator
Phone: 415-600-3438
Fax: 415-600-3949

Further information will be posted under vacancies on San Francisco Match when they become available

Midwest Region

Paid Residency Research Position for Work on Retinal Cholesterol Metabolism Projects

Case Western Reserve University

One project involves ophthalmic characterization of different knockout mice. Candidate will gain experience in various ophthalmic techniques such as optical coherence tomography, electroretinography, and immunohistochemistry as well as have the opportunity of presenting work at ARVO. The second project represents a clinical study elucidating whether levels of cholesterol in the aqueous humor correlate with those in the circulation and can serve as a marker for age-related macular degeneration.

The candidate must be a US citizen and hold and MD or PhD degree.


Irina Pikuleva, PhD
2085 Adelbert Road, Inst. Of Pathology, Rm 303
Cleveland, OH 44106, mail stop 1714
Phone: 216-368-3823

Ophthalmic Pathology Fellowship, Dr. Heather Potter

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Ophthalmic Pathology fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a one-year pre- or post-residency fellowship. The responsibilities of the fellow are both clinical and research oriented. The fellow evaluates all specimens received by the lab, including both gross dissection and microscopic examination with sign-out of cases to the attending ophthalmic pathologist, Dr. Heather Potter. There are opportunities to participate in either basic science research or histopathologic studies reviewing the substantial library of former cases seen by the laboratory. The fellow is also involved in several education opportunities including teaching the ophthalmology residents and medical students while on the service and leading OKAP directed lectures.

The UW Eye Pathology Lab, established in 1925 by F.A. Davis and directed for many years by Daniel Albert, is the only dedicated eye pathology in Wisconsin.  The laboratory evaluates specimens received not only from ophthalmologists within the state of Wisconsin but also from pathology laboratories across the United States including California, Texas, New Mexico, and New Jersey. Given the many unique specimens seen by our service, there is ample opportunity for case reports and photo submissions.

Application for the pre-residency fellowship should include the following: 

  1. Either your SF match application printout OR your CV + Official USMLE STEP 1 and 2 score reports.
  2. 2 Letters of Recommendation
  3. Personal statement reflecting upon how this fellowship will help you (1 page max)

Though typically a one-year fellowship beginning on July 1, applicants are welcome to begin earlier in order to allow for more submissions of case reports and research prior to applying for residency. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Michele Kempfer ( for more information about the program.


Michele M. Kempfer
600 Highland Ave, Room K6/454 CSC
Madison, WI 53792-4673
Phone: 608-262-9092
Fax: 608-263-0543

Southern Region

Ophthalmic Pathology Fellowship
University of Miami, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute offers a one year funded fellowship in ophthalmic pathology. The fellow will evaluate all specimens that are received in the laboratory and will be expected to engage in new and going research projects. Graduates of accredited programs in ophthalmology or pathology as well as pre-residency candidates will be considered.

Please download our fellowship application online and return it to Kathy Corser with the required supporting documents.


Kathy Corser (Residency/Fellowship Coordinator)
PO Box 016880
Miami, FL 33101
Toll-Free Phone: 800-329-7000 Ext. 6391
Direct Phone: 305-326-6391
Fax: 305-326-6580

* The information in this document was obtained directly from pre-residency programs or their websites. We welcome updates, corrections, or additions as needed. Please contact with any content recommendations.

East Coast Region

Clinical Research Fellow/Coordinator Position

University of Maryland School of Medicine

The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland offers a one year funded Clinical Research Fellow/Coordinator position. This position involves direct interaction with all faculty members working on multiple research projects, although the focus is primarily in glaucoma and pediatric ophthalmology. A portion of the work involves patient recruitment and regulatory work, but the position allows a candidate to gain significant experience in research study design, statistical analysis, and writing.  

The research fellow is expected to contribute significantly to work that will result in multiple publications. Funding is available for presentation at national conferences and potentially for statistical coursework. This position may be appropriate for both pre-doctoral as well as post-doctoral candidates. The most recent fellow in this position just matched for ophthalmology at one of his top choices. 

To apply, contact Dr. Osamah Saeedi, Director of Clinical Research directly at


Osamah Saeedi, MD (Director of Clinical Research)
419 W. Redwood Street, Suite 470
Baltimore, MD 21201


Contact Us

University of Utah School of Medicine

Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Moran Eye Center
Academic Office
65 Mario Capecchi Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Phone: 801-585-3719
Fax: 801-581-5806

Meghan Johnson, Academic Program Assistant
Phone: 801-213-4044

Chandler Thompson, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 801-581-3023

Elaine Peterson, Program Manager, Academics
Phone: 801-585-6701

Barbara Korous, Administrative Operations Manager