DOVS Announces Launch of New Medical Retina and Uveitis Fellowship

Education News // Fellows // News // Uveitis // Apr 27 2022

The UW Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is excited to announce a brand-new clinical fellowship – Medical Retina and Uveitis – which will officially launch next year.

The new one-year dual training program begins on July 1, 2023 and interested individuals can begin the application process via SF Match after July 1, 2022.

“We’re so excited to be able to offer this new and unique fellowship,” said medical retina specialist and fellowship co-director Kimberly Stepien, MD. “In addition to medical retina training, this fellowship offers a unique exposure to inherited retinal diseases and to uveitis, things that are so important in the care of patients with retinal diseases.”

Over the course of a year, the Medical Retina and Uveitis fellow will receive training on the diagnosis and management of medical retinal pathology, inflammatory ocular conditions, and retinal dystrophies. The fellow will also see patients in UW’s Inherited Retinal Disease (IRD) and Uveitis clinics, gain experience in multimodal retinal imaging, as well as engaging in clinical research to help advance new treatments for uncommon eye conditions, including IRDs and uveitis.

“We really need more trainees that have familiarity with the new therapeutics coming on the market for uveitis,” said fellowship co-director and uveitis specialist Laura Kopplin, MD, PhD. “Traditionally we’ve used systemic immunosuppressive agents that have been adapted from rheumatology to treat inflammatory eye conditions, but there’s more and more interest in doing clinical trial work of these agents in uveitis itself. So we definitely need more trainees who are interested in learning about this approach to caring for eyes that’s more site-targeted and systemic in nature.”

In addition to Kopplin and Stepien, the fellow will receive instruction from eight additional faculty members who specialize in the medical and surgical care of the retina. The fellow will also actively be involved in resident physician education.

“We have a very unique family feel to our fellowships here,” Stepien said. “We work hard to care for our patients, but also prioritize taking care of each other, as well.”

The UW Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is proud to now offer seven clinical fellowships, from Pediatrics to Vitreoretinal Surgery. A pre-residency ocular pathology and imaging fellowship is also available. Each fellowship offers hands-on experience and learning, as well as unique opportunities to pursue specific areas of personal interest.

“Fellows really bring a lot to the table, and frequently take ideas that we get from our clinical practice and turn those ideas into a study we can do or a paper we can write,” Kopplin said. “I hope that with this new fellowship, we’ll be able to do much more of that work here.”

The Medical Retina and Uveitis fellow will be selected in December 2022.

As for Madison itself, Kopplin adds, “It’s not just a great place to come and learn, but it’s also a great place to live. It’s a very family-friendly town with a reasonable cost of living and lots of things to offer. It’s a great place to call home.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about our newest fellowship.