New Hybrid Fellowship Program Combines Pediatric Ophthalmology and Comprehensive Ophthalmology

Doctor in white lab coat talks to a young girl

A newly revamped program at the University of Wisconsin is offering ophthalmology fellows a unique combination of specialized clinical and surgical training in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus, along with comprehensive adult cataract surgery.

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences received approval from the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology in May to begin offering the one-year hybrid pediatric ophthalmology/adult strabismus and comprehensive ophthalmology fellowship for the fall of 2025.

“This program has been designed to prepare our learners for the specific skills they will need in today’s clinical settings,” said Yasmin Bradfield, MD, fellowship co-director. “We have several pediatric ophthalmology/adult strabismus fellowship alumni who joined practices where they perform adult cataract surgery in addition to practicing pediatric ophthalmology/adult strabismus. We wanted to provide a program that addressed this specific need. The program is also a great fit for an ophthalmologist who may be deciding between practicing as a pediatric ophthalmologist or comprehensive ophthalmologist.”

Fellows in the program can expect to be involved in over 400 surgical cases, many as a primary surgeon. Selected fellows will work closely with five pediatric ophthalmologists, who offer more than 80 years of experience in patient care at the University of Wisconsin and the American Family Children’s Hospital, which fields more than 7,000 sub-specialty outpatient visits per year.

“In addition to pediatric ophthalmology, our fellows have the opportunity to gain extensive, up close clinical and research experience in the field of strabismus,” Dr. Bradfield explained. “We have a wide referral base for treating complex strabismus in children and adults, and our surgical procedures include a wide variety of strabismus surgeries.”

Fellows will work with five comprehensive ophthalmology specialists as well. The comprehensive ophthalmology component of the program focuses on providing both clinical and surgical care for adult patients with cataracts.

In this program, a fellow will obtain a combination of clinical and surgical care in comprehensive ophthalmology with the direct supervision of multiple comprehensive faculty,” said John Temprano, MD, comprehensive ophthalmology service chief and fellowship co-director. “In addition, fellows will work with our resident and medical student learners, participate in our comprehensive journal club, grand rounds and provide call coverage consistent with other fellows in the department.”

Fellows also complete an independent research project appropriate for presentation at a national meeting, participate in regular didactic lectures, and gain additional expertise in the field of ophthalmic genetics through participation in a monthly inherited retinal degeneration clinic.