Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship


The University of Wisconsin Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences offers a two-year fellowship program that provides a balanced and extensive educational experience in both the medical and surgical aspects of retinal disease. We have an equal blend of primary and tertiary referral retinal disease. The following areas are included in the surgical training program: vitreoretinal surgery, primary and complex retinal detachment repair, scleral buckling, management of complications of anterior segment surgery, trauma management.

The fellowship includes care of uveitis, ocular tumors, and pediatric retina. In the clinic setting, fellows act as mentors to our residents and medical students. They will learn and teach examination techniques, photocoagulation, and retinal imaging including retinal angiography ultrasonography, optical coherence tomography and angiography, and interpretation of electrophysiology. Fellows participate as investigators in clinical trials and will conduct collaborative research with our faculty. Educational activities include leading weekly Retina Case conference, and participating in imaging conference, journal clubs, and Grand Rounds.

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Director Michael M. Altaweel, MD
Associate Director Jonathan S. Chang, MD
Parent Department or Academic Unit University of Wisconsin Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Address 2870 University Avenue, Suite 206

Madison, WI 53705-3611

Telephone (608) 263-6429
Preceptors Michael M. Altaweel, MD

Barbara A. Blodi, MD

Roomasa Channa, MD

Jonathan Chang, MD

Justin L. Gottlieb, MD

Mihai Mititelu, MD, MPH

T. Michael Nork, MD, MS

Kathleen Schildroth, MD

Kimberly Stepien, MD

Emeritus Faculty Suresh R. Chandra, MD

Thomas S. Stevens, MD

Primary Clinical Training Site: University Station Clinics

2880 University Avenue

Madison, WI 53705-3631

Length of Fellowship 2 Years
Numbers of positions/year 1 position per year for a two year term
Starting Date July 1
Application Deadline: September 1
Actively Involved in Resident Education Yes
Research Required Yes
Block Time assigned to Research Yes

Hear what our PEOPLE say.

Program Director, Michael M. Altaweel, MD:

2020-2022 Fellow, Ben Fowler, MD, PhD:

2020-2022 Fellow, Gordon Crabtree, MD:


2019-2021 Fellow, Joseph Raevis, MD:


2018-2020 Fellow, Kathleen Regan, MD:

2017-2019 Fellow, Zackery Oakey, MD:

MORE From the Fellows:

The University of Wisconsin has been a historical leader in the field of vitreoretinal disease and continues to offer fellows a distinctive education in a warm and welcoming environment. Since the 1970s the division has produced some of the most compelling research in the field to date, including the Diabetic Retinopathy Study (DRS), Beaver Dam Eye Study (BDES), Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy (WESDR), and was a major player in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). Madison, WI was the city in which Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS) pathology was reviewed and radiation doses were determined. Much of this work was completed in the world famous Wisconsin Fundus Photograph Reading Center (FPRC), one of only several still operating in a public institution. That legacy is carried today in even small elements of retinal medicine such as the macular grid produced by the Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System that is present in every OCT image in the world. While these things may go un-noticed in the background of every retina clinic, they speak to the ongoing and living contribution of the University of Wisconsin. Open any text book regarding the field of vitreoretinal disease, its basic epidemiology, therapy, and pathophysiology, and you will find “Wisconsin” somewhere in the citation section.

Today the program offers its fellows unparalleled exposure to electroretinography (ERG), inherited retinal disease, oncology, and pediatric vitreoretinal surgery in addition to the basic practices of vitreoretinal surgeons. Every week the first year fellow reviews ERG cases with an attending and basic researchers to discuss results and implications. The fellow then compiles the results of the test and dictates the results to referring providers. In many cases, the fellow sees the patient in clinic with the suspected disease, orders and reviews the ERG data, prepares the report, and finally sees the patient in clinic to discuss the findings with an attending and the patient. These visits commonly result in genetics testing. Fellows are uniquely converted to experts in ERG and genetics.

Oncology training in Wisconsin provides a degree of comfort and understanding of tumors and masses of the posterior segment above referral. The University of Wisconsin is the final place for oncology and tumor care in Wisconsin and many parts of Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. The vitreoretinal fellow plays a key role by both personally performing in-clinic procedures such as Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and Transpupillary Thermotherapy (TTT) as well as plaque radiotherapy and vitrectomy in the operating room. We do not have an oncology program in which these patients are referred outside the division. The fellow is trained to care for the full compliment of oncology including its secondary sequelae such as radiation retinopathy, monitoring of metastases, and co-management with oncologists.

The University of Wisconsin is the home of a historically impressive retina division that offers fellows unrivaled exposure to diseases in an inviting cultural milieu that fosters creativity and inclusion.


Example of Faculty and Fellow Research: Dr. Michael Altaweel, Fellowship Director and Dr. Paul Boeke, 2015-2017 Vitreoretinal Fellow
Oil Technique ASRS 2019

Meet the Retina Service Team

Michael M. Altaweel, MD

Professor, Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship Director

Barbara A. Blodi, MD

Matthew D. Davis Professor, Wisconsin Reading Center Medical Director

Jonathan S. Chang, MD

Associate Professor; Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship Assistant Director

Benjamin Fowler, MD, PhD

Second Year Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow

Justin L. Gottlieb, MD

Professor, Retina Service Chief

Mihai Mititelu, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Clinical Eye Research Unit Medical Director

Paige Richards, MD

First Year Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow

Kimberly E. Stepien, MD

Professor, Co-Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs, John W. and Helen Doolittle Professor


The year listed is when the 2-year fellowship was completed.

  • Pik Sha Chan – 1998
  • Michael Altaweel – 2000
  • Lars Freisberg – 2002
  • Charles Hejny – 2004
  • Matt Reed – 2006
  • David Johnson – 2008
  • Jonathan Gunther – 2009
  • Peter Youseff – 2010
  • Drew Dixon – 2011
  • Andrew Hendrick – 2012
  • Amol Kulkarni – 2013
  • James Eadie – 2014
  • Eric Brinton – 2015
  • Patrick Sassini – 2016
  • Paul Boeke – 2017
  • Michael Possin – 2018
  • Zackery Oakey – 2019
  • Kathleen Schildroth (Regan) – 2020
  • Joseph Raevis – 2021
  • Gordon Crabtree – 2022



For more information, please contact:

Hannah Baker, MA

Senior Graduate Medical Education (GME) Program Manager

(608) 263-4157