Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship

This one-year paid fellowship is administered under the sponsorship of the University of Minnesota and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO).

Our program accepts one fellow each year. Fellowship candidates must have completed a residency program in either Ophthalmology or Neurology, domestically or abroad. International medical graduates must be eligible for a Minnesota medical license. 

Strengths of the Program

Clinical Exposure

Our faculty members are both full-time academic clinicians running busy clinics.  Dr. Lee and Dr. McClelland were trained in different highly respected fellowship programs.  Thus, the fellow will be exposed to a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to complex neuro-ophthalmology cases.  The fellow will have outstanding exposure to patients with thyroid eye disease through the Center for Thyroid Eye Disease at the University of Minnesota.  We routinely see 30-45 patients monthly with this disorder, and fellows will see the breadth and depth of thyroid eye disease. 

Fellowship Flexibility

We pride ourselves on providing excellent clinical training to prepare our graduates to pursue their career goals.  Given that not all fellows have the same professional aspirations, we offer flexibility in training to cater to the fellows’ educational needs.  Depending on the interests and training background of the fellow (e.g., neurology versus ophthalmology residency trained), additional training may be provided in the following: temporal artery biopsy, adult strabismus surgery, electroretinogram (ERG) interpretation, neuro-radiology interpretation, fundoscopy skills, and medical botulinum toxin injections.  In the past, we have also enabled fellows (based on interest) to have their own general clinics, cataract surgery, and opportunities to lecture to residents. 

Neuro-ophthalmic Surgical Training

For ophthalmology-trained fellows with an interest in a future surgical neuro-ophthalmic career, our fellowship provides premier surgical training in complex adult strabismus.  Pre-pandemic primary surgical numbers as primary surgeon ranged 120-140 cases with frequent utilization of adjustable suture technique and a diverse mix of unoperated eyes, re-operations, paretic strabismus, and restrictive strabismus.  Dr. Lee and Dr. McClelland both run busy thyroid eye disease specialty clinics.  Our fellows have tremendous exposure to both the clinical and surgical care of thyroid patients with strabismus.  Fellows can also expect a robust experience in performing temporal artery biopsies and some exposure to Botulinum injection for facial spastic disorders.  For fellows who wish to retain comprehensive ophthalmology surgical skills during fellowships, our fellows may continue to perform independent cataract surgery to maintain their skill set.  In this capacity, fellows can expect to perform 15-30 cases as the sole surgeon. 

Approachable, Energetic Faculty Cognizant of a Healthy Work-life Balance

Drs. McClelland and Lee are both dedicated and distinguished teachers who make themselves available to medical students, residents, and fellows for the purposes of learning.  Both have won multiple teaching awards recognizing their passion and efficacy as teachers.  Our faculty also cherish time with family.  Past fellows have found the schedule sufficiently busy to gain outstanding training but yet still allow time for private endeavors outside of work.

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