Program Description

The two-year Retinal and Vitreous Surgery Fellowship at Mayo Clinic provides broad exposure to medical and surgical diseases of the retina.

During the fellowship, you will diagnose and treat common, as well as rare, conditions encountered in a vitreoretinal practice. Your experiences will include providing care for patients with:

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Retinal vascular diseases
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Tumors
  • Uveitis

You will acquire skills in procedures dealing with treatment of the eye, including:

  • Scleral buckling
  • Vitrectomy surgery
  • Laser photocoagulation
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Cryotherapy

Furthermore, you will gain proficiency in the interpretation of fluorescein angiograms, ocular coherence tomography (OCT), ultrasonography, and retinal electrodiagnostic studies.

As part of the program, you will assist or participate in approximately half of the vitreoretinal surgical procedures performed at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Additionally, VR Magic's EYE SI vitreoretinal surgery simulator is incorporated into surgical instruction. The simulator allows you to develop surgical skills and experience in a non-operating room setting.


To ensure you gain proficiency and develop the corresponding technical skills, your performance is monitored throughout this program. You are formally evaluated by your supervising faculty member quarterly; and then meet accordingly with the program director to review these evaluations. In addition, you regularly evaluate the faculty to ensure your educational goals are being met.

Program History

The Retinal and Vitreous Surgery Fellowship began in 1977, and since that time, more than 16 physicians have completed training. It is anticipated that one fellow will complete training in this program annually. In the past, we have trained fellows from the US, as well as international fellows who have returned to their native country to practice.