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The University of North Carolina offers a 1-year glaucoma fellowship under faculty mentors Donald Budenz, MD, MPH, Meredith Klifto, MD and David Fleischman, MD, FACS. The fellowship provides extensive training in all aspects of the diagnosis, clinical care and surgical management of glaucoma.

Fellowship Details

The glaucoma fellow sees patients with faculty at the UNC Kittner Eye Center exclusively and operates with faculty at nearby UNC Hospital facilities.

While strong clinical training is the core of the program, research opportunities (both clinical and basic science) abound. Our program is supplemented by the invaluable contribution of Dr. Jean-Claude Mwanza (Research Associate Professor in Glaucoma Diagnostic and Epidemiology Research) and Dr. Emily Gower (Associate Professor of Ocular Epidemiology).

The fellow will assist in pediatric glaucoma clinical and surgical care under the mentorship of Dr. Klifto and the Division of Pediatric & Strabismus Surgery’s Michelle Go, MD, MS. Training takes place primarily at the UNC Kittner Eye Center, with state-of-the-art equipment and electronic medical record. The glaucoma fellow will be trained in the diagnostic modalities of gonioscopy, optic disc evaluation and visual field and nerve fiber layer interpretation.

Surgical training will include trabeculectomy with MMC (with and without the Ex-PRESS Glaucoma Filtration Device), glaucoma drainage implants (Ahmed, Baerveldt and ClearPath), cyclophotocoagulation, combined glaucoma and cataract surgery, complex cataract surgery (small pupil, posterior synechiae, pseudoexfoliation, trauma), iris repairs, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery including, but not limited to, Kahook Dual Blade, Trabectome, iStent, and Hydrus implants. In addition, the fellow will become proficient in laser trabeculoplasty, laser peripheral iridotomy and argon laser peripheral iridoplasty.

The typical one-year fellowship consists of seeing consultation patients with full-time faculty and participating in their surgeries. The fellow will also spend up to one-half day per week supervising residents in a glaucoma and urgent care clinic and will rotate seeing consults with residents.

Weekly Grand Rounds in the Ophthalmology Department are held Wednesday mornings and consist of presentations of interesting cases by residents and fellows with discussion among faculty. The glaucoma fellow will meet on a regular basis with glaucoma faculty and rotating residents to discuss interesting topics and/or journal club articles. Glaucoma Service Rounds are held twice monthly.

The fellow will participate in the teaching of residents and will serve in rotation as faculty-on-call.  Each fellow is expected to complete at least one research project (clinical or basic science). The results of the research of every resident and fellow are presented in a two-day program held in the month of June.

The department’s clinical faculty and basic science researchers can serve as a valuable source of ideas and resources for research projects. The department encourages and funds fellows to present their research at an academic meeting such as AAO, ARVO or AGS.

The deadline for applications is October 1st of the year prior to the July 1st starting date for a fellowship.


Fellows must obtain an unrestricted North Carolina state medical license prior to beginning the fellowship. All 3 parts of the USMLE must be passed for the North Carolina medical license.

Salary & Benefits

The UNC Department of Ophthalmology provides funding for this fellowship with salary support, medical malpractice insurance, and health benefits.

Application Process

Applicants should apply to the SF Match ( and complete the CAS Glaucoma Fellowship application. See SF Match website for deadline.