• 2550 Willow Street
    Vancouver, BC, V5Z 3N9
    Tel: 604.875.4407

Fellowship Opportunities

Cornea and External Disease

Thank you for your interest in the cornea and external disease fellowship at the University of British Columbia Eye Care Centre.

Fellowship coordinator and chief preceptorUBCLogo1

Simon Holland, MD, FRCSC

Contact Tel. +1 (604) 875-5850


Martin McCarthy, MD, FRCSC
Paul Dubord, MD, FRCSC
David Rollins, MD, FRCSC
John Richards, MD, FRCSC
Sonia N. Yeung, MD, PhD, FRCSC


The University of British Columbia cornea and external disease fellowship is intended to offer the fellow a broad range of clinical and surgical experience in managing anterior segment disorders. The fellowship is usually one year in duration, commencing in July. About 60% of the program is clinic-based, 30% is surgical and there is also a 10% research component which can be modified to account for a greater portion depending on the fellow’s interests. An extra year as a research fellow or a one year research fellowship may also be considered.

The University of British Columbia cornea and external disease fellowship is in compliance with the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Fellowship Compliance Committee (AUPO FCC).


Fellows train in the modern and well-equipped facilities of the preceptors and the hospitals from which they operate; Vancouver General, Mount St. Joseph and St. Paul’s hospitals. Fellows gain clinical experience in caring for chronic anterior segment disorders (e.g. herpetic keratitis, limbal stem cell failure, keratoconus), the assessment and management of emergency corneal referrals (e.g. microbial keratitis, corneal perforation, trauma) and assist in the co-management of complex cases with other specialists. There is also extensive exposure to the corneal dystrophies.

Compared to other programs, the University of British Columbia cornea and external disease fellowship offers a strong surgical component, with a focus on corneal transplants (lamellar, penetrating and keratoprosthesis), small-incision cataract surgery, advanced pterygium surgery and management of intraocular lens complications. Additionally, fellows are exposed to complex anterior segment (artificial iris implantation and scleral/iris sutured intraocular lenses) and ocular surface reconstructive surgeries (amniotic membrane grafts and stem cell transplants). As one of the first centres in Canada to perform corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) for Keratoconus, fellows gain in-depth experience with CXL and postoperative management. Presently, there is limited (if any) opportunity to perform laser refractive surgery as the primary surgeon although there is extensive exposure to the management of complex refractive surgery.

On average, fellows see 70-90 patients per week, divided between the clinics of the preceptors. At program’s end, fellows will have experienced between 50-100 corneal surgeries as primary surgeon, and approximately the same number as first assistant or observer. Additionally, fellows will participate in the teaching of medical residents, prepare and take part in talks for Ophthalmology Grand Rounds and hold interactive internet educational sessions as part of the outreach program. Fellows are also expected to present research done during their term as fellow at the University of British Columbia Ophthalmology Annual Research Day and are encouraged to attend local or international conferences.

Upon completion of the program, fellows should be confident, resourceful and capable of managing complicated anterior segment cases.

Vancouver is internationally regarded as offering a high quality of life with abundant recreational opportunities and a rich multicultural experience.

Please visit http://ophthalmology.med.ubc.ca/education/fellowships/cornea-external-diseases-refractive-surgery/ for more information about the corneal practice.


Fellowship selection is highly competitive. Successful candidates should be self-motivated, flexible learners, research-oriented and possess’ excellent interpersonal skills. Fellowship applications are accepted up to two years in advance, at the discretion of the head of the cornea service. Fellowship selection is the responsibility of the five authorized preceptors: Drs. Simon Holland, Martin McCarthy, David Rollins, Paul Dubord and John Richards. Preference is given to candidates from regions where need is greatest and where the fellow will return to a teaching position. Preference will also be given to candidates from developing countries where there are high rates of corneal blindness and unmet surgical need.

The fellowship is unfunded so potential candidates should provide evidence of sufficient funding or financial support for the duration of the program. Fellows must be licensed or be eligible for licensing in their country of origin and must obtain an educational license from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. Eligibility for the College is based on evidence of completion of a residency training equivalent to that in Canada and success in the originating country’s specialty examinations. Fluency in English is essential, documentation of which may be requested. Fellows are responsible for mandatory medical malpractice insurance which can be obtained through the Canadian Medical Protective Association at a fellowship rate.

Deadline for applications is September 10th in the year prior to beginning the fellowship.

If you have any questions please contact the Fellowship Coordinator Dr. Simon P. Holland at