Paediatric Ophthalmology

Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology, Adult Strabismus, & Comprehensive Ophthalmology at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario & the University of Ottawa Eye Institute

Fellowship Director and Preceptor: Michael D. O'Connor, MD, FRCSC

Application Process
  • Interested candidates should contact the fellowship director to express interest:
    • Canadian citizens who are enrolled in or are graduates of Canadian residency programs must do so at least 9 months in advance of proposed start date.
    • All other candidates should do so at least 12 months in advance.
  • Typical start date is July 1st.
  • If the proposed start date is available, candidates will then be invited to submit a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and a minimum of two letters of reference (one of these letters should be from the Residency Program Director or from the Department Chair/Chief).
  • Select candidates will then be interviewed by the fellowship director in person, or remotely if necessary.
  • The fellowship director will contact successful candidates.
Minimum Educational and Clinical Requirements
  • A degree of medical doctor (MD) or equivalent from an approved medical school.
  • Successful completion of an approved ophthalmology post-graduate residency training program or equivalent prior to starting the fellowship.
  • Documented experience in the following areas:
    • Clinical examination, diagnosis, and formulation of a treatment plan of pediatric ophthalmology patients.
    • Clinical examination, diagnosis, and formulation of a treatment plan of adult ophthalmology patients.
    • Horizontal muscle strabismus surgery as the primary surgeon in first operation cases.
  • Priority will be given to graduates of Canadian residency programs who plan to practice in Canada following completion of the fellowship. Additional priority will be given to those who are planning a career in academic medicine. Special consideration will also be given to international candidates who will be practicing in regions that are lacking in pediatric ophthalmology resources.
Training Sites
  • The Ottawa Hospital (primary site will be The University of Ottawa Eye Institute at the Ottawa Hospital – General Campus) for adult and comprehensive ophthalmology.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario for pediatric ophthalmology.
  • Off-site observerships at other designated sites to be determined (for example, CNIB).
Fellowship Duration

Duration of fellowship training will be determined on an individual basis. The minimum training commitment is 6 months, with typical fellowship duration of 12 months.

Funding
  • No direct salary support is available for this position.
  • Successful applicants may request bursary support totaling $20,000 per 6-month training interval.
  • Candidates who have an OHIP billing number may supplement their income through billing as a surgical assistant.
Qualifications Obtained in Training

Candidates who successfully complete the training program will be awarded a certificate at the end of the fellowship.

Fellowship Goals

This fellowship is intended to prepare candidates for a career as a comprehensive ophthalmologist with a strong emphasis on pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, and for candidates who envision a career as a full-time pediatric ophthalmologist and strabismus surgeon, in an academic or community setting.

Clinical

  • Appropriately evaluate, diagnose, and treat pediatric and adult in patients in an adult and pediatric ophthalmology outpatient setting.

Surgical

  • Appropriately evaluate, diagnose, and treat surgical eye conditions, particularly strabismus, pediatric cataract, and glaucoma.

Education

  • Develop a more organized, effective, and efficient approach to the basic clinical training of medical students and residents in the clinic and operating theatre.
  • Become a more effective oral and visual communicator in a didactic teaching setting, including medical student and resident teaching sessions, as well as Department of Ophthalmology Grand Rounds.

Scholarship

  • Develop an appreciation for pursuit of knowledge and advancement of medicine and surgery through scientific enquiry.

Personal Development

  • Employ techniques to maximize personal growth and career and life satisfaction.
  • Incorporate volunteerism into a life plan.
Specific Objectives

At the end of the fellowship, the successful candidate will be able to perform the following:

  • Pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus
    • Medical expert
      • Effectively triage consultations.
      • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage the following conditions:
        • Congenital eye abnormalities
        • Retinopathy of prematurity
        • Pediatric cataracts
        • Retinoblastoma
        • Nystagmus
        • Hemangioma
        • Hyphema
        • Cellulitis
        • Uveitis
        • Amblyopia
        • Strabismus
        • Abnormal head position
    • Medical skills
      • Perform visual acuity testing confidently and reliably in the appropriate scenarios using the following techniques
        • Bruckner test
        • Central/steady/maintained fixation testing
        • Age-appropriate optotypes
        • Fixation preference with Teller/Cardiff cards
        • Special techniques for the visually impaired child
        • Special techniques for the child with functional visual loss
      • Perform ocular motility and sensory testing confidently and reliably in the appropriate scenarios using the following techniques
        • Worth four dot
        • Stereo tests (including Lang, Randot, and Frisby)
        • Cover testing for phorias, tropias
      • Identify the following on examination
        • Common patterns of childhood strabismus
        • Monofixation syndromes/microtropias
        • Paralytic strabismus and secondary deviations
        • Oblique muscle dysfunction
        • Monocular elevation deficiency
        • Incomitancy
      • Perform refractions confidently and reliably in the appropriate scenarios using the following techniques
        • Loose lens refractions
        • Manifest and cycloplegic refractions
        • Aphakic refractions
        • Over-refractions
        • Bifocal assessment
  • Comprehensive adult ophthalmology
    • Appropriately diagnose, manage, and treat adult patients with
      • Glaucoma and suspicion of glaucoma
      • Cataract, including performing a pre-operative assessment
      • Uveitis
      • Refractive error
      • Macular degeneration
      • Urgent complaints in an emergency outpatient ophthalmology clinic setting
  • Pediatric and comprehensive ophthalmology
    • Surgical skills
      • Understand the indications, create a surgical plan, anticipate surgical complication, and perform surgery safely and independently for surgical correction of
        • Strabismus, including vertical muscles, oblique muscles, reoperations, and adjustable sutures
        • Nystagmus
        • Nasolacrimal duct obstruction
        • Pediatric cataract
        • Pediatric glaucoma
        • Hemangioma
        • Hyphema
        • Retinopathy of prematurity
        • Examination under anaesthesia
    • Communicator
      • Establish therapeutic relationships with patients
      • Establish therapeutic relationships with families
    • Collaborator
      • Establish effective working relationships with other members of the patient’s circle of care
    • Manager
      • Utilize the resources of the clinic effectively
    • Scholar
      • Perform independent study with respect to clinical cases
    • Health Advocate
      • Facilitate patient access to hospital and community resources appropriately
    • Health Professional
      • Exhibit exemplary interpersonal interactions with colleagues and co-workers

Demonstrate empathy, compassion, and honesty in dealing with patients and families

Expectations and Minimum Requirements for Completion
  • The Department of Ophthalmology Administrative Assistant will make the Clinic and Operating Theatre schedules available at least one month in advance.
  • Unless other clinical duties have been specified, the Fellow will work in clinic and in the operating theatre with Dr. O’Connor.
  • The Fellow will participate in weekly retinopathy of prematurity screening at the neonatal intensive care unit with Dr. O’Connor.
  • The Fellow will supervise the resident(s) covering daytime emergencies and inpatient consults at CHEO, under the guidance of Dr. O’Connor.
  • The Fellow will make regular presentations/small group teaching sessions to the residents, and will participate in Department Grand Rounds and Journal Club.
  • The Fellow will spend dedicated time each week on reading for personal learning.
  • The Fellow will spend dedicated time in the Ophthalmic Surgical Skills Centre, including with the cataract surgical simulator (EyeSi).
  • Participation in research project(s) during the fellowship is encouraged but not mandatory.
  • A minimum of one half-day should be spent observing strabismus surgery by other surgeons in the Department. Ideally this will be arranged on a day when no other clinical duties are scheduled.
  • If possible, a minimum of one half-day will be spent at each of the following:
    • CNIB Ottawa
    • The OCTC Low Vision Early Intervention Program
    • The Ottawa Public School Board Itinerant Low Vision Teachers
    • The “i-screen” Kindergarten Vision Screening Program
    • The electrophysiology lab at the Eye Institute
    • Other learning opportunities of this nature can be discussed upon request.
Performance Evaluation

Formal performance evaluations will be completed at 3-month intervals. Informal feedback will be provided on a day-to-day basis. Evaluations will be based on performance in clinic, operating theatre, teaching sessions and rounds, and from feedback from other members of the health care team.

On-Call Duties

There is no regular on-call duty schedule for this fellowship. The Fellow will be responsible for and will attend to weekend and evening clinical responsibilities as per Dr. O’Connor’s staff on-call schedule and as clinical responsibilities demand. The Fellow is expected to be available, unless otherwise planned, to receive telephone queries from surgical patients.

Vacation and Educational Leave

One week (5 working days) of vacation per 6 months of training is available. Three days of education leave per 6 months of training is available. A minimum of 4 weeks notice is required for both.

Reading Requirements

At a minimum during the Fellowship, the Fellow should complete reading of the following:

  • Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus by Hoyt and Taylor
  • Color Atlas of Strabismus Surgery by Kenneth Wright

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson et al.

Application Process
  • Interested candidates should contact the fellowship director to express interest:
    • Canadian citizens who are enrolled in or are graduates of Canadian residency programs must do so at least 9 months in advance of proposed start date.
    • All other candidates should do so at least 12 months in advance. For more information please contact Ginette Snook, Departmental Education Program Coordinator. All Foreign Trainee applications to our program must go through the PGME office. Foreign Trainee candidates must apply on-line through the Fellowship application system. The application site for Foreign Trainees opens in July/August and the deadline for applications is September 30th for the next academic year. All Foreign Trainee candidates are expected to apply to both the SF Match and the PGME Foreign applications.
  • Typical start date is July 1st.
  • If the proposed start date is available, candidates will then be invited to submit a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and a minimum of two letters of reference (one of these letters should be from the Residency Program Director or from the Department Chair/Chief).
  • Select candidates will then be interviewed by the fellowship director in person, or remotely if necessary.
  • The fellowship director will contact successful candidates.
Back to top