Fellowship in Glaucoma Surgery

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Vaama Patel from Kresge Eye Institute at Wayne State University will be joining as our 2024-2025 glaucoma fellow!
Fellowship applications for the 2025-2026 glaucoma fellowship year will be due on September 16th with in-person interviews being held this fall on Monday, October 7th and Wednesday, October 9th.

Message from the Fellowship Program Director

Photograph of Dr. Brown

The fellowship in Ophthalmic Glaucoma Surgery is to provide the ophthalmologist with extended knowledge in the field of medical and surgical treatment of patients with glaucoma. The goal of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute fellowship program is to train competent, compassionate, clinicians proficient in advanced anterior segment examination techniques, diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and related diseases, proper pre-operative and post-operative evaluation and management of surgical patients, and excellence in surgical management of glaucoma and related anterior segment conditions.

The fellowship offers comprehensive training in the medical and surgical management of the full spectrum of ophthalmic glaucoma surgery. The fellow will additionally gain experience in diagnosis and treatment of complex glaucoma, anterior segment, and intraocular pressure related diseases. Through progressively increasing participation, the fellow will gain autonomy in clinical decision-making and treatment. The fellow can expect to perform approximately 100–200 cases per year as primary surgeon.

Eric N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Glaucoma Fellowship Director

Glaucoma Faculty

Clinical Experience

Hosting middle Tennessee’s largest glaucoma specialty service, Vanderbilt Eye Institute offers the most advanced and effective treatment for all types of glaucoma. Fellows will diagnose and treat all forms of glaucoma including open & closed angle glaucomas, complex secondary glaucomas due to prior trauma, uveitis, and retinal diseases. Fellows will learn to manage glaucoma management in the presence of corneal pathology including prior KPro and corneal transplants. Coordination with retina and uveitis specialists will also be common. Finally, VEI has a thriving pediatric glaucoma patient population. Diagnostic imaging including static and kinetic visual fields, UBM, OCT (including OCT angiography), and traditional fundus photography will be learned.

Surgical Training

The fellow can expect to perform approximately 100–200 cases per year as primary surgeon. Fellows will operate at 4 surgical sites including a community ambulatory surgery center, two hospital ambulatory centers, and children’s hospital. For adult patients, classical trabeculectomies, tube shunts, bleb revisions, and cyclodestructive procedures will be commonplace as are minimally invasive procedures (MIGS). Cataract and anterior segment surgery will also be stressed. Pediatric surgery will be regularly performed. Finally, fellows will have opportunities to expand their ability to train residents in comprehensive ophthalmology surgery.

Our first two fellows have each been the primary surgeon for 30+ trabeculectomies, 75+ glaucoma tube shunts, 12+ tube/trab revisions, 30+ minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries, 10+ pediatric exams under anesthesia, 60+ glaucoma lasers (including cyclophotocoagulations), and 130+ cataract surgeries. The fellows assisted in many more surgeries and clinic procedures.

Lectures and Conferences

The fellow conducts biweekly conferences on Tuesday at 7am. The themes of these conferences alternate between cases, journal club, and research topics. Conferences are attended by all glaucoma faculty members and many former glaucoma fellows. The fellow will also participate in the resident glaucoma lecture curriculum and the annual resident gonioscopy education course.

Glaucoma Research

Many of the department faculty are involved with glaucoma research – both clinical and basic science. The fellow is expected to participate in ongoing clinical research of the service as well as embark on his/her own projects with regular research time. The fellow will participate in a clinical or laboratory research project of his/her interest, to be outlined early in the year. Ongoing departmental activities include studies of intraocular diagnostics, glaucoma genetics, and clinical measurements of ocular biometry and pathology. Presentation of original research at national conferences will be encouraged and supported. The fellow will be specifically mentored to presented a paper and/or poster at one or more of the following meetings: AAO, ARVO, and AGS.


The fellow has an appointment as a Clinical Fellow / Instructor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. The fellowship lasts for one year starting in July.

Affiliated Hospitals

The majority of the fellowship experience is provided at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute in Nashville, TN. Surgery is performed at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Cool Springs Surgery Center in Franklin, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, and the Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital in Lebanon.


The salary is commensurate with PGY status (PGY-5 level set by the GME). A stipend is available for educational development and travel to national meetings for presentations. Malpractice and health insurance premiums are covered.


Fellows are allowed three weeks of vacation. This does not include days spent presenting at national meetings.

Call Schedule

The fellows will share subspecialty call for the glaucoma ophthalmology division, one week at a time. Surgical cases on call will be supervised by one of the glaucoma faculty. The fellow will also participate in the Ophthalmology department general call schedule, serving about 2 weeks during the course of the year (additional call is available for additional compensation.)

SF Match Participation

Please refer to the SFMatch website to register for the match. After registering you can view our program listing on the SFMatch directory website for all required documents (program #5589).

Interviews since 2020 were held virtually using the Zoom conferencing platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews for the 2025-2026 academic year may also being held virtually.

Current Fellow

Logan Smith, M.D.

Previous Fellows

Photograph of Dr. Bergman
Zachary Bergman, M.D.
Photograph of Dr. Lodewyk
Kevin Lodewyk, M.D.
Gaylord, MI
Photograph of Dr. Davanian
Arash Davanian, D.O.
Dallas, TX