Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus

Message from the Fellowship Program Director  

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The goal of the fellowship is to provide training for a comprehensive practice in pediatric ophthalmology.  While strabismus is the mainstay of the pediatric practice, the fellowship also emphasizes pediatric cataract and anterior segment surgery.  Fellows can expect to receive experience in ROP, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, and glaucoma as well.  The schedule balances clinical examination and surgical exposure with opportunities for research and resident teaching.  By the completion of the fellowship, we hope to have trained a confident and compassionate clinician that can become a leader in the field of pediatric ophthalmology.   

David Morrison, M.D., Professor
Fellowship Director


Sean Donahue, M.D. Ph.D.
Nancy Benegas, M.D.
Meghan Flemmons, M.D.
Dolly Ann Padovani-Claudio, M.D., Ph.D.
Anvesh Reddy, M.D.
Allison Umfress, M.D.

2021 Fellowship Interview Dates

Thursday, October 28th and Friday, October 29th


The fellow has an appointment as an 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 in the Tennessee Lions Eye Center for Children at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The Lions Eye Center is a state of the art facility, which includes twelve fully-equipped 20 ft. examining lanes. Additional clinical experiences are available at several satellite clinics in the Middle Tennessee area.  Fellows perform most adult strabismus cases at Cools Springs Surgery Center in Franklin, approximately 15 miles south of Nashville.  Fellows are additionally credentialed to supervise residents at the neighboring Tennessee Valley Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital and at a local County Hospital.

Clinical Activities

The Fellowship provides a comprehensive experience in all aspects of pediatric ophthalmology, including extensive experience with pediatric and adult strabismus, intraocular lens management of infantile cataract, pediatric neuro-ophthalmology, and ROP with subspecialty clinics in pediatric retina and pediatric glaucoma and pediatric oculoplastics. Roughly equal time will be spent in the clinic and in the operating room during the year.  The fellow has an autonomous clinic on Friday afternoons to encourage development of confidence in clinical decision-making and management.

The fellow works with pediatric ophthalmology faculty in the evaluation and treatment of all patients. He or she will participate in clinical diagnosis, planning of treatment, and office procedures and will assist faculty in the teaching of residents and medical students. The fellow is responsible for pre-operative evaluations and post-operative orders of all patients when he or she is the assistant or primary surgeon.

Ancillary Services

The Lions Eye Center includes rooms for in-office procedures, ultrasound, and electrophysiologic tests. The Eye Institute has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, including digital photography, fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography, spectral-domain, optical coherence tomography (OCT-3), I3 ultrasonography, and electroretinography, which is available for difficult diagnostic problems. Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has high-resolution imaging capabilities including CT, MRI, and PET scanning with sedation support provided by the Anesthesia Department.

Lectures and Conferences

Pediatric ophthalmology lectures, Grand Rounds, and research seminars are held regularly at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. Journal club meetings dedicated to Pediatric Ophthalmology are scheduled bimonthly.

Research Activities

Clinical research opportunities in amblyopia and vision screening are available. Clinicians participate in the Infantile Aphakia Treatment Study, Amblyopia Treatment Studies and PEDIG in addition to several basic science projects. Presentation of original research at national conferences is encouraged and supported.


Semi-annual meetings will be held to evaluate the fellow’s performance and to provide an opportunity to discuss the fellowship experience.


The salary is commensurate with PGY status. A stipend is available for educational development and travel to national meetings for presentations. Malpractice and health insurance premiums are covered.


Two weeks. This does not include days spent presenting at national meetings.

Call Schedule

The fellows will share subspecialty call for the pediatric ophthalmology division, one week at a time, with Drs. Donahue, Morrison, Estes, Benegas, and Dr. Flemmons. The fellow will also participate in the Ophthalmology department trauma call schedule, serving about 2 weeks during the course of the year.

SF Match Participation

Please refer to the SFMatch website to register for the match and read about the new process using CAS for applying to Ophthalmology Fellowship training programs. After registering you can view our program listing on the SFMatch directory website for all required documents.

Former Fellows

David Morrison, M.D.
Nashville, TN (Vanderbilt)

Kathy Whitfield, M.D.
Boise, ID

Steve Howell, M.D.
Louisville, KY

Taressa Gillig, M.D.
Charlotte, NC

Allyson Schmitt, M.D.
Knoxville, TN

Peter Chang, M.D.
Miami, FL (University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute)

Daniel Brooks, M.D.
Boise, ID

Samantha Roland, M.D.
Tampa, FL

Derick Holt, M.D., Ph.D.
Fresno, CA

Anvesh Reddy, M.D.
Nashville, TN

Sasha Strul, M.D.
Minneapolis, MN

Collin Hair, M.D.
Hershey, PA

Rachel Cooley, M.D.

Samantha Feldman, M.D.

Kathryn Maier, M.D.
Cincinatti, OH

Alex de Castro-Abeger, M.D.