Retina Fellowship

Vitreo-Retinal Fellowship Training

We appreciate your interest in the Department of Ophthalmology vitreoretinal fellowship at the University of Virginia Health System.  The department sponsors a two year medical/surgical vitreoretinal fellowship.
The fellowship program is a well-preceptored, moderately high volume retina practice with a mix of primary and referral vitreoretinal conditions including uveitis.  The fellowship is under the guidance of Brian Conway, MDMichael Cusick, MD, MHSAArthi Venkat, MD, MS, and Paul Yates, MD, PhD.

Vitreo-Retinal Fellowship

This fellowship is designed to provide extensive training in medical and surgical management of vitreoretinal diseases.  Teaching material for the fellowship comes primarily from the outpatient clinics. The experience is well-balanced between the medical and surgical aspects of vitreoretinal disease.


The candidate is required to have completed residency training in ophthalmology. He/she must have a Virginia Medical License prior to matriculation into the program. The training period commences on July 1 and concludes on June 30 two years later; one position every year is offered. Salary is commensurate with PGY-5 level.


Brian P. Conway, MD is Professor Emeritus of Ophthalmology.  He received his undergraduate degree in 1964 from Georgetown University.  Following studies in economics, he received his MD in 1968 as well from Georgetown University School of Medicine.  He completed his ophthalmology residency in 1975 from the Wilmer Eye Institute John Hopkins University,  followed by a fellowship in 1976 in diseases and surgery of retina and vitreous at, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute University of Miami Health System.

Michael Cusick, MD, MHSA is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology.  He received his undergraduate degree in 1999 from Georgetown University.  Following studies in biochemistry, he received his medical degree in 2004 from Georgetown University School of Medicine.  He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute John Hopkins Hospital in 2008, followed by a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery and medical retina 2010 at the Duke University Eye Center.  He also completed a Master of Science in Health Systems Administration in 2020 at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Arthi G. Venkat, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology.  She received her undergraduate degree in 2007 from University of Southern California.  Following studies in health and humanity, she received her MS in physiology and biophysics in 2008 and then in 2012 she earned her MD, both from Georgetown University.  After interning at Washington Hospital Center with Internal Medicine in 2013, she completed her ophthalmology residency in 2016 from George Washington University.  She followed up her residency by completing a medical retina fellowship in 2017 and a uveitis fellowship in 2018, both at Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute.

Paul A. Yates, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology.  He received his undergraduate degree in 1990 from California Polytechnic State University.  Following studies in electronic engineering, he received his MD and PhD in 2001 from University of California in San Diego.  He completed his ophthalmology residency in 2005 at Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, followed by a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery in 2007 at Tufts University New England Eye Center.


Patients are seen in ophthalmology offices in both the downtown medical center and an ambulatory care center within 10 minutes from the downtown area. The clinics have complete examining and diagnostic facilities, lasers, and a minor procedure room.  Outpatient surgery is performed both in the UVA Hospital and an outpatient surgery center. The fellow is given graded autonomy with respect to patient evaluation and vitreoretinal surgery.  The fellow also assists in the supervision of resident retina clinics.

Resources and Responsibilities

The Department conducts a comprehensive program of lectures and conferences for residents and fellows and offers CME-certified meetings for community and regional ophthalmologists. The fellows alternate presenting at twice monthly ocular imaging conference given to the department and are expected to give grand rounds two times per year.

A full-time departmental research assistant is employed to conduct phase III and IV studies. The fellow will participate in these clinical research trials and is encouraged to optimize basic research opportunities.

Additional Information

As the year progresses, the fellow assumes a gradually increasing level of surgical responsibilities. It is our intention that by graduation the fellow will be comfortable with any type of vitreoretinal surgery.

The vitreoretinal fellow directs the Ophthalmic Imaging Conference during which all of the interesting cases seen in the Department over the previous two weeks are reviewed. This helps to ensure that the fellow reviews all interesting medical retinal problems.

Applications are accepted through the Central Application Service (CAS) which is run by the San Francisco Matching Program.

Teaching Conferences

The fellow will run the imaging conference through the presentation of standard and interesting teaching cases. The conference is held twice a month on Wednesday, from 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM, immediately prior to Grand Rounds.  Retina journal clubs will also be held throughout the academic year.

The fellow also presents Grand Rounds presentations two times per year.

Fellows are strongly encouraged, and will be financially supported, to participate in research and presentations at national meetings.


For information concerning salaries, benefits, parking, meals, etc., please check the UVA Human Resources faculty page.


The Health System at the University of Virginia lies adjacent to the central grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s original academical village. Charlottesville and Albemarle County attracts cultural and cosmopolitan functions out of proportion to the small community. From

Charlottesville offers an impressive variety of cultural, social, and recreational opportunities. There are more than 25 neighborhood and jointly funded parks and an extensive series of walking trails that run through parkland, residential areas, and along the beautiful Rivanna River.

Charlottesville is also a center of thriving art, music and theater community that does a fantastic job of keeping one’s creative spirit alive. The Charlottesville Ting Pavilion amphitheater draws big named acts into the downtown area and hosts a weekly Friday After Five concert in the spring through the fall, a local favorite to kick off the weekend. The downtown pedestrian mall is one of the most successful of its kind in the country and has a wide variety of shops and award-winning restaurants. A magnet for art, music, dining, shopping and entertainment, the mall is also home to the Paramount Theater, one of few community-supported restorations of historic theaters in the country and has hosted nationally-known entertainers. The  John Paul Jones Arena (JPJ) opened in 2006 and has hosted many national caliber events such as The Dave Matthews Band, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel and Cirque du Soleil.

Other popular activities in the area include excellent tennis, golf, hiking, ballooning, horseback riding and racing, tubing, fishing, biking, camping, and the occasional hunting for antiques. The area also boasts many thriving wineries, cideries, and breweries, making up the state’s largest collection with several places winning national recognition.

The nation’s capital is only 120 miles away and there are excellent regular air connections to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. The Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, 20 miles from Charlottesville, along with the nearby Appalachian Trail provide some of the best hiking in the United States. Snow skiing is within an hour’s drive, with night skiing available. Across the Blue Ridge Mountains, the vistas of the Shenandoah Valley and the rivers and mountains of West Virginia provide some of the best whitewater canoeing and rafting in the world. Medical students, Housestaff, and Faculty have a share in the stimulating and picturesque ambiance of University life within Piedmont Virginia.

Application Process

Our retina fellowship program registers with the Retina Fellowship Match Program (#4276). Potential applicants should access this site for match registration information.

To apply for the fellowship, submit a letter of application accompanied by a curriculum vita, a personal statement, and at least three letters of recommendation to the SF Match.  For additional information, contact:

Mary Smith
Retina Fellowship Program Administrator
University of Virginia Health System
Department of Ophthalmology
P.O. Box 800715
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0715
Phone: (434) 982-0855

Paul A. Yates, MD, PhD
Retina Fellowship Program Director
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
University of Virginia Health System
Department of Ophthalmology
P.O. Box 800715
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0715
Phone: (434) 982-0855

Ophthalmology Fellowship Match
P.O. Box 7584
San Francisco, CA 94120-7584
Phone: (415) 447-0350
Fax: (415) 561-8535