The University of Missouri/Mason Eye Institute is proud to offer three fellowships in vitreoretinal disease and surgery, glaucoma and anterior segment surgery, and cornea, external disease, and refractive surgery.

Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery

We offer an exceptional two-year, AUPO-certified fellowship in Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery to one candidate every 2 years. The fellow will receive a robust medical and surgical experience in state of the art facilities at the University of Missouri.

The fellow is directly involved in the education of medical students and ophthalmology residents and will work closely with them in the clinic, operating room, and in didactics. The fellow holds educational conferences every other week, moderates the Retina Journal clubs and participates in Grand Rounds. In clinic, the fellow works with Dr. Hainsworth and Dr. Elkeeb at the Mason Eye Institute seeing varied pathology that includes acquired adult and pediatric retinal diseases, hereditary retinal diseases, retinopathy of maturity and uveitis. The fellow is also expected to learn and perform most clinic procedures. These include macular and peripheral laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapy, cryopexy, pneumatic retinopexy and intravitreal injections. The fellow also has the unique opportunity to have autonomy during the fellow clinic at the Harry S. Truman Veterans Affairs medical center.

The fellowship boasts a significantly above national average operating room surgical volume. The fellow is trained using state of the art surgical equipment including intraoperative OCT and the Alcon and Basuch and Lomb vitrectomy platforms. All aspects of vitreoretinal surgery are covered, from scleral buckles (encircling, segmental, radial) to modern day small gauge pars plana vitrectomy techniques and endoscopic vitrectomy. New surgical procedures, such as subretinal medication delivery as well various types of secondary intraocular lens placement are performed routinely within this exceptional training program.

The retina service is also involved in both clinical and transnational research and the fellow is required to be involved in research early in fellowship. The fellow is expected to participate in scholarly activities that translate into publications, presenting at regional and national meetings and present their work at the Department Of Ophthalmology Resident and Alumni conference. Extensive mentoring and potential for collaboration is available with our research faculty; Dr. Huang, Dr. Katz, and Dr. Whiting whose retina focused basic science research labs are directly above the clinic.

The fellowship is an extremely well rounded training opportunity with very friendly, family oriented faculty and staff located in a wonderful Midwestern college town.

Program facilities

The fellowship occurs at Mason Eye Clinic (two locations within Columbia) as well as the Harry S. Truman Veterans Affairs, located conveniently across the street from the University Hospital. The fellow also participates in performing and treating retinopathy of prematurity at the Woman's and Children's Hospital in Columbia. The clinics have state of the art equipment, including optical coherence tomography (both Heidelberg and Zeiss available) with angiography, widefield imaging, widefield fluorescein and ICG angiography, electroretinogram, Photodynamic laser, MicroPulse laser, and Ultrasound. The operating suites at the University and Harry S. Truman Veterans Affairs offer the latest technology with Zeiss Lumera 700 microscopes with ReSight and intraoperative optical coherence tomography.

Stipend/benefits

The University of Missouri School of Medicine follows the PGY scale for salary and has excellent benefits.  

Call

The fellow will serve as primary retina only call, with one weekend off per month. There is no general ophthalmology call required. A typical call call week would include going in approximately 1-2 times per week for after hours emergencies.

How to apply

SF Match Residency and Fellowship Matching Service

Glaucoma and Anterior Segment Fellowship

The fellowship will encompass a broad exposure to clinical and surgical management of glaucoma and cataracts. The work environment at the Mason Eye Institute is welcoming and family-oriented; Columbia, Missouri is a great mid-sized urban college town, with its own regional airport and about two-hour drive to St. Louis and Kansas City.

The fellow will receive a robust surgical experience with first-hand exposure to the various and the latest Microinvasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) and angle surgery procedures (including iStent, Hydrus, GATT, OMNI, KDB goniotomy, Xen gel stent), as well as tubes (Valved and non-valved), trabeculectomy and bleb revision / in-office needling procedures. The fellow will also perform latest laser procedures, including CycloG6/ Micropulse cyclophotocoagulation (MpCPC), endocyclophotocoagulation (ECP), and micropulse laser trabeculoplasty (MLT).

This program will also give the fellow plenty of exposure to both routine and complex cataract surgeries, with 100+ cases anticipated, including various types of premium IOLs, with ORA, Zeiss Callisto and HD recording system available. The fellow will work closely with the Ophthalmology residents in clinic and will occasionally staff resident surgery. The fellow will have an opportunity to lead autonomous clinic and OR once deemed competent.

University of Missouri is the only tertiary academic center in Mid-Missouri with fellowship-trained glaucoma specialists, who run full-time, high-volume surgical practices and are passionate about teaching and research. We see see over 90% subspecialty glaucoma and anterior segment patients, and the fellow will be exposed to a wide range of glaucoma pathology and personalized treatment approach.

Mason Eye Institute has two state-of-the-art facilities that are within the city. Both sites are well equipped with the latest diagnostic technologies and fully-trained staff.

The fellow will have an opportunity to participate in clinical trials and produce a number of peer-reviewed articles if desired. The glaucoma and anterior segment fellowship at the Mason Eye Institute will produce a competent glaucoma surgeon who is well prepared for a future in either academic or private glaucoma practice.

This year, all interviews will be done on the Zoom platform, and interested candidates are welcome to arrange a visit of our facility. Please contact the program coordinator for details.

Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery Fellowship

This exclusive fellowship is available to one individual per year. The fellow will assume increasing responsibility for patient care under the supervision of faculty members. He or she will also participate in department research and produce numerous peer reviewed articles and/or book chapters.

The cornea and external disease fellowship is one year in duration and begins the first week of July, ending the last week of June the following year. The experience is directed primarily by Frederick (Rick) W. Fraunfelder MD, MBA, and provides broad exposure to clinical and surgical management of corneal and anterior segment disease. Clinical experience will include all aspects of the medical management of cornea and external disease including pre and post-operative care. The fellow will have up to two days of surgery per week, and he or she will have their own clinic on Fridays.

This opportunity offers a diverse and robust surgical experience with approximately 40-80 penetrating keratoplasties, 30+ endothelial keratoplasties (DMEK/DSAEK), 50+ ocular surface procedures, 10-20 refractive surgeries, and 200+ cataract extractions. The fellow will also perform a variety of trauma, burn, and anterior segment reconstruction procedures.

Program Facilities

The majority of the fellowship will be held at Mason Eye Institute and University Eye Institute East, with up to two half-days per week taking place across the street at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital. Our facilities include Mizzou Optical, departmental and research offices, a low vision room, imaging areas for photography/angiography, endothelial cell counts, topography and OCT, ultrasonography, as well as a minor procedure room and laser suite. Surgeries take place at the Missouri Center for Outpatient Surgery and Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital.

Stipend/Benefits

The University of Missouri School of Medicine follows the PGY scale for salary and has excellent benefits.  

Call

The fellow will share in the faculty call pool for Mason Eye Institute, which occurs on a one-week rotating schedule. Attending call is typically light, but the fellow will also be expected to be available to residents in the event of an emergent corneal issue.

Cornea Fellow

Naja Chisty, DO

Naja Chisty, DO

Bio

  • Undergraduate institution: University of Memphis
  • Medical school: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine- Denver, CO
  • Ophthalmology Residency: Larkin Hospital - Miami

Naja was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. After finishing high school, she moved several times and lived in several states to complete her education and training including Tennessee, Colorado and Florida. Outside of work, Naja enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family and cat.