Ophthalmology Fellowship Program

The primary goal of the Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship Program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is to provide supervised, clinical training, in the examination, diagnosis and medical and surgical treatments of ocular and visual system disorders in neonates, infants and children as well as eye movement disorders and strabismus in adults.

The fellowship program also requires the fellow to supervise and instruct students and residents and participate in administrative aspects of medical care. The fellow is also provided an environment in which to learn and participate in both clinical and basic science research.

The Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship is approved by the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, supported by Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. There are two (2) fellowships available, with the fellows being employees of Children’s Hospital. The training period is one academic year, (July 1 to June 30). The fellows participate directly in, and have a supervisory role of ophthalmology clinic with ophthalmology residents. The fellows will also participate directly and assume a supervisory role in coverage of hospital and emergency room consults, staff surgery and outpatient clinical care. The fellows will be required to organize journal club and participate in a clinical or basic science research project during their fellowship with the intent of finishing the project within the fellowship period.

Clinical Care

The Children’s Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology and the medical practices of Drs. Cheng and Hoover as well as The Adult Strabismus and Eye Movement Services are very busy clinical services and are responsible for approximately 300 outpatients visits, 30 operations, 20 ROP exams, 20 emergency room visits and 20 hospital consultations per week. This patient activity under the supervision of multiple staff is the strength of the clinical fellowship program. There are multiple, regularly occurring specialty clinics in which the fellow will participate. Some include craniofacial, contact lens/low vision, neurofibromatosis, oculoplastics, cornea, cataract, IIH, IBD and diabetic.


Educational activities are a daily part of the fellowship program. Two ophthalmology residents as well as occasional pediatric residents and medical students are present in the ophthalmology clinic at Children’s Hospital. All surgical procedures have staff attendance. Journal club, medical student and resident lectures as well as UPMC Eye Center weekly grand rounds are all fellow activities. Weekly Pediatric Ophthalmology rounds are also mandatory.


The department has a very active grant and locally supported clinical and basic science research service. The department is currently participating in multi-center trials in nystagmus, amblyopia, strabismus and glaucoma. Fundamental investigations of the developing visual and ocular motor system are being carried out by departmental personnel with the help of undergraduate, graduate and medical students and residents using highly sophisticated electrophysiological techniques. Clinical outcomes and audit are areas of great interest also. 

Candidate Requirements

Candidates are required to have completed an accredited medical school, internship and be eligible for a U.S. State license to practice medicine and surgery. They must also have completed a residency program in ophthalmology. The fellow must reside in the greater Pittsburgh area during their year of fellowship.

Application and Interview Process

The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Pediatric Ophthalmology fellowship participates in the National Subspecialty Matching Program in Ophthalmology at http://www.sfmatch.org/. Please register with the matching program.

Applicants must also complete a Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship Program application form and provide materials, such as original letters of reference, listed in the form. You will be contacted regarding a visit to Pittsburgh for a tour and interviews with the departmental staff. The application deadline is October 30.

Please contact Jamie Presken (preskenjl@upmc.edu) to request a Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship application form.

Questions about the pediatric ophthalmology training program should be directed to:

Darren Hoover, MD, and Ken K. Nischal, MD
Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
One Children's Hospital Drive 
4401 Penn Avenue
Faculty Pavilion, Suite 8000
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Phone: 412-692-9896
Fax: 412-692-3203