Academic Cornea and External Diseases Fellowship


  • Sonia N. Yeung, Fellowship Co-Director
  • Alfonso Iovieno, Fellowship Co-Director

Contact Information

Dr Sonia N. Yeung



  • Vancouver Hospital Eye Care Centre
  • Mount St. Joseph Hospital
  • St. Paul’s Hospital
  • BC Children’s Hospital

General Description
The goal of this fellowship is to prepare a candidate for an academic career in Cornea and External Disease. There is a considerable academic component to this fellowship with involvement in basic science research or clinical research or both, teaching of Ophthalmology residents and medical students, and presentation at national and international meetings.


The Fellow is expected to be involved in clinics, OR, teaching, or research at a minimum from Monday to Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Although rare, the Fellow will be expected at evening or weekend emergency clinics and ORs. Any absences must be cleared in advance. Although there are no formal on-call duties, the Fellow is expected to assist the residents with emergency cornea cases if needed.

Fellowship Objectives
1.  To prepare a candidate for an academic career with subspecialty training in cornea and external diseases.
2. To obtain strong clinical and surgical skills in Cornea, External Disease, and complex anterior segment surgery.
3. To enhance resident teaching during clinics, OR, research, and on-call.
4. To develop strong research skills (bench or clinical or both) leading to publication and presentations during the year, and teaching skills for medical students and residents.

Clinical Duties
The fellowship consists of both clinical and research components, both of which are required for successful completion of the fellowship. Approximately 80% of the time is spent in clinical activities, of which 2/3 of the time is spent in patient care clinics. Here the Fellow is involved in the diagnosis and management of routine and complex subspecialty patients. One third (1-2 days per week) of the clinical time is spent in the OR progressing from first assist to primary surgeon under supervision. The Fellow will be exposed to a variety of adult and pediatric corneal and ocular surface diseases. Surgical procedures will include adult and pediatric corneal transplantation, (PKP, DMEK, DSAEK, DALK, KPro), Limbal stem cell transplantation (KLAL, SLET, CLAL), pterygium surgery, treatment of ocular surface neoplasias, and complex anterior segment reconstruction (irido/pupilloplasty, artificial iris prostheses, sutured IOLs). As cataract surgery is prioritized for resident teaching, the Fellow is expected to have adequate training in cataract surgery as s/he will participate in combined cases. Surgery will be allocated in a graded fashion of responsibility. A candidate with strong surgical skills may achieve 80+ cases as primary surgeon within the year.

The candidate will be expected to spend 20% of his or her time on basic and/or clinical research. A basic or clinical science project will be outlined for the Fellow and he or she will be expected to present this at Research Day of the Department of Ophthalmology as well as at a national or international meeting.

The candidate will be expected to enhance resident and medical student teaching. This would include encouraging resident involvement in interesting cases in the office, as well as allowing the resident to participate as first assist for selected cases. The candidate is expected to prepare lectures and cases to be given at Cornea Rounds, and to participate in teaching of Cornea Academic Half Days.

Licensing and Language Requirements

Fellows must be licensed or eligible for licensing in their country of origin. Fellows must obtain an educational license from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia ( If English is not the language of instruction at medical school, native language of the country of residence or primary language of patient care, the candidate must prove language proficiency with Academic IELTS exam prior to time of application. A minimum score of 7 is required in each component of academic IELTS exam ( Fellows will be responsible for mandatory medical malpractice insurance, which is obtained through the Canadian Medical Protective Association at a fellowship rate.

Up to 2 weeks of conference time may be taken on approval of the Supervisors for oral presentations.

An evaluation after 2 months of the fellowship will be held to determine performance. A mid year and year end evaluation will also be conducted to provide feedback on performance. Fellows are encouraged to provide feedback throughout the year on their clinical and research experience.

1 year

The fellowship is currently unfunded; however, there are opportunities for a stipend or funding through scholarship.

Application Process
Interested candidates should send a CV and letter of interest to Dr Sonia Yeung. Rolling applications are considered. A personal interview is required but may be accomplished virtually. Strong letters of reference will be reviewed.