In Ophthalmic Plastic, Orbit, and Reconstructive Surgery
Fellowship Director and Preceptor: John W. Shore, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Fellowship Co-Director: Sean M. Blaydon, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Associate Preceptors: Sean M. Blaydon, M.D., F.A.C.S., Todd R. Shepler, M.D.,
Russell W. Neuhaus, M.D., Bita Esmaeli, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Assistant Preceptor: Tanuj Nakra, M.D.
A two-year post-residency fellowship in ophthalmic plastic, orbit, and reconstructive surgery is offered. This is an intensive clinical fellowship sponsored by Texas Oculoplastic Consultants (TOC). It is accredited by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). Successful completion of the fellowship qualifies the physician to apply for membership in the Society. The fellowship training program is carefully integrated with the oculoplastic services at participating institutions including Seton Medical Center, Brackenridge Regional Trauma Center, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the San Antonio Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital. The training program is directed by Dr. John W. Shore. The primary associate preceptors are Drs. Sean M. Blaydon, Russell W. Neuhaus, Todd R. Shepler, and Tanuj Nakra. The above preceptors are partners of TOC. Dr. Bita Esmaeli coordinates the rotation at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
There are four objectives for the training program:
- To provide comprehensive training in ophthalmic plastic, orbit reconstruction, and aesthetic surgery.
- To prepare the fellow for a career in the specialty of consultative ophthalmic plastic, orbit, and reconstructive surgery.
- To develop the fellow’s skills in clinical and laboratory research.
- To assist the fellow in becoming an effective teacher, surgeon, and clinician.
Description of the Fellowship Program
Given the objectives cited above, the preceptors assume the applicant is strongly motivated toward a career in the subspecialty of oculoplastic surgery. This area of clinical medicine encompasses the general areas of teaching, laboratory and/or clinical research, administration, and the business aspects of an aesthetic and reconstructive oculoplastic surgical practice. This fellowship is structured to provide an intensive, well-supervised training experience over two years.
The fellowship is divided into junior and senior fellowship years. In the first year of training, most of the fellow’s time is spent assisting Drs. Shore, Blaydon, Neuhaus, Shepler, and Nakra in their clinical practices. The fellow will work-up patients, first assist on private surgical cases, and perform some surgical cases under direct supervision. The fellow will act as primary surgeon on selected patients with eyelid and lacrimal disease, but most of the surgical experience will be shared with the preceptors on their private patients. There will be ample opportunity to manage patients with ocular, orbital, and adnexal trauma both as primary surgeon and as first assistant. Staffing of resident surgical cases is expected with senior surgeon oversight provided by the fellowship preceptors. The resident experience will take place at the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. After a period of time the fellow will be allowed to operate independently on carefully selected patients on the ophthalmology clinic service at the Brackenridge Regional Trauma Center in Austin, Texas. During the first year of training, the fellow will assume increasing responsibility for surgical management of non-referred cases. He or she will begin to perform surgical procedures. Once proficiency is demonstrated, the fellow will be credentialed to perform selected procedures without supervision. Back-up senior staff coverage will always be available. The fellow will have opportunities to assist other attending surgeons in a variety of specialties depending upon case mix. A number of other ASOPRS members residing within the local area participate in supervision of the fellow. The fellow will have the opportunity to assist on their private cases.
Upon completion of the first year of training, the fellow will have his credentials expanded to allow greater flexibility and responsibility for managing complex medical and surgical cases. Depending on demonstrated skills, responsibility, and maturity, the fellow may have an opportunity to spend a portion of the second year at a teaching hospital with clinical privileges being coterminous with the completion of training at the end of the second year. If selected, the fellow will have responsibility for patient care commensurate with his clinical skills, training, and experience. His performance will be carefully monitored by the co-preceptors. Staff support and supervision will always be available. The fellow will attend a residents’ clinic, assist and teach the residents, and actively participate in the activities of the oculoplastic services at several institutions. He or she will bear substantial administrative responsibility for the daily management of patients. Complex orbital and reconstructive cases originating in the private practice of Drs. Shore, Blaydon, Neuhaus, Shepler, Nakra and other preceptors will be performed by the fellow commensurate with his skills, level of training, and preceptor and patient comfort. The goal is to keep the fellow as primary surgeon when possible. Formal rotation blocks will be scheduled in ENT, neurosurgery and Moh’s surgery. In addition, there will be ample opportunity for the fellow to perform team surgery with ENT, neurosurgery, dermatology, and general plastic surgery. Six months during the fellow’s second year will be spent at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
During the fellowship, the fellow will have up to four months of protected time to conduct research, study independently, or take elective rotations. This is subject to approval of the preceptor. The fellow is expected to complete a clinical and laboratory research project, submit a manuscript for review, and defend a thesis prior to completion of training. This research will form the basis for the thesis required for membership in the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). In addition to the thesis, the fellow is expected to complete four to six manuscripts during the course of the fellowship. Support for research will come from a variety of sources including income generated from the private practices of the TOC physicians as well as billing from the fellow.
Conference and Teaching Responsibilities
The fellow is responsible to the preceptors for participation in academic programs related to oculoplastic surgery. The fellow will attend courses sponsored locally and will participate in teaching conferences as opportunities evolve. The fellow is expected to develop and give lectures to residents on suitable topics chosen by the preceptor. In addition, periodic conferences will be held in the TOC offices where the fellow will present topics of interest and review cases with the preceptors.
Financial and Educational Support
The salary offered is $40,000 for the first year of training and $45,000 for the second year of training. In addition to the fellow’s salary, malpractice insurance and personal health insurance are provided as benefits. Retirement benefits are not included. Limited funds are available for travel to national scientific meetings in each year of training if the fellow is a first author on the paper. Additional funding is available for research.
The fellow will take primary emergency call at the Brackenridge Regional Trauma Center. This is a major trauma center for the city of Austin. The call will involve the coverage for all ophthalmic cases including intraocular trauma as well as adnexal trauma. Adequate subspecialty coverage and backup are provided by the hospital. All staff oculoplastic coverage is provided by the TOC physicians. In addition to call at Brackenridge Hospital, the fellow may take call for Drs. Shore, Blaydon, Neuhaus, Shepler and Nakra on a regularly scheduled basis. The call requirements are not onerous and allow ample time for independent study and research.
The fellow is allowed two weeks of vacation in his first year of training and three weeks in the second year. The absences will be approved and coordinated by the preceptor. Normal TOC holidays will also be honored.
Period of Training
The fellowship begins on July 10 of odd years (2009, 2011, 2013, etc.) and continues for 24 consecutive months through July 9 of the second year of training. The fellow is expected to be available for clinical and/or research duties throughout this time. The training schedule will be set by the preceptor. The certificate of training will be withheld if a fellow departs prior to completion of training unless the departure is approved by the preceptor.
Upon successful completion of training, the fellow will be awarded a fellowship certificate by TOC. This fellowship is approved by ASOPRS. Once ASOPRS is notified that training has been successfully completed, the fellow will be eligible to apply for membership in the society.
Applications are accepted between September and December 31st of the odd academic year prior to the start of training. Information on fellowship and applications are available from:
John W. Shore, M.D., F.A.C.S.
or Sean M. Blaydon, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Texas Oculoplastic Consultants
3705 Medical Parkway, Suite 120
Austin, Texas 78705
Telephone: (512) 458-2141
Fax: (512) 458-4824
The basic requirements for the application to be considered are as follows:
- Completion of residency training in an ophthalmology residency training program sanctioned by the ACGME. Exceptional foreign medical graduates may be considered in unusual circumstances if they are eligible for Texas licensure.
- Eligible for an unrestricted Texas Medical License (you will be required to have a Texas Medical License by the start of your fellowship – this can take up to 14 months here in Texas).
- Selection by the preceptor and associate preceptors.
- Academic and professional credentials approved by Seton Medical Center Network such that the fellow can obtain clinical privileges at affiliated institutions.
- Approval for malpractice coverage as required by hospital by-laws. Malpractice insurance will be covered by TOC.
To apply for training, please send the following:
- Curriculum vitae
- Transcript from medical school (official original source documents required)
- Transcript from college
- A summary of your OKAP scores from the first, second, and third years of training
- Dean’s letter from medical school
- At least three independent letters of recommendation including one from your Program Director or Department Chair
- A copy of your current medical license
- A recent passport-sized photograph
- A personal statement (limit to two pages double-spaced)
- Any other information you wish to present as part of your application
Following initial review of the application, fellows will be selected for the interview process. Applicants will be contacted individually. The applicants should not contact the preceptors to request interviews. Interviews will not be granted until all applications have been reviewed and the pre-selection process completed.