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Program Director:  

Charles A. Garcia, MD



Charles A. Garcia, MD

John A. McCrary, MD

Thomas C. Prager, PhD, MPH



Two years; one year for applicants interested in medical retina


Number of Fellows:

One First Year;

One Second Year

Formal Teaching/Training

The fellowship was established in 1980. More than 50 practicing vitreo-retinal surgeons in the USA and abroad have graduated from this program. This fellowship offers two years of training in medical and surgical retina, with exposure to a wide variety of retinal pathologies.  The training is weighted toward the management of diabetic retinopathy and ARMD. Opportunities for clinical and basic science research are available. The fellowship is based at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved residency program of The University of Texas Medical School Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
Fellows will learn to manage a variety of retinal and vitreous conditions including retinal detachment, retinal-vascular diseases, macular diseases, retino-choroidal degenerative and hereditary diseases, ocular oncology, posterior Uveitis, and infectious retinal-choroidal diseases.  Experience is gained through formal and informal didactic teaching, study of clinical material (examination, evaluation, treatment and discussion of patients) and analysis of pertinent literature. Patient facilities are equipped with state-of-the art ophthalmic diagnostic tools, including digital fluorescein angiography, indocyanin green angiography, ultrasonography electroretinography. At the completion of the training, the fellow should become well versed in the interpretation of these diagnostic tests and is encouraged to become familiar with how to perform most of these tests.


The laser machines available are the following: Pascal, Coherent Novus 2000, Iridex Oculight infrared laser console with all available delivery devices, Zeiss Visulas laser console.  During the fellowship, the fellow is trained for a clinical and an academic career. Activities are designed to provide excellent hands-on training in medical and surgical vitreo-retinal diseases for residency-trained ophthalmologists. The fellow is responsible for outpatient and inpatient care.  She/he participates in the evaluation and management of at least 400 surgical cases per year. Prior to completion of the program, the fellow completes approximately 150 vitreo-retinal surgeries as primary surgeon, and approximately 300 laser procedures.


The fellow is required to participate in 50% of grand rounds, ethics lectures, journal clubs and 75% of the lectures related to vitreo-retinal topics conducted by the Department of Ophthalmology at the Cizik Eye Center. The fellow will actively participate in the education of medical students, optometry students, and ophthalmology residents.



Patient care is provided in clinics that cover a wide geographic part of the Houston metropolitan area.  The main office is at the Medical Place One building affiliated with the St. Joseph Medical Center in downtown Houston. The second clinic is at the Cizik Eye Center, affiliated with Hermann Hospital in the Medical Center.  Two satellite clinics are also available in Webster and East Houston and are 15-30 minutes away by car from the main office.


Operating rooms
The surgeon has a choice between the Accurus high speed vitrectomy machine or the Storz procedures. Contact and non-contact wide angle viewing systems are available.  Operations are performed at St. Joseph Medical Center, Grammercy Surgical Center, and Cizik Eye Center.


Research facilities
The Retinal Vascular Center, located at the Museum District Eye Center,coordinates all ongoing clinical trials.  Collaborative research agreements have been established with The University of Houston, Texas Center for Superconductivity and Advanced Materials where some of the preceptors have faculty appointments.


National Meetings
The fellow attends two national meetings of their choice every year. Meetings recently attended include:  the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting; The Cleveland Clinic Vitreo-retinal Update Course; Vitreo-retinal Fellows Meeting, Chicago; the Vitreous Society Meeting and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting.


Research projects in which the current fellows are involved:
Two labs are available at the UT-Basic Science research building for basic research. The animal facility at the UT-Dental School houses the rabbits used in the animal experiments.

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