Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship

Program Description

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.

The Children’s Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology as well as The Adult Strabismus and Eye Movement Services are very busy clinical services and are responsible for approximately 11,000 outpatient visits per year. Each week, our trainees are involved in at least 30+ operations, 30+ 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, anterior segment and pediatric cornea, contact lens/low vision, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, medical retina, ophthalmogenetics, adult strabismus and nystagmus.

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 meetings, imaging rounds and clinical rounds are also mandatory.

Fellows will rotate with our pediatric ophthalmology faculty at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC as well as the community pediatric ophthalmologists in the surrounding greater Pittsburgh area. 

Any further inquiries can be made to the fellowship director:

Christin L Sylvester, DO, FAOCO
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
UPMC Eye Center
412-692-9896

Application and Interview Process

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

You will be contacted regarding a visit to Pittsburgh for a tour and interviews with the departmental staff. The application deadline is September 30.

Teaching Faculty

Lea Ann Lope, DO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

Craig Luchansky, OD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

Ellen Mitchell, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

Kanwal "Ken" Nischal, MD
Professor of Ophthalmology
Division Chief, Pediatric Ophthalmology
Director, Pediatric Program Development

Christin Sylvester, DO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

Sara Otaibi, DO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

Matthew Pihlblad, MD
Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Siobahn Gallagher
Academic Program Manager
412-647-2256
gallaghersa@upmc.edu
Eye & Ear Institute
203 Lothrop Street, Rm 821.1
Pittsburgh, PA 15213