Optometry Fellowship

Hospital-based Fellowship in Advanced, Medically Necessary Contact Lenses
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (OVS) Chicago, IL


A one-year post-residency mentorship program designed to enhance the skills of optometrists seeking careers in academia or subspecialty practice in providing care to patients with significant corneal disease that require advanced/medically necessary contact lenses.  This fellowship is considered a post-graduate year 2; PGY-2 position.

About the Program:

This clinical fellowship is intended for optometrists who have completed a residency and are interested in specializing in advanced, medically necessary contact lenses through additional didactic and clinical training. The goal of this program is to train the Fellow to become proficient in managing patients with significant corneal disease through advanced contact lens fitting techniques in addition to medical management; with the goal of transitioning to careers in large subspecialty practices including academic-based medical centers and academia. Fellows are expected to participate as part of a multi-subspecialty ophthalmic group in tertiary patient care that frequently involves cornea, glaucoma, and retina subspecialists. Fellowship training will primarily be focused on clinical training supplemented with didactic lectures; fellows will also have the opportunity for rotations with other subspecialists and clinical research tailored to their goals.

UIC Clinical Responsibilities:

Fellow training experiences will include the following:
•    Patient care at UIC Contact Lens Service and Millennium Park Eye Center (downtown satellite office)
•    Direct patient care in Comprehensive Ophthalmology Faculty Practice
•    Opportunities to rotate with other subspecialties (e.g., cornea)

UIC Educational Responsibilities:

•    Morning OVS Didactic Lectures (lectures provided by UIC faculty and attended by ophthalmology residents)
•    Weekly OVS Grand Rounds
•    OVS Subspecialty Annual Symposiums
•    Assist in lecturing residents on various contact lens related topics

Other Opportunities:

Additional opportunities exist in which the Fellow can tailor the program specific to their interests.  For example, numerous opportunities for clinical and basic research training exist with both Contact Lens Service faculty as well as other OVS faculty, or through campus-wide initiatives.  Fellows are encouraged to attend and present at national meetings, and be in the process of applying for FAAO status.  In addition, the opportunity exists to rotate through other ophthalmic subspecialty services, and lecture in CE events.

Contact Lens Service Faculty:

  • Timothy McMahon, OD, FAAO
    Professor of Ophthalmology
    Vice Chair, Optometry
  • Charlotte Joslin OD, PhD, FAAO
    Professor of Ophthalmology
    Director, Contact Lens Service
  • Ellen Shorter, OD, FAAO, FSLS
    Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology
    Director, Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem (PROSE) Clinic
  • Angelica Scanzera, OD, MPH, FAAO, FSLS
    Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
    Director, Tele-Ophthalmology Service
    Director, Contact Lens Fellowship

Drs. McMahon, Joslin, Shorter and Scanzera have over 65 years of combined experience as faculty members at the UIC Contact Lens Service, primarily providing care to patients requiring medically necessary contact lenses. UIC Contact Lens Service Faculty are known nationally for their clinical and research expertise, as well as their ability to help patients with various complex corneal diseases, with extensive experience fitting all types of medically necessary contact lenses including scleral, hybrid and rigid contact lenses, as well as customized soft contact lenses. Both Drs. McMahon and Joslin are Diplomates in the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies of the American Academy of Optometry.

In addition, Drs. Shorter and Scanzera are Fellows of the Scleral Lens Education Society. The UIC Contact Lens Service offers BostonSight PROSE treatment and impression-based EyePrint Pro for patients with severely compromised ocular function as a result of complex corneal disease.

Typical patients managed include those with keratoconus, post-corneal transplant, limbal stem cell deficiency, dry eye disease (including graft-versus-host disease, Sjögren’s and Stevens-Johnson Syndromes), persistent epithelial defects, neurotrophic keratitis, corneal scarring, post-LASIK, post-keratoprosthesis (KPro), aphakia, and trauma (open globe repairs, chemical burns, cosmetic reconstruction). Nearly all lenses are custom designed with patient-specific base and peripheral curves, with emphasis placed on modifying lens design to optimize the fitting relationships and corneal disease management.

Salary and Benefits:

The 2022-2023 salary for the one year post-residency Advanced Contact Lens Fellowship is $61,996 (UIC PGY-2 schedule; 2023-24 salaries not yet finalized). Benefits offered parallel those offered for all UIC employees (e.g., health, disability and life insurance, vacation, sick leave, malpractice insurance). More information on benefits is available here.


Optometrists interested in this unique fellowship opportunity should contact:

Angelica Scanzera, OD, MPH
Fellowship Director

Email:  ascanz@uic.edu
Phone:  312-996-5410

Application Details:

Fellowship applicants will need to submit applications to be received by December 18, 2022 for a summer 2023 start date. Application requirements include:

  • Letter of intent/future professional career plan
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Graduate school transcript
  • Board score report

Please send all of the above documents to ascanz@uic.edu.