Hear more about the fellowship experience from past fellows by clicking here.

The cornea, external disease and refractive surgery fellowship at the UC Davis Eye Center  is a one-year clinical program emphasizing the surgical and medical management of anterior segment diseases. We take great pride in the training and mentorship that our fellows receive during their year with us in Sacramento.

Our practice is a tertiary care center for cornea referrals; our large catchment area extends throughout the Central California Valley and into the Tahoe-Reno area. The pathology is extensive and varied, and the fellow’s experience will prepare him or her well for a career in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery.

We think that you will find your time at UC Davis both rewarding and enjoyable as you become part of our family here at the UC Davis Eye Center.

Please explore our website to learn more about the UC Davis Cornea Fellowship and the UC Davis Eye Center, and feel free to email us if you have further questions.

Jennifer Li, M.D.
Director, Cornea and External Disease Service 
Professor, Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery 
UC Davis Eye Center


Cornea Service Administrative Assistant

Roberto Quant
916-734-6957 (office)
916-734-0411 (fax)

Mark J. Mannis, M.D.
Fosse Endowed Chair in Vision Science Research
Distinguished Professor, Cornea and External Disease
UC Davis Eye Center

Cornea fellowship

The UC Davis cornea fellowship is a clinical fellowship emphasizing the clinical and surgical care of patients in a tertiary, University-based setting. The fellow works under the direct supervision of our cornea specialists in their busy referral practices. Additionally, half a day a week is set aside for refractive surgery where the fellow will have his or her own patients to evaluate and manage under the supervision of our refractive service attendings.

The curriculum is one of gradually increasing responsibility, beginning with refinement of diagnostic skills in the clinic and basic techniques in the operating room. Over the course of the year the fellow will become increasingly able to handle complex diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical decisions on his or her own. Our goal is to produce a cornea subspecialist fully able to work independently in private practice or academic settings after completing the fellowship.

The surgical cases are representative of typical university practices and are well-balanced between penetrating keratoplasty, lamellar keratoplasty (DMEK, DSAEK, DALK), complex cataract and anterior segment reconstruction surgery, and refractive surgery cases. Additionally, the cornea service helps provide coverage for The Shriner’s Hospital for Children where the fellow will have the opportunity to participate in the care for patients with acute burn injuries and SJS/TEN.

The UC Davis cornea fellowship is in compliance with the guidelines of the AUPO Fellowship Compliance Committee.

Candidates must be graduates of an ACGME-accredited ophthalmology residency in the United States or Canada and have a full, unrestricted license to practice in California from the Medical Board of California prior to starting the fellowship.

The cornea fellowship participates in the SF Match Program.

Interviews are conducted in October and November.

Duration of Program:
The program is a 1-year fellowship, beginning July 7. If possible, we ask that the outgoing fellow stay for one additional paid week in July to help orient in the incoming fellow to the Cornea Service and make the transition as smooth as possible.

Teaching and Education:
As the year progresses and the fellow’s knowledge base quickly expands, the fellow will take on more direct teaching responsibility of the resident and medical students on the service. The fellow is expected to attend departmental didactics on Friday morning, participate in quarterly department journal clubs, and prepare presentations for Grand Rounds and other departmental CME events.

Although this is primarily a clinical fellowship, all fellows are required to present at least one research project at the annual UC Davis Resident/Fellow Research Symposium held at the end of the year. Research projects have varied in the past depending on the interests of the fellows, from large retrospective chart reviews to eye bank research projects. We also have significant collaborations with our veterinary ophthalmology colleagues at UC Davis, and there are opportunities to work with them in the lab on translational research.  

The fellow is expected to be available for residents to contact by pager or phone with questions about the management of a severe corneal pathology seen in the emergency room or after hours. The cornea fellow is never on “primary call” for the cornea service but should be available for backup and for urgent/emergent corneal cases. Additionally, fellows take 2-3 weeks of “attending call” every 6 months where they will round on inpatient ophthalmology consults with the consult resident and staff open globes with the chief resident.

Fellows are paid according to the salary scale associated with the postgraduate year (PGY) training level for the fellowship program. Salary scales are approved annually by the University of California, Office of the President, and posted at https:/hr.ucdavis.edu/employees/ucdh-resident.

In addition to your salary, UC Davis Health will provide you with health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance. UC Davis Health also provides comprehensive professional liability coverage. Additional information may be found on the UC Davis GME website at https://health.ucdavis.edu/gme/residents-fellows.html.

Fellows are also allotted vacation time and education days. Travel reimbursement is available for scientific presentations at professional meetings, and attendance/participation at appropriate meetings is encouraged.