The Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship is a 2-year AUPO accredited fellowship and will begin July 1, 2021. 

Program Directors

photo of Diego Espinosa, MD

Diego Espinosa, MD

  • Vitreoretinal Surgery Program Director

Fellowship Overview

The AU Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship will provide a structured clinical training in the management of vitreoretinal and uveitic diseases, as well as screening and treating infants for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) at the AUMC NICU.  Fellowship training will take place in three main sites:  the main Augusta University Eye Clinic on 2nd floor of the main campus hospital in downtown Augusta, GA, the Augusta State Medical Prison (ASMP) in Grovetown, GA, and the West Wheeler satellite clinic on the west side of greater Augusta. 

Fellows will be trained to interpret various diagnostic imaging techniques including fluorescein angiography, ICG angiography, optical coherence tomography, ultrasonography, and electrophysiology.  During the fellowship, the fellows are trained to perform various office procedures including panretinal photocoagulation, focal/grid laser treatment of the macula, laser retinopexy or cryopexy for retinal tears, pneumatic retinopexy, photodynamic therapy, and intravitreal and sub-tenon injection of pharmaceutical agents.  Clinical procedures will number in the range of 2000-2500 injections and 200-300 laser procedures per year. 

Surgical training emphasizes the importance of decision making as to the timing choice and techniques of surgical procedures.  The fellows will spend approximately 1 day per week in the operating room with two faculty vitreoretinal surgeons, performing approximately 150 retinal surgical procedures each year, including scleral buckle repairs, small gauge vitrectomies, membrane and ILM peels, and rehabilitation of traumatized globes. 

The fellow is encouraged to participate in clinical research (trials) and to get involved in on-going basic research. Fellow responsibilities include teaching and lecturing AU Ophthalmology residents and medical students in clinic.  Grand Rounds, Journal Club, and M&M Conference are held bi-monthly, and attendance is required for all faculty and residents/fellows. The presentations are resident or medical student driven with occasional guest or faculty speakers. Fellows will be asked to give two to three Grand Rounds presentations per year on a Retina topic of choice.  Ethics Conference, followed by M&M Conference will be on the first Monday of each month.  An imaging course will be also a responsibility of the fellow to run one to two times per month that will be shared with the resident rotating in the retina service.


Vitreoretinal Surgical Fellow