The mission of the Duke Cornea, External Disease, & Refractive surgery fellowship program is to develop future leaders in the field.  Fellows will gain a fundamental knowledge of corneal disease diagnosis and management in an environment that promotes intellectual curiosity.  

The Corneal, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery Fellowship Program is comprised of clinical training, research and teaching components that is divided into two tracks.

Track 1: This track features a one-year period of clinical training with an emphasis on corneal disease, external disease, cataract surgery and refractive surgery.
Track 2:  For those candidates who want a more serious academic track, a two-year track is also available. The first year of this track includes clinical and operative training as well as dedicated research time.  There are numerous opportunities for clinical and/or basic science research. It also includes a specific learning track at Miracles in Sight Eye Bank. The 2nd year of the 2 year Track program mimics the 1 year clinical fellow year.  
Clinical Training: Fellows are exposed to and learn from several talented physicians.  The clinical demands placed on the fellow provide a stimulating environment for learning and gaining clinical and surgical skills. The fellow works closely with the attendings on the service: Alan N. Carlson, MD, Terry Kim, MDGargi Vora, MD, and Melissa Daluvoy, MD, as well as other members of the Duke Eye Center.  All of this occurs in our new state of the art Hudson Building at Duke Eye Center.
The clinical fellow will assist in 500 to 1,000 surgical procedures during the year and function as the primary surgeon in 100 to 200 surgical procedures; including corneal transplantation ( PK, DSEK, DALK and DMEK), keratoprosthesis, cataract surgery (with LenSx, verion and ORA), intraocular lens exchange, anterior segment reconstruction, surface disease and tumors and refractive surgery. The fellow is an integral part of the service and participates in all aspects of clinical management.
Research: Research opportunities exist within all divisions of the Department of Ophthalmology as well as other services within the Duke University Medical Center.

Three fellows are on board each year. The official position title for the fellow is clinical associate. The position functions as a junior faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology. On the application, please check the appropriate box to indicate interest in Track 1 or Track 2. Applicants can apply for both tracks.  Deadline for receipt of application and supporting material is September 1 of each year.


  • Full North Carolina medical licensure (not a training license) 

Note: we do not accept a training license; international medical school graduates who do not qualify for a North Carolina Medical license cannot be offered fellowship positions. We do not provide immigration sponsorship for clinical associates.

Fellowship for Foreign Nationals: 

  • We do not provide immigration sponsorship for Clinical Associates.

The Cornea Fellowship Program is registered with the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) fellowship compliance program and meets guidelines set forth by the AUPO fellowship compliance committee. 

For more information contact program coordinator Liana Igescu at Duke Eye Center, DUMC Box 3802, Durham, NC 27710, by telephone 919-681-3568 or email at