Harvard Medical School

Clinical Ophthalmic Pathology Fellowship - Mass. Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School

The David G. Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory is offering a one or two year fellowship for ophthalmologists or pathologists preparing for an academic career. The preceptors will be Dr. Fred Jakobiec of the Mass. Eye and Ear and Dr. Anat Stemmer-Rachamimov of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Pathology Department, Neuropathology Division. The combined didactics, specimens, consultations, and laboratory resources of Mass. Eye and Ear and MGH will be made available to trainees. Candidate ophthalmologists with a subspecialty clinical interest (e.g., cornea, plastics, etc.) can cultivate and structure correlation experiences with these units.


Program Directors

Frederick Jakobiec, M.D., Program Director
Aaron Fay, M.D., Director, Oculoplastic Service


Other Available Faculty
Thaddeus P. Dryja, M.D.
Anat Stemmer-Rachamimov, M.D.


Years in Existence


Length of Program
One year


Fellows per Year
one to two


Funding Sources
Verhoeff Fund


Selection Criteria
Academic career objective; institutional professional position as an eye pathologist available in advance; letters of recommendation; prior publications.


Overall Educational Objectives
Goal I. To obtain an understanding of the microscopic anatomy of the eye and the ocular adnexa.

Goal II. To learn the histologic features of the responses of ocular tissues to injury and/or diseases.

Goal III. To develop skills necessary to evaluate surgical specimens with the aim of formulating differential diagnoses that include ophthalmic diseases that are common in a modern clinical practice or that are rare but especially important because of their life-threatening or vision-threatening potential.

Goal IV. To learn the traditional and newest, modern methods and techniques (immunohistochemical, immunoperoxidase, electron microscopic, etc.) used by pathologists to analyze specimens and how those methods help to distinguish a specific diagnosis among a long list in a differential diagnosis.

Goal V. To develop research projects in the laboratory and/or based on clinicopathologic material available through the David G. Cogan Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory, MGH Pathology Department, and community-based clinical practices affiliated with the Infirmary and its full-time hospital-based staff.


General Activities
1. Participation in daily slide read-out sessions in the David G. Cogan Laboratoryof Ophthalmic Pathology.
2. Participation in monthly tutorials, Pathology Rounds, Grand Rounds, Fellows’ Course, and Pathology Lecture Series.
3. Supervision and teaching of residents, other clinical fellows, and medical students rotating in the Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory.
4. Attendance and presentations of research material at regional and national meetings.
5. Assistance in the preparation of presentations for attending pathologists, residents, and fellows.


Specific Description and Activities
Weekday afternoon supervision of a resident who evaluates the 10-15 eye pathology cases generated each day. Collaborates in the generation of microscopic description and a tentative diagnosis. After the fellow and resident have interpreted the set of cases, all slides will be reviewed by an attending pathologist (Drs. Jakobiec, Stemmer-Rachamimov, or Dryja) and the fellow’s and resident’s diagnosis will either be confirmed or revised according to the attending’s recommendation.

After this one-on-one review and discussion of each case, a preliminary diagnosis is reported to the surgeon by telephone, the final results will be entered into the MGH PowerPath reporting system. Cases of exceptional diagnostic difficulty or of special educational value will be additionally reviewed with appropriate subspecialty pathologists at the Massachusetts General Hospital when requested by the attending eye pathologist, the surgeon, the resident, or the fellow. The fellow will oversee this activity and order and collate any special stains to finalize the diagnosis.


Functions under attending pathologist’s supervision during daily slide-read-out responsibilities, ultimately reporting to the Director of the Cogan Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory.


Duty Hours
40 hours per week, without moonlighting


Evaluation Process
Monthly progress reviews and written evaluations twice a year by the Director of the David G. Cogan Laboratory of Ophthalmic Pathology.


Marion Athanas
Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: (617) 573-3319
Fax: (617) 573-3168