The UCSD Fellowship in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a 24-month fellowship sponsored by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). The goal of this fellowship is to provide the fellow in depth exposure to all aspects of functional, reconstructive and aesthetic ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery.
The first year will consist of extensive experience in ophthalmic plastic, reconstructive and orbital surgery. The fellow will have graduated responsibilities in both the clinics and in surgery in a tertiary academic care setting.
Clinics are located at the UCSD Shiley Eye Institute, UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest and the San Diego VA Medical Center. Surgery is performed at the Shiley Eye Institute, UCSD Hillcrest Hospital, UCSD Thornton Hospital, San Diego VA Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. The fellow is an integral part of the surgical team at all sites and will primarily staff the VA Oculoplastics Service.
Several specialty clinics add to the experience. The fellow participates in the UCSD Thyroid Eye Center clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic staffed by ophthalmic plastics, strabismus, and neuro-ophthalmology specialists and the monthly multidisciplinary Craniofacial Clinic at Children’s Hospital.
During the second year, the fellow will have the opportunity to gain additional experience in craniofacial surgery, plastic surgery, dermatology, Moh’s surgery, head and neck surgery, and neuroradiology. The elective experience can be tailored to suit the fellow’s interests and desires.
Teaching and Research Activities
The fellowship integrates three types of learning experiences to prepare the fellow for practice in either an academic or private setting. The three types of experience are: 1) working closely with the primary preceptor in his/her practice; 2) caring for Oculoplastics patients as the primary caregiver in his/her own clinic; and 3) supervising and attending the residents with their oculoplastics patients.
Clinical and surgical anatomy is stressed. A cadaver dissection and practical surgery session provides the fellow with an anatomic foundation prior to being the primary surgeon on complex orbital cases.
The fellow will hold an appointment in the UCSD Department of Ophthalmology as Clinical Instructor and will be an integral part of teaching in the UCSD Department of Ophthalmology and Division of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The fellow will actively participate in grand rounds, clinical seminars, journal clubs, and lectures to the residents and will work closely with the resident who is assigned to the oculoplastics service. The fellow will also participate in the annual UCSD Wet Lab for residents.
The fellow co-directs a bimonthly Clinico-Pathological Conference with the ophthalmic pathologist to discuss interesting cases from the oculplastics service.
Research is encouraged and expected of all fellows. The fellow is expected to complete and publish a thesis in accordance with the ASOPRS guidelines for fellowship and society membership. In addition to the thesis, the fellow is encouraged to participate in several other research projects within the division and to present these findings at Annual AAO and ASOPRS meetings. The fellow will additionally participate in the Annual Shiley Eye Institute Resident, Fellow and Alumni Day.
Don O. Kikkawa, M.D. is the primary preceptor and Bobby Korn, M.D., Ph.D. and Catherine Y. Liu, M.D., Ph.D. are associate preceptors. Dr. Kikkawa is Division Chief of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UCSD and Director of the Fellowship
Additional associate preceptors include:
Asa Morton, M.D. - Private Practice San Diego
Arthur Perry, M.D. - Private Practice La Jolla
The fellow will spend the majority of time at UCSD with Dr. Kikkawa and Dr. Korn. All preceptors are committed to teaching and providing the fellow with the best learning experience possible.
Letter from America: Orbit and oculoplastic fellowship, University of California, San Diego
By Richard L Scawn
Meet our current ASOPRS Oculoplastics Fellow
Nicole Topilow, MD is an ASOPRS Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellow at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Shiley Eye Institute. Dr. Topilow grew up in Cresskill, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College at Columbia University, where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and graduated summa cum laude with a major in Biological Sciences. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University School of Medicine, where she received the merit-based Silverstein Scholarship. After medical school, she completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai West / St. Luke's Hospital in New York City. Dr. Topilow then went on to complete her residency training at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida. Dr. Topilow's clinical interests include periocular reconstructive surgery, orbital surgery, thyroid eye disease, and cosmetic surgery. She has presented her research at national meetings such as the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) and has also authored a textbook chapter and several peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Topilow enjoys teaching residents and medical students in the operating room, inpatient wards, and clinic as well as leading surgical skills sessions. She lives in La Jolla with her fiance, Dylan. They enjoy beach games, hiking, yoga, and exploring the local food scene.
The Oculoplastics fellows (Drs. Topilow and Ting) at a recent outing with faculty.
Drs. Topilow and Kikkawa in the OR
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