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NRI has an internationally recognized fellowship program approved by the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Fellowship Compliance Committee. Our fellowship program accepts people who have graduated from accredited Ophthalmology residencies and provides them with an intensive two year training program in the diagnosis and management of retinal disorders. Over the past 20 years, NRI has trained numerous retinal specialists who have gone on to contribute to patient care and innovative research around the world.
The next few years portend to be the most important in your chosen career as
a vitreoretinal specialist. They represent the bridge between the knowledge
you so recently gained as a medical student, intern and resident and the real world
practice of treating and preserving the health of a growing segment of the population
with retinal disease.
I know from personal experience that what you will encounter and learn during
your fellowship will matter greatly in determining the kind of physician you are
going to be and the satisfaction you will realize in this exciting field.
Many fine institutions offer advanced training in the vitreoretinal discipline. We at
The National Retina Institute take our fellowship program further than most. It is
indeed part of the culture of our large private practice in the Baltimore-Washington
area. We offer not only hands-on opportunities to hone your diagnostic and surgical
skills as a vitreoretinal specialist, but a complete integrated curriculum that earn
our graduates a head start in any of the career paths they choose to follow.
We are proud of the honor roll of NRI fellows and the positions they hold at institutions
and practices throughout the country and the world.
You will find our fellowship program unique in both substance and philosophy
with training in surgical technique an outstanding example. As you will learn in
these pages, our fellows follow a protocol that frees them from stress in the learning
process and instills in each a comfort zone that leads to the natural acquisition of
outstanding skills and ability. The NRI program is a leader in the use of surgical
simulators which, when coupled with an integrated curriculum built on tasked
based analysis and training, has proven to be the most effective method of bringing
surgical trainees to the operating theater.
And you will not lack for real world experience at NRI. Our staff of six highly
gifted and experienced vitreoretinal attending physicians cares for a large patient
base in the Baltimore-Washington-Virginia area with diverse demographics that
represent people from all over the world. In fact, NRI serves as an international
referral center attracting complex and unusual cases. Further, our innovations in
the treatment of retinal disease have resulted in our leadership and participation in
numerous clinical trials, all of which await your participation and input.
As stated, the NRI Fellowship Program is part of who we are. Our physicians and
staff make time for it and participate in your training and continuing education.
We do it not only for you, but also for ourselves. It helps to make us better at what
Bert M. Glaser, MD
Dr. Lihteh Wu
University of Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
Completed NRI Fellowship 1998
“We tend to enter the fellowship process thinking of
prestigious university based programs, but then we realize
that the accomplishments of Dr. Glaser rank NRI
on a par or even ahead of the best retina centers in the
world. Training with him and the attending staff gave
me a chance to participate in the delivery of care in a
real world setting and not in an ivory tower .”
Whether private practice or university based, advanced medical and
surgical training is only as good as the people who set the curriculum
and do the instructing. Dr. Bert M. Glaser, founder and executive
director of NRI, is an internationally known retinal surgeon, researcher,
innovator and teacher. Until 1989, he was professor of Ophthalmology
and director of the Center for Vitreoretinal Research at the Wilmer Eye
Institute at Johns Hopkins.
Several prestigious medical societies have recognized his accomplishments
in developing and implementing advanced surgical and imaging technologies
for macular degeneration, macular holes, retinal detachment and diabetic
retinopathy. He has been honored by the Macula Society, the Retina
Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Association for
Retinal Vision and Ophthalmology. He also serves on the editorial board
of Retina: The Journal of Retinal and Vitreous Disease. He is the author
of more than 124 articles in peer review journals.
Under his leadership, the attending physicians and supporting staff of The
National Retina Institute have emerged as a major entity in the education
and advancement of retinal care in the nation and world.
Dr. Nazanin Barzideh
Danbury Eye Physicians & Surgeons
Completed NRI Fellowship 2007
“At the end of each day, I’m happy to say my mentors
and colleagues always left the office as friends. Dr.
Glaser and the attending physicians gave us the time,
encouragement and confidence to do well.”
Mentoring is more than simply a word at The National Retina
Institute. It is a process ingrained in the makeup of each of the
attending staff of physicians. If you are going to work here you are going
to teach. Mentoring in surgery means to follow the philosophy that Dr.
Glaser borrowed from the military’s method of pilot training: Cognition,
Automation, Integration. Recognize your situation, train your mind
and body to automatically proceed in response, know enough to adapt to
changes and opportunities that present themselves.
So equipped, fellows become valuable members of the surgical team and
proceed beyond the assisting level to surgeon in charge. Still your mentor
is there to observe and to impart the wisdom of his or her experience.
Mentors are close to their fellows at NRI, and are rightfully proud of what
their trainees have accomplished.
Dr. Richard K. Chiu
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Completed NRI Fellowship 2006
“There are so many nuances to doing good retinal surgery,
many of which can’t be learned from a textbook.
While I was at NRI, I found it very helpful to have the
insight and feedback from the staff surgeons—whether
in the operating room or in clinic. I think the fellowship
strikes a good balance between having the
autonomy to develop one’s skills and the oversight to
know how to sharpen them.”
It is natural for aspiring clinicians to want to go it on their own as soon
as possible. No doubt there are programs that believe in this trial by fi re
as a means to testing the mettle of a would-be retina surgeon. The curriculum
of The National Retina Institute program doesn’t shy away from
pressing the issue, but the approach is much more measured.
The NRI retina surgical simulator is an incredible tool in familiarizing
trainees to recognize particulars of a retinal disorder and to implement
correct surgical techniques. Oversight by an attending physician, also
viewing through the simulator, guarantees that procedures learned and
repeated will be those that are accepted and ideally suited to each situation.
This oversight will follow as the trainee moves on to use his or her
acquired skills to aid NRI patients.
It is NRI’s belief, and the record has confi rmed, that this less stressful and
more thorough teaching protocol leads to better trained and more successful
Dr. Martin A. Boscarino
Associates in Ophthalmology
West Mifflin, PA
Completed NRI Fellowship 2007
“Monthly meetings with members of the attending staff
involved an in-depth discussion on a wide variety of
medical and surgical retina topics. These one on one
discussions were extremely valuable to me. The fellowship
provides the ideal mix of academics and hands-on
By the time residency is completed, it is understandable that those who
invest in advanced training are anxious to leave the classroom behind
and begin a working apprenticeship in their chosen specialty. As mentioned
earlier, a heavy and efficient patient flow at NRI is certain to fulfill
the trainees desire for hands-on experience.
Still, as advanced training proceeds so does the need to understand, to
review and to seek new methodology and technology in this ever developing
field. A monthly review meeting, case conferences, journal club and
research meetings are important, as is the institute’s commitment to a full
program of research, clinical trials, seminars and technological innovation
that surround the practice and the fellowship program.
Dr. Geeta Davuluri
Attending Physician (beg. 2008),
The National Retina Institute
Completes NRI Fellowship 2008
“I came to NRI because I wanted to get strong clinical
training but maintain my interest in research.
It’s not easy to find both. NRI certainly has a good
balance with its combination of excellent clinicians,
large diverse patient population, and commitment to
The founding of The National Retina Institute brought with it a
mission to fully engage in all aspects of vitreoretinal therapy and
knowledge. Because of Dr. Glaser’s background as a researcher as well as
a surgeon, the research component of NRI is continuously and fully occupied
and engages a full time clinical trials director.
Because of the nature of retinal disease, non-surgical therapy is often a
complement to surgical procedures and frequently a stand alone method
of treatment in itself. Attending physicians and fellows alike avail themselves
of NRI research and, together with Dr. Glaser, seek to further their
ability to treat retinal disorders through innovation and research. Fellows
interested in the research aspect of their specialty are encouraged to apply.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Rubin
Jeffrey S. Rubin, MD
Completed NRI Fellowship 1995
“It is wonderful to be in an environment that strives
to stay ahead of the field. Dr. Glaser always seeks to
develop and improve new procedures and treatments.”
The National Retina Institute was not founded with the idea of repeating
the past. Forward thinking in every aspect of this ever evolving
field, Dr. Glaser and the attending staff of physicians continue to do the
clinical and applied basic research, controlled studies and case reviews that
put them at the cutting edge of vitreoretinal therapy. Members of the clinical
staff are frequent authors of peer review articles that have aided patient
treatment all over the world.
NRI is responsible for important breakthroughs in the treatment of retinal
disorders. Yet, it realizes that with diseases so devastating to the quality of
life of so many people, there are many breakthroughs still to be discovered.
That is the NRI mission.
Dr. Shann B. Lin
The Eye Care Center
Completed NRI Fellowship 2000
“NRI realizes the increasing importance of technology
in diagnosing retinal disease, and has invested in
instruments that few others have.”
The recent growth in imaging technology has become a major factor in
the improved treatment of retinal disorders. NRI is a prime example
of a practice that has made good use of advanced technology in detecting
and treating patients with retina disease. One of the reasons that NRI is
the recipient of referred complex cases is the institution’s considerable investment
in the latest imaging equipment and diagnostic technologies. In
fact, NRI has been and continues to be a leader in adopting and developing
the use of numerous imaging and testing technologies. This ability has
led to a more complete understanding and treatment of retina problems.
For doctors developing surgical skills, NRI’s surgical simulator has resulted
in a better and more confident approach toward recognizing, reacting and
performing surgery on the retina.
Dr. Jeffery N. Stephens
Completed NRI Fellowship 2005
“It is not a small thing to know how to operate a practice
successfully. The NRI staff is not only a model for
us to follow but they take the time to teach us how it’s
As one of the most successful private practices in the retina field, NRI
relies heavily on its large staff to keep its operations running smoothly
and profitably. Staff members who have contact with patients are trained
to offer the same courtesies, concern and caring attitude as do the attending
physicians. Fellows in the program will notice that there is an “NRI
Way” of handling patient flow that is unique in the profession.
Coding is, of course, the financial life blood of practice management. At
NRI, you will be taught to not only code correctly and fairly, but to do so
in an efficient and instinctive manner so that your time with patients is