A two-year medical and surgical vitreoretinal fellowship splitting time between Cook County Health hospitals and a private retina practice.

Retina Associates

This is a busy, comprehensive vitreoretinal experience with a balance between academics and private practice.

At Stroger Hospital, the fellow operates as a primary surgeon for 5-7 primary cases per week supervised by retina staff. Office based procedures such as cryotherapy/pneumatic retinopexy, injections and paracentesis, air-fluid exchange, and all types of lasers are experienced. Clinical research opportunities are available and a clinical research project is encouraged. In the private practice setting, the fellow participates in 6-10 surgical cases per week and in many office-based procedures. The fellow will gain proficiency in the treatment of a wide range of posterior segment disorders. There is also direct interaction/teaching with junior and senior Ophthalmology residents for various retina-related issues.

This program is very surgically oriented. The fellow can expect to perform 700 primary cases each year (900 total cases per year), learning a variety of surgical methods from different attendings. The fellowship also places added emphasis on scleral buckle training as this is a “lost art” in many programs today. All surgical cases are fully supervised by attending staff. The fellow will also be exposed to several different hospitals and surgical centers, gaining proficiency in a wide variety of equipment and instrumentation.

Salary and Benefits

Salary and benefits are based on a PGY scale as per the GME policy outlined at Stroger Hospital (was ~60K for 2019). An additional $1,000 a year educational allowance is provided. Health, vision and dental insurance are provided at low cost. Four weeks vacation and additional conference days are allowed. Plus, Stroger Hospital will provide $19/day meal stipend.

Research Project

Each year, the fellow will be expected to complete a project and encouraged to present at a local or national meeting.


The fellow will be expected to organize lectures and imaging conferences for the residents at Cook County, as well as organize an OKAP review. There are also frequent Chicago retina meetings and/or dinners that the fellow will be encouraged to attend, including strong local retinal conferences like RABB, AVTT and Retinal Fellows Forum.

We also organize a Fellows Surgical case conference quarterly at a restaurant where Chicago area fellows get together and discuss complex cases.


Fellow must have completed an ACGME-accredited ophthalmology residency and be eligible to obtain an Illinois medical license.

Applications will be accepted through SFMatch. Further information can be obtained by visiting

Current Fellows

Hudson Stern, MD
Residency: Cook County Health
Medical School: University of Illinois at Chicago

Bilal Shavkat, MD
Residency: Louisiana State University
Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine

Former Fellows

Hari Mylvaganam, MD
Midwest Retina Consultants, Arlington Heights, IL

Benjamin Reiss, MD
Institute of Washington, Renton, WA

Program Contact

Mohamed Adenwalla, MD, Program Director
Retina Associates