To provide a system that will enhance patient care by promoting uniform standards for fellowship training and educational programs in the following ophthalmic subspecialties: cornea, external disease & refractive surgery; glaucoma; medical retina, neuro-ophthalmology; pathology/ocular oncology; pediatric ophthalmology; surgical retina and uveitis. The goals are accomplished by the following objectives:
- Create standards for the participating subspecialties in establishing program requirements.
- Define criteria for each participating subspecialty through the action of its own supporting organization(s), constituting standards for fellowship training including curriculum, research, clinical experience and employment standards.
- Determine initial compliance of individual fellowship programs through an application process.
- Monitor compliance of individual fellowship programs with their subspecialty society’s program requirements.
- Monitor compliant programs on a regular review basis to assure that they remain in compliance.
- Make compliance status publicly available so that fellowship applicants may use this information in their program evaluation; likewise, mentors will have compliance status available when advising residents on fellowship.
- Coordinate with the Central Application Service (CAS) and the San Francisco Match Program (SF Match) to integrate the fellowship application process.
The AUPO Fellowship Compliance Committee (FCC) was created in 2005 to provide training requirements for ophthalmology fellowships. It offers educational standards, protection of the public, institutions, and trainees, accountability and enforcement. To date, eight ophthalmic subspecialties, supported by nine ophthalmic subspecialty societies, voluntarily participate in the compliance program: Cornea, External Disease & Refractive Surgery; Glaucoma; Neuro-Ophthalmology; Oncology/Pathology; Pediatric Ophthalmology; Medical Retina, Surgical Retina; and Uveitis.
Funding for this important program derives from three sources: the programs themselves, the subspecialty societies, and the Central Application Service (CAS) which was created by AUPO for fellows. The CAS was extremely important in and of itself because it made the fellowship application process so more efficient by requiring one, rather than multiple, applications.