Academic Global Fellowship


Global Fellowship Program

The Wills Eye Fellowship in Academic Global Ophthalmology (AGO) aims to create culturally aware, surgically skilled ophthalmologists equipped to provide expert, appropriate, and sustainable medical and surgical care in low resource settings. The fellows who train in Academic Global Ophthalmology will join a small but growing network of ophthalmologists interested in creating an academic approach to addressing the gaps in medical and surgical eye care around the world.

What Does the AGO Fellowship Entail?

The Academic Global Ophthalmology Fellowship is a 1-year commitment to working with Wills Eye Hospital in its initiative to deliver and elevate the quality of eye care worldwide. The fellow spends a minimum of 6 non-contiguous months abroad (Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia, Central America) and approximately 6 months at Wills Eye in Philadelphia.

Suzette Luke_MDWhile abroad, the fellows learn surgical techniques specific to developing world ophthalmology (ex. MSICS), teach ophthalmologists and trainees, develop and help to strengthen foreign ophthalmology residency programs and implement innovative Wills Eye programs aimed at the prevention of blindness. This fellowship offers the opportunity to deliver care in undeserved regions under unique circumstances, and allows the fellows a chance to create an extensive global health knowledge base and to network with international peers.

While at Wills Eye, the fellows become an integral part of our resident teaching service. They have the opportunity to refine their skills by continuing to see patients and perform surgery, they work with local charity efforts in eye care, and they spend time working on projects with our partners abroad. Clinical time will be spend in the general ophthalmology department as well as in the Wills Emergency Room. There is protected time built into the program to conduct research while abroad or at Wills.

Wills Eye Academic Global Fellows

2022 - 2023: Santi Karnam, MD and Tomas Meijome, MD

2021 - 2022: Eliza Barnwell, MD

2020 - 2021: Omair Ali, MD

2019 - 2020:   John Anhalt, MD

2018 - 2019:   Suzette Luke, MD & Zubair Ansari, MD

2017 - 2018:   Brenton Finklea, MD

2016 - 2017:   Cristos Ifantides, MD MBA

2015 - 2016:   Alessandra Intili, MD

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Any US trained ophthalmology resident or fellow who will be able to obtain a Pennsylvania Medical License is welcome to apply.

Application deadline: 8/23/2023 for the following academic year.

Application Requirements

  • - Must have graduated from an accredited US residency program. 
  • - Applicants must hold an active US medical license. 
  • - Must have a valid passport that does not expire in the next 6 months. 
  • - Three letters of recommendation.
  • - Completed application through SF Match (see below)


Key Dates:

8/23/23: Application materials due 
TBD: Interview date

Applications are being accepted this year through the SF Match which can be registered for here:

Any inquiries regarding the fellowship can be directed to the program director, Brenton Finklea, MD (, or the fellowship director John Anhalt, MD (


The Wills Eye Center for Academic Global Ophthalmology Leadership & Staff


Fellows Blog

Learn more about Wills Eye Global and the extraordinary work our Doctors are doing for individuals around the world