Fellowship

Alberta Health Services
University Of Calgary

Karim G. Punja, MD, FRCSC, Diplomate ABO*
Orbit and Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Ophthalmology
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Member, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Orbit and Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship

Duration: One Year
Start Date: July 1 or November 1
Site(s): Rockyview General Hospital, Foothills Medical Center, Alberta Children’s Hospital, and Ambulatory Surgical Centers 
Program Director: Dr. Karim Punja
Primary Preceptors: Dr. Karim Punja & Dr. Michael Ashenhurst
Associate Preceptor: Dr. Jeff Dawes

Summary
The Calgary Orbit and Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship is an established program providing a busy 1 year of comprehensive educational experience. The goal of this program is to provide the fellow in-depth exposure to all aspects of functional, reconstructive, and aesthetic oculofacial plastic surgery and orbital surgery. Hence, preparing the fellow for practice in either an academic or private setting.

The wide spectrum of conditions includes common eyelid surgery; periocular cancer resection with complex reconstruction employing a combination of grafts, lid sharing flaps, midfacial elevation, and myocutaneous flaps; orbital cancer resection and reconstruction; orbital decompression; orbital fracture repair; endoscopic, endonasal and external DCR; enucleation, evisceration, and anophthalmic socket management; cosmetic blepharoplasty, facial surgery and brow lifting; botulinum toxin injection, facial fillers, skin rejuvenation and resurfacing. Clinical and surgical anatomy is stressed.

Calgary is the only quaternary orbit and oculofacial plastic surgery referral center for Southern Alberta servicing approximately 2 million people. The Program is based out of hospital and community practices with fellowship-trained orbital surgeons. 

The fellow will attend the clinic working up new consults to devise an appropriate medical and surgical plan, providing postoperative care, and manage medical conditions.  In-office minor procedures are performed including repair of eyelid malpositioning, eyelid lesion excision with wound reconstruction, functional and aesthetic application of botulinum toxin and facial fillers, and skin rejuvenation. 

The fellow will advance their surgical skill set following the ASOPRS curriculum for competency-based surgical education and proficiency. Surgery is performed at the Rockyview General Hospital, Foothills Medical Center, Alberta Children’s Hospital, and Ambulatory Surgical Centers. 

Collaborations with Mohs surgery, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, plastic surgery, oncology, head and neck surgery, and dermatology through combined cases and rotations will provide the fellow with an appreciation for multidisciplinary care. Anophthalmic socket management will include attendance at Ocularist clinics.

The fellow is expected to provide on-call coverage. Emergency cases provide the fellow with exposure to a wide variety of oculoplastics conditions including trauma.

Financial compensation will be determined in accordance with the Office of Surgical Fellowship policies, procedures, and guidelines. 

Calgary is a modern cosmopolitan center situated along the Canadian Rockies and is an enjoyable mountain city.

Teaching
There is a strong and collegial relationship with the fellowship program, the Ophthalmology residency program, and the Undergraduate Medical Education program.  The fellow will be an integral part of teaching and is expected to function as an educator for learners at various levels including medical students, ophthalmology residents, and off-service residents from plastic surgery, head and neck surgery, and family medicine.  The fellow will actively participate in delivering lectures in the Ophthalmology Basic and Clinical Science Course, grand rounds, journal clubs, and clinical seminars.

Research
A research project(s) is a mandatory component of the Fellowship.  Basic science and clinical research opportunities are available. 

The fellow will be required to present at the Annual Surgical Fellows Research Symposium held yearly, and at major meetings including the Canadian Society of Oculoplastic Surgery, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Eligibility Requirements:

Must have completed, or be completing, a Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada (or equivalent) accredited residency program in Ophthalmology.

Must be eligible for an Educational or Independent license to practice medicine by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta.

If prospective fellows have done their medical school outside of an English-speaking country, candidates must complete their IELTS (International English Language Testing System) academic version and submit it with their application. Please refer to http://www.cpsa.ca/language-proficiency/ for more information.

Fellows are required to meet Canada’s immigration laws and other requirements in regards to obtaining a work permit.  

Application Requirements:

Complete applications are to be submitted by March 1st for the following year July 1st start date.

Complete Applications will include all of the following:

  1. Current Curriculum Vitae
  2. Letter of Intent outlining specific areas of interest within the field, suitability towards this subspecialty, and future career aspirations
  3. Three Letters of Reference received directly from the referee to the Fellowship Program Director. One of the letters should be from the applicant’s residency program director.

Please return the completed application to Dr. Karim Punja

Contact
Margo Sandy
Orbit Eye Centre
Suite 300, 5 Richard Way SW
Calgary, AB, Canada
T3E 7M8