West Virginia University’s Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Program is one of the first five programs in the country to receive accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery, also called oculoplastics, includes the surgery of all the structures around the eye, such as the eyelids, the area behind the eye and orbital bone. It also includes the surgical treatment of Graves’ disease and the removal of the eye as the result of trauma and tumors.

Jennifer Sivak, M.D., director of the WVU Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Program, said attaining this accreditation moves both the program and the institution forward. “It establishes us on the cutting edge of education,” she said.

One of the things that makes WVU’s program unique is that it involves a lot of multidisciplinary collaboration. “We work with several different specialties, including neurosurgery, plastic surgery and otolaryngology,” Dr. Sivak said. “It’s hard to have a successful program like ours if you don’t have the right team members in place. We are fortunate to have that here.”

Norman D. Ferrari III, M.D., senior associate dean for student services and designated institutional official for graduate medical education at the WVU School of Medicine, said it is not only an honor to be one of the first to receive this accreditation, but it is also an honor to be considered among the leading institutions in the field.

Other programs to receive accreditation include those at the University of Louisville, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, which is a Harvard University Medical School teaching hospital.

“It’s recognition of the fact that we’re meeting high standards for quality education, patient care and safety and the discovery of new knowledge,” Dr. Ferrari said. “It’s not just us saying how great we are; now an external group is saying it, too.”

The ACGME, which was established in 1981, is a private, non-profit council that evaluates and accredits medical residency programs in the United States. WVU has more than 50 ACGME accredited programs, making it the largest sponsoring institution in West Virginia.

For more information on the WVU Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Program, see www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/eye/FellowshipOfferings.aspx.


CONTACT: Angela Jones, HSC News Service
304-293-7087; jonesan@wvuh.com