Medical Contact Lens Fellowship

Dr. Derek Louie

This Fellowship will provide an academic and clinical experience of one calendar year in advanced competencies in contact lens care building on the entry-level competencies attained through completion of the doctor of optometry degree program.


Mission statement

  • To provide a state of the art clinical training in advanced contact lens care
  • To prepare individuals to deliver excellence in clinical care
  • To foster scientific investigation of related topics in the study of contact lenses and corneal physiology
  • To encourage individuals in careers in academic, industrial and multi-disciplinary settings
  • To promote positive intra-professional relations between Optometry and Ophthalmology.


The Contact Lens Fellow will be expected to participate in all three missions of the Department of Ophthalmology: 1) patient care, 2) education, and 3) research.

Patient Care

All clinical hours will be scheduled between Monday and Friday, 8 am -5pm at either the Casey Eye Institute Waterfront location, or the main Casey Eye building on Marquam hill. Locations are accessible by public transit, car (parking is available at both locations) and walking, and are connected by an aerial tram. The majority of patient care will occur on the 11th floor of the Center for Health and Healing at the Casey Eye Institute's Waterfront location.

The Fellow will participate in patient care approximately 4 days per week through the Medical Contact Lens Practice of Derek Louie, OD, who also serves as the Director of this Fellowship program. The Medical Contact Lens Practice is a division of the Cornea and External Disease Service within the Department of Ophthalmology of OHSU.

All clinic days will provide a mix of primary care optometry with problem focused medical contact lens cases including several complex cases per day. The clinic is mostly referral based with patients mostly from the Portland metropolitan area. The clinic also receives referrals from as far away as Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and northern California. Patients may range in age from 6 months to over 90 years; however, most patients will be of adult age. Cases can vary from all types of astigmatism, aphakia (adult and pediatric), post surgical corneas (including corneal grafts and keratorefractive surgery), irregular corneas secondary to trauma, and diseased corneas (including keratoconus and scarred corneas).

Cases that may also require specialty contact lenses will frequently be part of regularly scheduled clinical time, including: scleral lenses for the treatment of dry eye, translating and simultaneous designed multifocal GP or soft lenses.

Access to several designs, materials, laboratories and manufacturers of contact lenses will be emphasized and no particular product will be promoted over others in any particular case. The Fellow will have an opportunity to work with as many or as few different contact lens manufacturers as desired during the course of the fellowship.

The Fellow is required to deliver clinical services in a professional manner and at a level satisfactory to the faculty member in attendance. The Fellow is expected to follow accepted proprieties of conduct, ethics, and courtesy at all times. The Fellow will be asked to keep a record of patient encounters and classifications. Evaluations of the Fellow and the Fellows satisfaction with the program will occur on a quarterly basis for the first 3 quarters of the Fellowship. Cases may also be reviewed and audited by the faculty as a part of the evaluation.

Fellows may be asked to see urgent patients during the course of their regularly scheduled clinical duties. No on-call duties are required; however, Fellows are expected to complete all clinical record keeping in a timely manner which may require additional time outside of regularly scheduled clinics. Research and scholarly activity may also be required outside of scheduled hours.

The Fellow may also have several opportunities to work closely with the Cornea Fellow (Ophthalmology) as well as ophthalmology residents to foster collaboration and continuity of care. Participation and patient care in regularly scheduled cornea clinics may be in addition to or instead of regular clinical duties as determined by the Contact Lens Fellow and attending clinical supervisor.


Educational opportunities beyond patient care and scientific research will include weekly Grand Rounds held routinely on Friday mornings, in association with other ophthalmology fellowship and resident programs. The Faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology will be responsible for the academic program. It is expected that during the course of this program, the Fellow will gain exposure to various areas of Ophthalmology and Optometry in addition to contact lenses that will expand clinical and didactic knowledge as well as aiding in caring for complicated contact lens cases. The Fellow may also be eligible to attend one or two national contact lens programs that relate to medical contact lenses to further their education and clinical exposure. (Gas permeable lens institute CL resident symposium (Aug), American Academy of Optometry (Oct - Nov), Specialty CL Symposium (Jan).)

Scientific Research

The Fellow will also be expected to become versed in current scientific literature in contact lens topics including but not limited to: oxygen delivery through contact lens materials, immunology and microbiology of contact lens wear, contact lens design, contact lens optics and other various contact lens related topics. It is expected that the Fellow submit a publishable quality paper at the completion of the Fellowship year. This paper may be novel research, clinical research, case report or a case series.

Because of the faculty's wide range of interests, the Casey Eye institute fellowship offers a unique spectrum of educational opportunities. The Cornea and External Diseases Service is well equipped for the diagnosis and treatment of all anterior segment disorders. Diagnostic ultrasound and photographic services are adjacent to the Clinics. In addition, we have an Ocular Response Analyzer, multiple corneal topography systems, a Visante OCT, a confocal microscope and an Alcon Wavefront Analyzer and Pentacam in our clinics. Many faculty are involved in clinical trials and NIH research grants.


Requirements for interested individuals include the following:

  • Graduated, or expect to graduate, from an accredited program in Optometry prior to commencement of the Fellowship; or completed a residency in Optometry (it is preferred that applicants have graduated from professional programs not more than 5 years prior to application for Fellowship status)
  • Be a US Citizen, or living in the USA as a "Permanent Resident"
  • Hold a valid license from the Oregon Board of Optometry prior to commencement of the Fellowship
  • Passed all parts of NBEO and TMOD
  • Hold a minimum cumulative professional grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

The following should be submitted:

  • Letter of interest/intent
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Results of NBEO (parts I, II, and III) and TMOD
  • Three (3) professional letters of recommendation (including 1 from the director, or equivalent, of the contact lens service at the respective professional training program)
  • Complete transcripts from all pre-professional and professional education


The Fellowship Committee will be responsible for review and evaluation of all applications. The most competitive 3-5 applicants will be scheduled for a personal interview during on a rolling schedule. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early for maximum flexibility in interview scheduling. One applicant will be accepted into this program per year from the interviewed group.