Congratulations to Class of 2017!

June 22, 2017


class of 2017 residents
From left: Drs. Gaier, Stryjewski, van Zyl, Rao, Borkar, Wolkow, Syed, Stefater

Thirty Harvard Ophthalmology/Mass. Eye and Ear clinical trainees graduated on June 15. The ceremony, held at Mass. Eye and Ear, celebrated eight Harvard Ophthalmology residents, the AY 2016-2017 chief resident, and one optometry resident, as well as 20 clinical fellows from Mass. Eye and Ear, Joslin Diabetes Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Graduation is one of our department's most treasured occasions,” noted Harvard Ophthalmology Chief and Chair, Joan W. Miller, MD, “Our graduates excel in our three mission areas of clinical care, research, and teaching. They are bright and inquisitive; confident yet humble; kind and generous. I hope that they will continue to seek opportunities to stretch and grow, and share their knowledge and talent with others,” she said.

For residents, training doesn’t end after graduation

“We are incredibly proud of this year's graduating class of residents,” said Carolyn Kloek, MD, Director of Harvard Ophthalmology Residency Training Program. “They are an impressive group of trainees, who are moving on to some of the best fellowship training programs in the country,” she said, noting that all graduating residents will pursue subspecialty training this year or next.


What’s next for clinical fellow graduates?  

The 20 clinical fellow graduates completed subspecialty training in:

  • Cornea, external disease, and refractive surgery (3)
  • Glaucoma (2)
  • Neuro-ophthalmology (3)
  • Ocular immunology and uveitis (1)
  • Ophthalmic pathology (1)
  • Ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery (1)
  • Pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus (2)
  • Vitreoretina (3)
  • Medical retina (4)

Among the graduates, 10 fellows will pursue full-time academic careers in ophthalmology, eight will work in private practice (including one who will also participate in part-time academics. and two will pursue additional training.

Awards recognize dedication to teaching 

  • Simmons Lessell Excellence in Education Award: Evangelos Gragoudas, MD, Charles Edward Whitten Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Teacher of the Year: Jan Kylstra, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Surgical Teacher of the Year: Christian Song, MD, Instructor in Ophthalmology
  • Fellow of the Year Award: Upneet Bains, MD, Clinical Fellow
  • Resident Appreciation Award: Michel Sem, operating room technician at Mass. Eye and Ear

Service recognitions and leadership transitions

During the ceremony, Peter Veldman, MD, and Deborah Jacobs, MD, were both recognized for outstanding contributions to educational programs. Dr. Veldman, Associate Director of the Harvard Ophthalmology Residency Training Program, is leaving the Department in July to become Vice Chair of Education and Program Director of the University of Illinois Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences. Alice Lorch, MD, will take over as Associate Director of the Residency Program at Harvard Ophthalmology. Dr. Jacobs transitioned from her role as Director of Core Clerkships in Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School in April after 14 years of service, and was honored with a certificate. Ryan Vasan, MD, has taken over this role.

It takes a team

Thank you to our educational leadership team: Dr. Kloek;  Dr. Veldman; Dr. LorchDean Cestari, MD, Director of Ophthalmology Clinical Fellowship Training at Mass. Eye and Ear; John Loewenstein, MD, Vice Chair for Education at Harvard Medical School; and Debra Rogers, Vice President of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear. Special thanks to all faculty involved in our resident education programs.