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Every June, UNC Ophthalmology’s residency program enters an annual period of transition marked by 3rd-year resident graduation to independence practice, bookended by an arriving class of interns who join us in early July. Looking back on the 2022-2023 academic year, our program takes pride in the learning and enrichment milestones that residents across our program have reached over the past 12 months. Among them:

* March 2023 Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) exam: Our program thanks the department’s entire team of clinical faculty who facilitated prep sessions and didactics to prepare three classes of UNC Ophthalmology residents for the OKAP exam. We additionally thank our mock oral examiner team, led by Dr. Michelle Go and co-facilitated by Dr. Kiernan Willett, Dr. Michael Mendsen, Dr. Sinthu Ranjan, Dr. Christopher Hwang, Dr. Daniel Rubinstein and Dr. Alice Zhang.

* Scholarly honors: Hats off to 3rd-year Dr. Xavier Mortensen for winning “Best Paper of Session” award at the May 2023 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. Dr. Mortensen presented Dr. Cohen’s clinical research: “Comparison of total corneal tomographic astigmatism with predicted and OCT measured posterior corneal astigmatism in TORIC IOL calculations.” Dr. Mortensen thanks Dr. Cohen for his guidance and mentorship.

* Leadership: Second-year resident Dr. Rebecca Li and first-year resident Dr. Harmel represented UNC Ophthalmology at the American Association of Ophthalmology (AAO) Mid-Year Forum in April 2023.

* Global Health: Our program’s international health rotation immerses 2nd– and 3rd-year UNC residents in short-term clinical learning at Tema Christian Eye Center, UNC Ophthalmology’s global health partner in Ghana. In Tema, U.S. ophthalmologist-mentored guidance helps resident learners advance their procedural and diagnostic skills treating complex eye disease. During AY 2022-2023, second-year Dr. Uzo Anugo (fall 2022) and third-year Dr. Jamie Prince (spring 2023) saw firsthand in Tema how highly trained eye specialists help improve access to and delivery of patient care in a developing area of the world with high incidence of advanced eye disease.

* Didactics: Our program welcomed Grand Rounds guest speaker and neuro-ophthalmologist Dr. Carlos Mendoza of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in late March. Our residents all attended the 2023 UNC Eye Symposium in April, learning current advancements in subspecialized ophthalmic diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders commonly seen in U.S. eye disease clinics.

At our June 17th end-of-year banquet, UNC Ophthalmology’s residency program will honor the hard work and achievements of our graduating Class of 2023 residents. We’re thrilled to look back on a productive 12 months for our trainees and our program, and we’re excited for what lies ahead as we enter the 2023-2024 academic year.

PHOTOS (L to R): 1) 3rd-year resident Dr. Xavier Mortensen awarded “Best Paper of Session” at annual American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting; 2) Grand Rounds guest speaker/Neuro-Ophthalmologist Dr. Carlos Mendoza (center) with residents, Dr. Maja Kostic (far L) & Dr. Alice Zhang (far R); 3) Residency Program Director Dr. Alice Zhang & residents at the early April 2023 UNC Eye Symposium