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Young Ophthalmologists
Profiles Archive from YO Info
3 Pieces of Career Advice from 2015 Academy President Russ Van Gelder 02/12/2015
At 7:15 a.m. every Monday, first-year ophthalmology residents at the University of Washington meet with uveitis specialist Russell Van Gelder, MD, PhD to do rounds. They know him as their department chair, but during 2015, he’s also serving as president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Here are three tips to glean from his example and advice to UW residents.
From Depression to Honor: An Interview with Artemis Award Winner John Cropsey 01/15/2015
The conversation with the attending lasted only an hour, but at the end of the humiliating session, the third-year medical student had begun a spiral downward that would take him through a long bout of depression and to the brink of suicide. Not until his ophthalmology residency would John Cropsey, MD, fully return to himself. In an interview with YO Info, he explains how he made such a turn-around and described the joy of his work in East Africa.
‘Pick the Work You Most Enjoy’: An Interview With EnergEYES Award Winner William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS 12/03/2014
Many young ophthalmologists know William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS, as the energetic moderator of the annual meeting’s YO Program. But he has a much longer career of mentoring residents than you might guess from the YO Program. In an interview with YO Info, Dr. Lloyd discussed his career — his mentors and the importance of family — and provided some advice that all YOs should take to heart.
One YO’s Quest to Change How Brazilian Parents See Congenital Cataracts 08/12/2014
Public service and ophthalmology are in cataract surgeon Bruna Ventura’s blood. But when she was faced with an ever-increasing demand for congenital cataract surgery in her community in Brazil, the young physician responded with an innovative video project to educate families.
The Next Pioneer? Chasidy Singleton’s Quest to Inspire More Aspiring Eye M.D.s 06/17/2014
The 60 years since the Civil Rights Movement began have brought many changes. But according to the National Medical Association, African Americans are just as underrepresented among the nation’s physicians as they were 100 years ago. Then and now, they account for only 3 percent of all physicians. One young ophthalmologist hopes to change that -- by mentoring underrepresented minority students and propelling them into the career that she loves.
Learning from Our Patients: 2014 Academy President Gregory L. Skuta, MD 01/14/2014
A surgical complication on a cataract patient he treated early in residency has shaped the career of Gregory L. Skuta, MD, who assumes the reins as Academy president this month. In an interview with YO Info this month, Dr. Skuta offered a peek at what young ophthalmologists can expect from his tenure.
How Following Your Passions Can Change History: An Interview With Author Andrew Lam, MD 12/04/2013
In his new book, Saving Sight, ophthalmologist Andrew Lam, MD, writes, “Always, every single day, I appreciate what those who came before me dreamed, discovered, and suffered to enable me, and doctors like me, to save sight today.” Part history, part memoir, Dr. Lam’s book explores ophthalmologists’ debt to an oftentimes overlooked past as he chronicles the accomplishments — and fates — of 20th-century giants. In this interview, he tells YO Info why he decided to tell their stories.
From Small-Town Doctor to World-Class Leader: An Interview With H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD 12/04/2013
Twenty years ago, when he decided to take a pay cut and move from an internationally recognized glaucoma practice to a largely administrative role with the Academy, H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, wasn’t aware that he’d go on to lead the organization into the Internet age and through one of it’s most successful periods of expansion. Yet, despite the unknowns and the financial costs, he took a leap of faith — and now all of ophthalmology owes him a debt of gratitude for that.
The Man in the Hot Seat: An Interview with 2013 Academy President Paul Sternberg Jr., MD 01/14/2013
It seemed like a minor volunteer post to take on, when Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, was asked to become president of his state ophthalmology society. Yet just days later, he got a call from Georgia state Sen. Charles Walker about a scope-of-practice bill recently introduced in the legislature. Because the senator didn’t want the bill to be heard on the floor, he more or less demanded that Dr. Sternberg appear in his office the following Monday (he called on a Friday) to work out a compromise with an optometry leader. Dr. Sternberg’s busy surgery schedule at Emory University didn’t matter.
From Goat-Based Pricing to Eye Injury Radio Dramas: How an Ophthalmologist Tackled Improving Eye Health in Pakistan 12/04/2012
Monitoring markets is not unusual for ophthalmologists who invest in stocks, but for Timothy Kietzman, MD, it was the local goat market he tracked with the greatest interest. That was because he and his colleagues in Gilgit, Pakistan — where Dr. Kietzman practiced for nearly a decade — had decided to price their cataract surgeries according to the value of a goat. How they wound up tracking goat sales in the remote, high-altitude region near Pakistan’s border with China is a story of determination, adventure and sacrifice, a story more than worthy of a recipient of the Academy’s 2012 Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award.
When to Risk Failure Instead of Regret: Seven Questions for Jeff Pettey, MD 04/16/2012
For this month’s YO Spotlight, we talked to Jeff Pettey, MD, an alumnus of The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He did his residency and fellowship at John Moran Eye Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he is now in an assistant professor. He talked to YO Info about his fascination with Charles Kelman, the importance of good mentors and why fear of failure shouldn’t stop you from taking risks in pursuit of a dream.
The Man Whose Slides Caught Fire: One-to-One with Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS 12/05/2011
Public speaking to even small crowds prompts sweat and tremors for many – never mind speaking to a crowd of thousands, comprising so many peers and leaders in your field that almost all possible future bosses may be listening. That was the task Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS, faced, one October morning in Dallas, a few weeks into his second year of residency. And that was the day his slides caught fire.
The Challenge of Varied Referrals: Seven Questions for Krishna Kishor, MD 10/11/2011
For this month’s YO Spotlight, we talked to Krishna Kishor, MD, an alum of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College of Virginia and recipient of the Florida Society of Ophthalmology Michael R. Redmond Outstanding Young Ophthalmologist Award. He did his fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Fla., where he is still in academic practice. Dr. Kishor will be a panelist in the joint Secretariat for State Affairs/YO Committee 2011 Annual Meeting session, Welcome to the Real World of Ophthalmology: Reality 101 for Residents and Fellows. He talked to YO Info about helping veterans and the benefits of instant gratification.
What a Fanged Mouthguard Has to Do with Ophthalmology: An Interview with the New YO Info Editor 09/12/2011
As a solo practitioner and mother of two, new YO Info editor Natasha Herz, MD, certainly has her hands full. Yet she finds a way to handle multiple roles and still maintain a sense of humor. As Dr. Herz takes over the helm of YO Info from Rob Melendez, MD, MBA, we asked the long-time editorial board member how she handles it all and why she’s willing to carve out even more time for the newsletter.
What Your Family Life Means for Your Patients: Seven Questions for Matthew Appenzeller, MD 05/16/2011
For this month’s YO Spotlight, we talked to Matthew Appenzeller, MD, an alum of both Teach for America and the Medical University of South Carolina, who is part of a small group practice with Academy past president Michael Brennan, MD, and others in Burlington, N.C. Dr. Appenzeller talks about his passion for advocacy and why patients benefit when their doctor has a happy family.
Disrupted but Undaunted: Richard L. Abbott’s Quest to Improve Eye Care Abroad and at Home 02/14/2011
Outside disruptions to surgery are never easy to plan for, but in the case of a 1989 surgery in China, Richard L. Abbott, MD, faced not just an unexpected disruption, but an historic one. On a trip with ORBIS to teach corneal transplants, he found himself in the midst of the riots in Tiananmen Square.
Eye M.D. to 10 Million: Seven Questions for John Cropsey, MD 12/06/2010
A former Wills Eye Institute resident, John Cropsey, MD, is the only ophthalmologist at a Kenyan eye unit that is “the main referral center for roughly 10 million people.” In this month's YO Spotlight, Dr. Cropsey shares about how he entered medicine, what brought him to Kenya and the challenge of saying no.
YO Spotlight: Seven Questions for Bente Haughom, MD 10/18/2010
For this month’s YO Spotlight, we talked to Bente Haughom, MD, of Oslo, Norway, a graduate of the European Society of Ophthalmology’s 2007-2009 Leadership Development Programme. Dr. Haughom is a member of the Academy’s Global ONE Advisory Board and splits her time between a small private practice and the Institute of Aviation Medicine in Oslo (located at the University in Oslo, but a military position). Following medical school at the University of Oslo, she completed her training at the University Hospital in Oslo and then worked three years at a small ophthalmology unit in Fredrikstad, which she describes as “very rewarding.”
YO Spotlight: Seven Questions for JoAnn A. Giaconi, MD 07/13/2010
This month, we continue our new approach to YO Spotlights, periodic profiles of you and your colleagues. Each featured YO is asked the same 10 questions, picking seven of them to answer. For our third profile, we talked to JoAnn Giaconi, MD. Dr. Giaconi is in her sixth year of practice, dividing her time between the Jules Stein Eye Institute in Los Angeles and the Veterans Administration, and specializes in glaucoma. She is a graduate of the Academy’s Leadership Development Program XI, Class of 2009, and currently serves on the Academy’s Ophthalmology Liaisons Committee and the Glaucoma Panel for the Practicing Ophthalmologists Curriculum.
YO Spotlight: Seven Questions for Shahar Frenkel, MD, PhD 06/14/2010
This month, we continue our new approach to YO Spotlights, periodic profiles of you and your colleagues. Each featured YO is asked the same 10 questions, picking seven of them to answer. For our second profile, we talked to Shahar Frenkel, MD, PhD, a member of the Academy’s Leadership Development Program XII, class of 2010. Dr. Frenkel is in his first year of practice at the Hebrew University Medical Center in Hadassah, where he works at the Israeli Specialized Ocular Oncology Service. He attended medical school at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as part of Israel’s Academic Reserves, completing a PhD in molecular biology, along with his MD. Upon completion of an internship, he was stationed as a battalion physician and later a navy physician. After his army duties, he completed an ophthalmology residency at Hadassah and a fellowship in ophthalmic pathology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
YO Spotlight: Seven Questions for Anthony Khawaja, MB, MA (Cantab), MRCOphth 04/12/2010
This month we kick off a new approach to YO Spotlights, our periodic profiles of you and your colleagues. Each featured YO will be asked the same 10 questions, picking seven of them to answer. For our first profile, we talked to Anthony Khawaja, MB, MA (Cantab), MRCOphth, a member of the Academy’s YO Committee’s international subcommittee and a graduate of the European Society of Ophthalmology’s Leadership Development Programme (SOE EuLDP). Dr. Khawaja is in his sixth year of residency at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London, United Kingdom, a large teaching hospital affiliated with the NHS (National Health Service). He did his pre-clinical work at the University of Cambridge, and his clinical studies at the University College London.
Leader Profile: Rob Melendez, MD 02/08/2010
You know him as YO Info’s new editor and you’ve probably read some of his contributions here and on the new Academy Online Community, but who is he? We sat down with Rob Melendez to learn more about his career path and how this one-time would-be optometrist became a leader in ophthalmology.
One to One: Randy Johnston, MD 01/11/2010
One in a long line of physicians, he had no problem with the medicine part but had no plans to continue the family tradition of being an Eye M.D. In this interview, the Academy's 2010 president Randy Johnston, MD, tells YO Info how he changed his mind and offers three ways you can get more involved with the Academy this year.
One to One: David W. Parke, MD 11/16/2009
He chose medicine over dentistry so he wouldn’t have to put his fingers in people’s mouths and wound up in ophthalmology only through a mentor he never would have met if things had gone as planned. In an interview at the Joint Meeting in San Francisco, the father of the Academy’s CEO and EVP discusses the missteps, hard choices and disappointments that have nonetheless made for a very satisfying career.
YO Spotlight: John P. Berdahl, MD 07/13/2009
For this month’s YO Spotlight, we talked to John P. Berdahl, MD, who just completed a fellowship in cornea, refractive surgery and glaucoma at Minnesota Eye Consultants. He came to our attention because of his work with EyeCare America and told us about a life-changing trip to Myanmar that he took right after finishing medical school.
One to One: Academy EVP and CEO David W. Parke II, MD 05/11/2009
David W. Parke II, MD, has been in Academy leadership for a while, but he recently took on his biggest role to date: executive vice president and CEO, succeeding H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD. Dr. Parke talked with YO Info about his decision to leave Oklahoma's Dean McGee Eye Institute for the West Coast and what he sees on ophthalmology's horizon. With just over one month in his new role, he told us he's thankful no one has changed the locks!
One-to-One with Michael W. Brennan, MD 01/12/2009
He’s a volunteer for the Defense and State Departments and a self-described “accidental doctor” who didn’t become a YO until his 40s. Meet Michael W. Brennan, MD, the Academy's 2009 president. In a YO Info exclusive, this fascinating ophthalmologist shares how his passion for exploration led to a group practice in Burlington, N.C., and leadership in his profession.
YO Spotlight: Milan Shah, MD 11/24/2008
For this month's YO Spotlight, we talked to Milan Shah, MD, who first came to our attention for his involvement in the 2008 Mid-Year Forum and Congressional Advocacy Day, part of his participation in the Academy’s Advocacy Ambassador Program. He discussed his passion for advocacy, especially regarding scope-of-practice issues. Dr. Shah is currently in a vitreoretinal surgical fellowship at Indiana University.