The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) are proud to present this year’s Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education to Preston H. Blomquist, MD. This award recognizes and celebrates Dr. Blomquist’s achievements as a residency program director in ophthalmology.
The 2018 Straatsma Award is presented to Dr. Blomquist for his commitment to resident education; dedication to the residency training process; active engagement in program leadership; innovation and advancement of residency education in Ophthalmology regionally and nationally; and his devotion to teaching, mentoring and advising residents. Over his 16-year tenure as the residency program director for the Department of Ophthalmology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Blomquist has directed 163 residents, thus far. He is described as a passionate advocate for resident rights and recognized for his support of comprehensive training for all graduating ophthalmology residents and for increasing the required surgical volumes for residents. He hopes his greatest success has been the development of the next generation of ophthalmologists and that he has been a positive influence for each of them as they “play it forward.” He motivates his graduates to be successful from the start of their careers, to adapt to a changing world, and to be leaders of change. He strives to help each resident to reach their fullest potential.
Dr. Blomquist’s research has focused on resident surgical training, especially in the field of cataract surgery, including the incorporation of new technologies. As Chief of Service for Ophthalmology, he oversees inpatient, outpatient, and emergency services at Parkland Memorial Hospital. He spends a significant amount of his time teaching in the Parkland ophthalmology residency clinics, as well as in the operating rooms. He lectures not only to ophthalmology residents on a regular basis, but also medical students and residents in other departments. In addition to leading his resident wet labs, he has regularly participated in the resident wet lab courses at the annual Academy meetings.
Dr. Blomquist has served on the ACGME Ophthalmology Residency Review Committee for six years, and currently serves on the Standing Panel for Accreditation Appeals in Ophthalmology. He is the executive editor for the AAO’s "Practical Ophthalmology: A Manual for Beginning Residents". He was elected as one of the inaugural members of a recently initiated program titled The University of Texas Southwestern Academy of Teachers (SWAT), for his recognition as an outstanding teacher and education leader on the campus. He was an inaugural recipient of a University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012, recognized by Parkland Health and Hospital Systems with the Distinguished Physician Award, and presented with an Outstanding Teaching Award by his second-year medical students for five consecutive years.
Dr. Blomquist is a consummate academician whose major contributions are in the educational arena, including administration, education of students, and educating the educators. He is an accomplished educator/teacher whose impactful contributions to ophthalmology resident education are extensive, making him highly deserving of the Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education.