new year, new residents

New Program Enriches Ophthalmology Resident Training

Drs. Chintan Pathak and Katherine Dalzotto in clinic.
Drs. Chintan Pathak and Katherine Dalzotto in clinic.

The 2019–2020 academic year marks the first time that the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (DOVS), in partnership with the Department of Internal Medicine, welcomed two new first-year (PGY1) residents, Drs. Katherine Dalzotto and Chintan Pathak. The PGY1 students joined the department as a direct result of the engagement of the DOVS Ophthalmology Resident Education Team in the national discourse of training change needs almost two years ago. The program is funded through the generous support of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the William S. Middleton Veterans Administration (VA) Memorial Hospital.

The team, led by Drs. Marilyn Kay, Andrew Thliveris and Anna Momont, took action to change the existing three-year residency program well ahead of the recent announced mandate from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). ACGME is the private, non- profit institution responsible for accrediting all graduate medical training programs for physicians in the United States.

We were ahead of the game with the implementation of this additional year of training. We are excited about many of the benefits this additional year will provide for our learners. By being here one year earlier, our residents will increase the breadth of their skills and experience, and will have a head start in research and academic pursuits.

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Dr. Thliveris went on to state that this work is a testament to the strong relationship that the DOVS has with the University of Wisconsin Department of Internal Medicine and the VA Hospital, as well as with the national Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology.

Drs. Dalzotto and Pathak are currently immersed in the residency training program. Dr. William Van De Car joins his PGY1 classmates in 2020 after he completes his final year of military service with the Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The DOVS education team continues to explore new initiatives to enhance the resident training experience, and to build on our tradition of relevance. The team recently introduced a research elective in each year of the curriculum, and incorporated wellness activities. The desire is that the DOVS program will prepare all residents for the ever-changing needs in patient care and discovery at the local, national and global levels.