Bittersweet Goodbyes and Exciting Hellos: PCO Residency Program Transitions Classes

This month marks the transition period for the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) residency classes. For most of our 2018-2019 residents, this will be their first time leaving Salus PCO since becoming optometry students five years ago. As for our new entering class, they represent the most academically diverse group Salus PCO has ever had – with graduates from optometry programs all across the country.

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Outgoing Residency Class at their Graduation

“The first two weeks of July are a very bittersweet time,” Dr. Bhawan Minhas, director of PCO’s On-Campus Residency Program, said. “It is always exciting to welcome a new class of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed residents and feel the nervous energy buzzing in the air as they start preparing for their responsibilities for the year to come. That being said, it is also a time to reflect back on the previous year, celebrate our outgoing residents’ accolades, and realize how much they’ve accomplished over the past year.”

In June, the University celebrated the graduating class of residents with the fourth annual Residents' Day. Brought together for two days of learning and celebration, the University’s 28 off-campus and 11 on-campus residents participated in 20 Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) approved lectures and concluded with a cocktail reception in which they received their certificates from preceptors and program directors.

As for where they are headed to next, the graduating class of residents are spreading out from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, to Baltimore, to Delaware and more.

For Dr. Kelly Seidler, a now second-year Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease resident, she has another year of her residency to complete with the incoming class. When asked about her time as a first-year resident, she said, “My first year has been such a rewarding year of growth! I am excited to continue to learn and grow in my second year of residency. I look forward to my external rotations with other specialists including neurology, neuro-surgery, and neuro-ophthalmology. I think these experiences will enhance my growth as a clinician and allow me to obtain a well-rounded knowledge base. I am also looking forward to continued work within the Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease service at The Eye Institute .”

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Incoming Class of Residents

As for the incoming class, Chad Killen, OD ’19, the newest Low Vision Rehabilitation resident said, “I am so excited to begin my residency and for the opportunity to grow into a better clinician as I learn from the doctors and staff in the William Feinbloom Rehabilitation Center. The opportunity to see patients with varying conditions, pathology, and visual demands will provide challenging and rewarding patient care experiences that I wouldn’t get anywhere else!”

As the transition occurs,  Dr. Minhas said, “As the residency class mama, the sense of pride I feel when reflecting on each class's growth and the gratitude to be a part of their journey is something that gives me the greatest purpose in my work.”