From May 18-19, all of the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO)
on- and off-campus residents, residency program supervisors and faculty spent two days together full of learning and companionship in the second annual Residents' Day
Over the course of the two days, participants heard nearly 20 Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) approved lectures about a wide variety of topics related to eye care. Following the educational component, the group enjoyed a celebratory cocktail reception to conclude the event.
Dr. Heather Whyte, a low vision rehabilitation resident at The Eye Institute (TEI)
– the University’s on-campus clinical optometric facility - thought the event was a great way to reconnect with all of the residents in the program and demonstrate their support for one another.
“Watching everyone present unique cases was an excellent way for each of us to display our hard work from the year, but also a way for us to gain knowledge and insight to take with us as we begin our optometric careers,” she said. “It was a great way for all of us to show our support for each other and showcase some of the cases that have helped as grow as clinicians this year.”
Also at the event, the inaugural Bernard Blaustein Resident Excellence Award was awarded to Dr. Kelsey Moody, neuro-ophthalmic disease resident at TEI. Recipients of the award exhibit exceptional clinical promise and aptitude, a thirst for knowledge, a willingness to share their knowledge for the benefit of improved patient care, and outstanding growth during their residency training. The award was created to honor Dr. Blaustein who “has always been an example of clinical expertise and collegiality,” according to Dr. Bhawan Minas, director of PCO’s on-campus residency programs. Always dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, Dr. Blaustein has delivered over 150 continuing education lectures throughout the United States and in many European and Asian countries, edited two textbooks, written over 30 professional articles and chapters in various optometric texts, and has presented over 50 papers at various scholarly conferences. He has also served our nation’s veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center for over 40 years.
PCO has one of the largest Optometry residency programs in the US, according to Dr. Shital Mani, director of off-campus residency programs. This year, PCO has 12 in-house residents at The Eye Institute, 26 affiliated residents and 12 at various off-campus locations, which span from Northern New Jersey to Tampa, Fla.
Residents' Day was initially developed by Drs. Mani and Michael Rebar, former director of on-campus residency programs. They recognized a need for all residents – both on-campus and off-campus – to share the mutual experiences of learning from one another. Prior to 2016, residents conducted their Grand Rounds presentations on Friday afternoons from October through May. Grand Rounds currently runs on Friday mornings and features faculty, resident and guest presentations on a variety of eye care-related topics.
“We felt we needed to build a sense of camaraderie by inviting the affiliated residents and their program supervisors to our campus so that all residents can come together as a group with their mentors supporting them in the audience as they gave their final grand rounds presentations,” Dr. Mani said.
She believes the dual days offer valuable professional lessons for the residents as well.
“The residents learn how to submit lectures, which would appropriately qualify for COPE credits should they want to pursue this in their career in the future,” she said. “It is also a great lesson in public speaking as they prepare a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation on a unique or challenging clinical case. They all do an outstanding job in lecture delivery.”
More About PCO's Residency Programs