UMKC vision researchers repurpose technology to identify early symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Changes in vision detected by microperimetry can be related to early signs of multiple sclerosis.

Technology used in eye exams called microperimetry could prove to be an effective, non-invasive method of identifying early symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

An article recently published by researchers at the UMKC School of Medicine Vision Research Center reports the effective use of microperimetry during routine clinical assessments of multiple sclerosis patients. The article appeared in the research journal BioMed Central Ophthalmology.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the brain and spinal cord that affects nearly 400,000 people in the United States and more than 2 million throughout the world. There is no known cure for the potentially disabling disease, but treatment can help manage symptoms and speed up recovery from attacks.

Therefore, a non-invasive, clinically relevant and cost-effective method of identifying damage early would be invaluable to patients and health care providers. It would enable prompt therapy that may slow the progression of the disease and its ocular manifestations before irreversible damage occurs.

The testing method studied by the team of UMKC researchers, students and residents, microperimetry, measures light sensitivity of the center of a patient’s vision and can detect specific areas of decreased sensitivity. It typically takes less than half an hour.

Researchers from the school’s Vision Research Center have previously found the technology to be effective in diagnosing early stages of other diseases of the nervous system such as mild cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s.

The vision research team of Landon J. Rohowetz, Qui Vu, Lilit Ablabutyan, Sean M. Gratton, Nancy Kunjukunju, Billi S. Wallace and Peter Koulen collaborated to determine subtle changes in visual function related to otherwise undetectable signs of multiple sclerosis. It is the first peer-reviewed study to assess the use of microperimetry, a straightforward and non-invasive vision test, as a tool to detect disease progression in early stage multiple sclerosis patients.

“The findings from this study provide a rationale for the use of microperimetry in the clinical assessment of patients with multiple sclerosis,” said Rohowetz, the study’s lead author. “By identifying visual dysfunction associated with multiple sclerosis, we hope physicians and researchers are able to use this technology to ultimately preserve and improve quality of life for patients with this often-disabling disease.”

More than 80 percent of the patients with multiple sclerosis show signs of impaired vision and 73 percent of MS patients experience visual impairment within the first 10 years of diagnosis, which is comparable to the prevalence of abnormal or impaired muscle function in the disease.

This initial study indicates that light sensitivity measured by microperimetry is lower among multiple sclerosis patients who have otherwise normal vision and no other history of issues with the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. It also revealed a significant correlation between this impaired function and a reduced thickness of the retina in MS patients that is not seen in control subjects.

The report says further studies would look to monitor and evaluate ongoing changes in retina sensitivity and thickness as they correlate to a progression of multiple sclerosis. It will also broaden the approach to include MS patients who have a history of optic neuritis, where measurable damage to the optic nerve has already occurred.

Contact us

Department of Ophthalmology

2101 Charlotte St, Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 816-404-1780

Nelson Sabates, MD
Professor and Chairman of the UMKC Department of Ophthalmology

Matthew Sniegowski, MD
Program Director

Saundra Thompson
Program Coordinator
Saundra.Thompson@tmcmed.org

Phone: 816-404-1780
Fax: 816-404-2920

Residency Program

Welcome to the UMKC Department of Ophthalmology Residency Program

The UMKC School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology was founded in 1971 with a mission to train the next generation of ophthalmologists, provide excellent patient care, and conduct clinical research. Since its inception, the program has trained more than 100 residents and fellows who have gone on to practice worldwide as leaders in the profession. The program is now based at University Health, Truman Medical Center’s state-of-the-art medical facility. The Eye Foundation was established in 1987 to support the Department. The three-year residency program has a total of nine residents—three at each level. Fellowships exist in both pediatric ophthalmology and retina subspecialties.

The Department’s nationally recognized residency program offers three openings each year for qualified candidates. Clinical experiences are provided at five affiliated institutions:

  • Truman Medical Center – Hospital Hill (TMC-HH)
  • Truman Medical Center – Lakewood (TMC-LW)
  • Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH)
  • Saint Luke’s Hospital (SLH)
  • Research Medical Center (RMC)

Fully accredited since 1971, the residency program offers a strong foundation comprised:

  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Diversity of patients/cases
  • Excellent teaching staff
  • Innovative procedures
  • Research opportunities

In addition to developing a strong knowledge base in general ophthalmology, residents have extensive exposure to subspecialty areas such as:

  • Cataract surgery technique
  • Glaucoma
  • Retina/vitreous
  • Cornea and external disease
  • Inflammatory disorders
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Oculoplastics
  • Low-vision rehabilitation
  • Contact lenses
  • Pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus
  • Ocular pathology
  • Refractive surgery

Board-certified ophthalmologists supervise residents in surgery and in the clinic. These staff physicians are always present to provide advice and guidance.


Matthew Sniegowski, M.D.
Residency Program Director
The UMKC School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology Residency Program trains physicians during a three-year ophthalmology program to be well-rounded ophthalmology clinicians and surgeons. The first year provides a strong base in comprehensive ophthalmology and all ophthalmology subspecialties with an introduction to ophthalmic surgery. The second year further hones residents’ diagnostic and therapeutic skills, along with greater exposure to cataract, strabismus, pediatric and oculoplastic surgery. The final year of the residency increases residents’ independence, expands their supervisory role over younger residents, and fine-tunes residents’ surgical techniques in all areas of ophthalmology.

 

Hospital Affiliates

Residents rotate through five Kansas City, Missouri-area teaching hospitals. This provides experience in a wide variety of surgical cases and clinical opportunities unique to those institutions and associated patient populations.

Truman Medical Centers

tmchh08_200wTruman Medical Center – Hospital Hill is the primary residency program site. It provides a broad array of acute and outpatient services to a diverse patient population. TMC is nationally recognized for excellence in emergency and level I trauma services. In addition to its ophthalmology program, it is also recognized for programs in asthma care/research, diabetes, HIV/AIDS services, obstetrics/high-risk obstetrics and women’s health.

tmclw_200w

Truman Medical Center – Lakewood is the base hospital for the UMKC School of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Medicine. The Bess Truman Family Practice Clinic, Lakewood Medical Pavilion, the H&R Block Birthing Center and the Lakewood Care Center serve patients in all stages of their lives. Services provided include diabetes care, rehabilitation, geriatrics, obstetrics and women’s health.

StLukes-New_6693_200w

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City is a 629-bed tertiary care referral center serving a six state region. Saint Luke’s has established some of the finest specialized clinical services and support programs in the metropolitan area. They include the level I trauma center, level III neonatal intensive care unit, Mid-America Heart Institute, and the Mid America Brain and Stroke Institute. The hospital received the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for 2003, the distinguished Hospital Award For Patient Survey by the Consumers Choice Award, and is ranked as one of the Best Hospitals for Heart Surgery and in the Gynecology Top 125.

cmh08_200w

Children’s Mercy Hospital provides the highest level of medical care and services, tailored to meet the needs of pediatric patients from birth to age 18. More than 40 pediatric subspecialties and 500 pediatric physicians serve children from western Missouri and eastern Kansas. The 241-bed hospital is the region’s only level I pediatric trauma center, with one of the busiest neonatal/pediatric transport programs in the United States. In addition to pediatric ophthalmology, it is recognized for cardiac surgery, asthma/allergy/ immunology, minimally invasive surgery, clinical pharmacology, nephrology and neonatology. CMH was ranked as one of the 10 best children’s hospitals in America in by US News and World Report.

ResearchMedCtr_200w

Research Hospital is one of the area’s largest metropolitan facilities with 511 beds and over 500 physicians on staff. It is one of ten area medical centers in the HCA network in Kansas City. Research Medical Center ophthalmology consult service is robust and serves well in training the comprehensive ophthalmologist. It is also well-known for the Midwest Stroke Care, Transplant Institute, cancer care and other areas of state-of-the-art medical care. It is a Joint Commission Gold Seal approval facility, as well.

 

Recent Alumni

Class of 2020

 Ananth Selliyan, M.D.

Dr. Ananth Selliyan was raised in St. Louis, MO. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. He then worked as a Clinical Research Assistant in Medical Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he focused on research of genetic markers related to lung cancer. In addition, he later served as a Pastoral Resident at The Crossing church in St. Louis. He then completed medical school at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and an Internal Medicine Preliminary residency at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, IN, prior to returning to UMKC for his Ophthalmology residency training. In his spare time, he enjoys watching professional sports. While a St. Louis Cardinals fan at heart, he has grown fond of cheering for our Kansas City Sports teams.

Christa Soekamto, M.D.

Dr. Christa Soekamto was raised in Grapevine, Texas. She completed her undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences at Southeast Missouri State University where she also competed in collegiate gymnastics. She then attended medical school at Paul L. Foster Texas Tech School of Medicine. She completed her preliminary year in internal medicine at UMKC. She enjoys snorkeling, scuba diving, listening to podcasts, and staying active, but has somehow managed to fall asleep on every form of transportation across multiple countries.

Duy Vu, M.D.

Dr. Duy Vu was born and raised in Houston, TX. He completed his bachelor’s degree in human biology at the University of Texas in Austin. He then went on to complete his MD/MBA at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Before beginning ophthalmology, he moved to Denver to complete his medical internship with the University of Colorado. He enjoys snowboarding/skiing, backpacking, skydiving, painting/drawing, and spending time with his pup. He prefers to be called by his nickname, Dree (like tree but with a ‘D’).

Class of 2019

Kevin Chen, M.D.

Dr. Kevin Chen was born in China and moved to the United States at the age of two. He grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina and completed his undergraduate degree at Duke University, where he majored in biology and chemistry. Afterward, he attended medical school at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, where he also completed his preliminary year in internal medicine. He enjoys spending time with his fiancee, watching Duke basketball and exploring new restaurants.

Zachary Lindsey, M.D.

Dr. Zachary Lindsey was born and raised in Clemmons, North Carolina. He completed his undergraduate degree in physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then attended medical school at Wake Forest School of Medicine. During his time there, he became involved with corneal disease research and was published as a first author in a popular medical textbook. After graduating medical school, he completed his preliminary medicine internship at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, before moving to Kansas City to begin his ophthalmology residency. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife Ashley and their rescue dog Luna. He also likes traveling, playing video games and board games with family and woodworking. He and his wife are expecting their first child in January 2017.

Cody Ott, M.D.

Dr. Cody Ott was born and raised in South Florida. He completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He then went on to attend medical school at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.  Following medical school, he completed an internal medicine internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. He enjoys spending time with his wife and family, weightlifting, cooking and the outdoors.

Class of 2018

Abou Cham, M.D.

Dr. Abdourahman Cham was born and raised in The Gambia. He completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida and his master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Prior to medical school, he worked as a quality control scientist at Noven Pharmaceuticals in Miami. He then attended medical school at The University of Iowa and completed a medical internship at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. His hobbies and interests include basketball, ping-pong, billiards, travel, finance/investing and public policy.

Matthew Cossack, M.D.

Dr. Matthew Cossack grew up in Minnesota before earning degrees in philosophy and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame. While there, he met his wife with whom he has two young boys. He completed both medical school and a medical internship at Creighton University in Omaha before beginning ophthalmology. His interests include science, philosophy, history and ancestry, and he enjoys spending time with his family, especially on lakes in Minnesota.

Samantha Herretes, M.D.

Dr. Samantha Herretes was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She completed medical school and finished an ophthalmology residency in Caracas, before moving to the United States with her family in 2010. She performed research at Wilmer and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, publishing several papers related to cornea and ocular surface disease. She completed a surgical internship at Saint Louis University before moving to Kansas City for ophthalmology residency. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children, extended family and friends.

Class of 2017

Scott Butikofer, M.D.

Dr. Scott Butikofer was raised in Southeast Idaho near Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons. He completed his bachelors degree in biology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He then completed medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle, having many opportunities to train in the Northwest region, including his native Idaho. He now lives in Missouri with his wife, Christine, and their two children, Zoey and Aaron, pursuing further training in ophthalmology. He enjoys spending time with his family, finding outdoor attractions to explore and reading fiction novels.

Sarah Dehaybi, M.D. – Chief Resident

Dr. Sarah Dehaybi was born and raised in Northern Arizona and completed her undergraduate degrees in physiology and Near Eastern studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She went on to complete a dual MD–MPH program at the University of Arizona, spending nine months completing an internship in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Health Organization. She completed her preliminary year in medicine at UMKC prior to beginning ophthalmology. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughter, she enjoys traveling, photography and singing.

Fahad Khan, M.D.

Dr. Fahad Khan was born in Bangladesh and was raised in Los Angeles, California. He earned his undergraduate degree in bioengineering at the University of California-SanDiego. He then completed medical school training at Creighton University. Afterward, he completed his internship in internal medicine at San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Medical Center. He married six months before the start of his residency at UMKC. Other than ophthalmology, he enjoys watching movies, playing basketball, eating delicious foods and participating in outdoor activities.

Class of 2016

Lilit Ablabutyan, M.D. – Chief Resident

Dr. Ablabutyan was born in Armenia where she spent her early childhood before moving to Glendale, California at the age of four. She completed her undergraduate degree at University of California Irvine followed by a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania. Prior to starting her ophthalmology residency, she completed a preliminary medicine internship at Loma Linda University in California. Her hobbies include painting, traveling  and spending time with friends and family.

Ashley Abraham, M.D.

Dr. Abraham was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs.  She earned her medical doctorate with Latin Honors at the University of Missouri- Kansas City six-year accelerated BA/MD program. Prior to starting her Ophthalmology residency, she completed a year of internal medicine residency at the University of Missouri- Kansas City. In 2012, she was awarded the Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Award. She is also a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation: Gold Humanism Honor Society. Outside of work, she enjoys family and friends, painting, baking, traveling, and playing tennis.

Fatima Ali, M.D.

Dr. Ali was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States at the age of four.  She grew up in multiple cities including Boston, St. Louis and Dallas. She attended the combined undergraduate-medical degree program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. Afterward, she completed a transitional-year internship at John Peter Smith Hospital in Forth Worth, Texas. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, baking and, traveling.

Class of 2015

Sonia Dhoot, M.D. – Chief Resident

Dr. Dhoot was born and raised in Riverside, California. After high school, she attended an accelerated, seven-year combined BS/MD program with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. She then moved back to California for one year where she completed her transitional year at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Her hobbies include spending quality time with friends and family, reading, and watching professional basketball.

Terry Kang, M.D.

Dr. Kang was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area in California. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of California-Los Angeles and then his medical degree at the University of California-San Diego. Afterward, he trained at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for his transitional-year internship. He recently got married at the start of his residency. Other than ophthalmology, he enjoys watching and playing sports, eating delicious foods and traveling as much as possible.

Anwesh Reddy, M.D.

Dr. Reddy was born and raised in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  He completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and then moved to Chicago, Illinois where he performed research on pina bifida at Children’s Memorial Hospital (Northwestern). He attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine in Memphis. Following medical school he completed a Surgical internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts before moving to Kansas City to begin his ophthalmology residency.  He enjoys spending time with his wife Lindsay, travelling, cooking, working out, playing video games, and spending time outdoors.

 

Class of 2014

Qui Vu, M.D. – Chief Resident

Dr. Vu was born in Vietnam where she spent her early childhood before moving to Norwalk, California at the age of eight. She completed her undergraduate degree at UCLA and then attended medical school at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska where she also completed her internship in internal medicine. Her hobbies include cruising, photography, leisure reading and watching Broadway productions.

Eric N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Brown was born and raised in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. He completed his BA with dual majors in chemistry and mathematics at St. Olaf College. After college, he earned his MD and PhD in biochemistry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. During graduate school, he published seven papers culminating in his thesis entitled “Rieske business: Rieske metal clusters in Rieske ferredoxins and Rieske dioxygenases” regarding the X-ray crystallographic structures and functions of bacterial electron transport proteins. Following graduate school, Dr. Brown completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology studying the genetics behind the relationship between complement factor H and age-related macular degeneration. This work resulted in one peer-reviewed paper, a patent application, and a poster at the May 2010 ARVO conference. In 2011, he finished an intern year at the Broadlawns Medical Center family practice transitional program in Des Moines, Iowa. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, photography, and computer programming.

Joshua Schliesser, M.D.

Dr. Joshua Schliesser was born and raised in Vernal, Utah. He attended Utah State University for his undergraduate degree where he studied chemistry and then attended University of Utah School of Medicine. He completed his transitional internship in Spokane, Washington. He and his wife Becky have three children. In addition to spending time with his family, Josh enjoys sports, being outdoors and cooking.

 

Class of 2013

Nick Binder, M.D. – Chief Resident

One-year pediatric fellowship match – USC Doheny Eye Institute/Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, California

Dr. Binder was born in San Diego, California where he spent his early childhood before moving to Denver, Colorado for junior high school and high school. He returned to California where he completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and then spent one year as an ophthalmic technician prior to medical school. He attended the University of California, Irvine for medical school and finished his internship in internal medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. His hobbies include travel, outdoor activities such as surfing and hiking, playing the guitar, and enjoying a good meal with family and friends. He is currently a pediatrics ophthalmology fellow in California.

Luke Rebenitsch, M.D.

One-year cornea/refractive surgery fellowship match – Durrie Vision, Overland Park, Kansas

Dr. Rebenitsch was born and raised in the small town of Bismarck, North Dakota. He attended the University of North Dakota where he studied chemical engineering. He then moved to Missouri where he completed his medical training at Washington University in St. Louis. After medical school, he moved to Spokane, Washington to complete a transitional year at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. His hobbies include travel, weight training, marathons, politics, skiing, video games and the outdoors. He is currently a cornea and refractive surgery fellow in Kansas.

Adam McLaughlin, M.D., J.D.

One-year medical/retina fellowship – Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Florida

Dr. McLaughlin was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and moved with his family to the United States to complete his high school education. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado before attending Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine and School of Law. He completed his internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Outside of work, Dr. McLaughlin enjoys participating in ice hockey, soccer, softball and outdoor activities like running, hiking and skiing. He is currently a retina fellow in Florida.

 

Class of 2012

Mouhammed O. Abuattieh, M.D., Ph.D. – Chief Resident

Two-year vitreo-retinal surgery fellowship-Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

Dr. Abuattieh of Palestinian origin was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. He moved to Prague, Czech Republic where he attended medical school and received his degree in 2004. He spent four years performing research in immunology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He joined UMKC’s program after completing an internship in preliminary surgery at the Mayo Clinic. He enjoys reading, soccer and cooking with friends. Dr. Abuattieh is currently a retina fellow in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jessica Schonfeld, M.D.

One-year cornea fellowship Pepose Vision Institute in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Dr. Schonfeld was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She completed her bachelor degree in biology at Brandeis University near Boston, Massachusetts. After college, she worked for a year as a medical technologist at Tufts-New England Medical Center. She earned her M.D. at University of Connecticut and completed a preliminary year of medicine at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. In May 2010, she presented at ARVO regarding the management of postoperative pain in enucleation/evisceration surgeries. Other past research projects have included visual outcomes of laser therapy in diabetic retinopathy and photodynamic therapy of choroidal melanomas. In her free time, she enjoys reading and exercising, and is an avid fan of music, particularly jazz.

Shamim Haji, M.D.

Two-year vitreo-retina fellowship – University of Florida, Jacksonville, Florida

Dr. Haji was born and raised in Kashmir, India. He obtained his medical degree from the Government Medical College Srinagar, Kashmir University. He moved to the United States where he completed a clinical research post-doctoral fellowship in cornea and refractive surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, and then a clinical glaucoma and medical retina fellowship at the East Florida Eye Institute, Florida. He completed his Internship at the New York Presbyterian Hospital (Cornell Campus) program. Dr. Haji has authored and coauthored eight papers in peer-review journals, including the Archives of Ophthalmology, and presented over 25 posters at major national and international meetings. He co-authored a book chapter in “The Glaucoma Book: A Practical, Evidence-Based Approach to Patient Care”. Outside of medicine, Dr. Haji enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. His hobbies include sports such as soccer, ping pong and tennis. He is currently a retina fellow in Florida.

Shiva Nobar, M.D.

– joined the staff of UT Medical Group, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee

 

Class of 2011

Savak Teymoorian, M.D., M.B.A. – Chief Resident

Dr. Teymoorian spent his childhood in Glendale, California. He moved to Orange County, California where he completed his undergraduate studies in biological sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He completed a combined MD/MBA program at the UC Irvine School of Medicine and the Paul Merage School of Business. He remained at UC Irvine for his internship in internal medicine. After completion of residency at UMKC, he went back to California and completed a glaucoma fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Teymoorian’s hobbies include watching and playing baseball, basketball, football and darts. His wife is a geriatric internal medicine physician.

Florin Grigorian, M.D.

Dr. Grigorian was raised in Bucovina, Romania. He attended Gr. T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Iasi, Romania for both his college and medical school studies. While in Romania, he completed an ophthalmology residency. He moved to the United States and settled in Illinois, where he fulfilled his internship at the University of Illinois, College of Medicine and then completed a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Dr Grigorian is now specializing in pediatric ophthalmology. Dr. Grigorian’s hobbies include hiking, swimming, soccer, philately and computer games. His wife also works as pediatric ophthalmologist.

William D. Witt, M.D., O.D.

Dr. Witt was born and raised in Garden City, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in biology while working for the Agronomy Research Department. He next attended Northeastern State University College of Optometry, graduating in 2000 and completing an additional year of ocular disease training in 2001. For the next two years he worked at the Cherokee Nation Wilma P. Mankiller Clinic in Stilwell, Oklahoma before returning to medical school at the University of Oklahoma. He completed his internship in internal medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After completion of an ophthalmology residency at UMKC, Dr. Witt went to the University of Nebraska in Omaha to complete a fellowship in glaucoma, and then started his own practice in Manhattan, Kansas. He and his wife recently had their second son. Dr. Witt’s current hobby is backpacking and hiking, with recent trips to Arkansas, Wyoming, Washington, British Columbia and North Carolina. He also enjoys woodworking, gardening, and marathon running.

 

Class of 2010

Ryan Vincent, M.D. Chief Resident

Dr. Vincent was raised in Grand Junction, Colorado. He completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies for a master’s degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He moved to Denver to attend the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Medicine and completed his internship at Saint Joseph Hospital. After residency, Dr. Vincent completed a glaucoma fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston before returning to join faculty on the glaucoma service at UMKC. Dr. Vincent enjoys outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, camping and traveling.

R. Ken Lord, M.D.

– joined the staff of Retina Associates of Southern Utah, St. George, Utah

Dr. Lord grew up in Southern Utah and attended college at Southern Utah University in Cedar City. He attended medical school at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and then moved to Tucson, Arizona to complete his internship at the University of Arizona. Dr. Lord has spent 10 years with the Utah National Guard including two activations for various causes since 9/11. In October of 2011, he returned from a three-month deployment to Iraq. He enjoys spending time with his family, including four children. His hobbies are playing golf, basketball, and volleyball in addition to home remodeling. He finished a two-year vitreo-retinal fellowship at the University of Missouri, Kansas City before returning to Utah to start his own retina practice.

Brian Haugen, M.D.

Dr. Haugen was raised in Kohler, Wisconsin. He completed both his undergraduate and medical training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After medical school, he moved to Salt Lake City, Utah for a one-year ocular pathology fellowship at the Moran Eye Center with Dr. Nick Mamalis. Following the fellowship, he completed his transitional year internship at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. His hobbies include outdoor sports and activities such as golf, softball, soccer, skiing, camping, hiking, sailing and flying. He is currently in private practice in California as a comprehensive ophthalmologist.

 

Class of 2009

Vinay Shah, M.D.

Dr. Shah was born and raised in India. While there, he completed his medical school and ophthalmology residency at Smt. N.H.L. Medical College in Ahmedabad and a vitreo-retinal fellowship at L. V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India. He moved to the United States where he completed a research and clinical post-doctoral fellowship in retina at the University of Florida in Jacksonville, followed by a neuro ophthalmology fellowship at the University of Iowa. After residency at UMKC, he completed a two-year surgical fellowship in retina at Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit. He is now on staff at Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma. Dr. Shah has authored 59 peer reviewed publications and 65 oral/podium presentations. His hobbies include sports such as cricket and table tennis.

Erica Person, M.D.

Dr. Person was raised in Nebraska. She moved to Missouri where she attended Washington University in St. Louis for college and then Saint Louis University for both medical school and graduate work for a master’s degree. Her internship was completed at Forest Park Hospital in Saint Louis. She enjoys the French horn, crochet, gardening, and going “green” in her spare time. She is now practicing as a comprehensive ophthalmologist at KU Eye Center.

Ashley San Filippo, M.D.

Dr. San Filippo grew up in Coshocton, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at Kent State University and then medical training at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. She moved to New York for her internship at State University of New York at Buffalo. Her main hobby is running. She completed a glaucoma fellowship at the Ohio State University and currently is in private practice in Ohio.

Faculty

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Leadership
Nelson Sabates, M.D.

Professor, Department Chair, President of the Vision Research Foundation, President and CEO - Sabates Eye Centers, P.C.
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Retina and Vitreous

Sabates, Nelson
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Peter Koulen, Ph.D., FARVO

Professor, Felix and Carmen Sabates / Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research, Director of Basic Research, Vision Research Center
Department(s) of Biomedical Sciences, Ophthalmology
Section: Neurosciences
Vision Research Center Koulen, Peter
Koulen, Peter
235-6773
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Residency Program
Matthew C. Sniegowski, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Residency Program Director
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Truman Medical Center - UMKC Health Sciences District

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Oculoplastics

Sniegowski, Matthew C.
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Katie J. Macaluso, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Associate Program Director
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Cornea/Uveitis, Refractive Surgery

Macaluso, Katie J.
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Faculty Listing
Michelle M. Ariss, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Ophthalmology
Children's Mercy Hospital
Ariss, Michelle M.
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Charles S. Atkinson, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Ophthalmology
Children's Mercy Hospital
Atkinson, Charles S.
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Emily C. Broxterman, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Ophthalmology
Children's Mercy Hospital
Broxterman, Emily C.
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Michael A. Cassell, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Retina and Vitreous

Cassell, Michael A.
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Komal B. Desai, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Ocular Oncology

Desai, Komal B.
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Raymond S. Duncan, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
UMKC School of Medicine
Duncan, Raymond S.
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Gary Gallimore

Instructor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center
Gallimore, Gary
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William A. Godfrey, M.D.

Clinical Associate Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Kansas University Medical Center
Godfrey, William A.
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Sean M. Gratton, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Residency Program Director
Department(s) of Neurology, Ophthalmology
Truman Medical Center - UMKC Health Sciences District, Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Resident Medical Education, Neuro-Ophthalmology

Gratton, Sean M.
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Denise A. Hug, M.D.

Associate Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Ophthalmology
Children's Mercy Hospital
Hug, Denise A.
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Timothy E. Hug, O.D.

Associate Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Optometry
Children's Mercy Hospital
Hug, Timothy E.
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Karl Kador, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Biomedical Sciences, Ophthalmology
UMKC School of Medicine Kador, Karl
Kador, Karl
235-6766
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Marla G. Kennard, O.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Optometry
Children's Mercy Hospital
Kennard, Marla G.
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Rohit Krishna, M.D.

Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Glaucoma

Krishna, Rohit
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Peter Koulen, Ph.D., FARVO

Professor, Felix and Carmen Sabates / Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research, Director of Basic Research, Vision Research Center
Department(s) of Biomedical Sciences, Ophthalmology
Section: Neurosciences
Vision Research Center Koulen, Peter
Koulen, Peter
235-6773
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David B. Lyon, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Oculoplastics, Orbital Surgery

Lyon, David B.
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Katie J. Macaluso, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Associate Program Director
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Cornea/Uveitis, Refractive Surgery

Macaluso, Katie J.
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Justin D. Marsh, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Ophthalmology
Children's Mercy Hospital
Marsh, Justin D.
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Kevin Pikey, D.O.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Glaucoma

Pikey, Kevin
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Laura S. Plummer, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Opthalmology
Children's Mercy Hospital
Plummer, Laura S.
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Abraham K. Poulose, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Associate Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Retina and Vitreous

Poulose, Abraham K.
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Mahendra Rupani, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center
Rupani, Mahendra
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Felix N. Sabates, M.D., F.A.C.S.


Department(s) of Ophthalmology

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Retina and Vitreous

Sabates, Felix N.
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Nelson Sabates, M.D.

Professor, Department Chair, President of the Vision Research Foundation, President and CEO - Sabates Eye Centers, P.C.
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Retina and Vitreous

Sabates, Nelson
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Matthew C. Sniegowski, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Residency Program Director
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Truman Medical Center - UMKC Health Sciences District

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Oculoplastics

Sniegowski, Matthew C.
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Erin Stahl, M.D.

Associate Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Refractive Surgery
Children's Mercy Hospital
Stahl, Erin
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Amy R. Sullivan, O.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Optometry
Children's Mercy Hospital
Sullivan, Amy R.
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Christina M. Twardowski, O.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Optometry
Children's Mercy Hospital
Twardowski, Christina M.
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Jennifer Vickers, O.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Optometry
Children's Mercy Hospital
Vickers, Jennifer
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Timothy A. Walline, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Vision Research Center

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Refractive Surgery, Comprehensive Ophthalmology

Walline, Timothy A.
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Amy L. Waters, O.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Section: Pediatric Optometry
Children's Mercy Hospital
Waters, Amy L.
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Ting Xie, Ph.D.

Adjunct Research Professor
Department(s) of Ophthalmology
Xie, Ting
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Specialties
Vice-Chairman and Director of Clinics
David B. Lyon, M.D. FACSComprehensive Ophthalmology
Komal K. Desai, M.D.
Mahendra K. Rupani, M.D.
Timothy A. Walline, M.DCornea/Uveitis
Katie Macaluso, M.D.

Glaucoma
Rohit Krishna, M.D.
Kevin P. Pikey, D.O.

Neuro-Ophthalmology
Sean Gratton, M.D.

Ocular Oncology 
Komal K. Desai, M.D

Ocular Pathology
Mahendra K. Rupani, M.D.

Oculoplastics and Orbital Surgery
David B. Lyon, M.D.
Matthew C. Sniegowski, M.D.

Pediatric Ophthalmology
Erin Stahl, M.D., Director
– – – –
Michelle Ariss, M.D.
Scott Atkinson, M.D.
Emily Broxterman, M.D.
Denise Hug, M.D.
Timothy Hug, O.D.
Marla Kennard, O.D.
Amy Langford, O.D.
Justin Marsh, M.D,
Laura S. Plummer, M.D.
Amy Sullivan, O.D.

Refractive Surgery
Katie Macaluso, M.D.
Timothy A. Walline, M.D.

Retina and Vitreous
Michael A. Cassell, M.D.
Abraham K. Poulose, M.D.
Felix N. Sabates, M.D.
Nelson R. Sabates, M.D.

Contact Lens and Low Vision
Ramona Baumfalk, O.D.
Amanda Hake, O.D.

Vision Research Center
Nelson R. Sabates, M.D., Director
Peter Koulen, Ph.D., Director of Basic Research, Endowed Chair
– – – –
Kun Cheng, Ph.D.
R. Scott Duncan, Ph.D.
Simon H. Friedman, Ph.D.
William G. Gutheil, Ph.D.
Thomas P. Johnston, Ph.D.
Karl Kador, Ph.D.
Chi H. Lee, Ph.D.
Ashim K. Mitra, Ph.D.
Mridul Mukherji, M.D
Phil Dhananjay Pal, Ph.D.
Ting Xie, Ph.D.
Bi-Botti Youan, Ph.D.

 

Application Information

The Residency Program participates in the Ophthalmology Matching Program (SF Match). Information about registering in the match and enrolling in the Central Application Service (CAS) may be obtained by contacting the academic adviser in the dean’s office of your medical school.

At UMKC’s Department of Ophthalmology, two or three interview days are held each year where applicants meet the existing residents, tour the facilities, and interview with multiple faculty members. Applicants may request additional program information after July 1 by directing inquiries to:

Matthew Sniegowski, MD
Residency Program Director
UMKC Department of Ophthalmology
2101 Charlotte Street, Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: (816) 404-1780

Please send email to:
Saundra Thompson
Program Coordinator
Saundra.Thompson@tmcmed.org

Current Residents

Class of 2021

Daniel Dansdill, M.D.

Dansdill, DanielDr. Daniel Dansdill was born in Columbia, Missouri before moving to Rockford, Illinois.  There he spent his formative years and became passionate about medicine via his father, Dr. David Dansdill, a rheumatologist.  He completed a Science-Business degree at the University of Notre Dame.  He then worked as an orthopedic technician for a year before completing medical school at the University of Loyola – Chicago.   He also completed his medical internship in Chicago at Presence St. Francis Hospital before joining UMKC ophthalmology.  In his spare time Daniel enjoys sports, barbeque, fishing, playing the guitar, and spending time with his family.

Robert “Josh” Fantus, M.D.

Fantus, RobertDr. Robert “Josh” Fantus was born in Chicago and grew up in Libertyville, a northern suburb of Chicago. He earned his bachelors of arts degree in Biology at DePauw University in Greencastle Indiana, where he also trained to be an Emergency Medical Technician. He also worked for the Chicago Fire Department in their simulation center training firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, and SWAT team members in emergency prehospital scenarios. He then completed medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.  He completed an internal medicine internship at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. He enjoys watching movies, music, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Cory J. Miller, M.D.

Miller, Cory "Josh"Dr. Cory Miller was raised in Minnesota’s Twin Cities area. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree in biology from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. He then completed medical school at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Before starting ophthalmology he completed a transitional year residency at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, WI. He enjoys spending time with his wife and son, outdoor activities, playing and watching sports, particularly Minnesota sports teams.

 

Class of 2022

Allison Bradee, M.D.

Bradee, AllisonDr. Allison Bradee was born in Minnesota and grew up in the Minneapolis area. She completed undergraduate degrees in Spanish from Bethel University and Physiology from the University of Minnesota. She went on to attend medical school at the University of Minnesota and extended her schooling to spend a year working at a surgical center in Honduras. Allison completed her intern year in General Surgery at the University of Nebraska. Before joining UMKC Ophthalmology, she spent a year as a Glaucoma research fellow at Mayo Clinic. Her interests include international medicine, biking, traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.

Katherine Brown, M.D.

Brown, KatherineDr. Katherine Brown was born and raised in North Kansas City. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Missouri- Columbia where she focused on research in plant genetics. She then completed medical school at the University of Missouri- Kansas City and an Internal Medicine Preliminary residency at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Now that she is back in Kansas City for Ophthalmology residency she enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends, attending Chiefs and Royals games, running with her dog and gardening.

Jeffrey Stetler, M.D.

Stetler, JeffreyDr. Jeff Stetler was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Jeff grew up in a medical family, with his father Buzz, a dentist, and his mother Lori, a dermatologist. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Biology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was a four-year member of the club volleyball team. He returned home to attend medical school at the University of Texas – Southwestern and then completed his internal medicine internship at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas, a large community hospital. Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife, Molly, and their two cats, Frankie and Watson. He also likes golf, volleyball, skiing, and following his Dallas sports teams.

Jason Szelog, M.D.

Szelog, JasonDr. Jason Szelog was born and raised in Manchester, NH.  He completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY.  He then moved to Boston, MA to work as a technician in the retina department of Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston (OCB) where witnessing the benefits of innovative imaging and treatment modalities on patients’ lives fueled his passion to become an ophthalmologist.  He attended medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and completed his transitional-year internship at Carney Hospital in Dorchester, MA.  In his free time he enjoys playing and watching all sports (including multiple championship parades in Boston), traveling with his wife, astrophotography, Revolutionary War-era history, and watching The Office.

Class of 2023

Allison Drummond, M.D.

Alison Drummond, MDDr. Allison Drummond grew up in Stillwater, OK with a comprehensive ophthalmologist father who began recruiting her to the field early on in life. She later went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. After graduation, Allison moved closer to home for her medical training at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, OK. She completed her internship in Internal Medicine here at UMKC prior to starting her ophthalmology residency. She has enjoyed exploring Kansas City in her free time, and has accrued many recommendations for great food around town! When not with her friends and co-residents, Allison enjoys relaxing at home with a book and her feline roommate, Crouton.

Mark Larson, M.D.

Mark Larson, MDDr. Mark Larson was born in Yankton, SD before moving throughout the Midwest. He spent the majority of his formative years in the Minneapolis, MN area. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry from Creighton University in Omaha, NE before going on to complete medical school at the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota. Before arriving in Kansas City for his ophthalmology residency, Dr. Larson completed an internship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, jogging, and watching sports.

Hollister Swanson, M.D.

Hollister Swanson, MDDr. Hollister Swanson was raised in Kansas City and St. Louis, MO. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI, where he performed molecular research on antibiotic resistance. Then he completed medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. His intern year was spent here at UMKC with the Internal Medicine department. He moved to Kansas City with his fiancée who is an OBGYN resident at UMKC, as well as his two cats Sage and Ginger. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking/grilling, disc golfing, and spending time with friends at the many great restaurants and breweries in Kansas City.

Crystal Truong, M.D.

Crystal Troug, MDDr. Crystal Truong was born and raised in Riverside, CA where she enjoyed spending her days relaxing in the southern California sun. She then moved to Frisco, TX at the start of high school and attended undergrad at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She completed a BS in Biology while also working at her family-owned Vietnamese restaurant, then went on to medical school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, TX. Before starting ophthalmology at UMKC, she spent intern year in Chicago, IL. Now she likes to spend quality time with family, go hiking with her rescue dog, Jack, and check out what Kansas City has to offer.

 

Curriculum

Residents_7856

The Residency Program boasts outstanding board-certified faculty, as well as opportunities to excel in clinical ophthalmic research.  Moreover, it offers diversity in patient population, ophthalmic diseases and eye surgical training. Residents develop a strong base in comprehensive ophthalmology and have extensive experience in each subspecialty area including cataract surgery techniques, retina/vitreous, neuroophthalmology, oculoplastics, cornea, uveitis, ocular oncology, glaucoma, pediatric ophthalmology and refractive surgery.

PGY-2: (Year 1) Emphasis is on fundamental clinical diagnostic and therapeutic skills – comprehensive examinations, assisting in ocular surgery, supervised laser procedures, and clinical research. Residents spend 11 months at Truman Medical Center-Hospital Hill and one month at Children’s Mercy Hospital, and participate in an introduction to ophthalmic surgery rotation at the Eye Foundation of Kansas City.

PGY-3: (Year 2) Clinical responsibilities increase with exposure to major intraocular and extraocular surgical procedures. Rotations include four months at Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill; four months at Children’s Mercy Hospital; and four months at St. Luke’s Hospital in specialty rotations including neuroophthalmology, ocular oncology and glaucoma.

PGY-4: (Year 3) Residents receive more intensive clinical exposure and responsibility for major surgical cases including refractive surgery. Rotations include 8 months at Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill and 4 months at Truman Medical Center Lakewood.

Didactics

The program offers a broad array of daily educational conferences and didactics. Weekly conferences include topics in ocular oncology, cornea and uveitis, oculoplastics, eye trauma, retina, pathology, glaucoma, cataracts, pediatrics, and neuroophthalmology. Monthly conferences include journal clubs, ethics and professionalism didactics, practice management, pediatric grand rounds, and pathology lab (ten months per year). Grand Rounds and morbidity/mortality conferences occur monthly involving the entire department. In addition, the residents meet regularly for study group.

Surgical Training

Residents are introduced to surgery in their first year. Training and practice is provided through a combination of surgical wet labs, cataract surgical simulation, suture practice and off-site surgical courses. Monthly self-directed practice with the Eyesi surgical platform and surgical wet lab is required. Multiple group wet labs are held each year to teach cataract surgery (phacoemulsification and extracapsular cataract extraction), glaucoma surgery, and suturing techniques. Finally, second- and third-year residents are provided with multiple opportunities to attend industry-sponsored cataract and refractive surgery courses.