Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education

Honoring and celebrating an outstanding Program Director in ophthalmology, the award recognizes the critical role of the Program Director and celebrates the contributions of the awardee.

The Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education (the “Straatsma Award”) was established through the generosity of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) and private funds to recognize and celebrate an outstanding Program Director in ophthalmology. The award carries the name and honors the accomplishments of Bradley R. Straatsma, MD, JD, former Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA and former Director of the Jules Stein Eye Institute. The award is presented annually at the Annual Meetings of the AAO and the AUPO and includes a cash prize.

The nomination period for 2019 is now closed.

2018 Straatsma Award Recipient

Preston Blomquist, MD
Preston Blomquist, MD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Preston Blomquist, MD is a Professor of Ophthalmology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and holds the Dr. W. Maxwell Thomas Chair in Ophthalmology. He is a comprehensive ophthalmologist whose research interests have included resident surgical training and ocular trauma.  He serves as Vice Chair for Education and has been the residency program director since 2002. The ophthalmology residency training program at UT Southwestern is the largest in the nation. Over his 16-year tenure as the residency program director, 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.

Award Information

Eligibility

Nominees for the Straatsma Award must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be an Associate Member of AUPO and a Member or Fellow of the AAO
  • Have served as a Program Director at an ACGME-accredited AUPO member program for a minimum of 3 years
  • Currently serve as the Program Director
  • Embody the qualities of:
    • Commitment to resident education
    • Dedication to the residency training process
    • Active engagement in program leadership
    • Innovation in and/or advancement of residency education in Ophthalmology at the Regional, National or AUPO level
  • Be the consummate teacher/mentor/advisor

Special consideration in the selection process will be given to:

  • current activities, not simply to length of service or to contributions made many years previously
  • nominees who have published in peer-reviewed literature on subjects related to residency education
  • innovative work
  • those who have achieved a leadership role in medical education
  • achievement in mentoring other educators/future educators

Nominations

  • Candidates must be nominated by their Department Chair
  • The Application Packet must include the following items (10 pt. font or greater):
    • A letter (not to exceed three pages) from the Chair summarizing the Nominee’s special qualifications for the Award and verifying that, if awarded
      • The cash prize will be awarded directly to the Awardee and not counted against normal compensation or deposited in department accounts
      • The Awardee will attend both the Annual Meetings of the AAO and the AUPO to receive the Award
    • Two (2) supporting letters (each not to exceed two pages) from faculty, current residents, or past residents who trained under the Nominee
    • A copy of the Nominee’s current Curriculum Vitae
    • A signed letter from the Nominee (not to exceed two pages) summarizing the Nominee’s accomplishments as Program Director and plans for future activities. The Nominee must also agree in the letter to address the AUPO Annual Meeting on a topic related to residency training if chosen as the Awardee
  • The application packet must be compiled by the Department Chair and submitted electronically by April 15.

Selection Process

  • All completed applications will be reviewed by a Selection Committee and a recommendation forwarded to the AUPO Board of Trustees for approval and the AAO Board of Trustees for approval.
  • The Awardee will be notified in July.

Past Straatsma Award Recipients

2017

Shahzad Mian, MD
Shahzad Mian, MD
University of Michigan
Kellogg Eye Center

2016

Steven Gedde, MD
Steven Gedde, MD
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

2015

Tara Uhler, MD Thomas Jefferson University Wills Eye Hospital
Tara Uhler, MD
Thomas Jefferson University
Wills Eye Hospital

2014

Laura L. Wayman, MD Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Vanderbilt Eye Institute
Laura L. Wayman, MD
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Vanderbilt Eye Institute

2013

Andreas K. Lauer, MD Oregon Health and Sciences University Casey Eye Institute
Andreas K. Lauer, MD
Oregon Health and Sciences University
Casey Eye Institute

2012

Thomas A. Oetting, MD University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Thomas A. Oetting, MD
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

2011

- Richard A. Harper, MD University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Richard A. Harper, MD
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

2010

Maria M. Aaron, MD Emory University School of Medicine Emory Eye Center
Maria M. Aaron, MD
Emory University School of Medicine
Emory Eye Center

2009

Mark S. Juzych, MD  Wayne State University Kresge Eye Institute
Mark S. Juzych, MD
Wayne State University
Kresge Eye Institute

2008

Paul D. Langer, MD New Jersey Medical School
Paul D. Langer, MD
New Jersey Medical School

2007

James P. Dunn Jr., MD Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Wilmer Eye Institute
James P. Dunn Jr., MD
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Wilmer Eye Institute

2006

Karl C. Golnik, MD, Med University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Cincinnati Eye Institute
Karl C. Golnik, MD, Med
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Cincinnati Eye Institute

2005

Anthony C. Arnold, MD University of California, Los Angeles Jules Stein Eye Institute
Anthony C. Arnold, MD
University of California, Los Angeles
Jules Stein Eye Institute

2004

Nicholas J. Volpe, MD University of Pennsylvania Health Systems Scheie Eye Institute
Nicholas J. Volpe, MD
University of Pennsylvania Health Systems
Scheie Eye Institute

2003

Alfredo A. Sadun, MD, PhD University of Southern California Doheny Eye Institute
Alfredo A. Sadun, MD, PhD
University of Southern California
Doheny Eye Institute