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 2021 is now open. Submit your nominations by April 15.
2020 Straatsma Award Recipient
R. Michael Siatkowski, MD, is the Residency Program Director at the University of Oklahoma, Dean McGee Eye Institute. A native of western Pennsylvania, Dr. Siatkowski graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Science, and received his MD from Jefferson Medical College, where he was a junior member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Following internship and residency training in Pittsburgh, and fellowships in neuro-ophthalmology and pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus in Miami, he joined the faculty of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute from 1993-1999 and rose to the rank of Associate Professor. While in Miami, he also served as the Medical Student Educator for the Department of Ophthalmology.
In 1999 he left to join the Dean McGee Eye Institute/University of Oklahoma, where he is currently the David W. Parke II, MD Professor of Ophthalmology, Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, and Residency Program Director. Dr. Siatkowski is also the first ophthalmologist at the University of Oklahoma to hold a David Ross Boyd Professorship. His clinical and research interests include ocular motility disorders, pediatric neuro-ophthalmology, development of binocular vision, and retinopathy of prematurity. As Program Director, he has presided over expansion of the program from 3 to 5 residents per year, development of a microsurgical training facility, and constitution of an outstanding visiting professor series.
Dr. Siatkowski has received seven separate teaching awards at two different institutions and was named Anadarko Presidential Professor by the University of Oklahoma in 2008. He is an Emeritus Director of the American Board of Ophthalmology, and a former President of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, the AUPO Program Directors Council, and the Christian Ophthalmology Society. Dr. Siatkowski is also a recipient of the Life Achievement Award, as well as three Secretariat Awards from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Recently he was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology. He has authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications and 50 other works, and has delivered more than 40 invited presentations, including eight named lectureships. In addition, Dr. Siatkowski is an accomplished classical pianist, and has performed in multiple venues both locally and at national ophthalmology meetings. He is particularly grateful for the opportunity to have performed benefit concerts for both Prevent Blindness Oklahoma as well as the Dean McGee Eye Institute residency program, resulting in over $60,000 for these worthy causes.
Nominees for the Straatsma Award must fulfill the following criteria:
- Be a 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
- Candidates must be nominated by their Department Chair
- The Application Packet must include the following items (10 pt. font or greater):
- A nomination form completed by the Chair
- One (1) supporting letter (each not to exceed two pages) from an ophthalmologist who is not a current trainee
- A copy of the Nominee’s current Curriculum Vitae
- A list of peer-reviewed publications by the Nominee that are relevant to residency education
- 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 present at 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.
- 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 by July.