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 is closed until February 2024
2023 Straatsma Award Recipient
Dr. Fasika Woreta is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and the Eugene de Juan Professor of Ophthalmic Education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her M.D. degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and M.P.H. degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her internship in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed by an ophthalmology residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute and a corneal fellow at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Dr. Woreta returned to Wilmer as Assistant Chief of Service in 2013 and has served as a primary surgical teacher of anterior segment surgery since then.
She was appointed as Associate Residency Program Director in 2014 and residency program director in 2019. Her national education roles include being a member-at-large of the Program Directors Council of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology and co-chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for Residency Education Subcommittee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She was the recipient of the Johns Hopkins Physician of the Year Award in 2019, the Women in Ophthalmology Educators Award in 2020, and the Johns Hopkins Institute for Excellence in Education’s Teaching Award in 2021. Her national leadership roles include being chair of the National Medical Association Ophthalmology section, chair of the American Society of Ophthalmic Trauma, and secretary of the Maryland Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. She has multiple publications in education related to DEI, surgical teaching, and residency selection.
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.
Past Straatsma Award Recipients