Ophthalmology Sees New Milestone
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Ophthalmology Sees New Milestone

The department graduates its 100th resident.

Written by Suzanna Cisneros

The department's three-year residency program began in 1976 with one resident.

The department’s three-year residency program began in 1976 with one resident.

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences recently hosted the 100th Graduate Celebration and Alumni Dinner.

The event celebrated the Department of Ophthalmology’s history and graduating its 100th graduate from the residency program. The department was established in 1971 with George S. Tyner, M.D., serving as the first chairman. Tyner was appointed by Founding Dean of the School of Medicine John Aure Buesseler, M.D., Ph.D.

David McCartney, M.D., chairman of the department, said the department has succeeded in educating and training exceptional ophthalmologists for West Texas and beyond as well as conducting research in the field.

“This event marks a huge milestone for TTUHSC and the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences,” McCartney said.

Some of the department’s history includes:

  • Mary Van Horn Pratt, M.D., became the first full-time faculty member in the winter of 1973.
  • The three-year residency program began in 1976 with one resident, Anthony Weber, M.D., who later became the first graduate of the program in 1979.
  • By 1983, the program expanded to three residents per year for a total of nine residents with 10 faculty members.
  • Since the department’s inception, it has been home to the Great Plains Lions Eye Bank which is a nonprofit organization founded by the Lions Club International, with a mission to reduce the waiting lists for corneal transplant surgery.

The 2013 resident graduates are Charles Cohn, M.D., Prashanthi Girdhar, M.D., and Jonathan Kaufman, M.D. Kaufman was listed as the 100th resident.

“It feels great to be the 100th resident,” Kaufman said. “The ophthalmology program at TTUHSC is one of the top surgical programs in the country. But besides clinical and surgical skills, I have learned what it takes to become an ethical and moral clinician.”

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
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The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences strives to deliver unsurpassed patient care, pursue excellence in research and provide outstanding research and clinical training opportunities for future generations of its colleagues.

Founded in 1972, the ophthalmology clinic serves a diverse population of patients representing the entire range of ophthalmic pathology – a key ingredient of any ophthalmology training program. With referrals from all regions of West Texas, Eastern New Mexico, Southern Colorado and Western Oklahoma, the department's clinical practice serves more than 25,000 patients annually.