The University of Arizona College of Medicine at
South Campus (UACOMSC) offers a three-year ophthalmology residency
program combining clinical training, academic activities, and research
opportunities. Two first year positions are available at the PGY-2
The program is located in Tucson, Arizona. Tucson is a medium-sized
(over 1 million people), sun-belt city where the lifestyle is relaxed,
the dress casual, and the cost of living affordable. Leisure activities
center around the outdoors and the surrounding desert. The UA is
a huge resource and brings many cultural events to the city.
The UA Department of Ophthalmology attending clinical staff consists
of six full-time members. There are two full-time research faculty,
two full-time optometrists, a large associate staff of volunteer
faculty, and a supporting staff of technical personnel. There are
three full-time and seven part-time physicians at the Southern Veterans
Administration Health Care System (SAVAHCS). Three affiliated hospitals
-- Banner-University Medical Center Tucson (BUMCT), Banner-University
Medical Center South (BUMCS) and SAVAHCS -- with active inpatient/outpatient
services, as well as research and teaching facilities, are involved
in the residency program.
The Department of Ophthalmology is a major southwestern referral
center. Residents participate in state-of-the-art diagnostic and
therapeutic interventions with patients. The residents will interact
with the residents of the UA
Program, cross-cover for their respective institutions, and
share a common didactic program.
Banner-University Medical Center
Alvernon Surgery Center
Consultations, emergency visits, and outpatient surgery
are performed at the Banner-University
Medical Center Tucson. This facility, located near the
campus of the University of Arizona, is adjacent to the University
of Arizona College of Medicine, and affords all the benefits
of a university teaching hospital. In the hospital, eye rooms
are in the inpatient area as well as in the emergency room.
An ambulatory surgery center is located across the street
from the ophthalmological clinics on Alvernon.
Medical Center South has inpatient, outpatient, and surgical
facilities. This facility is staffed by attendings and first
and second year residents. During the first year of residency
training, the majority of the time is spent at the outpatient
ophthalmological clinics on Alvernon. Emergency room coverage
is provided by resident call.
Banner - University Medical Center
Alvernon Physician Offices
The Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Healthcare
System maintains a fully staffed outpatient and inpatient
surgical facility, and is staffed by third year residents
and University attendings.
Southern Arizona Veterans
Administration Health Care System
The foundation of the residency didactic program is weekly rounds
and lectures every Friday morning. Residents present clinical cases
weekly at rounds on Wednesday mornings. The Department of Ophthalmology
and Vision Science also sponsors Grand Rounds and evening lectures
programs with visiting speakers, and both are venues for interaction
with the community physicians. Semi-annual oral exams are given
to measure resident progress. Residents take the OKAP exam annually.
The Department has a 40-person conference room with multimedia
capability. There is a resident office with computers with Internet
access, and an on-site library with recent ophthalmic publications
During the three-year residency, residents assume increasing
responsibility for patient care. Beginning residents are closely
supervised, and then given increasing autonomy as they demonstrate
proficiency and understanding. Residents prepare case presentations,
organize journal clubs, and assist in teaching medical students
rotating through ophthalmology. In addition, senior residents,
with faculty supervision, are expected to supervise and teach
junior residents. Faculty are assigned and available for ocnsultation
with the residents on all rotations.
The first year (PGY-2) resident performs complete ocular
examinations in the outpatient facilities, becoming proficient
in gonioscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy, tonometry, biomicroscopy,
refraction, and physiologic testing. The resident rotates
through the Alvernon clinics, SAVAHCS for a continuity care
clinic and oculoplastics, and the office of Fishkind, Bakewell
and Maltzman Eye Care and Surgery Center for refractive surgery.
The resident gains extensive experience in evaluating walk-in
and emergency patients on a daily basis. The earliest encounters
with ocular trauma are during the first year; and there is
exposure to the subspecialty services, including glaucoma,
cornea and external disease, neuro-ophthalmology, retina,
oculoplastics, pediatrics, and contact lenses. The resident
begins assisting at surgery during this year, and performs
minor surgical procedures.
The second year (PGY-3) resident rotates through general,
glaucoma, cornea and external disease, pediatric, and retina
rotations at the Ophthalmology clinics. The resident participates
in rotations at Retina Associates Southwest and Cornea Associates.
The resident also participates in a continuity care clinic
and oculoplastics at SAVAHCS.
During their third year (PGY-4), the resident serves as
Chief Resident for three months, and manages the clinics at
SAVAHCS for nine months. The resident at this stage of training
performs surgery under faculty supervision. Based on the problem,
the resident's experience, and attending preference, there
will be successive levels of autonomy. The resident will be
involved with the pre-operative and post-operative care of
each surgery performed. As Chief Resident, the resident will
have responsibility for scheduling their clinical and surgical
responsibilities. They will be given blocks of time each week
for administrative responsibilities. They will also assist
in supervising the junior residents. At the conclusion of
the third year, the residents are expected to be able to enter
practice without direct supervision.
We are fortunate to have a faculty member who practices in Nogales,
Sonora, Mexico, and who hosts our first year (PGY-2) residents for
“Immersion Ophthalmic Spanish” for one to two weeks. The second
year (PGY-3) residents participate in an international education
experience for one week. This experience allows residents to treat
rural and underserved patients.
here to read the newsletter about the second year residents'
international experience at Kino Bay, from January 6-9, 2016.
The faculty of the University of Arizona Department of Ophthalmology
and Vision Science firmly believe that research experience is essential
for developing an appreciation of medical literature and scientific
methods. The Department subsidizes residents to present their research
at national meetings.
University of Arizona clinical faculty have
varied research interests in the areas of cornea, cataract
surgery, refractive surgery, myopia, glaucoma, infectious
diseases, optics, amblyopia, dry eyes, and neuro-ophthalmology.
Our research faculty have special interests in the area of
optics, cell biology, glaucoma, and visual development. The
Department has a very active clinical studies program with
special emphasis in Hispanic and Native American eye conditions.
The Department has ongoing collaborations with the University
of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, Biomedical
and Aerospace and Mechanical
College of Optical Sciences
During the first and second year, call is approximately one night
per eight days and one weekend per two months taken from home, covering
the three affiliated hospitals. During the third year, weekday and
weekend call is approximately one day/week in four for surgical
backup, again taken from home.
Residents are employees of Banner Healthcare, and receive 20 days
of vacation a year, all scheduled through the Chief Resident and
Residency Program Director. There are six holidays per year. Other
benefits include medical and dental insurance, professional liability
insurance, maternity/paternity leave, and lab coats. Stipends for
the academic year 2016-2017 are as follows: PGY-2 $56,650; PGY-3
$59,225; PGY-4 $62,006.
At the University, residents hold designated campus colleague appointments,
providing access to the University of Arizona Library and the campus
recreation center, as well as other privileges.The program provides
residents 10 days per year of sick leave. Educational leave to make
presentations at national meetings is available, and, upon Department
approval, a travel allotment is provided.
It is a requirement of the program that residents must have satisfactorily
completed a PGY-1 program approved by the ACGME. The University
of Arizona requires that foreign medical graduates have a valid
ECFMG certificate (at time of application), as well as pass
the USMLE. Only J-1 visas are sponsored. The Department does
not sponsor H1 visas.
The University of Arizona College of Medicine at South Campus Program
is a fully accredited residency program. The program was reviewed
in 2012 and re-accredited through the year 2020.
We accept applications exclusively through the Central Application
Service (CAS) of the Ophthalmology
Matching Program. We exclusively use the Central Application
Service. The address of the Central Application Service is
Ophthalmology Matching Program, PO Box 7584, San Francisco, California
94120, phone (415) 447-0350. Information about the Ophthalmology
Matching Program can be obtained on their website at http://www.sfmatch.org/residency/ophthalmology/index.htm.
Their application can be downloaded at http://www.sfmatch.org/residency/ophthalmology/central_application/cas_application.htm.
The application deadline for our residency program beginning in
July 2016 is to have the CAS application complete by mid-October.
Interviews are granted to selected applicants after initial review
of completed applications by the faculty. A personal, on-site interview
is required. The Ophthalmology Matching Program is used to match
all incoming residents. Interviews are typically held on Friday
and Saturday of the second weekend in December. Each applicant
interviews with the full-time clinical faculty, several of the research
faculty, and meets all of the current residents.
Internship Opportunities in Tucson
The Tucson Hospitals Medical Education
Program (THMEP) offers a transitional year. For more information,
contact THMEP at 5301 E. Grant Road, Tucson, Arizona 85712, phone
(520) 324-5095, or visit their website (http://www.thmep.com/).
Altenbernd , MD
Residency Program Director
Dr. Christoforidis' research interests include
intravitreal properties of treatments used for macular degeneration
and diabetic retinopathy, systemic effects of intravitreal
anti-VEGF therapy, and imaging of retinal vascular occlusions.
E. Cross, MD, PhD
Dr. Cross heads
the Medical Student Teaching Program.
M. Harvey, PhD
Ophthalmology and Vision Science,
and Public Health
The research interests of Erin Harvey are
vision screening, critical periods for the treatment of amblyopia
in children, measurements of visual deficits in children with
amblyopia and astigmatism, and visual perception.
S. McKay, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Ophthalmology and Vision Science,
and Cell Biology and Anatomy
of the Eye
Dr. McKay conducts research in RPE transplantation
methods for AMD therapy, and protein expression in glaucoma.
M. Miller, MD, MPH
Professor and Head
Ophthalmology and Vision Science
Professor, Optical Sciences, and Public Health
Dr. Miller's research interests include normal
visual development, the treatment of strabismus and amblyopia,
the effect of refractive error on visual development, and
the development and evaluation of ophthalmic instruments.
Richard R. Ober, MD
Dr. Ober's research interests include diabetic
retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, retinal detachment,
and vitreoretinal trauma.
T. Schwiegerling, PhD
and Ophthalmology and Vision Science
Dr. Schwiegerling's research interests are
in the area of optical properties of the eye, including raytracing
analysis, corneal topography, and wavefront sensing.
Applications include intraoperative and post-operative measurement
of corneal shape and customized ablation for refractive surgery.
W. Siekert, OD
General Eye Exams, Contact Lens Care, including keratoconus,
aphakia, and post corneal transplants
Dr. Siekert's interests include refractive
surgery, as well as complicated contact lens fitting.
Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD
Ophthalmology and Vision Science,
and Public Health
Dr. Twelker's research interests include
refractive error in Native American children and pediatric
Yu , MD
Dr. Yu's interests include complications
in cataract surgery, and teaching and assessing competence
in cataract surgery.
3rd Year Residents (PGY-4)
Claudia Prospero Ponce, MD
Medical School: Ignacio A. Santos School of Medicine,
Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (2003-2010)
PGY-1: University of Arizona (2013-2014)
William Stevenson, MD
College: BS, Wichita State University (2002-2006)
Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine
PGY-1: University of Arizona (2013-2014)
2nd Year Residents (PGY-3)
Jillian Wang, MD
College: BS, Case Western University (2006-2010)
Medical School: Ohio State University College
of Medicine (2010-2014)
PGY-1: University of Cincinnati Medical Center (2014-2015)
Samuel Werner, MD
College: BS, University of Washington (2007-2009)
Medical School: University of Washington School of
PGY-1: Tucson Hospitals Medical Education Program (THMEP)
1st Year Residents
Colin McInnis, MD
College: BA, Carroll College (2007-2011)
Medical School: University of Washington School
of Medicine (2011-2015)
PGY-1: Tucson Hospital Medicall Education Program (THMEP)
Kyla Teramoto, MD
College: BS, Santa Clara University (2008-2011)
Medical School: University of Hawaii John A. Burns
School of Medicine (2011-2015)
PGY-1: University of Hawaii (2014-2015)
Residents Starting July 2017
Alex Beazer, MD
College: BS, Brigham Young University (2005-2006, 2008-2011)
Medical School: Tulane University School of
PGY-1: Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center (2016-2017)
Jessica Lien, MD
College: BS, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2006-2011)
Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
and Public Health (2012-2016)
PGY-1: Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation (2016-2017)
The University of Arizona
Founded in 1885, The University
of Arizona is ranked by the National Science Foundation as one
of the top 25 academic universities in the nation. It is Arizona’s
Land Grant university.
A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities,
the UA annually receives more than $160 million in outside grants.
Nearly one-third of this amount is generated by the College of Medicine.
The University is known for its achievements in archeology, arid
land studies, astronomy, biotechnology, classics, dendrochronology,
material science, music, neuroscience, optical science, philosophy,
planetary science, sociology, and speech and hearing sciences.
The UA’s 1,300 faculty members serve nearly 35,000 students in
134 undergraduate, 141 masters, and 99 doctoral programs. The University’s
11 colleges and 8 schools are located on a grassy 334-acre campus
in the heart of Tucson, several blocks south of the Arizona Health
In addition to the vast research and educational facilities, the
University also offers students and the community a variety of entertainment,
cultural, educational, and artistic opportunities through Centennial
Hall, Arizona Center for Creative Photography, the Grace H. Flandrau
Planetarium, the Arizona State Museum, the Boyce Thompson Southwestern
Arboretum, the Mineral Museum, and The University of Arizona Museum
To promote physical fitness among students, faculty, and staff,
the University recently built a multimillion dollar Recreation Center
that offers a 7,000 sq.ft. exercise room with state-of-the-art
weight equipment, squash courts, 3,000 sq.ft. of aerobics,
Olympic-sized outdoor pool, 14 racquetball courts, and an indoor
The UA is also the home of the Wildcat basketball, football, and
baseball teams. UA athletics rank among the nation’s top 10 total
sports programs. The UA organizes intercollegiate teams in 8 men’s
and 9 women’s sports.
College of Medicine
In 1962, the Arizona Board of Regents granted authorization to
The University of Arizona to develop a College
of Medicine. Ground was broken in May 1996 for the Basic Sciences
Building, which was completed in September 1967 and occupied that
same month by the 32 students of the first class. In May 1971,
the MD degree was granted to the members of the first graduating
class; to-date more than 1,600 students have been graduated. The
College of Medicine presently has an enrollment of more than 350
full-time medical students. In addition, the College of Medicine
has 38 programs with 287 residents, 74 fellows, and 76 interns.
The Arizona Health Sciences
Center complex consists of several interconnected buildings,
on a 30-acre site just north of the main campus. These consist of
the Basic Sciences Building, the Clinical Sciences Building, Outpatient
Clinics, University Medical Center, the Arizona Cancer Center, Life
Sciences North, the College of Nursing, and the College of Pharmacy.
A new Children's Research Center and library have recently been
completed. The Arizona Health Sciences Center Library holds 165,000
volumes and 3,500 journals and is open 24 hours daily, except on
Christmas and New Year's Day. The new medical library is one of
the best medical libraries in the country. A new Heart Center is
in the planning stages.
History of the Department
The Department is one of the youngest in the College of Medicine.
The Department of Ophthalmology was founded on July 1, 1982.
Prior to that time, it was a section within the Department of Surgery.
The first ophthalmologist to join the full-time faculty in 1973
was Harold E. Cross, MD, PhD, who served as Section Chief.
The residency program opened December 1973 with one resident, Dr. Lee
Smalley, and Dr. Alan Crebo was added as the second first year
resident in July 1974. Thereafter, two residents were recruited
In 1979, Jonathan Herschler, MD replaced Dr. Cross as Section Chief,
and in February 1982 following the Regents' approval of the Department,
Dr. Herschler was made the first Administrative Head of the Department
of Ophthalmology. In 1984, Albert Potts, MD became Acting
Head of the Department, and in 1985, Barton L. Hodes, MD was appointed
as Department Head. In 1989, Robert W. Snyder, MD, PhD was
appointed Acting Head. Following a national search, Dr. Snyder
was appointed Head of the Department of Ophthalmology in July 1991.
In 1991, Joseph M. Miller, MD, MPH was appointed Director of the
Residency Program. His highest priority was to establish a
solid educational opportunity for the residents. In 2003,
Robert I. Park, MD was appointed as Director of the Residency Program.
Since 1991 and with the addition of new faculty members, there has
been a greater emphasis on excellence in clinical care within the
Department. In 2002, Dr. Noecker was named as Associate Chair
for Clinical Activities, with Dr. Snyder refocusing his efforts
on research and development and the creation of a University of
Arizona Center of Excellence. After 15 years as Head, Dr. Snyder
stepped down in 2004, and Dr. Joseph Miller was appointed Head.
Lynn Polonski, MD was named Associate Chair for Clinical Activities
and W. Daniel Stamer, PhD, as Vice Head for Research. In 2005, the
Department was renamed the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision
Science. When Dr. Park resigned in 2007, Richard Ober, MD, was appointed
as Director of the Residency Program. In July 2013, Dr. Richard
Ober resigned as UA Program Director (in anticipation of retirement),
and Dr. Patrick Tsai was appointed Program Director. In August 2016,
Dr. Tsai joined a private practice and Dr. Joseph Miller became
Interim Program Director.
In 2008, the Department was approved for a residency program at
UPH Hospital at Kino, and Dr. Joseph Miller was Program Director.
Four residents started the program in July 2009; with two PGY-2
residents recruited each of the following years. In June 2010, the
first resident graduated. In August 2010, Dr. Todd Altenbernd was
appointed as the Program Director. In July 2011, the program began
with a full complement of six residents.
Clara Choo, MD
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Whitney Smith, MD
Updegraff Laser Vision, St. Petersburg,
Fatimah Gilani, MD
William McSwain, MD
Private Practice Group
Shivi Agrawal, MD
Private Practice Group
Price Vision Group, Indianapolis, IN
Deepak Sobti, MD
Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery/Neuro-ophthalmology
University of Texas Southwestern-Dallas
Lorna Grant, MD
Medical Retina Fellowship
University of Iowa
Ami Shah, MD
Neuro-ophthalmology and Oculoplastics Fellowship
Ohio State University
Matthew Feng, MD
Private Practice Group
Cornea Associates of Indiana
Thiripurasundari Pugazhendhi, MBBS
Private Practice Group
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha
Carmen Felix-Tacoronte, MD
Private Practice Group
Boston Eye Group
Leslie Garay, MD
Private Practice Group
University of California/San Diego
Tucson and Arizona
a unique community that combines Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and pioneer
influences with the cultural offers of a modern cosmopolitan center
and breathtaking scenic beauty.
Located in a desert valley surrounded by mountain ranges, Tucson
is part of the Sonoran Desert. Days here are warm; nights are mild
year-round. With an average of 314 days of sunshine each year,
Tucson is an ideal setting for bicycling, tennis, golf, swimming,
and running. For those who prefer winter sports, the southern-most
ski area in the United States lies just an hour’s drive away in
the majestic Catalina Mountains, which rise 9,300 feet. The mountains
around Tucson attract climbers, hikers, cyclists, equestrians, picnickers,
skiers, and both amateur and professional plant and animal observers.
Many visitors are surprised at the lushness of the Sonoran Desert,
which is home to hundreds of varieties of endemic cacti, trees,
and animals. In spring, the desert may be carpeted with wildflowers,
and the summer rainy season brings dramatic lightning displays.
The metropolitan area, with a population of over 800,000, boasts
symphony, opera and light opera companies, ballet, theater, zoo,
museums of art, natural history and Arizona history, the world-famous
Sonora Desert Museum,
and other attractions. In the Tucson area are San
Xavier Del Bac Mission, Kartchner
Caverns, Biosphere, and Tubac,
the oldest European settlement in Arizona. In addition, there are
the year-round musical, theatrical, educational, and scientific
presentations of The University of Arizona.
Nearby are two major astronomical exploration centers: Kitt
Peak, which houses one of the world’s largest solar telescopes,
Hopkins, where the Smithsonian Institution has established the
first of a new generation of multiple-mirror stellar telescopes.
State and national parks, forests, wilderness areas, Sabino
Canyon, and the Saguaro National
Monuments are within easy reach of Tucson.
Tucson has excellent educational facilities. In addition to The
University of Arizona, Pima Community
College serves 25,000 students. Seven public school districts
serve the Tucson area, as well as many private and parochial schools.
A few famous Arizona sites include the Grand
Canyon; the red rocks of Sedona;
Creek Canyon; Tombstone,
the western town "too tough to die"; and the Organ
Pipe Cactus National Monument.
For further information about the residency program, contact:
(520) 322-3800 ext. 202
FAX: (520) 321-3665