Bittersweet Goodbyes and Exciting Hellos: TEI Residents Transition

This month marks the transition period for The Eye Institute’s (TEI) residency class. For most of the 2018-2019 residents, this will be their first time leaving not only the Philadelphia area but Salus University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) since becoming optometry students and rotating through TEI while a student and then resident.  As for our new class, they represent the most academically diverse group TEI has ever had – with doctors from optometry programs all across the country.

“The first two weeks of July are a very bittersweet time,” Dr. Bhawan Minhas, director of TEI’s On-Campus Residency Program, said. “It is always exciting to welcome a new class of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed residents and feel the nervous energy buzzing in the air as they start preparing for their responsibilities for the year to come. That being said, it is also a time to reflect back on the previous year, celebrate our outgoing residents’ accolades, and realize how much they’ve accomplished over the past year.”

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Outgoing Class of Residents at their Graduation

As for where the group is headed next, the outgoing class of residents are branching out from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, Baltimore, Delaware to name a few.

For Dr. Kelly Seidler, a now second-year Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease resident, she has another year of her residency left to complete with the new incoming class. When asked about her time as a first-year resident, she said, “My first year has been such a rewarding year of growth! I am excited to continue to learn and grow in my second year of residency. I look forward to my external rotations with other specialists including neurology, neurosurgery, and neuro-ophthalmology.  I think these experiences will enhance my growth as a clinician and allow me to obtain a well-rounded knowledge base. I am also looking forward to continued work within the Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease service at TEI.”

Dr. Minhas said, “It is hard for the outgoing residents to realize how much they have grown as the year passes (since we keep them so busy!) - it feels like small, incremental changes - however, you can tell that they truly start to realize their own personal growth when they compare themselves to the incoming replacements. The emergency service is always a fun one to watch this realization happen- clinical situations that feel like a 'piece of cake' to the outgoing residents are jarring to the incoming group - however, it is reassuring for them to realize that they too will stand in those shoes a year from now and feel just as confident by completing the rigorous program at TEI.”

As for the incoming class, Dr. Chad Killen, the newest Low Vision Rehabilitation resident said, “I am so excited to begin my residency and for the opportunity to grow into a better clinician as I learn from the doctors and staff in the William Feinbloom Center, housed at TEI. The opportunity to see patients with varying conditions, pathology, and visual demands will provide challenging and rewarding patient care experiences that I wouldn’t get anywhere else!”

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Incoming Class of Residents

In conclusion, Dr. Minhas said, “As the residency class mama, the sense of pride I feel when reflecting on each class's growth and the gratitude to be a part of their journey is something that gives me the greatest purpose in my work.”