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Welcome to the family, the Great Eight!

Date Posted: Friday, August 13, 2021

This academic year, the UMass Eye Center has officially welcomed two residents for each year of their newly formed residency program, totaling eight residents. Our residents come from across the country and abroad, including Georgia, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Cairo, Egypt. 

To celebrate and reflect, faculty and residents met for dinner at one of Worcester’s favorite, Volturno’s. Senior residents, Dr. Al-Kadhi and Dr. Thura lead the conversation about the ying and yang of residency. They advised challenging oneself. Reach to learn while taking the occasional deep breath. Dr. Al-Kadhi and Dr. Thura were the first residents to join a little over two years ago. They began when the department was recruiting four more attendings and expanding.

Dr. Sampson and Dr. Abdelmegid followed the growth and joined the department last year when COVID was stretching our hospital systems. They offered insights and thanks to becoming ophthalmologists, even though their training began with some uncertainly and flexibility during the pandemic.

Faculty shared their thoughts and advice for residents. They advised to do your best for each patient, see and do as much as you can, document your work, have fun and come back as faculty! Dr. Faustina, the program director, commented “residency is like throwing the baby into the bath water.” Take responsibility of the patient’s care with the attending right next to you for support. She also added: “Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.”

Dr. Schaal, the department chair, harped on studying and learning. She said the steps to success are “1. Eat well (Volturno’s pizza in hand), 2. Sleep well, 3. Study well, 4. Exercise, and 5. Friends.”

Dr. Colwell and Dr. Naman joined the Eye Center team this July after completing their internships in medicine and surgery during the COVID pandemic. They now switch into ophthalmology for the remaining of their training. Dr. Metcalfe and Dr. Kim, in newly minted UMass white coats, are completing their intern year. They joined the dinner after finishing up at the hospital and were welcomed with warm hellos. Some faculty seeing them in person for the first time!

Residency is a time to make some of your best memories because you are surrounded by support and friends. Our long table thanksgiving-style dinner reminded everyone of the UMass Eye Center family. All residents shared gratitude of the teaching, guidance, and experience so far. The night relaxed down with talks on the drama of the Olympics and catching up after too many zoom meetings. 

In a few short years, this residency has grown to train eight residents! Thank you to our phenomenal faculty who have helped build this vision, mission, and program. Your teaching and mentoring have transformed our department and will have lasting impact on these eight trainees and the ones to follow. Thank you to our community support, including D'Ambrosio Eye Center. Thank you to our technicians and administrators who keep our excellent care reliable and dependable.

We are still expanding and actively adding to our department. We are still challenging one another towards our vision to train ophthalmologists. But one thing that has not changed is our sense of family. 

Welcome Dr. Metcalfe, Dr. Kim, Dr. Colwell and Dr. Naman! Welcome to the family!

Faculty and Residents met for dinner

(Left to right top row) Dr. Al-Kadhi (PGY-4), Dr. Abdelmegid (PGY-3), Dr. Metcalfe (PGY-1), and Dr. Naman (PGY-2)
(Left to right lower row) Dr. Colwell (PGY-2), Dr. Sampson (PGY-3), Dr. Faustina (Program Director), Dr. Thura (PGY-4), and Dr. Kim (PGY-1)

Faculty and Residents met for dinner

Faculty and Residents met for dinner