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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Ophthalmology

About the Program

The department currently provides a three-year postgraduate training program for 21 residents, with seven new candidates accepted each year. Residents benefit from the wisdom of a large, expert faculty with a deep commitment to teaching, and they have the opportunity to work with the latest diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. The organized teaching program consists of approximately 350 hours of didactic lectures per residency, covering all subspecialty areas within ophthalmology. Residents leave the clinic areas one afternoon a week and report to Downstate for an afternoon of grand rounds case presentations followed by didactics. Special program features include the Wills Review Course for 1st year residents, and the University of Illinois at Chicago review course for 2nd year residents. Senior residents are granted permission to attend an approved paid educational course of their choice if academic criteria is met in first 2 years of training on OKAP examination results. The SUNY Downstate program offers its own basic science review course, with several surgical courses given throughout the year. A surgical cataract simulator is available to all residents throughout their training.

A graduated surgical experience is afforded to the residents with 1st years involved in traumatic eyelid repair, minor procedures, and pterygium surgery. The second years are involved with strabismus surgery, retinal and glaucoma laser surgery, and begin cataract surgery at the midway point in the year. Surgical observations for the various types of eye surgery are mandatory for all 1st and 2nd year residents. The senior year's surgical training includes work to supplement previously performed surgery in addition to being primary surgeon for penetrating keratoplasty, vitreo-retinal surgery, glaucoma surgery and globe trauma. All residents exceed the minimum surgical requirements set by the Accreditation Commission for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). It is expected that the senior residents will all perform more than 120 cataract cases. A comparable experience is gained in ocular trauma, glaucoma surgery, retinal surgery and laser surgery.

The program includes monthly faculty grand rounds, often with visiting professors, updating residents and faculty on developing trends and techniques in ophthalmology, in addition to the weekly resident grand rounds. As mentioned, all residents execute a research project, and mentorships are established in the first year of residency training. Special program features include collaborative surgical courses with other academic institutions.

Strengths of the overall residency program include the extensive exposure to trauma cases, and well-structured rotations through programs at the affiliated hospitals. All resident levels have an equivalent learning experience as their rotation sites are identical each year of training. Residents get off to a positive start through experience with varied patient populations and pathologies at the different clinical sites. Another outstanding aspect of the SUNY Downstate education program is the opportunity to work and learn in state-of-the-art facilities, where the most sophisticated equipment permits conducting very advanced procedures. Residents often praise the enthusiasm of the faculty and the program's emphasis on research accomplishment.

Many residents go on to fellowship training and have received very prestigious positions at top institutions. Nonetheless, residents choosing to go directly into practice from our residency are indeed ready and able to perform at very high levels. Over the last decade, there has been a marked increase in the quality of applicants for our residency program openings, attracted by the department's growing national reputation. At its most recent review by the ACGME in 2013, the department received a 10-year full accreditation.


SUNY Downstate Ophthalmology Residency Listing


PL3 Class 2022 Medical School Attended
Dr. Sinan Albear Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Dr. Mira D. Amin Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Dr. Nataliya Antonova SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Dr. Michael Bivona SUNY Upstate Medical University
Dr. Lena Chen SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Dr. Stephen LoBue Saint George's University School of Medicine, Grenada
Dr. Thanh M. Nguyen Eastern Virginia Medical School


PL2 Class 2023 Medical School Attended
Dr. Anna Artymowicz University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Dr. Shuk Kei Cheng Georgetown University School of Medicine
Dr. Katherine Giovinazzo Georgetown University School of Medicine
Dr. Christopher Hampton University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Dr. Osama Mufti Indiana University School of Medicine
Dr. Yvonne Okaka Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Dr. Rebecca Silverman Tufts University School of Medicine
Dr. Diane Wang New York University School of Medicine


PL1 Class 2024 Medical School Attended

Dr. Subhashini Chandrasekeran

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Dr. Hirah Khan Albany Medical College 
Dr. Sarah Martin University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Abenet Michael Tulane University School of Medicine
Dr. Giannis Moustafa National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Health Sciences
Dr. Nicholas Saba University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Dr. Milana Sapozhnikov SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Dr. Alex Song Northwestern University - The Feinberg School of Medicine

SUNY Downstate Ophthalmology Graduates

Graduates 2021 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Ekjyot Gill Cornea - University of Southern California
Dr. Saeed Javidi Surgical Retina - Retina Institute of California
Dr. John Kroger Cornea - Ohio State University
Dr. Nicole Lanza Cornea - New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
Dr. Charlotte Marous Oculoplastic & Reconstructive Surgery - Lions Eye Institute, Albany Medical Center
Dr. Maxine Miller Anterior Segment - Ming Chen, MD, MSc, FACS
Dr. Benjamin Wilson Comprehensive Ophthalmology - Woolfson Eye Institute, North Carolina


Graduates 2020 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Adam Chubak Cornea - Private Practice - Perl Associates, NJ
Dr. Levon Djenderedjian Glaucoma - New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
Dr. Matthew Donovan Medical Retina - Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Dr. Neha Gadaria Cornea/Comprehensive - Private Practice - NYU
Dr. Charles Miller Vitreoretinal - University of Pennsylvania Scheie Eye Institute
Dr. Laura Palazzolo Cornea - University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Eva Raparia Medical Retina - Harvard / Massachusetts Eye & Ear
Dr. Shobha Topgi Medical Retina - Bascom Palmer Eye Institute - Palm Beach


Graduates 2019 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Konstantin Astafurov  Medical Retina - Mayo Clinic
Dr. Arpine Barsegian  Cornea - UCLA
Dr. Matthew Karl Vitreoretinal Surgery - Ohio State University
Dr. Anthony Parendo Vitreoretinal Surgery -  Kresge Eye Institute
Dr. Alexander Pinhas Vitreoretinal Surgery - New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
Dr. Joseph Raevis Vitreoretinal Surgery - University of Wisconsin


Graduates 2018 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Christopher Adam Vitreoretinal Surgery – Kresge Eye Institute
Dr. Jay Arora Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Charles McCanna Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Christopher Orr Cornea – Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Shaily Shah Cornea – Weill Cornell Medical Center
Dr. Neha Shaik Cornea – Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Dr. Benjamin Whigham Glaucoma –  Columbia Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute


Graduates 2017 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Prachi Dua Cornea - Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital Northwell Health
Dr. Ilan Epstein Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island
Dr. Boleslav Kotlyar Retina – Retina Consultants Ltd.
Dr. Nataliya Pokeza Cornea - Wills Eye Hospital
Dr. Mamta Shah Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery – Alleghany Health Network
Dr. Nora Silverman ASOPRS Oculoplastics – University of Washington
Dr. Amirfarbod Yazdanyar Vitreoretinal Surgery – University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA


Graduates 2016 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Eitan Burstein Glaucoma - University of Virginia
Dr. Frank Cao Cornea - SUNY Downstate
Dr. Edward Chay Glaucoma - University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Ghulam Dastgir Cornea - Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital Northwell Health
Dr. Nicholas Farber Retina - University North Carolina
Dr. Reshma Mehendale Practice (Bob Ritch Fellow)
Dr. Jenny Temnogorod Oculoplastics - Wills Eye Hospital


Graduates 2015 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Michael Dattilo Neuro-Ophthalmology - Emory
Dr. Solly Elmann Retina - National Retina Institute
Dr. Jay Arun Joseph Glaucoma - Massachusetts Eye and Ear Harvard
Dr. Jewel Liao Cornea - SUNY Downstate
Dr. James Murphy Glaucoma - Columbia University Medical Center
Dr. Asher Neren Cornea - UT Southwestern
Dr. Jeffrey Tan Retina - University Southern California


Graduates 2014 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Matthew Gorski Cornea - Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital Northwell Health
Dr. Jason Moss Retina - Institute of California LA
Dr. Renelle Pointdujour Shields Ocular Oncology - Wills Eye Hospital
Dr. Allison Rizzuti Cornea - SUNY Downstate
Dr. Jordan Spindle ASOPRS Oculoplastics - University of Alabama
Dr. Adam Thode Cornea - NY Eye and Ear Infirmary
Dr. Frank Tsai Retina - UC San Diego


Graduates 2013 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Cindy Calderon Retina - The Eye Specialty Group (formerly VRF) Memphis, TN
Dr. Justin Gutman Retina - UT Southwestern
Dr. David Mostafavi Uveitis - New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
Dr. Chirantan Mukhopadhyay Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Sherry Narang Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. David Rand Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Isaac Reich Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Sheetal Shah Cornea - UT Southwestern


Graduates 2012 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Sara Ferri Cornea - Johns Hopkins College of Medicine
Dr. Sara Hanson Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Amy Kulak Plastics - Kresge Eye Institute
Dr. Akil Pascal Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Gabriel Schaab Cornea - University of Wisconsin College of Medicine
Dr. Melanie Sobel Comprehensive Ophthalmology


Graduates 2011 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Ramanath Bhandari Retina - University of Colorado
Dr. John Frisbee Retina - Ochsner Clinic Foundation
Dr. Andrew Greenberg Glaucoma - NY Eye and Ear Infirmary
Dr. Alex Karvelishvili Retina - Valley Retina Institute Texas
Dr. Margaret Liu Cornea - Johns Hopkins College of Medicine
Dr. Monika Singh Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Beatrice Whitaker Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Lauren Yeager Pediatric Ophthalmology - National Children's Hospital Washington


Graduates 2010 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Rodney Coe Retina - University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Gennifer Greebal Pediatric Ophthalmology - National Children's Hospital Washington
Dr. Sheetal Patel Cornea - Cornell Medical Center
Dr. Allison Rand Cornea - Mount Sinai Medical Center
Dr. Marjorie Rico Oculoplastics - Dr. Janet Neigel
Dr. Brandon Rodriguez Cornea - Cornell Medical Center
Dr. Jeremy Shaw Medical Retina - Duke University Medical Center


Graduates 2009 Fellowship / Private Practice
Dr. Habeeb Ahmed Cornea - USC
Dr. Kichiemon Asoma Cornea - UT Southwestern
Dr. Carl Danzig Retina - UT Southwestern
Dr. Majida Gaffar Pediatric Ophthalmology - National Children's Hospital Washington
Dr. Adam Jacobowitz Uveitis - Johns Hopkins College of Medicine
Dr. Na Ma Neuro-Ophthalmology/Plastics, Kingsbrook/Downstate
Dr. Preeti Poley Retina - University of Nebraska
Dr. Kirk Sturridge Glaucoma - University of Iowa


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