OVS Residency Program

Meetings & Conferences

Meetings & Conferences

  • The Houston Ophthalmological Society (HOS)

    The Houston Ophthalmological Society is comprised of ophthalmologists ("Eye MD" physicians and surgeons) from Houston and the surrounding regions.  Regular meetings are held with  national experts in various ophthalmic subspecialties. They support the education and training of residents and fellows through their partnership with Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.  Society members provide eyecare to their community, participate in local and international volunteer services, conduct research, and teach.
    The mission of the Houston Ophthalmological Society is to promote the highest standard of ethical, compassionate patient care; present the latest advances in medical and surgical ophthalmology and the basic sciences through sponsorship of continuing medical education by internationally recognized experts; foster collegial exchange of knowledge and fellowship within the ophthalmic community, and deepen the educational experience of regional ophthalmologists-in-training; and prevent blindness and restore sight through development and support of medical outreach programs.

    Click here for more information regarding HOS.


    Thomas E. Johnson, MD (center)
    Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
    Aesthetic and Cosmetic Ophthalmic Surgery, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
    Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

    Pictured left to right: Dr Akshaya Gupta, Dr Sahitya Podila, Dr David Szynkarski, Dr Alexis Pascoe, Dr Thomas E. Johnson, Dr Zachary DeZeeuw, Dr Jenny Ha, and Dr Lena Hummel


    John J. Chen, MD, PhD (center)
    Consultant and Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurology,
    Mayo Clinic

    Pictured left to right standing: Dr Zachary DeZeeuw, Dr Rhys Ishihara, Dr Sahitya Podila and Dr Lena Hummel
    Pictured sitting left to right: Dr Ardalan Sharifi, Dr Jenny Ha, Dr John J. Chen, and Dr Elahhe Afkhamnejad


    Oluwatosin ‘Toisin’ Smith, MD (second row, third from left)
    Attending Physician and Surgeon, Glaucoma Associates of Texas
    Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

    Pictured left to right front row: Dr Elahhe Afkhamnejad, Dr Jenny Ha and Dr Sahitya Podila
    Pictured left to right second row: Dr David Szynkarski, Dr Alexis Pascoe, Dr Oluwatosin ‘Tosin’ Smith, Dr Zachary DeZeeuw, Dr Rhys Ishihara, Dr Imanouel Samai, and Dr Cina Karimaghaei


    Emily Y. Chew, MD (front row, center)
    Medical Retina Specialist
    Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications, National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    Pictured left to right front row: Dr Elahhe Afkhamnejad, Dr Sahitya Podila, Dr Emily Y. Chew, Dr Lena Hummel, and Dr You ‘Joey’ Zhou
    Pictured left to right second row: Dr Cina Karimaghaei, Dr David Szynkarski, Dr Zachary DeZeeuw, Dr Akshaya Gupta and Dr Rhys Ishihara


    Kendall E. Donaldson, MD, MS (center)
    Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology
    Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery
    Medical Director Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of Plantation

    Pictured left to right: Dr Elahhe Afkhamnejad, Dr Matthew Yang, Dr Sahitya Podila, Dr Jenny Ha, Dr Lena Hummel, Dr Kendall E. Donaldson, Dr Emma Loucks, Dr You ‘Joey’ Zhou, Dr Palwasha Syar, Dr Rhys Ishihara and Dr Akshaya Gupta


    Cat N. Burkat, MD, FACS (front center)
    Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at University of Wisconsin

    Pictured left to right: Front- Dr Beena Shah, Dr Alexis Pascoe, Dr Cat Burkat, Dr Zhenyang Zhao, Dr Lena Hummel. Back- Dr Akshaya Gupta, Dr Zachary DeZeeuw, Dr David Szynkarski, Dr Ardalan Sharifi and Dr Rhys Ishihara.

    Paul Sternberg, Jr., M.D. (left)
    G.W. Hale Professor and Chair
    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
    Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

    (center) Dr. Misha Syed and (right) Dr. Andrew Lee

    HOS Lisa C Olmos de Koo, MD
    Lisa C. Olmos de Koo, MD
    Vitreoretinal Surgery, University of Washington Eye Institute (01/09/20)

    110719 HOS Valerie Biousse, MD_adj
    Valerie Biousse, MD
    Neuro-Ophthalmology, Emory Eye Center (11/07/19)

    Erin Shriver, MD
    Erin Shriver, MD
    Oculoplastics, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics - 2/7/2019

    Dr. Carol Shield
    Carol Shields, MD
    Ocular Oncology Service, Wills Eye Hospital - 09/06/2018

    Dr. Hutchinson
    Amy Hutchinson, MD
    Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus, Emory Eye Center - 04/12/2018

    Jeffrey Nerad, MD
    Cincinnati Eye Institute - 03/08/2018 

    Davinder Grover, MD, MPH
    Glaucoma Associates of Texas – 02/09/2018

  • Grand Rounds

    Grand Rounds are a core feature of education in the residency program, not only for residents, but for faculty and staff alike.  The resident moderator or MC will be responsible for programming the education content of the rounds, and he/she will be evaluated for leadership development as well as for interpersonal and communication skills, and professionalism competencies.  The PGY-3 TDC rotation resident will serve as MC for 3 months.  Detailed guidelines for 30-minute Grand Rounds presentations are provided at the beginning of residency, but generally include:

        •  Must be a case with which you were somehow involved
        •  Should be a case of a somewhat broad interest
        •  Make sure your faculty discussant is available

    Topics should include:

        •  CPC (Clinical-Pathological-Correlation)   
        •  Unknown Diagnosis
        •  Management Dilemma
        •  Complication
        •  Surgical Technique

  • National Meetings

    ARVO - The Association for Reserch in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc. (ARVO) annual meeting is held during the first week in May, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The resident may attend only if presenting a paper or poster.

    AAO - American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is held annually during the fall. Our residents attend in their third year. The department will pay for residents to attend this meeting once during residency, according to UTMB and Ophthalmology Department travel guidelines. The course(s) the resident will attend must be submitted to and approved by the Program Director.

    Texas Ophthalmological Assoc. Members Lobby Congress in DC

    During the AAO’s annual Congressional Advocacy Day in Washington DC, hundreds of ophthalmologists reminded federal lawmakers why medical and surgical eye care is so important to millions of patients nationwide. These members, including TOA members, advocated directly to our members of Congress. Among the issues discussed were:

    • Existing regulatory barriers that limit physicians’ availability to their patients;
    • The need for timely access to sight-saving treatments, including compounded drugs; and
    • Sustained federal funding for important vision research programs.

    UTMB residents that attended:

    TOA 2020 - Pasha, Hamza & Assam, Jed_adj

    2019 Recipients - Drs. Jed Assam and Hamza Pasha.

    2020 Recipients - Drs. Karima Khimani and Eric Niespodzany (Note: No picture - cancelled due to COVID-19)

    2022 Recipients - Drs. Alexis Pascoe and David Szynkarski

    2023 Recipients - Drs. Elahhe Afkhamnejad and Lena Hummel

    ASCRS - The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) is an independent non-profit organization founded in August of 1974 to disseminate information about anterior segment ophthalmic surgery. Through its educational programs and services, ASCRS has become the physician’s primary source of up-to-date information on scientific developments within the field, as well as the regulatory decisions that affect ophthalmic practices.

  • Morbidity, Mortality and Improvement (MMI) Conference:
    The MMI Conference is an important part of resident education. It provides a forum where both faculty and residents can examine improvements in patient care, medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, system-based practice and surgical skills.
  • Journal Club
    Journal Club is held every other month to discuss recent research with faculty and staff. The residents are required to read articles beforehand and participate during the meeting in discussions with their peers regarding the strengths or weaknesses behind the article. The purpose is to provide residents a time to critically appraise current literature in ophthalmology through discussions with faculty.
  • Morning Report

    Morning Report is an activity that involves resident to faculty discussion regarding patients that were seen previously in either the clinic or in-patient setting. This allows residents to discuss areas of patient care, including diagnosis and treatment plans, with faculty input on all aspects of the case. This facilitates learning to a greater level than can be typically be achieved in a busy clinical setting.