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September 30, 2013

Q&A: Dr. Diane Adamczyk, Director of Residency Education

The 2013-14 residency class is the largest in the history of the SUNY College of Optometry’s clinical residency education program. In light of this, we’ve asked Dr. Diane Adamczyk, director of residency education here at SUNY, a few questions about residency programs at the College and the future of residency education.

Q: One of the College’s missions—as it pertains to both education and patient care—is to provide for the future health care needs of our community. How do you think the residency program at SUNY contributes to this important objective?

A: Residency education in many ways is where one should look to see where the future of optometry and health care is going.  It provides the resident with advanced clinical competencies that go beyond the core training of the professional education.  It is in residency education that one can get an idea of where the profession is going.  SUNY has always been a leader in residency education, setting the example for the country in meeting the health care needs of today, and preparing the practitioner for the needs of tomorrow.

Q: SUNY has a long history of providing clinical residency education yet the program has continued to grow and evolve over the years. Can you tell us about some of the newer residency programs that are being offered and some of what the College is hoping to offer in the future?

A: SUNY has a rich residency history, beginning with the first residency program established in the country, back in 1975.  We have since grown to 15 diverse programs with a total of 37 residents (as was mentioned, this is the largest residency class in the history of the College).  Our two most recent programs are Fromer Eye Centers and Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, the first being an ophthalmology/optometry practice, and the second a hospital-based program, both seeing a broad and diverse population of patients.  In addition to continued development of residency programs in this area, I also see growth in rehabilitation programs, such as our Acquired Brain Injury Residency.

Q: What do you think are the most important reasons for an optometrist to do a residency today?

A: Residencies develop not only advanced skills that go beyond what can be learned in the professional program but also sharpen the clinical thinking skills that are critical in providing exceptional patient care and clinical thinking skills that will remain with the practitioner their entire professional career.

Q: What would you say to somebody who is on the fence about doing a residency?

A: Get off the fence --- there is no question --- if there is one decision that you make that will change the course of your professional career in ways you can’t even begin to imagine --- it’s doing a residency.

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