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Award highlights Wayman’s resident education efforts

Aug. 14, 2014, 9:21 AM

Laura Wayman, M.D., looks on as Ophthalmology resident Chris Estopinal, M.D., trains on a virtual reality simulator. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Laura Wayman, M.D., associate professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, has been awarded the 2014 Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education.

The award was established by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) to recognize the critical role of residency education.

“The Straatsma Award is one of the true preeminent awards in our profession and the premier award in ophthalmic education,” said Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D., Chief Patient Experience and Service Officer, George W. Hale Professor of Ophthalmology, chief medical officer and director of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute.

“Dr. Wayman has transformed our residency program into a superb and highly desired ophthalmology training program. This recognition not only honors her, but also all of the faculty and staff who have helped make our residency program so outstanding.”

Wayman came to Vanderbilt in 2005 and in 2007 began focusing her time exclusively on ophthalmology education.

Not only has Wayman made an impact at Vanderbilt, she also serves on the national level as a member of numerous educational organizations.

“Dr. Wayman is truly the consummate teacher, mentor and adviser,” said Maria Aaron, M.D., professor of Ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine, who nominated Wayman for the award. “She has a unique combination of dedication, stamina and compassion. She has demonstrated an unsurpassed dedication to resident education, local and national leadership and innovative advancement in resident education.”

In her roles as vice chair for Education at Vanderbilt and director of Resident Education, Sternberg said Wayman’s impact on the department’s educational portfolio has been noteworthy, according to Sternberg, and has resulted in:

• Improvement in graduate and postgraduate education programs.

• Increased number of graduate students in the research labs.

• A higher number of presentations at scientific meetings.

• Improved number of publications in higher impact journals.

• Increased faculty involvement in didactic and patient-side teaching.

For Wayman, the award represents the hard work of the entire department.

“This is recognizing what the Eye Institute has done to improve the residency program,” said Wayman. “It is definitely a team effort — it takes a village.

“I will continue striving to be an excellent teacher and leader,” Wayman said. “Of all of my responsibilities, I find teaching the most rewarding and stimulating. It is an honor to be involved in each phase of our resident’s education and watch them develop into mature physicians capable of working independently.”

Wayman will receive the award at an upcoming AAO meeting this fall, where she will also deliver the keynote address during the education symposium. She will also be recognized during the annual meeting of the AUPO in 2015.

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