February 2019


Supporting promising young surgeons

by Evelyn Morales ASCRS Foundation Program Manager

Profile of a 2018 Resident Excellence Award winner

Each year the ASCRS Foundation offers ten $1,000 Resident Excellence Awards to enable ophthalmology residents exhibiting exemplary performance to attend the ASCRS•ASOA Annual Meeting. The categories for consideration include research, patient care, leadership, and education.
Michele Lee, MD, a 2018 Resident Excellence Award recipient who attended the 2018 ASCRS•ASOA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., shared her experience in an interview with the ASCRS Foundation staff.

ASCRS Foundation: How did you learn about the Resident Excellence Award?

Dr. Lee: I heard about the award from my mentors and was encouraged to apply in order to secure funding to attend the conference.

ASCRS Foundation: Tell us about your experience at the Annual Meeting.

Dr. Lee: As an ophthalmology trainee, especially during the final operative year of residency, ASCRS is the most educational meeting you can attend. During my last 2 years at ASCRS, I made a point of attending as many of the YES (Young Eye Surgeons) events as possible, which in 2018 included a day-long program with case videos and panel discussion, lunch with the experts, and a wet lab. At the mentored wet lab, I learned how to put in iris hooks and to perform limbal relaxing incisions, skills that came in handy during my final heavy surgical rotation of residency.

ASCRS Foundation: What did you enjoy most about the meeting? Was there a particular session you were looking forward to?

Dr. Lee: My favorite part of any meeting is connecting with friends and colleagues, old and new. I have also enjoyed presenting my research projects at the conference; it feels like the perfect culmination of all the hard work that went into the projects. As I mentioned, I look forward to the YES events and look forward to attending them again this upcoming year.

ASCRS Foundation: Why did you apply for the award? Would you recommend other current residents and fellows apply for the award?

Dr. Lee: Absolutely! There is no harm in applying for this award. Last year I was able to take full advantage of the conference without worrying about staying within a budget. The skills, connections, and memories I made at the conference have stuck with me during my fellowship year.

ASCRS Foundation: Is there any advice you’d give to a future applicant or recipient of the award?

Dr. Lee: Start your application early and ask your program director for a letter as soon as possible so they can write the best possible letter and application on your behalf. Take some time to explore each city you visit. ASCRS is filled with a lot of educational value so make sure you take advantage of what the conference has to offer.

ASCRS Foundation: What would you say to our donors who make this program possible?

Dr. Lee: Thank you so much for making this experience possible! The other recipients and I appreciate all of your support in our early careers and know that our successes come with the generosity of others.

To learn about the Resident Excellence Award, visit ascrsfoundation.org/education. Register for the 2019 ASCRS•ASOA Annual Meeting at annualmeeting.ascrs.org.

Contact information

: michele.lee@ucsf.edu
Morales: emorales@ascrs.org

Supporting promising young surgeons Supporting promising young surgeons
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