Residency Program

Welcome to Wills!

 We hope you will find it as engaging, inspiring, and warm a place to work and learn as we do.

 Wills Eye Hospital is absolutely unique in all the world: a gift of the Quaker merchant James Wills to the City of Philadelphia in 1832.  He gave the fortune he made from his grocery business, to build a hospital for the indigent blind – and thus Wills became the nation’s first eye specialty hospital. 

 In 1839, the first physician to be trained in Ophthalmology as a specialty came to Wills, and in our 185 years of existence we have trained the most ophthalmologists of any program in the country.  Wills also started fellowship programs in the early days of eye subspecialty development, so taking all our trainees together, we have the largest and most generous alumni body in the country.  One of the special benefits of joining the “Wills Eye Family” is becoming part of this network which circles the globe, and gives back to Wills in many ways that impact on the quality of life of our residents while they are here, and on their future prospects.

Since 1972, Wills has served as the department of Ophthalmology for Thomas Jefferson University’s medical school, then known as Jefferson Medical College, the 9th oldest medical school in the country, and our residency program is the Wills Eye at Jefferson program.  Jefferson Health is now the sixth largest medical system in the country, and its many professional schools, huge clinical volume, and academic and research breadth contribute tremendously to opportunities for our eye residents.

As you may know, we consider everyone we interview to be a great candidate for our residency – we are convinced by your record and your enthusiastic mentors that you would flourish at Wills.  We look forward to getting to know you better during your visit, and to following your career trajectories with admiration

Warmest regards,

Julia A. Haller, MD
Ophthalmologist-in-Chief

Applications

Applications for residency must be submitted through the Central Application Service (CAS) of the San Francisco Matching Program. We do not require additional materials or paperwork. Only applicants who meet the eligibility and selection requirements will be considered.

After July 1, 2017 we will begin accepting applications for the class starting in July 2019. Deadline for receipt of materials from CAS is October 1, 2017. After all applications have been reviewed by the entire committee, invitations to interview will be extended in mid-November. Interviews will be held December 4th and 5th.

For more information on the application process, please email: residencyselection@willseye.org.

For additional information about the residency program at Wills Eye Hospital, click on a links below:

  • Current Residents

    Class of 2018

    Tim A. Arlow, M.D.
    Medical School: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ
    Internship: Reading Hospital, Reading, PA

    Ayan Chatterjee, M.D.
    Medical School: Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    Internship: St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester, MA

    Thomas L. Jenkins, M.D.
    Medical School: University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charolettesville, VA
    Internship: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

    Jeffrey F. McMahon, M.D.
    Medical School: Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA
    Internship: Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA

    Melissa R. Sieber, M.D.
    Medical School: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    Internship: Med Star Harbor Hospital, Baltimore, MD

    J. David Stephens, M.D.
    Medical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City, OK
    Internship: John Peter Smith Hospital, Fort Worth, TX

    Brett M. Weinstock, M.D.
    Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
    Internship: Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA

    Cindy X. Zheng, M.D.
    Medical School: Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA
    Internship: Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center, Wynnewood, PA


    Class of 2019

    John C. Anhalt, M.D.
    Medical School: University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
    Internship: University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School, Austin, TX

    Lucas Bonafede, M.D.
    Medical School: Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    Internship: St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit, MI

    Jordan D. Deaner, M.D.
    Medical School: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
    Internship: Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Chester, PA

    Jason S. Flamendorf, M.D.
    Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York, NY
    Internship: Mt. Sinai Beth Israel, New York, NY

    Aditya Kanesa-Thasan, M.D.
    Medical School: Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
    Internship: Presence St. Francis Hospital, Evanston, IL

    Phoebe L. Mellen, M.D.
    Medical School: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
    Internship: Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MD

    Daniel J. Ozzello, M.D.
    Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO
    Internship: St. Joseph Hospital, Denver, CO

    Martha E. Ryan, M.D.
    Medical School: Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta GA
    Internship: Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA


    Class of 2020

    Michael D. Abendroth, M.D.
    Medical School: Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA
    Internship: MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, IL

    Michele D. Markovitz, M.D.
    Medical School: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
    Internship: Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Upland, PA

    Douglas R. Matsunaga, M.D.
    Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
    Internship: St. Mary Medical Center, Long Beach, CA

    Austin R. Meeker, M.D.
    Medical School: SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY
    Internship: Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

    Erin E. Nichols, M.D.
    Medical School: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
    Internship: Pennsylvania Hospital , Philadelphia, PA

    Samir N. Patel, M.D.
    Medical School: Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY
    Internship: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

    Rebecca R. Soares, M.D.
    Medical School: Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
    Internship: Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

    Joshua H. Uhr, M.D.
    Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
    Internship: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

  • Recent Graduates

    Class of 2017

    Faheem Ahmed, M.D.
    Eye Physicians of Virginia
    Reston, VA

    Nathan E. Cutler, M.D.
    Surgical Retina & Vitreous Fellowship
    Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland, OH

    Brenton D. Finklea, M.D.
    Academic Global Ophthalmology Fellowship
    Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

    Alison B. Huggins, M.D.
    Oculoplastics & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship
    Texas Oculoplastics Consultants (TOC) Eye and Face, Austin, TX

    Michelle Wilson Latting, M.D.
    Oculoplastics & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship
    Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

    Marta McKeague, M.D.
    Cornea & External Disease Fellowship
    Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

    Jinali R. Patel, M.D.
    Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Fellowship
    Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

    Priya Sharma, M.D.
    Surgical Retina & Vitreous Fellowship
    Tufts/Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, Boston, MA

  • Matched Residents

    Starting July 2018

    Joseph A. Anaya, M.D.
    Medical School: Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    Internship: Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

    Cherie A. Fathy, M.D.
    Medical School: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
    Internship: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brockton, MA

    Kalla A. Gervasio, M.D.
    Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
    Internship: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

    Kyle B. McKey, M.D.
    Medical School: Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
    Internship: Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital, Denver, CO

    Travis J. Peck, M.D.
    Medical School: University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA
    Internship: Reading Hospital, Reading, PA

    Ranjodh Singh, M.D.
    Medical School: Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY
    Internship: Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, New Rochelle, NY

    Meera D. Sivalingam, M.D.
    Medical School: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
    Internship: Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Upland, PA

    Connie M. Wu, M.D.
    Medical School: Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI
    Internship: Santa Clara Medical Center, San Jose, CA

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How many residents are in your program?
    Currently, we have 24 residents with eight positions offered each year.

    When does your program start?
    Residency begins with orientation on July 1. If July 1 falls on a weekend, the orientation is held on the preceding Friday.

    How do I apply?
    We accept all applications through the Central Application Service of the San Francisco Match. We do not require additional materials or paperwork. 

    How many applications do you receive and what are you looking for in an applicant?
    We receive more than 500 applications and carefully review each one. Our Selection Committee is comprised of 14 members, both faculty and residents. With so many talented and impressive individuals, it is an extremely difficult decision. We look for intelligent, compassionate individuals who are team players and eager to learn in a program with a large clinical volume.

    Do you have a cut-off for USMLE Steps 1 & 2 scores?
    Although the average three digit score of interviewees is greater than 245, we do not have a minimum USMLE score requirement. We review all applications thoroughly and do not screen applications based upon scores.

    Do you have any unfilled positions?
    We do not have any vacancies. The best way to find unfilled positions is to contact the San Francisco Match

    Do you consider foreign graduates?
    We accept applications from international medical graduates who meet eligibility requirements including GME guidelines and Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine requirements for VISA status and sponsorship during training. For specific questions, please contact Jefferson's Office of International Affairs.

    What do your graduates do?
    We aim to equip our residents with the foundation and skills needed to do whatever they choose. Depending upon individual interests and aspirations, each year roughly half our residents enter practice and half pursue subspecialty training. Our graduates have pursued fellowship in every subspecialty, although most recently, retina and cornea have been the most popular choices of our graduates.

    What are your strengths?
    Some of our greatest strengths include our clinical volume and research, the Eye Emergency Department, and expert faculty in every subspecialty – including Ocular Pathology. We are especially proud of our talented residents who continue the Wills Eye tradition of esprit de corps among faculty, staff, trainees, and support personnel.

    What is the schedule for each year?
    PGY 2:  Residents spend the bulk of their time in general clinics, the Emergency Room, Pathology, Neuro-Ophthalmology Service, and the Oculoplastics Service.  First-years perform minor procedures and lasers as well as extraocular surgery including enucleations/eviscerations and muscle surgeries.  They also rotate through each of the major subspecialty Services. 

    PGY 3:  Residents spend more time in the subspecialty Services with increased responsibility for patient care and teaching.  They are primarily responsible for the emergency room both during the day and overnight and for inpatient consults at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.  Second-years perform cataract surgery and more complicated lasers and minor procedures. 

    PGY 4:  Residents function with increased responsibility in the general and subspecialty clinics and perform all types of ocular surgery.  Every case is directly supervised; in a supportive learning environment, residents develop skills and confidence so they can perform surgery competently and independently. 

    What is a resident's pay and what benefits are available?
    Are viewable online and updated annually. 
    House Staff Stipends - http://www.jefferson.edu/jmc/salary.html
    Benefits - http://www.jefferson.edu/jmc/benefits.html

    Is there any special coursework for the first years as they begin residency?
    We provide a three-week "pre-residency course" for first year residents. Half the day is spent attending lectures with first years from local programs. In addition to learning the basics of Ophthalmology, this is an excellent opportunity to get to know your colleagues from other programs. The rest of the day is spent in clinics; during this time, first year residents see very few patients as they gain practical experience with the exam and instruments in a relaxed teaching environment.

    What are the didactic sessions like?
    We host a robust series of didactic lectures, case presentations, and surgical conferences. The Academic Calendar outlines educational sessions offered throughout the year. The Professional Monthly Bulletin lists specific activities for each day of the month. 

    Do you have an OKAP review course?
    Wills Eye hosts an evening Night Review Course every February and March. It mirrors the content of the Wills Eye Annual Review Course and is attended by residents and fellows.

    Do you have an Ophthalmic library?
    Yes. Residents have 24/7 access to the Charles D. Kelman Library at Wills Eye, as well as to the Scott Memorial Library at Jefferson.

    Do you have a wetlab for residents to practice?
    Yes. Our residents have both wetlab and drylab practice opportunities. Each year, our faculty organizes microsurgical, phacoemulsification, orbital dissection, and refractive surgery wetlabs.

    In addition, residents work with faculty in our mentorship program and have 24/7 access to a state-of-the-art practice lab. It contains the same equipment we use in the Operating Room. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, we now have a surgical simulator for drylab training.

    Are residents required to perform research?
    Yes. Residents may choose from the many research opportunities with faculty in each subspecialty or design their own projects. Although many residents complete several projects, each resident is expected to complete one publication-quality project during training. All research costs as well as travel and lodging related to presentations of projects are funded.