OKLAHOMA CITY - The American Academy of Ophthalmology recently named Dean McGee Eye Institute ophthalmologist R. Michael Siatkowski, M.D., its 2020 recipient of the Bradley R. Straatsma M.D., J.D. Award for Excellence in Resident Education. The award, established by the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2003, honors residency program directors dedicated to the principles and significance of residency education. It is the highest national honor bestowed on an ophthalmology residency program director.
Siatkowski also is a David W. Parke II M.D. Endowed Professor, David Ross Boyd Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.
Gregory L. Skuta, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Dean McGee Eye Institute, said, “Thanks in large part to Dr. Siatkowski’s exceptional leadership, our outstanding residency program is highly regarded across the nation. He is indeed a very deserving recipient of this major honor and we celebrate this recognition with him.”
The award’s namesake, Bradley R. Straatsma, M.D., J.D., is the former chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and former director of the Jules Stein Eye Institute. He is internationally revered for many accomplishments and leadership positions held throughout the course of a rich academic and clinical career in the field of ophthalmology.
“It is a source of great pride throughout the OU College of Medicine when our colleagues are cited for work that makes significant contributions in shaping the next generation of physicians in every specialty,” said John P. Zubialde, executive dean, OU College of Medicine. “We are inspired by Dr. Siatkowski’s dedication, not only to patient care but also by his commitment to excellence in medical education and the advancement of OU’s educational mission.”
Residents in the program at DMEI are in the top 10 percent nationally in surgical volume. At graduation, a typical resident may have performed more than 1,000 cases as a primary surgeon, not including those cases observed or assisted. Residents average 300 or more cataract surgeries, far exceeding the accreditation requirement of 86 procedures. The program also supports strong interactions with physicians in diverse specialties including neurology, neurosurgery, pediatrics, endocrinology and more. It is an important element, given the range of conditions that directly influence eye health. In addition, the program requires residents to conduct research and investigation, aiming toward at least one publication in a peer-reviewed journal or presentation at a national meeting. In the last decade, DMEI residents have nearly tripled the number of national research publications and presentations.
Siatkowski will be recognized at the AAO annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, this fall, and also at the 2021 Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology annual meeting early next year in Austin, Texas, where he will deliver a presentation.
Among many distinguished leadership roles, Siatkowski served as president of the Program Directors Council for the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. He is a past director of the American Board of Ophthalmology and currently serves as associate secretary for AAO Subspecialty Day. In addition, he has received a Life Achievement Honor Award and three Secretariat Awards from AAO, and is the recipient of the 2020 Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology Distinguished Service Award. His name is regularly listed in Top Doctors, published by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., as well as Best Doctors, published by Best Doctors, Inc.
Siatkowski is a board-certified ophthalmologist, with expertise in pediatric and adult ophthalmology. Special areas of practice include neuro-ophthalmology, strabismus, amblyopia, retinopathy of prematurity and eye muscle surgery.