Graduation of Residents & Instructors Celebrated

Following an outstanding day of lectures at the 23rd Annual Ophthalmology Alumni/Residents’ Day, the Department of Ophthalmology held a reception in honor of its graduating residents and instructors. The event was attended by Department of Ophthalmology faculty, residents, and alumni, family of the graduates, and the Kambara Distinguished Visiting Professor, Keith D. Carter, MD. At the ceremony, HEI Residency Program Director Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS, awarded diplomas to graduating residents and praised each of them:

  • Dr. Julie Calderwood is one of the most dedicated, hardworking residents we have ever had in this program. She leaves no stone unturned in the care of her patients.” Next year, Dr. Calderwood will remain at UTHSC as a pediatric ophthalmology instructor.
  • Dr. Stephen Huddleston is a brilliant medical thinker… an amazing, academically accomplished resident who thinks outside the box.” He will remain with UTHSC and the Charles Retina Institute for two more years as a vitreoretinal surgery instructor.
  • Dr. Mark Kosko came into the program knowing what it took to be an ophthalmologist. We are very proud of what he has accomplished and will go on to accomplish.” Dr. Kosko will join the University of Alabama for a glaucoma fellowship
  • “Dr. Justin Wilkin has distinguished himself as an amazing anterior segment surgeon. He is a superb physician and a great innovator.” Dr. Wilkin will enter private practice with UTHSC alumnus Dr. Andre Cohen at the Marietta Eye Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia.

Drs. Kosko, Calderwood, Kerr, Carter, Huddleston and WilkinDrs. Kosko, Calderwood, Kerr, Carter, Huddleston and Wilkin


Certificates were also presented to two Department of Ophthalmology instructors who are graduating from their fellowship training:

  • Dr. Lauren K. Ditta has superbly developed her skills and knowledge in pediatric ophthalmology over the last year,” said Associate Professor of Ophthalmology Mary Ellen Hoehn, MD, director of the pediatric ophthalmology fellowship. “She is a quick study who has taken to our field with zeal. Her intellectual curiosity has made her a joy to teach.” Dr. Ditta will remain at UTHSC next year for a neuro-ophthalmology fellowship.
  • “Dr. Eric J. Sigler is without a doubt the most prolific writer I’ve had the privilege of training over the many years I’ve been in practice,” said Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology Steve Charles, MD, FACS, director of the vitreoretinal surgery fellowship. “He knows the literature backwards and forwards and has made a huge contribution to it. In terms of publications in peer-reviewed literature, he is without parallel.” Dr. Sigler will enter private practice in Long Island, New York, with one of the largest ophthalmic practices in the country.

Drs. Hoehn and DittaDrs. Hoehn and Ditta

Drs. Sigler and CharlesDrs. Sigler and Charles

Finally, the Department of Ophthalmology’s annual teaching awards were presented to two faculty mentors by the graduating residents. Associate Professor of Ophthalmology William R. Morris, MD, received the Philip M. Lewis Award for outstanding contributions to resident instruction in clinical service, and Dr. Sigler received the Roger L. Hiatt, MD, Award for outstanding contributions to resident instruction in academic development.

Drs. Calderwood, Kosko, Sigler, Morris, Wilkin and HuddlestonDrs. Calderwood, Kosko, Sigler, Morris, Wilkin and Huddleston