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Eight students from the Kentucky College of Optometry’s first graduating class elected to go into residency programs after their graduation and will soon begin those residency programs.

Eight students from the University of Pikeville–Kentucky College of Optometry Class of 2020 decided to pursue a residency after graduation and recently learned the location of the residencies placement. These students joined other optometry students across the country in a day called Match Day and will begin their residencies in June and July of 2020.

Although residencies are not required in optometry, it does provide an extra year of intense training and education. Optometry graduates use residencies to focus on certain specialties and to enhance their career opportunities.

KYCO Assistant Professor Eilene Kinzer, O.D., M.Ed., VFL, FAAO, states residencies give students advanced clinical training, which will help with career opportunities and enhance their ability to provide optimal patient care.

“Residency is a chance for our graduates to specialize in a certain area of eye care, such as pediatrics, ocular disease and vision rehabilitation,” said Kinzer. “We are very excited and proud of our eight Class of 2020 students who will be continuing their clinical training.”

“I’m looking forward to my residency because it will give me a chance to learn from experienced doctors and to sharpen the clinical skills I learned at KYCO,” said KYCO graduate Travis Whitlow, O.D. “I know this residency will leave me better equipped to handle more challenging cases, and will ultimately make me a better doctor.”

“I’m excited to do a residency in ocular disease at the Hershel Woody Williams VA Medical Center because I’ll get to continue learning more about disease processes that will help me better serve my patients,” said KYCO graduate Sarah Heath, O.D. “I’m also honored to be working with our region’s veterans and ensuring they have the best eye care possible!”

Amber Dawson, O.D., matched with the University of Houston, University Eye Institute for Pediatric Optometry; Kyle Fluharty, O.D., matched with Omni Eye Services of Atlanta for Ocular Disease; Madison Gallian, O.D., matched with Hershel Woody Williams VA Medical

Center for Ocular Disease; Jacob Goeser, O.D., matched with Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center for Primary Eyecare/Low Vision Rehabilitation; Sarah Heath, O.D., matched with Hershel Woody Williams VA Medical Center for Ocular Disease; Kristen Lantz, O.D., matched with Northeastern State University, Oklahoma College of Optometry for Primary Care/Ocular Disease; Sade Kehinde, O.D., matched with Baltimore Omni Eye Specialists for Ocular Disease/Co-Management; Travis Whitlow, O.D., matched with John Kenyon American Eye Institute for Ocular Disease/Refractive and Ocular Surgery.

To learn more about KYCO, visit, upike.edu.

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