Where Are They Now?

Alumni of our Residency Program are making a difference in the lives of people with eye disease. Meet a few of the leaders who were residents in the U-M Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Brian P. Brooks, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, National Ophthalmic Disease Genotyping Network, NEI
Director, Ophthalmic Genetics Clinic, Children's National Medical Center
Washington, D.C.
Completed residency in 2001, fellowship in 2002

One of only a handful of physicians in the country who is board-certified both by the American Board of Medical Genetics as well as the American Board of Ophthalmology, Dr. Brooks is leading the nationwide effort to create a repository of DNA samples from patients with inherited eye diseases, called the National Ophthalmic Disease Genotyping Network, or eyeGENE . "Our hope is that this network will empower patients and their physicians with molecular genetic knowledge," he says.

Keith D. Carter, M.D.

Chair, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, 
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Completed residency in 1987

After serving as both medical director of clinical services and director of resident education at the University of Iowa, Dr. Carter was tapped to lead the department of more than 30 clinicians and scientists. "It is an honor to help direct this talented group of individuals," says Dr. Carter, a specialist in oculoplastic surgery. His own research interests include Graves eye disease, inflammatory orbital disease, anophthalmic socket reconstruction, and predictive factors for eyelid reconstruction.

Robert L. Estes, M.D.

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Vanderbilt Eye Institute
Nashville, Tennessee
Completed residency in 1981

Dr. Estes is one of three pediatric ophthalmologists at Vanderbilt Eye Institute. He has won four resident teaching awards in the last nine years. Because he trains others, he is able to pass on the commitment to excellence that is emphasized at the University of Michigan, multiplying our reach many times over. "My residency experience at the University of Michigan is the foundation on which my career has been based, intellectually, technically, philosophically, and ethically," he says.

Justin L. Gottlieb, M.D.

Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin
Completed residency in 1994

Training vitreoretinal fellows is a highlight of Dr. Gottlieb's career at the University of Wisconsin, where he works with his wife, Barbara Blodi. "Our section has trained six fellows since I arrived, and I would gladly refer family and friends to each one of them for excellent care," he says. He is also involved in clinical trials for the treatment of vitreoretinal disease. Working with a full-time academic faculty devoted to patient care, resident education, and research at the Kellogg Eye Center made an impression on him, he says. "Their dedication to academic medicine inspired me to pursue the same."

Gary S. Gutow, M.D.

Retina-Vitreous Associates, P.C.
Nashville, Tennessee
Completed residency in 1973

Nurturing the growth of one of the premier retina practices in Tennessee has been a labor of love for Dr. Gutow, who was the first fully trained retina specialist in Nashville when he arrived in the mid-1970s The practice he founded now has seven retina specialists. "What's really wonderful is that we are able to help people today we could not have helped before," he says. Dr. Gutow has seen many advancements in care over the years and regularly participates in clinical trials. His training at U-M prepared him well, he says. "The faculty members were accessible, and my fellow residents were first rate. The residency had a good mix of practical experience and didactic learning."

Gary D. Haynie, M.D.

Retina Associates
Fargo, North Dakota
Completed residency in 1991

Dr. Haynie is at his best "when a patient presents with something a little unusual, and I get the time and opportunity to learn something new," he says. His residency at the Kellogg Eye Center fueled his appreciation for learning. And because it was his second residency—the first was in internal medicine—he had a good perspective on what made for a good experience. "It was very comprehensive," he says. "Not only did we have good coverage in departments such as cornea, glaucoma, and retina, but we also had instructors in disciplines not always available elsewhere, such as pathology and plastics." Best of all, he says, was the good will that emanated from faculty. "I always looked forward to going to work."

Odette M. Houghton, M.D.

Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Completed residency in 2004

Dr. Houghton's proudest moment in her residency came when her first phacoemulsification patient had 20/20 vision the first day after surgery — and as a clinician, teacher and researcher, she continues to reach for excellence. A faculty member at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, she specializes in vitreoretinal surgery. "My patients come from a variety of backgrounds, and I appreciate the opportunity to manage and treat the challenging pathology that academic institutions attract," she says. Her residency at the Kellogg Eye Center laid the foundation for her career and opened doors for her because of its strong reputation. "I have had the right education to be able to take good care of my patients in the most professional and ethical manner," she says. "I strive to be as good a teacher and physician as those who trained me."

Michael A. Pachtman, M.D.

Arizona Pediatric Eye Specialists
Mesa, Arizona
Completed residency in 1982

Dr. Pachtman's drive to do his best for patients has its roots in Ann Arbor, he says. "We were encouraged to constantly strive to provide the highest level of care in a compassionate and professional manner." Today the managing partner of a 9-physician group practice that specializes in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus, Dr. Pachtman is proud that his practice makes subspecialty pediatric ophthalmic care easily accessible to children in Arizona, regardless of their socioeconomic or immigration status.

Patrick J. Parden, M.D.

Private practice, Coeur D' Alene Eye Clinic
Coeur D' Alene, Idaho
Completed residency in 1984

The wide range of cases Dr. Parden saw as a resident at U-M prepared him for the variety of patients he has in Coeur D' Alene, a growing community in northern Idaho, and on surgical missions to Mexico, Guatemala, and China. "The most rewarding part of eye practice is the positive impact that we have on our patients’ quality of life," he says. "We also have a tremendous opportunity to help abroad.

Martha M. Wright, M.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology
Director, Glaucoma Service
Director, Ophthalmology Residency Program
University of Minnesota 
Completed residency in 1988

Spending time as a volunteer in India and Nepal just after her residency gave Dr. Wright a perspective that continues to influence her. "It was a wonderful experience in which I learned more than I taught and received more than I gave," she says. Today she especially enjoys establishing relationships with patients and training residents.

Kimberly G. Yen, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Pediatrics
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas
Completed residency in 1999

As a pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Yen participates in a number of NIH -funded clinical trials, including work on retinopathy, amblyopia, nasolacrimalduct obstruction, and congenital cataracts. Her responsibilities include educating residents, fellows, and medical students, helping others achieve their career goals just as faculty members at the Kellogg Eye Center assisted her. "My mentors helped me get where I am today," she says.