Explore UAB

by Nathan Anderson

Match Day is an exciting time for optometry students, as it is the day future residents find out if they did or did not match with their residencies. Abigail Witmer, OD, a graduate of The Ohio State University, received an email notification on March 27th notifying her that she had been matched with the UAB School of Optometry’s pediatric optometry residency. 

“I was ecstatic to match with an amazing program and excited for the future,” Witmer said. “It was such a relief to finally have an answer for what I was doing after graduation.”

Witmer said that she interacted well with faculty during her interview, notably with Kathy Weise, OD, MBA, FAAO, residency supervisor and Pediatric Optometry Service director. She felt that her qualifications and passion for pediatric vision care were effectively communicated. Witmer believes that this residency will be beneficial.

“Through this residency, I will be able to advance my clinical skills within the pediatric and binocular vision specialty,” she said. “Additionally, I will be able to broaden my exposure to myopia management, working with a pediatric ophthalmologist and pediatric contact lenses.”

Caroline Pate, OD, FAAO, director of residency programs at UAB optometry, said that the residency class of 2023-2024 is made up of a diverse and talented group of graduates that are from nine different schools and colleges of optometry. 

“I am excited to welcome our 2023-2024 residents to the UABSO family! They will not only be able to learn from amazing and dedicated mentors during their residency year, but also from each other,” Pate said. “A year spent in an optometric residency is such a wonderful opportunity for growth and experience – the residents truly will get out of the program what they put into it.”

The class of 2023-2024 will begin their residencies at UABSO this summer. Residents include: 

Residency in Pediatric Optometry at UABSO 

  • Abigail Witmer (OSU)

Residency in Cornea and Contact Lenses at UABSO 

  • David Dinh (UHCO)

Residency in Primary Care Optometry at UABSO 

  • To be determined

Residency in Pediatric Optometry at Vanderbilt Eye Institute 

  • Emma Smiley (OSU)

Residency in Vision Rehabilitation/Low Vision Rehabilitation/Ocular Disease at the Birmingham VAMC 

  • Darian Travis (UABSO)

Residency in Ocular Disease/Primary Care Optometry/Retina at the Tuscaloosa VAMC (2)

  • Caitlynn Estevez (UPIKE)
  • Tyler Hamby (OSU)

Residency in Ocular Disease at Omni Eye Services of Atlanta (4)

  • Bayinah Elyaman (NOVA)
  • Ashka Patel (PCO-Salus)
  • Khanh Hoang (ICO)
  • Jacquelyn Melton (SCO)

Residency in Ocular Disease/Refractive and Ocular Surgery at Eye Center of Texas (4) 

  • Rachel Chang (UHCO)
  • Sarah DAmore (UIW-RSO)
  • Michelle Dang (UHCO)
  • Joseph Trinh (UHCO)