COM resident program director of the month

July 24, 2020

Image with caption: Shannon Lynch, M.D.

Shannon Lynch, M.D.

Name: Shannon Lynch, M.D.

Titles: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and Department of Neurological Science; director of education, UNMC Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Medical school attended: University of Southern California - Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles

Location of your residency/fellowship training: Ophthalmology residency at Drexel in Philadelphia; Neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at University of Iowa in Iowa City

What residency/fellowship program at UNMC are you serving as program director for?

I am the director of education for the department of ophthalmology, which includes being the director for the ophthalmology residency program as well as the director of medical student education.

Number of trainees: Currently two per year, but we are looking to expand.

How long have you been the program director?

I became the program director July 2019, but was previously the associate program director for many years.

What made you chose to become the program director?

When the last program director left the department, the residents approached me as a group and asked me to take the position. Since education of our next generation is a priority for me, I gladly accepted. I love working with the residents and helping them to achieve their potential.

What challenges do you foresee in graduate medical education in the future?

  • Development of an educational core faculty with the appropriate training, financial support and protected time for educational activities away from clinical and research expectations.
  • Finding a way to teach an ever-expanding volume of material without increasing time spent in training.
  • Promoting inclusivity and diversity across the specialties to effectively meet the needs of our increasingly diverse patient population.

What are the strengths of your training program?

One of the greatest strengths of our programs is that we all have a great working relationship which makes work enjoyable. Our residents do a large volume of surgery, more than most programs in the country. The cumulative autonomy in our program allows our residents to be great general ophthalmologists the day they graduate or to succeed in the subspecialty fellowship of their choice.

List some accomplishments that you are proud of:

  • Being the first person in my family to go to medical school.
  • Recognition from my patients for not only delivering expert care, but for having the ability to educate them about their condition so that they can be an informed participant in their own healthcare.
  • Learning to prioritize mindfulness in a world filled with constant demands and stressors. I plan to continue to build a culture of wellness in myself as well as in my residents.

Tell us three things about you that others may not know:

  • I had never been to the Midwest before I did my fellowship training in Iowa and had never been to Nebraska before I came here to join the faculty 15 years ago.
  • I've wanted to be an ophthalmologist since I was in high school and a neuro-ophthalmologist since I was in my sophomore year of college.
  • I grew up learning French starting at age 4 and was fairly fluent by the time I was in high school. I spent a semester living in France when I was 16. I haven't spoken since I graduated high school and unfortunately have forgotten most of it, but it does help a little with understanding Spanish.

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