Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Ophthalmology

Educational Leaders: Mirza and Pyatetsky Take On New Roles, Heidel Named Education Coordinator

The department is happy to join in congratulating and celebrating recent prestigious appointments for our educational leaders. Dr. Dmitry Pyatetsky, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Residency Program Director, was selected to be a member of the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) of McGaw Medical Center.  Dr. Pyatetsky was picked from residency program directors in all specialties here at Northwestern and cited specifically for his exemplary performance as an educational leader. Dr. Pyatetsky was felt to be specifically qualified due to his experience with the Next Accreditation System (NAS).  This is a bold initiative set forth by the ACGME with the development of the Milestone Project.  

Pyatetsky and the Assistant Program Director, Christopher Chambers have also made significant changes in Northwestern’s Ophthalmology Residency over the past academic year.  The highlights of these changes include focused single specialty rotations, elective time of our PGY3 residents and the introduction of problem based learning methodology into the didactic curriculum.  Pyatetsky is also leading the effort as the Department is an ACGME “test site” for the introduction of the Next Accreditation System as we formally introduce the milestone methodology for evaluating our residents and their progress.


Dr. Rukhsana Mirza, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology was recently appointed as Co-leader of the Head and Neck Module for the new Feinberg School of Medicine curriculum.  The curriculum seeks to combine basic science lectures and clinical experiences facilitating the linkage of the important basic science to clinical topics.  The new Head and Neck module includes a number of educational innovations that Dr. Mirza along with Feinberg educational leaders have developed.  These include plenary sessions, case-based learning with individual faculty members, and focused clinical experiences.  Dr. Mirza’s leadership of this module this past month led to rave reviews by students and educational leaders alike.  Her involvement will hopefully continue to provide Ophthalmology an opportunity to have an important seat at the table when curricula decisions are made going forward. At the same time it provides students with an early exposure to the field and it has given Mirza a great opportunity to innovate in this important arena. This synthesis of basic science and clinical medicine is the anchoring theme of Feinberg’s new curriculum.


Finally, Drs. Pyatetsky and Mirza, along with the fellowship directors welcome a new Educational Coordinator.  Kristy Heidel who has worked in the Department for the past two years has been selected to be the lead administrator facilitating our educational activities.