Vice Chair and Ophthalmology Residency Training Program Director Announces His Retirement


Andrew T. Thliveris, MD, PhD, a 28-year veteran of the University of Wisconsin Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences has announced his retirement, effective September 30, 2023.

Andrew T Thliveris, MD, PhDDr. Thliveris currently serves as vice chair of resident education and the Veterans Affairs Hospital service chief. Dr. Thliveris completed his ophthalmology residency at the UW in 1998, followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship. He joined the faculty in 2000, then became the Veterans Affairs Hospital service chief in 2007 and vice chair of resident education and residency director in 2014 – roles he holds to this day.

“After training at UW-Madison and being honored with a faculty appointment, I can’t tell you how much each and every one of you has meant to me,” Thliveris said. “Our residents are beyond amazing, and the dedication from the faculty to our program has made short work for our education team. We have a very proud tradition here and are poised to continue for generations to come.”

Dr. Thliveris trained countless physicians – including many of the department’s own faculty. In hearing the retirement news, many responded with memories of his meticulous teaching, patience, wisdom, and delightful sense of humor.

“I am beyond grateful to Andy for his role in my own training and in my recruitment back to UW-Madison,” said Evan Warner, MD. “His kindness, openness, and genuine concern for each and every colleague, trainee, and staff member has been foundational to our department culture, and it is such a privilege to be a part of it. As residency program director, he has been a ball of energy with so many ideas and such passion for seeking feedback and making things better for the residents.”

Dr. Thliveris with Ashley Lundin, MD, ophthalmology resident, 2015


“Dr. Thliveris is leaving our department with a nationally recognized residency program,” added Yasmin Bradfield, MD. “So much of that is due to his decades of unwavering dedication to our trainees and the education mission of our department, his drive to continually improve our program, and his collegiality. Personally, I am grateful for his guidance and support during my time in residency leadership many years ago. He was always a steadfast sounding board, with the bonus of his genuine Greek emotions!”

Dr. Thliveris will also be remembered for his work as director of the department’s cataract extraction phacoemulsification course. In this three-year progressive course, medical and veterinary ophthalmology residents, UW and visiting medical students, and pre-residency fellows from around the country learn the latest cataract surgical techniques.

Phaco Course Directors Andrew Thliveris, MD, PhD, Sarah Nehls, MD, and Daniel Knoch, MD. (Photo © Andy Manis)


While he is leaving some large shoes to fill, Dr. Thliveris will be transferring his responsibilities as service chief and residency director to some very capable colleagues.

Daniel Knoch, MD will assume the role of veterans affairs service chief on July 1, 2023.

“There are dozens of residents, numerous faculty, and thousands of patients that Andy has helped through his after-hours videos, toolbox approach to surgical teaching, probing questions, and high standards,” Knoch said. “The veteran’s affairs mission is vital to our educational mission, and Andy has certainly gone above and beyond leading this charge. I am honored to continue that legacy.”

Anna Momont, MD will assume the role of ophthalmology residency training program director on July 1, 2023.

“It is an honor to succeed Andy in this important role,” said Momont. “Thanks to his excellent leadership, our department has a nationally recognized, highly sought after residency program. This is due in large part to Andy’s decades of unwavering dedication to our residents and their training, as well as his commitment to the education mission of our department and his drive to continually improve the program.”

Jonathan Chang, MD will assume the position of associate ophthalmology residency training program director – the role Dr. Momont has held for the past seven years – on September 1st, 2023.

To recognize Dr. Thliveris’ lasting legacy, the department dedicated its new Surgical Skills Training Facility in his honor.  The new space, which expands the department’s training capacity by providing 10 training pods, each outfitted with state-of-the art equipment, will be instrumental in training the next generation of eyecare specialists.

Dr. Thliveris with Travis Rumery, MD, director of the new Surgical Skills Training Facility, at the ribbon cutting ceremony on April 7, 2023


“I am grateful to Andy for all of the surgical teaching he’s done,” said Heather Potter, MD. “Taking residents through their first cases is highly commendable. I thank him, too, for making the Madison VA Hospital the high-quality eye care center it is today. The contributions to the ophthalmology residency training program, including the simulator and the new wet lab, are legacies that will impact countless trainees and patients far into the future.”

“While the decision to retire was a very emotional one, it comforts me greatly to know that I am leaving things in such capable hands,” Thliveris said. “Full steam ahead.”