Page Content

Meet Our Residents

The Ophthalmology Residency draws trainees from across the U.S. and around the world. While all our trainees have a love of learning and a compassionate approach to patient care, they come from diverse backgrounds, family status, and professional and personal interests. Learn more about our current residents.

Blake Fortes, M.D.

Blake Fortes, M.D.

What is something you love most about this program?

The incredible diversity and complexity of pathology that residents see in their clinics daily is unmatched. Whether it’s on call, in the emergency resident-run clinic, or in faculty clinics, residents manage a wide variety of intellectually stimulating cases alongside faculty in every subspecialty of ophthalmology, ensuring excellent exposure and training for the rest of our careers. In addition, our longitudinal continuity clinics enable us to take full responsibility of our patients and truly learn the subsequent management of conditions, not just the initial diagnosis. This residency provided me with the tools I need to take care of any patient I encounter in the future.

Marybeth Farazdaghi, M.D.

Marybeth Farazdaghi, M.D.

What is something you love most about this program?

I love having the opportunity to truly serve as a patient's primary eye care provider. The Ophthalmology Residency at Mayo Clinic is unique in that it offers trainees the opportunity to manage all aspects of a patient's care, from longitudinal clinical follow-up to surgical treatment. The relationships developed and lessons learned are invaluable. 

Class of 2023

Marybeth Farazdaghi, M.D.

Marybeth Farazdaghi, M.D.

Hometown: Boyertown, PA

Medical school: University of Pennsylvania-Perelman School of Medicine

Hobbies/interests: I am a classically trained pianist and singer; I enjoy hiking, yoga, gardening, and spending time with my husband, daughter, and cat. My spouse, Armin, is a resident in Vascular Surgery.

Blake Fortes, M.D.

Blake Fortes, M.D.

Hometown: Miami, FL

Medical school: Florida International University

Hobbies/interests: My hobbies include playing the drums, jogging, weight lifting, gardening, and outdoor activities.

Ali Salman, M.D.

Ali Salman, M.D.

Hometown: Baghdad, Iraq

Medical school: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

Hobbies/interests: In my free time, I enjoy soccer, cars, travel, geography, and carpentry. I am fluent in Arabic and speak at a beginner/intermediate level of Spanish. 

Saumya Shah, M.D.

Saumya Shah, M.D.

Hometown: Riverside, CA

Medical school: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine

Hobbies/interests: I enjoy cooking fusion dishes, hiking, reading, and Asian Indian classical singing and performing. I am also a novice barista by experimenting with new espresso drinks.

Class of 2024

Clara Castillejo Becerra, M.D., M.S.

Clara Castillejo Becerra, M.D., M.S.

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Medical school: Ohio State University College of Medicine

Hobbies/interests: My hobbies include Latin dancing, yoga, strength training, and reading. I also enjoy traveling all over the world. I have been to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Costa Rica, Jamaica, India, Robe, Prague, and Paris.

Heidi Dahl, M.D.

Heidi Dahl, M.D.

Hometown: Orem, UT

Medical school: East Tennessee State University Medical School

Hobbies/interests: My hobbies include running and hiking with my family, international medical aid trips, travel, cooking, and baking.

Tyler Kaplan, M.D.

Tyler Kaplan, M.D.

Hometown: Riverwoods, IL

Medical school: Chicago Medical School

Hobbies/interests: My outside interests include hot boxing, trying dark chocolates from different countries, and collecting Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.

Prashant Tailor, M.D.

Prashant Tailor, M.D.

Hometown: Cordele, GA

Medical school: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

Hobbies/interests: My hobbies include running, reading, algorithmic and options trading, basketball, and skiing.

Class of 2025

Haley D'Souza, M.D.

Haley D'Souza, M.D.

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

Medical school: Eastern Virginia Medical School

Hobbies/interests: My interests include golf, photography, board games, trivia, sailing, SCUBA diving, and origami.

Piotr Kopinski, M.D., Ph.D.

Piotr Kopinski, M.D., Ph.D.

Hometown: Krakow, Poland

Medical school: University of Pennsylvania – Perelman School of Medicine

Hobbies/interests: I love music, playing the piano, composing, and orchestra conducting. I am also a fan of winter sports, including downhill and cross country skiing.

Jessica Kraker, M.D., M.S.

Jessica Kraker, M.D., M.S.

Hometown: Plymouth, MN

Medical school: Medical College of Wisconsin

Hobbies/interests: I love hanging out with friends and family, playing soccer, kickboxing, hiking, camping, going to concerts, making spicy food, drinking coffee, trying craft beer, reading, and watching psychological thrillers and documentaries.

Timothy Xu, M.D.

Timothy Xu, M.D.

Hometown: Livingston, NJ

Medical school: Mayo Medical School

Hobbies/interests: My hobbies include tennis, volleyball, high-intensity interval training (Insanity), fencing, and spending time with dogs. 

Integrated PGY-1 Residents - Class of 2026

Grayson Ashby, M.D.

Grayson Ashby, M.D.

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Medical school: Furman University

Hobbies/interests: My interests include fly fishing, disc golf, gardening, cooking new recipes with my wife, and hanging out with our two cats.

Why Mayo Clinic?

Mayo Clinic offers a phenomenal breadth and depth of opportunities with support to pursue your individual path, but to me, Mayo is most remarkable because it is a values-driven organization that demonstrates daily the importance of putting the needs of our patients first. I can't imagine a better place to learn to care for others through medicine.

Robert Funk, M.D.

Tyler Bahr, M.D.

Hometown: Houston, TX

Medical school: UT Health San Antonio

Hobbies/interests: Cycling, distance running, swimming, triathlons, hiking, camping, kayaking, board games, a capella singing, playing the piano and organ, and enjoying family time with my wife and two boys.

Why Mayo Clinic?

Family-friendly community, unparalleled focus on patient-centered care, a workplace culture of kindness and respect, beautiful facilities with inspiring art and architecture, and the unique opportunity to be trained in a medical center with international reputation that serves patients with the most complex cases from around the world. 

Darrell Kohli, M.D.

Darrell Kohli, M.D.

Hometown: Rapid River, MI

Medical school: Michigan State University - College of Human Medicine

Hobbies/interests: I enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities including fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping. I also enjoy staying active, which includes weightlifting, biking, and skiing.

Why Mayo Clinic?

The collegial, team-oriented, and innovative culture at Mayo Clinic quickly became evident to me and is the main reason I desire to train here. The educational environment here at Mayo is special and something I knew I wanted to become a part of. 

Vishal Swaminathan, M.D.

Vishal Swaminathan, M.D.

Hometown: San Ramon, CA

Medical school: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Hobbies/interests: I enjoy baking, playing board games, and listening to true crime podcasts in my free time. I also am a fan of stand-up comedy and an avid traveler, visiting new countries with my friends and family whenever possible!

Why Mayo Clinic?

Mayo Clinic is consistently at the forefront of innovation and patient care, providing a wonderful environment for trainees to become the best physicians they can be. I am supported by an incredible group of mentors and peers who support my future goals in medicine and encourage me to reach my full potential.