RESIDENCY IN OCULAR DISEASE / LOW VISION REHABILITATION
Veterans Affairs Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center
(VALAACC), Los Angeles, California
Coordinator: Chang Kim, O.D.
A Cooperative Program between the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) and the VA Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center (VALAACC).
The Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Health Care System in their dedication to the advancement of clinical optometric education, have jointly developed a one-year residency program in Ocular Disease and Low Vision Rehabilitation. The fundamental mission of this training program is to provide qualified post-doctoral optometric practitioners with an outstanding educational and clinical experience in the area of Ocular Disease and Low Vision Rehabilitation while nurturing their development into exceptional, caring optometric clinicians and educators with additional specialized skills.
- To train optometrists who wish to specialize in vision rehabilitation of the partially sighted and the care of geriatric population.
- To develop the resident's expertise in the diagnostic skills and management of the partially sighted.
- To develop the resident’s expertise in the diagnosis and management of ocular disease.
- To develop the resident’s abilities in research and oral presentation skills so that he or she can become an effective educator.
- To enhance the resident’s clinical proficiency and competency in the care of low vision and geriatric patients through management of wide variety of cases.
- To further develop experience and proficiency of the resident in managing low vision patients whose vision loss emanates from various ocular and systemic disease processes.
- To develop the resident’s understanding of the interrelationship of the role of optometry, medicine, psychology and education, which contribute to the successful rehabilitation of partially sighted and blind patients.
- To further develop the resident’s ability to diagnose and manage ocular disease and ocular manifestations of systemic disease through effective interaction and consultation with experienced optometric and medical personnel.
- To develop the resident’s research abilities by learning critical thinking, ability to conduct clinical research and prepare manuscripts for publication.
Activities the resident will perform at the VA Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center (VA LAACC) to accomplish the objectives in part will include:
- The resident will examine large variety of patients with subnormal vision and evaluate their need for various low vision devices, which will aid in enhancing patients’ daily living skills.
- The resident will examine and observe large variety of patients with varying degree of vision loss attributable to different systemic and ocular etiologies.
- Resident acts as liaison with VA Vision Impairment Service Team (VIST) coordinator through weekly meetings to discuss the outcome of the patient evaluation, recommended treatment plans and enrollment of patient in appropriate social and educational programs.
- The resident is encouraged to consult and interact freely with the chief of optometric service as well as attending ophthalmologists to enhance the learning environment. The resident also participates in the Optometric Grand Rounds Workshops presented at the Sepulveda and West Los Angeles VA Medical Centers.
- Provide clinical instruction to fourth year SCCO students in rehabilitative optometry, under the supervision of licensed faculty members.
- Resident will formulate and lead bi-weekly case and topic discussion for optometry students assigned to LAACC.
- The resident will develop an original research project or submit a case report manuscript of publishable quality.
- Resident will gain working knowledge of medical primary care service provided at VA LAACC by being assigned to work with primary care attending (MD) one half day a week during 3rd quarter of the residency program. There is a plan to expand this extended multi-disciplinary medical experience with dermatology, ENT and neurology to be added to 4th quarter of residency program.
In addition, the objective will be achieved in part by the resident performing the following activities relating to the College:
- Providing instruction in vision rehabilitation to SCCO fourth year students at the Optometric Center of Los Angeles, under supervision of licensed faculty members.
- Participate in the Residency Forum presentation to 4th year SCCO students, which is held at the College.
- Prepare patient logs and quarterly evaluations for the Director of External Programs and the LAACC Chief of the Optometry Clinic, reviewing the resident's activities toward accomplishing the programs stated objectives.
Eye Clinic Facility
- VA LAACC Eye Clinic is located on the 3rd floor of the clinic. While optometry and ophthalmology work side by side, optometry maintains its professional autonomy and is administratively independent of ophthalmology. The Eye Clinic equipment and arrangement includes the following:
- Five Optometric examination lanes
- Four Ophthalmologic examination lanes
- Low Vision exam lane/LV Optometrist's office
- Three visual field instruments (2 HFA 750i, 1 Goldmann perimeter) shared among optometry and ophthalmology
- A/B ultrasound
- Zeiss IOLMaster
- Topcon digital fundus imaging system
- Zeiss corneal topographer
- Heidelberg Spectralis OCT
- Zeiss/Lumenis Argon Laser
Type and Number of Patients
The program emphasizes low vision rehabilitation and ocular & systemic disease management, and interdisciplinary health care. Our patients tend to have multiple complex, inter-related health problems; it is quite common to see the ophthalmic manifestations of systemic diseases and ocular toxicity from long-term systemic medications.
Our patients often have common chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and COPD. There are many patients with a history of drug & alcohol abuse, stroke, PTSD, neoplasia, seizure disorder, dementia, multiple sclerosis, etc.
We have full therapeutic drug prescribing, laboratory, and radiology clinical privileges. As part of an inter-disciplinary healthcare team, we often receive consultations from other clinics and we often discover systemic problems which require consultation to other specialties. We have good working relationships with several other disciplines.
Resident is required to have a minimum total of 600 patient encounters to earn the residency certificate. The number of patient encounters per day varies depending on the day’s scheduled activities, including number of low vision examinations which typically are more time consuming, but resident may typically see between 8-10 patients per day.
Length of Residency
The residency will be one calendar year in length, beginning July 1 continuous through June 30.
For 2012-2013, the optometry resident is paid an annual stipend of $35,605. The stipend is determined by VA Central Office and is subject to review once every two years. Any changes mandated by VACO will be implemented by the WLAVA. Paychecks are deposited via Direct Deposit biweekly.
|Health||Health insurance is available.|
|Holidays||All federal holidays are observed by the Eyecare Center (Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day).|
|Educational Travel||"Authorized absence" is granted for attendance at the American Academy of Optometry meeting in October or equivalent national professional meeting. A travel stipend is provided by SCCO from monies generated by attendance at the Grand Rounds Clinical Education program by private practitioners.|
|Vacation||Residents accrue 4 hours of "annual leave" (vacation) and 4 hours of sick leave per 2-week pay period. Annual leave must be taken at times that it would not interfere with patient care or educational activities. No vacation leave is granted during the last 2 weeks of the program in June.|
|Liability||Liability coverage is provided for care of veterans and nonveteran employees referred by Administrative Medicine for eyecare. Liability coverage does not include care provided through “moonlighting.”|
|Continuing Education||Residents earn over 120 continuing education credit for attendance at Optometry Clinical Seminars.|
The VA has numerous ophthalmic, primary care, and healthcare specialty online journal and textbook subscriptions.
The VA has a medical library that can obtain print copies of articles by request.
The SCCO Library provides a journal service to residents: it provides up to 5 articles per month per resident on request. Remote access to journals is also available.
Local university libraries are open to the public.
- One must have received an O.D. degree from an accredited school or college of optometry by the time the program begins on July 1.
- One must pass Parts I and II of the NBEO and the TMOD prior to the ORMATCH matching deadline (usually the first Friday in March each year)
- NBEO III and state licensure (in any state, not necessarily California) must be passed prior to or during the residency year.
- U.S. citizenship is required. Immigrants must provide proof of US Citizenship prior to the application deadline in February.
- An interview prior to the ORMATCH application deadline is required. In-person interview is strongly encouraged, but an interview may be conducted by telephone if the candidate is unable to interview in person.
- Although not formally required, computer skills are critical for daily activities in our setting (medication prescriptions, progress notes, laboratory & radiology requests, consults, etc., are entered by computer into electronic records).
- Experience at a VA facility is quite helpful but not required for application.
VA LAACC Application Process and Documents
- ORMATCH application is to be submitted at www.optometryresident.org.
- A letter of intent and Curriculum Vitae must be mailed (e-mail, surface mail, or FAX) to the Program Coordinator
- For application, NBEO scores must be sent to the Program Coordinator by surface mail, e-mail, or FAX.
- Official optometry school transcripts must be sent by surface mail to the Program Coordinator at the VA LAACC.
- Three letters of reference are required from optometry school/college faculty member who have been most responsible for the clinical education of the applicant. These must be sent directly from the writer to the Program Coordinator by surface mail or printable e-mail attachment.
- An interview in person or by telephone is required prior to the application deadline.
VA LAACC Optometry Resident Selection / Ranking Process
Only eligible candidates who have met all program prerequisites and who have completed the entire application process including interview will be considered for ORMATCH (Optometry Residency Matching System) ranking. Eligible applicants are afforded a review without discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or any other applicable legally protected status.
Criteria for Completion of Residency
- The resident is required to keep a detailed log of all program activities, which will be reviewed by the SCCO Dean of Academic Affairs, the Director for External Programs, and the Chief of VA LAACC Optometry Section.
- The resident is required to deliver patient care services at a level satisfactory to those responsible for the supervision of the residency program.
- The resident is required to write a paper based upon original research, literature review, or a clinical case suitable for publication in a refereed optometric journal.
- The resident will be expected to perform in a professional manner in the delivery of patient care services and to observe those proprieties of conduct and courtesies that are consistent with the rules and regulations governing the Department of Veterans Affairs and the College.
The resident will be apprised periodically of evaluations received from clinical faculty and informed of recommendations or suggestions made to enhance performance. Upon evidence of satisfactory performance in meeting all requirements of the program, the resident will be awarded a Certificate of Completion by SCCO and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Fully accredidated to June 2017
Housing is not provided by the VA for residents; however, due to the central downtown location and proximity to public transportation, including Union Station and several light-rail systems, resident should be able to find fairly affordable housing in cities contiguous to downtown Los Angeles.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Dr. Chang Kim
Residency Program Coordinator
VA Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center
Optometry Service MDP 112C
351 E. Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3328
Judy W.H. Tong, O.D.
Assistant Dean of Residencies
Southern California College of Optometry
2575 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-1699