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Primary Eye Care / Ocular Disease (Minor)

Basic Information

Category Title: Primary Care Optometry
Program Area of Emphasis:
Program Site: Kaiser Permanente - Tacoma, WA
Program Location: Other
Program Address: Kaiser Permanente Tacoma Eye Care Center
5821 Sprague St.
Tacoma, Washington 98409
Phone Number: 253.396.4256
Fax Number:
Affiliation: Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University
Director of Residency Education:

Judy Tong, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Program Application Deadline: February 1st
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 08/2009
Accreditation Status: Accredited

Click here for more information about accreditation of optometric residency programs.

Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

As a primary health care provider, optometric physicians serve as an entry point to the health care system. This program seeks to provide the optometry resident with the experience, skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to work effectively as an integral part of a patient’s multidisciplinary health care team.

The resident will receive advanced clinical training and experience in the diagnosis and management of ocular health and visual function, as well as the ophthalmic manifestations of systemic disease and medications. The resident will gain knowledge, interactive skills, and experience in communicating effectively with other health care professionals, as well as the lay public; and, the resident will develop an appreciation of the patient as an individual faced with multiple life and health care challenges

Program Description:

Program Goals

  1. To enhance the resident’s clinical experience in primary and secondary optometric care.

  2. To enhance the resident’s skill set in primary and secondary optometric care.

  3. To expand the resident’s skills, experience, and knowledge base in ocular disease detection, diagnosis, management, as well as ocular manifestation of systemic disorders and medications.

  4. The resident will participate as a member of a multidisciplinary health care team; gain exposure to and develop interactive skills with non-ophthalmic health care disciplines; recognize the importance of a multidisciplinary, coordinated approach to health care delivery; and, develop an appreciation of the patient as an individual faced with multiple life and health care challenges.

  5. To develop the resident’s interests and abilities in scholarly activity and lifelong learning.

Program Objectives

  1. The resident will experience numerous direct patient care encounters consisting of primary and secondary eye care.

  2. Provide the resident with complex and challenging cases that present in a large multidisciplinary setting.

  3. The resident will participate in weekly literature review sessions with a member of the faculty, as well as quarterly case presentations. 

  4. The resident will develop an understanding of and ability to work with other health disciplines outside of eye care.

  5. The resident will appropriately and effectively utilize technology and incorporate it into patient care. 

  6. The resident will develop an understanding of the various ophthalmologic specialties and surgeries.

  7. The resident will develop a comprehensive understanding of interdisciplinary health care.

  8. The resident will develop an understanding of support services available within a complex medical system.

  9. The resident will meet the SCCO and MBKU mandated deadlines and requirements.

  10. The faculty will instruct and advise the resident in clinical presentations.

  11. The resident will develop interests in and experience elements of an optometric educator.

Program Length:
Number of Positions Available in Program: 1
Program Starting Date: First week of August
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

The usual weekly hours of the resident's attendance will be Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., with one hour for lunch time. The resident is required to remain until all patient care activities are concluded, which rarely extends beyond an additional hour.

Four weeks of after-hours call (evenings, weekends, and possible holidays) with supervisory staff will be required as part of the residency experience, with one week during each quarter of the program. Each after-hours call week commences at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and extends to 8:00 p.m. the following Friday. During that time, the resident is required to be available by phone and pager, and in-clinic if needed, for urgent consultations and acute ophthalmic care. Choice of call weeks is negotiable.

A typical monthly schedule may resemble the following:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Primary and contact lens care Ophthalmology rotation Patient care, and rounding Primary care and administrative time Primary and contact lens care
Primary and contact lens care Primary and contact lens care Medicine rotation (e.g. neuro, derm, etc.) Primary care and administrative time Primary and contact lens care
Primary and contact lens care Primary and contact lens care Medicine rotation (e.g. neuro, derm, etc.) Primary care and administrative time Primary and contact lens care
Primary and contact lens care Primary and contact lens care Ophthalmology rotation Primary care and administrative time Primary and contact lens care

Faculty have time held each clinic day to support the resident and to engage in discussion about cases. From these discussions, the resident may be assigned a topic to research and present at a later date, or asked to review a relevant journal article. Once a week a one hour session is scheduled with a faculty member for literature review and case discussion.

Requirements for Completion:

  1. A minimum of 1200 patient encounters have occurred.

  2. 25 hours of continuing education have been completed.

  3. The resident continuing education presentation has been completed, which usually occurs in March. Quarterly rounds presentations will also have been completed.

  4. The publishable quality case report or research paper is complete and approved by the residency coordinator.

  5. At least one presentation to a non-eye care forum is completed.

  6. Assigned rotations to various providers have been completed.

  7. Four weeks 'on call' have been completed.

  8. All administrative criteria are met: Criteria includes: All patient care and curriculum requirements, all reporting requirements including log sheets and final evaluation, approved final version of case report or research project, proof of returned resources including loaned equipment multi-media and library loans

Program Salary/Stipend: $34,393.44
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Health Coverage

Professional Liability Insurance


Paid Sick Leave

Travel Allowance

Other: Professional Dues
Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: No

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: Candy Cristieen Arias Ceja, Residency Director
Telephone: 253.396.4256
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

Eligibility Criteria and Application Process

  • Attainment of the OD degree from a school or college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association.

  • Successful completion of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO).

  • Applicants must satisfy all requirements to allow for Washington State optometric licensure. This includes successful completion of NBEO Part III and passing the Washington State Board of Optometry Law Exam.

  • Applicants must submit 3 letters of reference from faculty members responsible for their clinical education. Letters may include the form included in the website or free form and may be electronically transmitted.

  • A personal interview is required.

  • Applicants chosen for the program will need to submit formal application materials for employment by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington/Washington Permanente Medical Group.

Applications are made through the National Matching Service, NMS. Match ranking will be made a week before the match deadline.

On or before February 1 of the residency year, applicants should have on file with the Optometry Residency Program Director (Dr. Candy Arias Ceja):

  1. A current curriculum vitae (CV).

  2. A one-page letter of intent, discussing the reasons for pursuing residency training, in general, and this program, in particular; expectations from the residency experience; any interested areas of specialization; and, future professional goals.

  3. Official transcripts of work completed in professional school.

  4. NBEO transcripts of completed sections.

  5. Letters of recommendation from three faculty members closely acquainted with the applicant's clinical proficiency.

All prospective applicants are welcome to visit the clinic on an informal basis. Candidates with completed applications may be invited by the Residency Admissions Committee for a formal interview. All formal interviews will be held by invitation only in January and February.

All residency applicants will be evaluated without regard to sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, age, national origin or non-disqualifying physical disabilities

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

Once all the application materials have been received and the interview has been conducted, the team at Kaiser Permanente – Tacoma begins their selection process. The following elements are taken into consideration:

  • Statement of Interest (10%)

  • Curriculum Vitae (10%)

  • Letter of Recommendation (10%)

  • GPA, Grade Point Average (15%)

  • NBEO, National Board Scores (15%)

  • Interview (40%)

Each of the above elements are weighted as indicated above with the Statement of Interest, Curriculum Vitae, and Letter of Interest all receiving a 10% weighting; GPA and NBEO scores each receiving a 15% weighting; and the interview is most heavily weighted at 40%. Competitive candidates will have at least a 3.0 GPA. Principle faculty members and the current resident independently assess and rank each applicant. The residency coordinator collects and compiles the final ranking. A group meeting is held to reconcile any differences. The final ranking is then submitted to ORMatch before the match date.

Program Application Deadline: February 1st

Additional Comments