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Residency in Ocular Disease

Basic Information

Category Title: Ocular Disease
Program Area of Emphasis:
Program Site: W.G. (Bill) Hefner VAMC
Program Location: VA
Program Address: 1601 Brenner Avenue
Salisbury, North Carolina 28144
Phone Number: 704-638-9000, ext. 13783
Fax Number: 704-645-6020
Affiliation: Southern College of Optometry
Director of Residency Education:

Cheryl E. Mengelt, O.D.

Program Application Deadline: January 30
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 01/1997
Accreditation Status: Accredited

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

Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

The mission of the residency is to develop the residents' advanced clinical competency in ocular disease by providing post-graduate clinical experience beyond that provided in the Doctor of Optometry program.

Program Description:

Goal 1: Enhance the resident's skills in optometric primary care

Goal 2: Strengthen the resident's expertise in the diagnosis and management of ocular disease.

Goal 3: Expand the resident's knowledge of specialized diagnostic instrumentation.

Goal 4: Increase the resident's knowledge of systemic diseases and their treatment.

Goal 5: Develop the resident's skill in presenting topics to fellow professionals.

Goal 6: Instill in the resident an appreciation of the importance of scholarly activity.



Program Length: 1 year
Number of Positions Available in Program: 7
Program Starting Date: July 1
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

Each resident works an 80-hour tour every two weeks.  The current tour is 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There are no required on-call hours, but with prior notice may occasionally be asked to take call (e.g., for inpatients admitted with an ocular diagnosis)

Requirements for Completion:

A.  The resident is required to deliver clinical services at a level that is satisfactory to the VA  Residency Supervisor, the Director of Residency Programs, and the SCO and Hefner VAMC administrations. Normal resident clinic hours are from 8:00 A.M. until patient care is completed, usually around 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday. The resident is expected to be present for assigned clinical sessions, except when attending conferences or undertaking other approved scholastic activities. The resident will not be required to be on call on a regular basis, but with prior notice may occasionally be asked to take call (e.g., for inpatients admitted with an ocular diagnosis). 

B.  The resident is required to write a publication quality paper or to complete an original research project as approved by the Supervisor.

C.  The resident is required to keep a record of patient contacts.  Cases will be reviewed periodically by the Supervisor of the Residency Program, and the Director of Residency Programs.

D.  The resident is 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 W.G. (Bill) Hefner VAMC.

E.  The resident is required to participate in and complete the requirements set forth in the curriculum.

F.  The resident is required to deliver an oral presentation at the annual Resident Weekend, held on the campus at SCO.

G.  Upon successful completion of the Residency Program, the Residency Supervisor and the Director of Residency Programs will recommend the granting of certification to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

H. Any resident accepted for training can be dismissed, without receiving a certificate of completion, for infractions of the rules and regulations of the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VAMC or those set forth by Southern College of Optometry, or for any action which jeopardizes the safety of patients, personnel, or physical facilities.

A resident rotating through a hospital based (or similar) residency program must adhere to all facility policies and procedures, including but not limited to, receiving all required immunizations or showing appropriate medical documentation that he/she is in full medical compliance with required immunizations.  In addition, if a resident cannot receive a flu or similar immunization due to potential allergic reaction, medical documentation must be made available to the Program Supervisor prior to the program's start date.  A resident should receive the required immunizations provided by the facility when appropriate.  Otherwise, any costs incurred will be the resident's responsibility.  Any grievances should be submitted in writing to SCO's Director for Residency Programs utilizing the procedures found in the Residency Handbook.


Program Salary/Stipend: $34,888.00 Compensation is not contingent upon productivity of the resident.
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Health Coverage

Professional Liability Insurance


Paid Sick Leave

Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: Yes

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: Jeffrey T. Joy, Residency Supervisor
Telephone: 704-638-9000 ext 13783
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

Cheryl E. Mengelt, O.D., Director of Residency Programs, Southern College of Optometry, 1245 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104, 901-722-3201 901-722-3244 (fax)

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

A.  All applicants must complete the SCO application online at All applicants must complete the Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch), and provide all required supporting documentation by the deadline of January 30 to be considered for an SCO program.

  1. You must have already passed NBEO Part I, II and TMOD in order to apply to one of our programs through ORMatch.

  2. You must have passed NBEO Part III and ISE (if applicable) in order to begin an SCO affiliated residency program. 

  3. Those applying to a VA hospital or a state that does not require TMOD to obtain licensure are an exception if TMOD is not passed on first attempt.

B. Applicant must have earned an O.D. degree, or will have earned such a degree by the time of matriculation from a school/college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education. 

C. Applicant will furnish a transcript to ORMatch from his/her school/college of optometry. 

D. Applicant must pass all parts of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry examinations required for state licensure. If accepted, the resident is expected to obtain the appropriate state license.

E. A personal interview will be required. 

F. The College affirms that no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity at or affiliated with Southern College of Optometry on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, disability, or national origin.



United States citizenship is required to qualify for VHA appointment in a paid VA optometry resident position funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations. Reference: VA Handbook 5005/57, Part II, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3.g.(1) & (5)(c), dated June 14, 2012.
Program Application Deadline: January 30

Additional Comments

Key Contacts: Jeffrey T. Joy, OD, Residency Supervisor

704-638-9000, extension 13783

Email is: