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Residency in Ocular Disease, with Emphasis in Primary Care Optometry

Basic Information

Category Title: Ocular Disease
Program Area of Emphasis: Primary Care Optometry
Program Site: Salem VA Medical Center
Program Location: VA
Program Address: 1970 Roanoke Boulevard

Salem, Virginia 24153
Phone Number: 540-982-2463, ext 2829
Fax Number: 540-224-1922
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: 01/2002
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 Salem VAMC Primary Care Optometry Residency is to prepare optometrists for the provision of comprehensive primary optometric care for the adult patient by providing post-graduate clinical experience and facilitating clinical acumen beyond that attained in the Doctor of Optometry program via the enhancement of diagnostic and management skill, experience in collaborative management of systemic disease in a multidisciplinary setting, and the provision of post-graduate didactic and scholarly education program.

Program Description:

GOAL 1:  Enhance the resident’s examination skills in optometric primary care.

GOAL 2: Strengthen the resident’s expertise in the diagnosis and management of refractive, physiological and pathological conditions: of the eye and adnexa.

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 skills 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: 2
Program Starting Date: July 1
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

The resident works on a compressed schedule totalling 80 hours in a 2 week period. The official tour of duty for each resident spans from 7:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m Monday through Thursday, and from 7:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the Fridays that the resident is scheduld to work. The final patient is scheduled 90 minutes before the end of the tour of duty, which leave stime for documentation of the day's charts. Patients are escheduled every half-hour from 7:30 a.m. through 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. through 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, patients are scheduled every half-hour from 1:00 p.m. through 3:30 p.m. because clinics are blocked for the scholastic and didactic education program in the morning. On Friday, the resident attends med ical grand rounds from 7:45 a.m. through 9:00 a.m. Patients are then scheduled every half-hour from 9:00 a.m. through 11:00 a.m. and from 1 :00 p.m. through 2:30 p.m.

Requirements for Completion:

A.  The resident is required to deliver clinical services at a level that is satisfactory to the Residency Supervisor, the Director of Residency Programs, and the SCO and Salem VAMC administrations.  The resident's on-duty hours are from 7 :15 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. Monday through Thursday, 7:15 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on alternate Fridays, with the resident off-duty every other Friday. The resident is expected to be present in the clinic during all scheduled working hours, except when attending or delivering lectures or doing study or research. The resident may be required to be on-call for the clinic on evenings or weekends when ophthalmology staff are unavaialble or at the discretion of the program supervisor.

B.  The resident is required to keep a record of patient contacts.  The Supervisor of the Residency Program, and the Director of Residency Programs will review cases periodically.

C.  The resident is required to write a publication quality paper based on original research, literature review, or a clinical case.

D.  The resident will be required to deliver an oral presentation at the annual Resident Weekend, held on the campus at SCO.

E.  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 Salem VAMC.

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

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 Salem VAMC or those set forth by Southern College of Optometry, 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: $34,979.00 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: Alicia M Greene, Residency Supervisor
Telephone: 540-982-2463, ext. 2829
Fax: 940-224-1922
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

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