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Residency Name

Basic Information

Program Title: Residency in Vision Therapy and Low Vision Rehabilitation
Program Type: Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation
Program Area of Emphasis: Neuro-optometric Rehabilitation
Program Site: Southern College of Optometry
Program Location: School or College of Optometry
Program Address: 1225 Madison Avenue

Memphis, Tennessee 38104
Phone Number: 901-722-3273
Fax Number: 901-722-3244
Affiliation: Southern College of Optometry
Director of Residency Education:

Cheryl E. Lerma, O.D.

Program Application Deadline: January 30
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 08/2009
Accreditation Status: Accredited
Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

The Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation Optometry Residency Program at Southern College of Optometry provides qualified graduate optometrists with advanced clinical experience in the management of binocular vision disorders including vision therapy, low vision rehabilitation, acquired brain injury and developmental/behavioral aspects of vision care that will facilitate their development into exceptional clincians offering specialized skills in optometric care for low vision rehabilitation patients and persons with binocular and developmental vision impairment.

Program Description:

Goal 1: Enhance the resident’s examination skills in vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation

Goal 2: Strengthen the resident’s expertise in the diagnosis and management of vision problems in binocular, perceptual vision and low vision.

Goal 3: Expand the resident’s knowledge of specialized low vision assistive devices and non-optical low vision assistive techniques.

Goal 4:  Expand the resident’s knowledge of binocular and perceptual vision problems.

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.

Goal 7:  Provide the resident with the opportunity to become an effective clinical educator.

Goal 8: Expand the resident's health care knowledge base in the field of rehabilitative vision care.


Program Length: 53-56 weeks
Number of Positions Available in Program: 1
Program Starting Date: July 1
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

Monday - Low Vision Clinic - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Adult Primary Care - 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday - Star Center Wednesday - VT Clinic - 8:30 to 12:30; 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Low Vision Thursday - Residency Conference 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; VT - 10:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday - Academic Development - 8:30 to 12:30; Pediatric Clinic 12:30 to 6:30 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 administration.  The resident will be given a specific schedule each quarter.   Approximately 40 hours per week will be assigned. After hours on-call assignments will be made on a periodic basis. Participation in community screening activities will be required on a periodic basis.         

B.  The resident will be 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 when appropriate.

C.  The resident will be required to write a paper based on original research, literature review, or a clinical case for publication in an acceptable professional journal.

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 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 Southern College of Optometry.

F. The resident will be 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 Southern College of Optometry, or for any action that 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: $39,584.00 Compensation is not contingent upon productivity of the resident.
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Health Coverage

Professional Liability Insurance


Paid Sick Leave

Travel Allowance

Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: No

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: Paul Harris, Residency Co-supervisor
Telephone: 901-722-3273
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title: Cynthia Heard, Residency Co-supervisor
Telephone: 901-722-3265
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

Cheryl E. Lerma, O.D., Director of Residency Programs, Southern College of Optometry, 1245 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38014, 901-722-3201 901-722-3244 (fax)

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

  All applicants must complete the SCO application and return by January 30. Supporting documents should be submitted to the Director of Residency Programs of Southern College of Optometry no later than January 30. This program uses Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch). Applicants must complete the ORMatch application. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all supporting documentation is submitted to each entity involved, e.g., the College, ORMatch, and the residency site supervisor. 

  1. You must have 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 an official transcript from his/her school/college of optometry.  An applicant should have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale in the professional optometric curriculum.

D.   Applicant must pass all parts of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry examinations required for Tennessee license and furnish official transcripts when available.  If accepted, the resident is expected to obtain a Tennessee optometry license.

E.   Three letters of recommendation are required.

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.


Program Application Deadline: January 30

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