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Residency in Refractive and Ocular Surgery and Ocular Disease

Basic Information

Category Title: Ocular Disease
Program Area of Emphasis: Refractive and Ocular Surgery
Program Site: Woolfson Eye Institute
Program Location: Private Clinic
Program Address: 800 Mount Vernon Hwy.
Suite 130
Atlanta, Georgia 30328
Phone Number: 770-804-1684
Fax Number: 404-237-6002
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: 01/2008
Accreditation Status: Accredited

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

Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

The Residency Program in Refractive and Ocular Surgery/Ocular Disease at Woolfson Eye Institute provides graduate optometrists with advanced competency in eye care in the areas of co-management of refractive surgery, ocular surgery and ocular disease through education and patient care.

Program Description:

Goal 1: Expand the resident's knowledge in the evaluation and management of refractive surgery patients.

Goal 2: Expand the resident's knowledge in the evaluation and management of cataract surgery patients.

Goal 3: Strengthen the resident's expertise in the diagnosis and management of ocular disease.

Goal 4: Expand the resident's knowledge of specialized diagnostic procedures and instrumentation.

Goal 5: Increase the resident's knowledge of systemic diseases and their treatment.

Goal 6: Develop the resident's skill in presenting topics to fellow professionals.

Goal 7: Instill in the resident an appreciation of the importance of scholarly activity.



Program Length: 1 year
Number of Positions Available in Program: 4
Program Starting Date: July 1
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

Monday - full clinic in refractive surgery with Dr. Spetalnick Tuesday - full clinic with corneal referral ophthalmologist Wednesday - full clinic with cataract and IOL specialist Thursday - full clinic with retina/glaucoma specialist Friday - full clinic with laser refractive surgeon. Residents will have on-call responsibility 9 times during the residency year. On-call responsibility will be instituted after the first full month of the program and after the residents have been deemed clinically competent to assume this duty as determined by the Program Supervisor and WEI MDs. On-call responsibilities will be supervised by the attending OD/MD. Please see WEI's Written Supervision Policy.

Requirements for Completion:

A.  The resident is required to deliver clinical services at a level that is satisfactory to the Residency Supervisor of WEI as well as the Director of Residency Programs, and the administration of SCO. The resident's schedule on a typical week may be as follows (this is an example only):

Monday: Full clinic in refractive surgery center with preceptor, Tom Spetalnick, OD. Typical patients include those seeking refractive surgery and those suffering from ocular complications (acute and chronic) of refractive surgery. Initial comprehensive examination includes topography, pachymetry, and refraction on all exams, as well as follow-up visits. Typical load: 30-40 patients/day.

Tuesday: Full clinic with corneal referral ophthalmologist, Milan Patel, MD. Patients include those seeking consultations for refractive surgery and those referred to center for corneal or other ocular pathology. Typical load: 30-40 patients/day.

Wednesday: Full clinic with cataract and IOL specialist, Andy Shatz, MD. Typical patients will include cataract and elective IOL candidates and IOL post-ops, as well as IOL complications.

Thursday: Full clinic with Retinal/Glaucoma referral ophthalmologist, Brian Salmenson, MD. Typical patients include diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, and other retinal pathology, as well as initial and follow-up glaucoma cases. Typical load: 30-40 patients/day.

Friday: Full clinic with Jonathan Woolfson, MD for laser refractive surgery. Typical patients will be those scheduled for LASIK or PRK procedures. Typical load: 20-30 patients/day.

B.  The resident will be required to keep a record of patient contacts.  The Residency Supervisor and the Director of the Residency Programs at SCO will periodically review patient contacts. 

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 assist in the continuing education programs provided at WEI.

F.  The resident will be expected to perform in a professional manner in the delivery of patient care services and to observe the proprieties of conduct and courtesies that are consistent with the rules and regulations governing WEI. 

G. The resident will be required to participate in and complete the requirements set forth in the curriculum.

H.  The Residency Supervisor and the Director of the Residency Program wil recommend the granting of certification to the resident through the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern College of Optometry upon successful completion of the residenty program at WEI.

H.  Any resident accepted for training can be dismissed by WEI, without receiving a certificate of completion, for infractions of the rules and regulations of Woolfson Eye Institute or those set forth by 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: $37,500.00 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: Tom Spetalnick, Residency Supervisor
Telephone: 770-804-1684
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 38014, 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.

Program Application Deadline: January 30

Additional Comments