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Residency Name

Basic Information

Program Title: Primary Care Low Vision Rehabilitation
Program Type: Primary Eye Care
Program Area of Emphasis: Low Vision Rehabilitation
Program Site: VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Program Location: VA
Program Address: 3801 Miranda Avenue
Palo Alto, California
Phone Number: (650) 493-5000 x 68041
Fax Number:
Affiliation: University of California - Berkeley, School of Optometry
Director of Residency Education:

Christina S. Wilmer, OD, FAAO

Program Application Deadline: Refer to ORMatch
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 1983
Accreditation Status: Accredited
Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

The mission of the Optometric Residency in Primary Care/Low Vision Rehabilitation at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) is twofold: 1. To provide a mentored learning environment in which residents develop increased proficiency in the delivery of eye, vision, and health care to the veteran population served by VAPAHCS. 2. To provide a mentored learning environment in which residents attain advanced skills in the specialty of adult low vision rehabilitation.

This mentored educational and clinical experience prepares the optometrist for lifelong scholarship in patient care, education, and optometric leadership.

Program Description:

In the primary eye care setting, residents will provide primary optometric care to a diverse population of patients including in-hospital patients, outpatients, and psychiatric patients. The patient population is predominately middle-aged to elderly males with a high incidence of ocular disease. Types of patient encounters at the primary care clinic vary greatly and include comprehensive eye exams, low vision exams, and medically-necessary contact lens fittings. The clinics are located at the Palo Alto VA, Livermore VA, and Monterey VA.

At the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC), residents will provide full-scope low vision care in conjunction with rehabilitation instructors in all disciplines of vision rehabilitation, including visual skills, daily living skills, orientation and mobility, computer skills and manual skills. Optometry is part of the team approach to rehabilitation. Working with the instructors from other areas provides an opportunity to learn about blind and low vision rehabilitation in a multidisciplinary setting. At the WBRC, the resident has the unique opportunity to work with various low vision devices and follow a patient’s progress as frequently as desired.

Program Length: Twelve months
Number of Positions Available in Program: 3
Program Starting Date: July 1st
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

Residents are generally scheduled from 8:00am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. Urgent care patients may occasionally extend this time as needed. There are no scheduled after hours on-call duties required.

Requirements for Completion:

Complete one year of training 

Submit a poster abstract to a major optometric conference (e.g. AAO) 

Three oral case presentations as part of the Resident Lecture Series 

Residency paper with approval from Program Coordinator and Residency Director 

Submission of completed patient logs and evaluations

Favorable recommendation from the Program Coordinator

Program Salary/Stipend: $42,118
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Health Coverage

Professional Liability Insurance


Paid Sick Leave

Other: Approved leave for educational meetings; 10 paid federal holidays
Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: Yes

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: David Yang, OD, FAAO, Residency Coordinator
Telephone: (650) 493-5000 x 68041
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

Applicants are matched through ORMatch, due date for applications is January 15. All applicants must apply through and participate in the ORMatch matching program. For more information, please contact ORMatch at: NOTE: For information on nondiscrimination in federally conducted education and training programs, see VHA Directive. Please submit the following to the residency coordinator by January 15:

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Unofficial transcripts of NBEO scores

Unofficial transcripts of optometric education 

Three letters of recommendation

Brief statement regarding desire to complete this residency program.

A personal visit to the residency site for an interview is highly encouraged.

For more information or to apply to this program please contact: David Yang, OD, FAAO VA Palo Alto HCS 3801 Miranda Avenue 112/OPTOM Palo Alto, CA 94304-1290 (650) 493-5000 x68041

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

Requirements For Admission:

U.S. citizenship

An optometry degree from an accredited optometry school (ACOE)

Passage of NBEO I, II, and TMOD prior to the ORMatch match 

Men must show proof of selective service registration

Cumulative GPA 3.00 on a 4.00 scale required

Selection Procedure: The program coordinator and faculty members decide which candidates to rank for the match and determine the sequential ranking of those candidates based on the application materials, the on-site interview, and letters of recommendations. Final candidate selections are reviewed by the Residency Director. The approved list of candidates is entered on the ORMatch website. ORMatch contacts the program with the results of the match. The program coordinator will contact the matched candidates to confirm their intent to enroll in the residency program.

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: Refer to ORMatch

Additional Comments

UC Berkeley affiliated VA Optometry Residents are registered graduate students and may qualify for student loan deferral while registered in the program.