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Ocular Disease and Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Basic Information

Category Title: Ocular Disease
Program Area of Emphasis: Neuro-Optometry, Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Program Site: VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Program Location: VA
Program Address: VA Palo Alto Health Care System
3801 Miranda Avenue: 112/Optom
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: January 15
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 09/2013
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 Optometric Residency in Ocular Disease/Brain Injury Vision Rehabilitation at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) is twofold: 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. To provide a mentored learning environment in which residents attain advanced skills in the specialty of adult brain injury vision rehabilitation.

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


Program Description:

Primary Care Hospital-Based Optometry In the primary care setting, the resident will provide primary optometric care to a diverse population of patients including in-hospital patients, outpatients, and psychiatric patients. Types of encounters at the primary care clinics vary greatly as the various optometry clinics draw patients from different areas; some urban and some rural. Optometry clinics are located at the Palo Alto VA and Livermore VA . At the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, the resident will gain experience providing vision rehabilitation to patients with mild to severe traumatic brain injury as well as other acquired brain injuries. The encounters will emphasize diagnosis and management of binocular vision, oculomotor, and neuro-optometric conditions. Optometry is a part of the interdisciplinary team approach to rehabilitation. In addition to optometric rehabilitation, the resident will gain experience working with rehabilitation instructors in all disciplines, including neuropsychology, speech pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreational therapy, and physical medicine & rehabilitation. Working with instructors from other areas provides well rounded insight into the care of this complex patient population.

Program Length: 1 year
Number of Positions Available in Program: 1
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

Three oral case presentations as part of the Resident Lecture Series

Residency paper with approval from Program Coordinators and Residency Director

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

Submission of completed patient logs and evaluations

Favorable recommendation from the Program Coordinator

Program Salary/Stipend: $42,771
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, Chief of Optometry
Telephone: (650) 493-5000 x 68041
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title: Lee Vien, OD, FAAO, Residency Coordinator
Telephone: (650) 493-5000 x62020
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

  • Register with ORMatch of the National Matching Services

  • Provide ORMatch with NBEO scores, letter of intent, curriculum vitae, copy of optometry school transcripts, and three letters of recommendation

  • After thoroughly evaluating the applicant pool, top candidates will be invited to interview by videoconference. 

  • The program coordinators and faculty members decide which candidates to rank for the match and determine the sequential ranking of those candidates to submit to ORMatch

  • ORMatch contacts the program with the results of the match.

  • The program coordinators and the program director contact the matched candidates and confirm their intent to enroll in the residency program.

  • Matched candidates submit official optometry school transcripts to the Residency Coordinator as required by the UC Berkeley Graduate Division

NOTE: For information on nondiscrimination in federally conducted education and training programs, see VHA Directive. 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. 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:

  • US citizenship

  • Attainment of an optometry degree from an accredited optometry school (ACOE)

  • Attainment of cumulative optometry school GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale

  • Successfully passing of National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) Part I, Part II and TMOD prior to ORMatch  rank deadline

  • If male, proof of registration with Selective Service prior to 26th birthday

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 15

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