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Primary Care/Community Care Optometry

Basic Information

Category Title: Primary Care Optometry
Program Area of Emphasis: Community Health Optometry
Program Site: University of California Berkeley
Program Location: School or College of Optometry
380 Minor Hall
Berkeley, California 94720
Phone Number: 510-643-6696
Fax Number: 510-643-7111
Affiliation: University of California - Berkeley, School of Optometry
Director of Residency Education:

Kuni Kanai, OD, FAAO

Program Application Deadline: January 10, 2022
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 07/2016
Accreditation Status: Accredited

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

Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

The Optometric Residency Program at Berkeley Optometry and its affiliate programs seek to recruit and admit the best-qualified postgraduate optometrists. Our aim is to provide advanced clinical education and concentrated clinical experience in specialty areas of optometry in an institutional or hospital-based setting. This mentored educational and clinical experience will prepare optometrists for lifelong scholarship in patient care, education, and optometric leadership.

Program Description:

The specialty program in Primary Care/Community Health Care (PC/CHC) provides the resident with advanced clinical training and experience in caring for a diverse population of patients in both the primary care and community health settings. The overall goal of this residency is to produce a clinician who has exceptional skills and experience in detecting, diagnosing and managing the broad array of visual disorders encountered in patients drawn from a large primary care optometry clinic, and who also has the special knowledge and experience needed to provide vision care for patients in a community health outpatient setting. An advantage of this residency is that, in addition to enjoying the benefits of a rigorous primary care residency, the resident also acquires an in-depth understanding of how public health and cultural issues impact vision care. Patient care takes place in the Primary Care Clinic of Berkeley Optometry's 85,000 patient/year University Eye Clinic, and in a number of affiliated community health care centers that provide comprehensive care for ambulatory patients in large, multidisciplinary clinics. The resident cares for patients of all ages and from all socio-economic backgrounds, manages urgent care patients, and diagnoses and treats common binocular vision disorders and commonly occurring pathologies, including glaucoma. The resident participates in a strong interdisciplinary collaboration in community health clinics, and gains a rich experience in providing geriatric and family primary vision care for under served populations, including Spanish-speaking patients. The PC/CHC residency provides a balance of primary care and community care. At least three-days-a-week are spent examining patients in the Primary Care Clinic of the University Eye Center, and the remainder of the time the resident cares for patients in various affiliated community care clinics. This blended training program ensures the resident masters all aspects of contemporary primary vision care and understands how to deliver primary vision care in a community health care setting. In addition to preparing the resident for a career in primary care/community health care, it also prepares the interested resident for a career in academic optometry.

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

Residents are scheduled for 5 days/week and most clinics run from approximately 8am-6pm. All residents also participate in the after hours emergency on-call program.

Requirements for Completion:

Three case presentations, one formal paper, patient logs, completion of residency binder, required evaluations and favorable recommendation from the Chief Mentor.

Program Salary/Stipend: $37,500
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Professional Liability Insurance


Other: Educational Leave
Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: No

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: Dr. Meredith Whiteside, Chief Mentor, Community Care
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:


1. Apply online with the Optometry Residency Match following the guidelines at 

2. Complete an online UC Berkeley application for Optometry Residency program at

3. For the UC Berkeley application, follow directions outlined on our website: 

4. You do not have to pay the application fee. When completing PAYMENT section, choose FEE EXEMPTION and then OPTOMETRY RESIDENCY PROGRAM from the list of eligibility. Follow the guidelines outlined in each section. 


Email with questions about your UC Berkeley online application.


Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

* Applicants must satisfy all requirements to allow for California licensure by the first day of the residency training. This includes successful completion of NBEO Part I, II, III, TMOD, and passing the California law exam administered through the state board. Details about California licensure, how to take the law exam, and a copy of the California law can be found at: * Applicants must have graduated from an Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) accredited school or college of optometry, and have earned an OD degree by the time of matriculation. * It is required that applicants have achieved at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative GPA in the optometry professional curriculum. * All applicants will be evaluated without regard to gender, race, color, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or national origin. The Residency Admissions Committee, chaired by the Dean, will follow the procedures of the University of California as an equal opportunity employer. * There are a limited number of positions and only the most qualified candidates will be admitted. * International candidates must be eligible for an OPT visa. * Once all the required documents are submitted, selective applicants are invited for interviews. The majority of interviews will be conducted after the application deadline of 1/10/2022. However, the residency program allows for some flexibility given student clinicians' schedules. 

Program Application Deadline: January 10, 2022

Additional Comments

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