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Residency Name

Basic Information

Program Title: New Mexico VA Medical Center Residency in Primary Care
Program Type: Primary Eye Care
Program Area of Emphasis: Ocular Disease
Program Site: Albuquerque VA Medical Center
Program Location: VA
Program Address: 1501 San Pedro, S.E.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Phone Number: 505.265.1711 x 4143
Fax Number: 505.256.5743
Affiliation: University of Houston, College of Optometry
Director of Residency Education:

Karen D Fern, OD, FAAO

Program Application Deadline: February 1
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 1979
Accreditation Status: Accredited
Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

The residency program in Primary Eye Care at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center seeks to attract highly qualified optometric graduates, and to provide them with advanced knowledge and concentrated clinical experience in primary eye care with a major focus on diagnosis and management of ocular disease. Provision of direct patient care will provide the cornerstone of residency instruction. Extensive experience with diagnosis and management of patients with diabetes mellitus, various forms of glaucoma, various forms of neurologic disease, and various forms of unusual ocular pathology will promote growth of the resident clinician. Residents who complete the program are expected to: provide an advanced level of clinical care in primary care/ocular disease management; have the knowledge, skills and abilities to warrant appointment to a VA Optometry position; serve as educators and researchers in academic settings; and/or serve the profession of optometry as experts and leaders in the area of ocular disease management.

Program Description:

A hospital based program emphasizing primary health care including ocular therapeutics. Extensive experience is available in the management of patients with ocular and systemic disease. Case review, direct patient care, attendance at interdisciplinary in-service meetings, self study, and research activities. Instructional and clinical work geared to improving skills in all areas of optometric care

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

40 hours per week; 4 10-hour days.

Requirements for Completion:

  1. Deliver clinical services at a level which demonstrates they have attained the core competencies of their program. This attainment will be determined through formal evaluations of the resident’s patient care

  2. Attend and participate in weekly Resident Seminar meetings

  3. Present a minimum of ten cases per year during grand rounds

  4. Attend one bi-monthly ‘Morbidity and Mortality’ meeting held in the hospital each month. 

  5. Twice per year, the resident will select and lead discussion and critical evaluation of 2-3 peer-reviewed journal articles during Journal Club

  6. The resident will construct a 1-hour continuing education lecture to be delivered to clinical faculty, fellow residents, and student interns

  7. Attend at least 2 Grand Rounds/Lecture presentations at the Department of Ophthalmology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine and/or Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute

  8. The resident will complete a publishable quality manuscript that can be submitted to a peer-reviewed professional journal based on either case review or original research

  9.  The resident must obtain a state Optometric license by the end of the program

Program Salary/Stipend: $32,024
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Health Coverage

Professional Liability Insurance


Paid Sick Leave

Travel Allowance

Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: Yes

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: Suchitra Katiyar, program coordinator
Telephone: 505.265.1711 x 4143
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

Apply through ORMatch. Submit the following materials directly to the program: 1) optometric transcript 2) Curriculum Vitae or resume, 3) A letter of intent (Narrative describing why you want to do a residency) 4) VA Optometric residency application, 5) 3 letters of reference from three clinical instructors who have supervised the applicant. The letters should detail the clinical skills of the applicant. 5) NBEO Scores (supplied by ORMatch) 6) Participate in an interview, preferably on-site.

Send application materials to the Residency Program Coordinator at the residency site.

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

Selection criteria for resident positions are based upon the following guidelines; the applicant must: 1. Anticipate degree of Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) prior to the start of the residency program resulting from a course of education in optometry. The degree must have been obtained from an ACOE accredited School of College of Optometry or an Optometry School (including foreign schools) accepted by the licensing body of a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia as qualifying for full and unrestricted licensure 2. Be a U.S. citizen. 3.Furnish complete transcripts of all optometric education. 4. Furnish a Curriculum Vitae or Resume. 5. Furnish a letter of intent which describes the candidate's expectation and goals for the residency program. 6. Arrange letters of reference from three clinical instructors who have supervised the applicant. The letters should detail the clinical skills of the applicant. 7. Participate in an interview perferrably on-site. The University of Houston College of Optometry and the Veterans Health Administration affirm that all residency applicants will be evaluated without regard to sex, race, color, creed, national origin or non-disqualifying physical disabilities.

Recruitment and application materials , including the VA residency brochure and application form, can be found on the VA Optometry website at

Applicants will be selected based on their clinical skills, optometric knowledge, academic performance, communication skills and how well the candidate's residency goals match the residency program. Applicants must be eligible for licensure in a state, territory, or commonwealth of the United States or in the District of Columbia before completion of 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: February 1

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