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Ocular Disease at the Empire Eye and Laser Center

Basic Information

Category Title: Ocular Disease
Program Area of Emphasis: Anterior Segment
Program Site: Empire Eye & Laser Center
Program Location: Private Clinic
Program Address: 4105 Empire Drive

Bakersfield, California 93309
Phone Number: (661) 325-3937
Fax Number:
Affiliation: Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University
Director of Residency Education:

Judy Tong, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Program Application Deadline: The application is due by the published date in February.
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 08/2019
Accreditation Status: Accredited

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

Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

Providing advanced training and experience in the treatment of ocular disease through patient care, clinical research, education and scholarship in an integrated eye care model. 

Program Description:

This post-graduate residency program is offered by the Southern California College of Optometry in conjunction with Empire Eye and Laser Center (EELC) in California. The goal of this program is to provide advanced clinical training in the treatment of ocular disease, clinical research, surgical co-management and perioperative care, as well as comprehensive care to patients ranging in age from neonatal to geriatric. Empire Eye and Laser Center’s integrated eye care model will allow the intern to work in conjunction with both optometrists and ophthalmologists in a high paced private clinic that encounters the entire spectrum of ocular pathologies. This organization includes a broad range of sub-specialized eye care providers such as pediatric, glaucoma, dry eye, cornea and anterior segment, therapeutic contact lens, as well as refractive laser and cataract specialists. This structure allows us to care for our patient’s “see better and look better”.

There will be after hours on-call time and two clinical projects required over the course of the year. Involvement in clinical research projects or studies will also be required. Residents are invited to lecture and present case reports at resident seminars held in conjunction with the Southern California College of Optometry as well as local and national optometric conferences.

Program Length: 53-56 weeks
Number of Positions Available in Program: 1
Program Starting Date: Approximately August 1st
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

Clinic hours are typically from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on Monday through Friday. Additionally, emergency and on call schedule will provided and required to participate in.

Requirements for Completion:

  • The resident is required to keep a detailed log of all required program activities, which will be reviewed by the SCCO at MBKU Assistant Dean of Residencies and the Residency Coordinator

  • The resident is required to provide patient care services at a level deemed satisfactory to the Residency Coordinator and faculty, in line with the highest levels of current optometric standards of practice.

  • The resident is required to submit a publishable quality paper based upon original research, literature review, and/or clinical case or cases suitable for publication in a peer reviewed optometric journal. 

  • The resident is expected to deliver patient care services in a professional manner and to observe those proprieties of conduct and courtesy that are consistent with the rules and regulations governing SCCO at MBKU.

  • Upon evidence of satisfactory performance in meeting all requirements of the program, the resident will be awarded a Certificate of Residency Completion by SCCO at MBKU.

Program Salary/Stipend: It is currently set at $58,240 at our facility for the 2021 academic year.
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Health Coverage

Professional Liability Insurance


Travel Allowance

Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: No

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: Vin Dang, O.D., F.A.A.O, Residency Coordinator/Dry Eye Clinic Director
Telephone: (661) 325-3937
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

Scholarly Activities

Scholarly activities will include the following:

  • Residency Reading List:

    • A reading list covering various topics in ocular and systemic disease will be maintained and updated periodically by the resident in collaboration with the faculty.

  • Residency Discussion Series:

    • Program faculty will conduct formal discussion and/or case presentations on topics supported by the articles from the residency reading list throughout the program.

    • Topics covered include ocular trauma, B-scan ultrasound, neuroimaging, laboratory testing, post-operative care, uveitis, minor surgical procedures (with wet lab), lasers, infectious keratitis, and others.


Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

Potential applicants are required to submit their applications to the optometry program via the Optometry Resident Match (ORMatch) and should contact the Program Coordinator via email or telephone expressing interest in the program and intent to apply. Candidates are highly encouraged to visit the clinic site in person to tour the facility and speak to the Program Coordinator, attending faculty and the current resident.

Candidates with a complete application file (ORMatch application, transcripts, NBEO and TMOD scores, and letters of recommendation) are to contact the Program Coordinator as specified on the ORMatch website. Individual interviews are conducted in person or by telephone conference call. The interview committee consists of:

Program Coordinator, Vin T. Dang, O.D., F.A.A.O. 

Clinical Manager, Saralee Esau

HR Administrator, Amanda Steitz

In the individual interview, candidates are initially asked questions that include, but are not limited to, what motivates them to pursue residency training, why they are interested in our specific program, what their career aspirations are, and how they will enhance our program. Following the interviews, the Program Coordinator tabulates an overall score based on grade point average, NBEO I and II scores, TMOD scores, and interview scores. Candidates are ranked in each category, and then the rank is multiplied by a weighting factor for each category. The GPA is weighted as 1.0, NBEO part I is weighted as 1.0, NBEO part II is weighted as 1.0, TMOD is weighted at 1.0, and interview score is weighted the highest at 5.0. From this, an overall ranking is devised based on the sum of their weighted ranks in each category. From this overall ranking, a candidate may move up or down by up to 2 positions to account for other factors such as letters of recommendation, communication skills, clinical or work experience, and letter of intent.

The ranking of all candidates is submitted to ORMatch for matching.

Program Application Deadline: The application is due by the published date in February.

Additional Comments