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Residency in Vision Rehabilitation, with Emphasis in Low Vision Rehabilitation and Ocular Disease

Basic Information

Category Title: Vision Rehabilitation
Program Area of Emphasis: Ocular Disease, Low Vision Rehabilitation
Program Site: Southern College of Optometry
Program Location: School or College of Optometry
Program Address: 1245 Madison Avenue

Memphis, Tennessee 38104
Phone Number: 901-722-3317
Fax Number:
Affiliation: Southern College of Optometry
Director of Residency Education:

Cheryl E. Mengelt, OD

Program Application Deadline: January 30
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 05/2019
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 this residency is to provide advanced training and education in Vision Rehabilitation, with Emphasis in Low Vision Rehabilitation and Ocular Disease through direct patient care, education and research. The Resident will divide time between campus-based patient care and off-campus clinics for ocular disease and low vision experience and education. The applicant completes requirements for residency certification with a capstone project.

Program Description:

Goal 1: Enhance the resident's examination skills in vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation.

Goal 2: Strengthen the resident's expertise in the diagnosis and management of low vision patients.

Goal 3: Expand the resident's knowledge of specialized low vision assistive devices and non-optical low vision assistive techniques.

Goal 4: Expand the resident's knowledge of ocular disease management.

Goal 5: Develop the resident's skills in presenting topcis to fellow professionals.

Goal 6: Instill in the resident an appreciation of the importance of scholarly activity.

Goal 7: Provide teh resident with the opportunity to become an effective clinical educator.

Goal 8: Expand the resident's health care knowledge base in the field of rehabilitative vision care.




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

8 am through 5/6:30 pm depending on the day. 

Approximately 15 hours a week direct patient care of Low Vision Rehabilitation. Ten of those hours will at off campus clinics, 5 hours of direct care will be on campus

Approximately 15 hours a week direct patient care of ocular disease treatment and management. Ten of those hours will be at off campus clinics, 5 hours a week will be on campus

Approximately 5-10 hours a week in electrophysiology, primary care or pediatrics as dictated by the semester.

Approximately 8 hours a week dedicated to research towards completion of the capstone project

The resident must make one or more didactic presentations to a professional group that may consist of OD, MD and or Residents on a subject approved by their supervisor. The resident will give a presentation on a topic approved by the supervisor during Resident’s Weekend at Southern College of Optometry.

Resident maintains an online Activity Log on each encounter detailing the nature of the patient encounter or educational activity, which is reviewed by the Director of Residencies and Program Supervisor. A statement summarizing the knowledge gained from each encounter is required at the supervisor level.

Residency expectations include participation in an after hour “on-call” rotation to handle emergencies in the related services in consultation with other licensed providers and independent but subject to review by a Supervisor.

Requirements for Completion:

A.  The resident is required to deliver clinical services at a level that is satisfactory to the Residency Supervisor, the Director of Residency Programs, and the SCO administration.  The resident receives a specific schedule each quarter.  Resident schedule includes approximately 40 hours per week assigned in accordance with those outlined in DUTIES.  Resident takes after hours, on-call assignments on a periodic basis.

B.  The resident will be required to keep a record of patient contacts.  The Supervisor of the Residency Program, and the Director of Residency Programs, when appropriate, will review cases periodically.

C.  The resident will be required to write a paper based on original research and a thorough literature review, or a clinical case series for publication in an acceptable professional journal.

D.  The resident will be required to deliver an oral presentation at the annual Resident Weekend, held on the campus at SCO.

E.  Resident must perform in a professional manner while engaged in the delivery of patient care services. Professional conduct, proprieties and courtesies must be consistent with the rules and regulations governing the Southern College of Optometry.

F. The resident will be required to participate in and complete the requirements set forth in the curriculum.

G.  Upon successful completion of the Residency Program, the Residency Supervisor and the Director of Residency Programs will recommend the granting of certification to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

H.  Any resident accepted for training may be dismissed, without receiving a certificate of completion, for infractions of the rules and regulations of Southern College of Optometry, for failure to meet the requirements set forth in the Residency Handbook and program description, or for any action, that jeopardizes the safety of patients, personnel, or physical facilities.

A resident rotating through a hospital based (or similar) residency program must adhere to all facility policies and procedures, including but not limited to, receiving all required immunizations or showing appropriate medical documentation that he/she is in full medical compliance with required immunizations.  In addition, if a resident cannot receive a flu or similar immunization due to potential allergic reaction, medical documentation must be made available to the Program Supervisor prior to the program's start date.  A resident should receive the required immunizations provided by the facility when appropriate.  Otherwise, any costs incurred will be the resident's responsibility.  Any grievances should be submitted in writing to SCO's Director for Residency Programs utilizing the procedures found in the Residency Handbook.

Program Salary/Stipend: $41,000 paid bi-monthly. Compensation is not contingent upon productivity of the resident.
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Health Coverage

Professional Liability Insurance


Paid Sick Leave

Travel Allowance

Other: The resident may also purchase health insurance at the student rate. Professional liability insurance and a $750 travel stipend are provided by the College. Also, included in the benefits package are clinic coats, 10 days academic leave, 10 personal days and 18 days vacation leave, as outlined in the paragraph below. Please note that the $400 Professional Privilege Tax due May of each year, is not covered by the College. The resident is expected to obtain a DEA license and will be reimbursed for the time period of the residency. Leave Policy Eighteen days of vacation leave are provided to the resident. These days are those on which The Eye Center at SCO is closed: July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and the Friday after Thanksgiving, ten working days at Christmas and New Years, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, two days during Spring Break, and Memorial Day. Provision of these vacation days is automatic and does not require approval or submission of the leave request. The resident may be required to provide on call services during some of the days. Ten days of educational leave are provided. These days are intended to allow the resident to attend professional meetings. Ten days of personal leave are provided. The resident must submit a standard leave request in advance to request educational and personal leave. The form should be completed by the resident and submitted to the supervisor. The supervisor will then approve or disapprove the request. If the request is approved by the supervisor the leave request form is forwarded to the Director of Residency Programs who is responsible for tracking the residents’ leave balance and ensuring the clinical schedule will be appropriately covered. If the resident has a leave balance sufficient to cover the request the DRP will approve the request and forward the appropriate copies of the form to the resident and supervisor. Requests will be granted on a first come-first served basis during times when more than one resident is requesting time off. The resident and supervisor are responsible for notifying the appropriate Chiefs of Service and the Director of Clinical Operations for the days the resident will not be available to provide clinical services.
Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: No

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: Karen Squier, Supervisor
Telephone: 901-722-3317
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title: Michael Gerstner, Co-supervisor
Telephone: 901-722-3336
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

Cheryl E. Mengelt, O.D., Director of Residency Programs, Southern College of Optometry, 1245 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38014, 901-722-3201 901-722-3244 (fax)

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

A.  All applicants must complete the SCO application online at All applicants must complete the Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch), and provide all required supporting documentation by the deadline of January 30 to be considered for an SCO program.

  1. You must have already passed NBEO Part I, II and TMOD in order to apply to one of our programs through ORMatch.

  2. You must have passed NBEO Part III and ISE (if applicable) in order to begin an SCO affiliated residency program. 

  3. Those applying to a VA hospital or a state that does not require TMOD to obtain licensure are an exception if TMOD is not passed on first attempt.

B. Applicant must have earned an O.D. degree, or will have earned such a degree by the time of matriculation from a school/college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education. 

C. Applicant will furnish a transcript to ORMatch from his/her school/college of optometry. An applicant should have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the professional optometric curriculum.

D. Applicant must pass all parts of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry examinations required for state licensure. If accepted, the resident is expected to obtain the appropriate state license.

E. A personal interview will be required. 

F. The College affirms that no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity at or affiliated with Southern College of Optometry on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, disability, or national origin.



Program Application Deadline: January 30

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