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Primary Care/ Ocular Disease

Basic Information

Category Title: Primary Care Optometry
Program Area of Emphasis: Ocular Disease
Program Site: Cpt. James A. Lovell Health Care Center FHCC
Program Location: Other Federal Facility
Program Address: Cpt. James A. Lovell Health Care Center FHCC
3001 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, Illinois 60064
Phone Number: 224-610-7175
Fax Number: 224-610-7150
Affiliation: Illinois College of Optometry
Director of Residency Education:

Heather McLeod OD (

Program Application Deadline: January 15 for civilian candidates, Navy set Navy position start.
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 07/2011
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 in Primary Care and Ocular Disease at James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center is to provide advanced competency and scholarly development for one Department of Defense (DOD) navy optometrist and one civilian Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) optometrist.    The Navy optometrist will get the ultimate preparation to meet the mission of the United States Navy in all military settings and as well, function at the highest level within the civilian space. 

Program Description:

A partnership between the US Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) provides a combined mission to provide eyecare to active duty military, military dependents, military retirees and veterans. The facility cares for nearly 67,000 eligible beneficiaries throughout the Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin region.  Additionally, the health care center and its branch clinics ensure that nearly 40,000 Navy recruits transitioning through Naval Station Great Lakes each year are medically qualified. 

The optometry clinic on the West Campus is headed by an active duty Navy optometrist, who is supported by at least two civilian optometrists along with one active duty Navy optometry resident. The ophthalmology clinic is supported clinically by two full- time civilian ophthalmologists and several part-time consultants. The ophthalmology specialties available are vitreo-retinal, oculoplastic, cornea, and glaucoma.

The merger of DVA and DOD provides an opportunity for the optometry resident to work closely with other medical disciplines and experience a diverse patient-base to facilitate an advanced clinical training environment in primary care and ocular disease. In addition, this program meets the unique mission of the United States Navy, Veterans Affairs and the FHCC. The residency program is affiliated with the Illinois College of Optometry. Many of the supervising providers are affiliated with either or both the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Chicago Medical School, located adjacent to the FHCC, or the University of Illinois at Chicago Eye and Ear Infirmary.

There are two residency positions available. One position is designated for an Active Duty Navy Optometrist if available. The other position is open to all optometrists. Both residents work full time between the West Campus Optometry and Ophthalmology Clinics providing eye and vision care services for all categories of eligible patients. 

Program Length: 1 year
Number of Positions Available in Program: 2; one for U.S. Navy OD if available, one-two for all candidates.
Program Starting Date: July
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 4:30PM On call duty for 7 days, once every 6 weeks Example of past resident schedule: Monday AM: Neuro-Ophthalmology Clinic, PM: Optometry direct care Tuesday AM: General Ophthalmology Clinic, PM: Optometry direct care Wednesday AM: Optometry direct care, PM: Hospital specialty clinic rotation Thursday All day: Retina Clinic Friday AM: Optometry direct care, PM.: Professional development/Resident's Conference/Grand Rounds

Requirements for Completion:

1. Satisfactory completion of all learning objectives 2. Execution of all clinical assignments 3. Attendance and participation at Conference/Grand Rounds Series and regularly scheduled conferences 4. Attendance and participation in all required course work 5. A written paper of publishable quality, completed by the end of the residency period.

Program Salary/Stipend: Navy salary or DVA resident salary
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Health Coverage

Professional Liability Insurance


Paid Sick Leave

Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: Yes

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: Shelly Kim, Coordinator
Telephone: 224-610-7175
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

Civilian candidate application is through the ORMatch

1. Visit ORMatch web site and submit your application.

2. Contact the program coordinator (Dr. Shelly Kim,, 224-610-7175 ) declaring your interest in applying.

3.Applicants are encouraged to take part three of NBEO prior to January so results may be available at the interview.

4. Arrangements for an on-site interview will be made.

5. After completing the interview process, complete the ORMatch Applicant's Ranking Form.

Active Duty U.S. Navy candidates and U.S. Navy HPSP optometry students should contact the U.S. Navy Optometry Specialty Leader to express interest and begin the application process. Interested applicants can also contact the Residency Program Coordinator for more information: Navy Specialty Leader: CAPT Penny Walter,, 301-319-7085 Residency Program Coordinator: Dr. Shelly Kim,, 224-610-7175

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

Specific requirements the applicants must meet for residency consideration include the following: * Applicants must have earned a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree, or will have earned such a degree by the time of matriculation, from a Council on Optometric Education accredited school or college of optometry. * Applicant should have a minimum cumulative grade point average in the optometry professional curriculum of 3.0, on a 4.0 scale. * Applicants must have successfully completed parts I, II, and III of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO). * By congressional law, candidates must be citizens of the United States. Selection of the U.S. Navy optometry resident will be performed by the U.S. Navy Specialty Leader based on the quality of the application materials and supporting documentation listed above. Selection of the civilian optometry resident will follow ORMS protocol. Ranking of candidates will be performed by selection committee and will be based on the quality of application materials, supporting documentation listed above and on site interview.

In an effort to keep Veterans and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees safe, VA’s Secretary will now mandate anyone in contact with patients within the Veterans Health Administration, including health professions trainees (HPTs), receive the COVID vaccination by October 7, 2021. 

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 for civilian candidates, Navy set Navy position start.

Additional Comments

Ocular Preventive Medicine Research opportunities are available for both residents - contact Dr Richer. See