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Ocular Disease - Refractive and Ocular Surgery

Basic Information

Category Title: Ocular Disease
Program Area of Emphasis: Refractive and Ocular Surgery
Program Site: Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center
Program Location: VA
Program Address: Optometry Service (687/123)
77 Wainwright Drive
Walla Walla, Washington 99362
Phone Number: 509-527-3491 ext 26308
Fax Number: 509-526-6202
Affiliation: Pacific University, College of Optometry
Director of Residency Education:

Michela Kenning, O.D., FAAO

Program Application Deadline: January 31
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 07/1998
Accreditation Status: Accredited

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

Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

The Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) of Walla Walla, Washington, in partnership with Pacific University College of Optometry (PUCO) of Forest Grove, Oregon, and Pacific Cataract & Laser Institute (PCLI) of Kennewick, Washington, have jointly developed a one-year optometric residency program. The fundamental mission of this training program is to provide qualified post-doctoral practitioners with a structured educational experience which will deepen their development into exceptional optometric clinicians in the areas of primary care, ocular disease, geriatrics and surgical co-management. Upon completion of the residency, the doctor will emerge with enhanced clinical skills, knowledge and experience which elevate them beyond entry-level practice, thus making residents suitable candidates for optometry positions in VHA optometry, co-management and/or multidisciplinary settings.

Program Description:

Program Goals

1. Strengthen the resident's primary care management skills.

2. Enhance the resident's capacity to provide appropriate care to elderly patients.

3. Increase knowledge and skill in co-management of medical-surgical eye conditions.

4. Stimulate in the resident an appreciation for scholarly activity and lifelong learning.

Program Length: 1 year
Number of Positions Available in Program: Two
Program Starting Date: July 1
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

The VA Eye Clinic is open for patient care from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. As with any clinical position, hours of attendance vary. The resident commutes quarterly at his/her own expense one day each week to Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute's Kennewick Surgicenter.

Requirements for Completion:

A certificate of completion will be awarded to the resident upon satisfactory completion of residency requirements, as outlined in the Pacific University College of Optometry Administrative Guide for Affiliated Programs, including:

  • Fulfillment of program participation for the duration of the program year.

  • Preparing and delivering a presentation at the annual Northwest Residents Conference.

Program Salary/Stipend: $37,833 - not contingent upon productivity of the resident (determined yearly by the VA Office of Academic Affiliations)
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: Jennifer Melsness, Chief of Optometry Service
Telephone: 509-527-3491 ext 26308
Fax: 509-526-6202
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:

Candidates must apply to this residency program through the Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch) online at

For additional information about these residency opportunities, please contact:

Jennifer Melsness, O.D.

Optometry Service (687/23)

Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center

77 Wainwright Drive

Walla Walla, WA 99362


Phone:509-527-3491 ext. 26308

Fax: 509-526-6202 

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates must earn the degree of Doctor of Optometry from a school or college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education prior to the starting date of the residency program.

  • Candidates must pass all NBEO exams prior to the start date of residency..

  • Candidates must be citizens of the US.

  • The selected candidate must have a state license and NPI before the start date of the residency.

  • It is the policy of the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VAMC to provide equal opportunity in employment for all qualified persons; to prohibit discrimination for all qualified persons; to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability; to ensure that the workforce profile will clearly reflect a meaningful distribution and utilization of minority and female employees, and to provide for the prompt, fair and impartial consideration and disposition of complaints involving issues of discrimination on ground of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability, or reprisal.

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 31

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