Primary Eye Care-Ocular Disease | Residency

Sponsor: VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS), Portland, Oregon

Academic Affiliate: Pacific University College of Optometry, Forest Grove, Oregon

Mission

This residency program offers qualified Doctors of Optometry an educational opportunity for exceptional and broad-based development as an optometric practitioner. The educational experience will concentrate on the delivery of primary eye and vision care to a predominantly outpatient veteran population from Oregon and Southern Washington, and the medically indigent population of Portland. Primary eye and vision care experiences include, but are not limited to, ocular disease management, binocular vision, contact lenses, and low vision. Compassionate and individualized patient care is expected. An interdisciplinary approach to the delivery of health care will be cultivated, and full utilization of the medical center and University resources will be encouraged. Residents will also develop clinical didactic teaching skills.

Residency Program Coordinator: 

Weon Jun, OD, FAAO

Residency Program Faculty: 

Amara Callahan, OD
Molly Cardenal, OD, FAAO
Kirk Halvorson, OD
Russell Jew, OD
Weon Jun, OD, FAAO
Rebecca Kline, OD, FAAO
Shannon Lutz, OD, FAAO
Blair Lonsberry, MS, OD, MEd, FAAO (Pacific)
Jonathon Thomas, OD
Michael Tomlin, OD, MA, FAAO
Karen Wadhams, OD , FAAO 
Mark A. Williams, OD

Length of Program: 52 weeks

Number of Positions: 4

Salary: $33,793 – not contingent upon productivity of the resident

Hours: Residents typically work 40 to 55 hours per week, and the Eye Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Leave: Residents earn 13 days paid annual leave and 13 days paid sick leave per year. There are also ten paid Federal Holidays annually.

Professional Liability Protection: The U.S. Government accepts responsibility for the actions of its employees during exercise of official duties. VA residents are protected by the Federal Government in instances of alleged malpractice or negligence resulting from performance of their duties in or for the Veterans Health Administration.

Health Insurance Benefits: The VA provides full medical health insurance to residents.

Certificate of Completion: A certificate of completion is awarded upon satisfactory completion of residency requirements.

Program Goals

Goal 1: Enhance the primary eye and vision care assessment and the management skills of the residents through significant broad-based clinical experience.

Goal 2: Foster the residents’ active participation as members of an interdisciplinary health care team.

Goal 3: Develop the residents’ skills as educators.

Goal 4: Encourage the residents’ pursuit of scholarly activities.

Worksites

The optometry residents’ primary worksites are at the VAPORHCS Portland Division and Vancouver Division.  The residents will also have an opportunity to rotate through the clinics of the Pacific University College of Optometry.

Clinical Facilities

The VAPORHCS serves as the quaternary referral center for Oregon, Southern Washington and parts of Idaho for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VAPORHCS is composed of two main divisions and eight community-based outpatient clinics (Bend, East Portland, Hillsboro, Newport, North Coast, Salem, The Dalles and West Linn CBOCs). The VAPORHCS’ Eye Care Team (Ophthalmology & Optometry) has clinical facilities at both the Portland and Vancouver Divisions, the Hillsboro CBOC, the Salem CBOC and the Bend CBOC. All of the clinical facilities are well equipped and adequate in size to serve both the patients’ needs and the residency program’s educational objectives.

Portland Division VA Eye Clinic

The Eye Care Team’s clinical facility at the VAPORHCS’ Portland Division is shared by Optometry and Ophthalmology, and it includes 18 general eye exam rooms, one low vision room, and additional exam rooms for VF, digital retinal imaging, OCT, minor procedures, lasers, IOL Master, corneal topography, echography, etc.

Vancouver Division VA Eye Clinic

The optometry residents also work at the VAPORHCS’ Vancouver Division in Vancouver, Washington which is about 10 miles (16 km) north of Portland. The eye clinic has 4 general exam rooms, one low vision room and additional exam rooms for special testing. Modern instrumentation includes Digital Retina Camera, Humphrey Field Analyzer II, and Cirrus Optical Coherence Tomography. While most patient visits are for outpatients, this location also serves inpatients from the Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care (RLTC) Division & Community Living Center.

Pacific University Periocular Service Clinics

The residents rotate to multiple Pacific University clinic sites to participate in care in an internal referral clinic for minor lid procedures.

Patient Demographics

The patient population at the VAPORHCS is 95% male with a mean age of 65. Patients present to the VA eye clinics with a wide variety of challenging ocular, visual, and systemic health problems. Supplemental clinical rotations at Pacific University clinics provide experience with a broader patient demographic including pediatrics.

Additional Information

Low Vision/VIST/BROS Program

Legally blind and visually impaired patients receive comprehensive examinations in our Low Vision Clinic as a component of their rehabilitation program. The residents work with an interdisciplinary rehabilitation team including of Optometry, the Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) Coordinator, Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (BROS), Low Vision Therapist, Low Vision Support Assistant and Orientation & Mobility Specialists.

Ophthalmic Imaging

A full-time ocular photographer is available at the Portland VAMC location. Residents can schedule patients for fluorescein angiograms, anterior or posterior segment photos, stereo fundus photos, endothelial cell counts, and ophthalmic A and B ultrasonography.

Contact Lens Specialty Clinic

The VAPORHCS' Contact Lens Clinic provides patients with a variety of therapeutic contact lens services including keratoconic, aphakic, post-graft, and prosthetic lens fitting. The Cornea and Contact Lens Resident from Pacific University assists with this weekly specialty clinic.

Weekly Clinical Seminar

The VAPORHCS Optometry Section conducts a weekly two hour seminar for didactic presentations and clinical discussions between program faculty, residents and students.

VISN 20 Optometry Grand Rounds

On the second Wednesday of each month, one hour of continuing education is presented by live video broadcast from the VAPORHCS to all Pacific Northwest VA medical centers, Reno VA, Lebanon VA and Fresno VA. These presentations are by a diverse group of interdisciplinary health care providers.

Devers Eye Institute's Ophthalmology Grand Rounds

On the first Friday of each month, one hour of continuing education is attended at the Devers Eye Institute. The presentations are by subspecialists in ophthalmology.

Casey Eye Institute's Ophthalmology Grand Rounds

On the third Friday of each month, one hour of continuing education is attended at the Casey Eye Institute.  The presentations are by subspecialists in ophthalmology.

General Medicine Interns Instruction in Eye Care

Interdisciplinary working relationships between Optometry and General Medicine are enhanced with first-year General Medicine Interns rotating through the Optometry Clinics one-half day per week for clinical instruction in eye care.

Ophthalmology Section

The Ophthalmology Section of the VAPORHCS has a close working relationship with the Optometry Section. Services provided by the Ophthalmology Section include general ophthalmology and subspecialist in cornea, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, medical retina, strabismus, uveitis, and vitreo-retinal surgery. The Ophthalmology Section also has a strong educational component. Ophthalmology residents and subspecialty fellows from the Oregon Health Sciences University’s (OHSU) Casey Eye Institute and the Dever’s Memorial Eye Clinic provide patient care services in the integrated eye clinic at the VAPORHCS' Portland Division.

Library and Research Resources

Residents are provided access to the library resources of the PVAMC, Pacific University, and Oregon Health Sciences University. Access to the extensive ophthalmic library at the Casey Eye Institute is also available.

Scholarly & Indirect Patient Care Time

Each residents schedule includes 6 hours per week for indirect patient care time to be used for administrative time, research, independent study and other scholarly pursuits.

Computer Access

Computers with VA network and internet access from all VAPORHCS patient examination rooms and at workstations dedicated to the residents for indirect patient care activities.

Portland Living

Housing & Cost of Living

Portland is relatively affordable in comparison to other west coast cities. The overall cost of living is approximately 14% above the national average. Apartment rental rates average approximately $1000 (range $850 to $1200) per month in the Portland metropolitan area.

Commuting & Parking

Optometry residents have parking privileges, but parking at the VAPORHCS' Portland Division facility is scarce and employees are encouraged to use public transportation. Tri-Met is the regional public transportation system, which includes buses and light-rail trains.

Recreation

Portland has been described as the city of books, beer, bikes and blooms. Portland has the personality of a small community and the activities and vitality of a large city. Outdoor adventures are readily accessible with Mt. Hood, the Oregon Coast, forests, and several rivers within 60 miles from the city limits.

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.

Candidates must have passed the NBEO Part I and have taken Part II by the application deadline. The selected candidate must pass all parts before the start date of the residency. 

The selected candidate must be eligible to be licensed as an optometrist in the state of Oregon including certification to use topical and nontopical pharmaceutical agents with injections.

It is the policy of the VA Portland Health Care System 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.

Only United States citizens are eligible candidates for funded residency positions sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Application Process

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

The application deadline is January 26.

Call or Email Today

For additional information about this residency opportunity, please contact:

Weon Jun, OD, FAAO
Residency Program Coordinator
Assistant Chief, Optometry Section

VA Portland Health Care System
P.O. Box 1034/P-3-EYE
Portland, OR 97207

503-220-8262 ext. 54400 | weon.jun@va.gov