VA Medical Center, Northport, NY

79 Middleville Rd
Northport, NY 11768-2290

Phone: (631) 261-4400
Fax: (631) 266-6056
Northport VA

Externship Supervisor
Gwen Gnadt, OD, MPH, FAAO

Assistant: Carolyn Hurley
Ext: 2038

Additional Faculty
Keith Dworkin, OD                          
Lynn A. Finnegan, OD   
Michael Fischer, OD  
Joseph Hallak, OD, PhD
Michael J. McGovern, OD  
Brad Meltzer, OD              
Marina Meyerowitz, OD
Catherine Scandiffio, OD
Mark Silverman, OD
Sonia Valle, OD

Program Description
The Northport VA medical Center is a 529 bed hospital and outpatient facility.  The eye clinic is located on the 2nd floor in the Primary Care Pavilion. The Optometry Service and Ophthalmology Section share a 12 exam room clinic.  The clinic also includes additional space for preliminary testing, special testing and eyeglass dispensing.   The optometry clinic is staffed by 14 part-time optometrists, 2 full time ophthalmic technicians, 1 vision rehabilitation therapist, 1 full-time receptionist, 4 residents and 3-4 students.   The Optometry service provides primary care, low vision care, vision therapy and disease treatment and management.  The optometry staff has full therapeutic privileges including the prescription of orals medications.  In addition, the Optometry Service oversees the VICTORS program (Vision Impairment Center to Optimize Remaining Sight) and participates in the Center of Balance in the Medical Center.  The students primarily see primary care and ocular disease patients with limited exposure to patients requiring vision rehabilitation.  

Students are expected to work a forty-hour week Monday-Friday.   The clinic hours are 8:00-4:30.  You are expected to be in the clinic by 7:45 am.  Each student can expect to see 6-10 patients per day and all records are expected to be completed by the end of the day.  The student role is to perform comprehensive or problem oriented eye examinations.  You are expected to perform like a clinician not a data collector.  Students are actively involved in the therapeutic management of patients with glaucoma, anterior segment and systemic disease.  In addition, the program also offers daily 1 hour education lectures with various members of the optometric staff.

In summary, the Optometry Program at the Northport VA offers their students a broad experience in primary care optometry including the Diagnosis and Treatment of ocular disease.  In addition, you have exposure to rehabilitative orthoptic/visual therapy (via lecture), the low vision clinic and an ophthalmology clinic that provides all aspect of ophthalmologic specialty care.  A plus of this program is the exposure to multiple clinicians during the rotation and the daily lecture series.


Provided (see below)

Equipment Required


External Rotations


The Northport VA provides free housing within the hospital’s dormitory.  The dormitories are available for nursing students, optometric externs and medical interns.

Additional Requirements
Site application and physical exam required.  During the scheduled (SUNY calendar) Christmas break, externs are expected to fulfill their clinic obligations at Northport.

Directions to Clinic
By Car
Take the LIE to exit 53 north (Sunken Meadow Expressway). Stay on the Sunken Meadow until you get to exit SM 5 West (this exit is right after the sign that says “last eastbound exit” and right before the entrance to the Park).This will be Route 25A West.  Continue on Rt. 25A for approximately 3.5 miles, you will see a sign for the VA Medical Center on your left (Renaldo Road) and a service station on your right and small shopping center on your right.  Turn left on Renaldo Road and continue 1/4 mile.  You will see the VA Medical Center.  Follow the driveway.  You are looking for Building #200m Primary/Specialty Care Pavillion.  Park in the visiting parking lot and go into the Primary/Specialty Care Pavilion.  Take the elevator to the 2nd Floor and look for the Eye Clinic.  Ask for Dr. Gnadt or Dr. Fischer.

By Train
Take the Long Island Railroad (Port Jefferson Line) to Northport Station.  The VA is approximately two miles from the station.  There are taxi cabs or an hourly bus to take you to the VA.

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