VA Medical Center, Syracuse, NY

VA Medical Center
800 Irving Ave
Syracuse, NY 13210
Syracuse VA Medical Center

Externship Supervisor
Gerald Abruzzese, OD
Phone: (315) 425-4400 ext. 53281
Fax: (315) 425-4380

Additional Faculty
Jennifer Cramer, OD           
Richard Krzyzak, OD
Antonietta Luisi, O.D.                      

Program Description
The Syracuse VAMC is located in the downtown university area. The Upstate VA provides outpatient and inpatient services to veterans throughout Central New York.  The VA population consists mostly of men 45 years and older, along with a small active-duty and female population base.  A typical optometric evaluation will include an emphasis on ocular and systemic disease.  The most common ocular diseases encountered in the clinic include diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma.

The Optometry and Ophthalmology Clinics are located on the second floor of the hospital.  There are 9 exam lanes, 2 of which are dedicated to the full-time Optometry Clinic.  There is one Humphrey  visual field analyzer, a Topcon digital camera with flourescein angiography capability and an OCT (Stratus). Moreover, there is an Argon-Yag laser on site. 

Staffing includes a full-time Optometrist, 2 part-time Optometrists, a Low Vision Specialist,  3 Ophthalmology residents, 3 Ophthalmic technicians and various Ophthalmology specialists. 

The role of the student is to perform a comprehensive eye examination under the supervision of Dr. Abruzzese.  The student is expected to provide an assessment of the patient’s condition and appropriate management.  The Optometry clinic has full therapeutic privileges.  The student will be involved in instituting therapy whenever indicated in the management; further when a referral to a specialty clinic is indicated (e.g., Retina clinic) the student will be expected to actively participate with the ophthalmology resident and specialist.

Adjunct education includes a medical library on campus with an excellent Ophthalmology section.  During the months of September to May, students are encouraged to attend Fluorescein Angiography Conference every other Thursday morning.  Friday morning the chief of Ophthalmology holds a glaucoma conference.  Friday afternoons are generally devoted to journal review. 

The optometry clinic runs Monday through Friday from 8:00 until the last patient is finished (which is usually around 4:30) except Friday afternoons which is devoted to journal review.  


Not provided

Equipment Required


External Rotations

No; possibly on occasion

Previous students have stayed at the James View Apartment.
Phone: (315) 427-0415

Other requirements for this site
Need a car, unless able to locate housing near Syracuse University (the VA is a 10 to 15 minute walk from SU).  Parking is off-site; a shuttle transports staff to and from the hospital (about a 10-minute bus ride).