Dr. Irwin B. Suchoff Residency Program in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation

SUNY College of Optometry, NYC

Program Supervisor:
M. Esther Han, OD
Phone: (212) 938-5879
Fax: (212) 938-4065
Email: mhan@sunyopt.edu

Program Description
The program emphasizes the diagnosis and treatment of binocular vision and visual perceptual disorders. The residents also rotate through other clinics at SUNY, including Pediatrics, Primary Care, Ocular Disease, Special Testing, Infants Vision, Head Trauma/rehabilitation, Children with Special Needs, and may include Contact Lenses and Low Vision. In the Vision Therapy Service, residents gain experience working with visual perceptual deficits, developmental vision anomalies, general binocular and eye movement skill deficiencies, and complex Strabismus. 

Program Length

12 months

Start Date

July 1

Positions

4

Compensation

$37,288

Hours Per Week

40-45

Accreditation

Fully accredited by ACOE

Application Deadline

February 1

ORMS Matching Service

Yes

Educational Opportunities
Special graduate-level courses are presented to the residents by various faculty members on topics such as Amblyopia and Strabismus, Rehabilitative Optometry, Optometric Intervention in the Learning Disabled Population, Clinical Teaching, and Behavioral Optometry.

Teaching Responsibilities
Residents serve as teaching assistants in Third Year Vision Therapy Laboratories. They serve as clinical instructors in vision therapy and pediatric clinics as well as at external screening sites.

Research Responsibilities
The residents may work with a faculty research person of their choice during the course of their program. Residents are also required to complete a publishable paper by the end of the program.

Benefits
There Is optional participation in a health insurance plan including prescription drug coverage, with a contribution from the employee, depending on the option chosen. Dental care and vision coverage is available through the union representing this position. Residents earn sick leave and annual leave at the rate of 1.25 days per month. Twelve paid holidays per calendar year.

Mission Statement

The residency in vision therapy seeks to attract the best-qualified candidates and provide them with advanced didactic knowledge and a concentrated clinical experience in optometric vision therapy.  Individuals who complete the program are expected to be able to deliver a high level of clinical care in vision therapy, serve as teachers in optometric institutions and serve the profession of optometry as experts and leaders in the areas of vision therapy and binocular vision. 

Goal 1:  To attract a large, diversified and well-qualified applicant pool.
Objectives:

  1. To maintain faculty contact with most U.S. and Canadian schools or colleges of optometry in order to facilitate the annual distribution of program information to interested fourth-year optometric students.

  2. To advertise the program once in an optometric publication(s) each year.  The publication(s) chosen should be widely available to third- and fourth-year optometry students.

Goal 2:  To select the best-qualified candidates from the pool of applicants.
Objectives:

  1. Every candidate who is eventually accepted must go through the interview process.  The interview process will include a personal, primary care and vision therapy oral interview.

  2. Aside from clinical and didactic knowledge, a high level of interest and motivation in vision therapy should be demonstrated by one or more of the following: COVD or OEP membership, attendance at COVD annual meeting, self study, elected clinical rotations in vision therapy or voluntary exposure to vision therapy in a private setting.

Goal 3:  To provide appropriate administrative support commensurate with the needs of the program. 
Objectives:

  1. To provide at least 0.2 FTE administrative support for the program every quarter.

  2. To provide the residents and the program with administrative support services, and materials/equipment necessary for the rendering of effective patient care (making appointments and report preparation) and for professional academic development (paper and presentation preparation).

Goal 4: To provide the space needed and the state of the art equipment commensurate with the needs of the program.
Objectives:

  1. An office for the residents’ exclusive use will be provided.

  2. A computer for the residents’ exclusive use will be provided.

  3. The clinical equipment available to the program must be state-of-the-art as determined by a consensus of at least 3 experts in the field of Vision Therapy.

  4. A clinical room for the residents’ exclusive use will be provided.

Goal 5: There must be an appropriate clinical patient base for the program.
Objectives:

  1. Each resident should spend between 3 to 5 sessions in the vision screening of school-age children

  2. Each resident should examine 45 to 55 adult/pediatric primary-care patients.

  3. Each resident should examine between 25 to 35 patient encounters within the following specialty clinics: Ocular Disease, Contact Lenses, and Low Vision.

  4. Each resident should examine between 15 to 25 encounters related to providing patient care for special populations (children with special needs and infants).

  5. The resident’s overall clinical performance should be formally evaluated at least once per academic quarter.

  6. Each resident’s patient encounters should lie within the range indicate in each of the following categories:

    General Skills Work-ups

    35-45

    Perceptual Work-ups

    10-20

    Skills/Perceptual Vision Training

    450-550

    Strabismus/Amblyopia Work-ups

    45-55

    Strabismus/Amblyopia Training

    80-130

    Head Trauma Work-ups

    10-20

    Head Trauma Training

    10-20

Goal 6: A postgraduate level lecture and seminars program on topics related to optometric vision therapy will be provided.
Objectives:

  1. At least 5 courses (each of at least 20 to 25 hours of duration) will be provided to the residents.

  2. Each resident will fulfill the SUNY Residency Friday Program (didactic component) requirements as described in the SUNY Manual of Procedures for Residency Programs.

  3. At least 2 guest lecturers will be provided each year for vision therapy seminars on topics appropriate to the program.

  4. VT residents will be given at least 2 opportunities a year to visit VT private practices.

Goal 7: To develop or enhance the residents’ didactic presentation skills.
Objectives:

  1. Each resident will attend a minimum of 5 hours of instruction in verbal presentation skills.

  2. Each resident will offer at least 1 presentation on an approved topic for at least 50 minutes (major presentation) in addition to at least 1 presentation on an approved topic for at least 20 minutes (minor presentation).

  3. Evaluation will be an integral part of every presentation made by the resident.

Goal 8: To increase the resident’s skills and knowledge about clinical research through various scholarly activities.
Objectives:

  1. Each resident will submit a paper of publishable quality on an approved topic to the Director of Residencies.

  2. Each VT resident will be given no more than 0.1 FTE per quarter for clinical research if that particular resident is interested and the proposed topic is approved.

Goal 9: To develop the residents’ intra- and interprofessional communication abilities and skills.
Objectives:

  1. Each resident will attend at least 1 national and 1 regional conference related to the field of vision therapy as approved by the program supervisor.

  2. By formal presentation or written documentation, each resident must demonstrate that inter- or intraprofessional communication was a major aspect of case management in at least 10 of his/her clinical cases.

Goal 10: To track career placement of the graduates of this program.
Objective:

  1. Each resident will discuss their postgraduation plans with the residency supervisor during the winter and spring quarter evaluation meetings.  Curriculum vitaes will be reviewed by the residency supervisor upon request by the resident.

Goal 11: To prepare graduates to specialize in and teach in the area of vision therapy and to promote vision therapy as a mode of optometric practice.
Objectives:

  1. Graduates of the residency program will continue to promote and specialize in the area of vision therapy by fulfilling any of the following roles:

  2. Attain fellowship status in the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) with the process initiated by having the residents take the Closed Book Examination for fellowship (FCOVD) towards the end of the program.

  3. Incorporate vision therapy into their professional practice.

  4. Assume an active role within organized optometry.

  5. Attain academic appointment at a college of optometry or lecture for continuing education courses.

  6. Each resident will spend at least 10 (3-hour) sessions supervising students in the clinic.

  7. Each resident will assist in teaching at least 1 laboratory course in vision training.

VT Residency Curriculum