Residency in Primary Eye Care Optometry

SUNY College of Optometry, NYC

SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street 
New York, NY 10036

Residency Supervisor
Susan Schuettenberg, OD
Phone: (212) 938-4161
Fax: (212)938-5819 

Additional Faculty
Steven Siegel, OD

Program Description
The residency in Primary Eye Care Optometry provides a broad based clinical experience in all aspects of Primary Care.  The residents expand their clinical knowledge by rotating through the SUNY Primary Care Clinic in order to experience a wide variety of patient types. This includes patients requiring contact lens care, diagnosis of binocular anomalies, diagnosis, management and treatment of glaucoma, retinal disease, and emergency eyecare needs.  In addition, the resident rotates through the SUNY Glaucoma Institute, and experiences urban clinical patient care at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn. The resident gains experience in refractive surgery comanagement by rotating through TLC laser center in Manhattan. In a teaching capacity, the resident instructs second-year interns in the Methods laboratory and supervises third-year interns in the Primary Care clinic.  Additionally, the resident can pursue specific clinical interests in vision therapy, low vision, pediatric and infant eyecare, head trauma, retina, neuro-optometry, cornea and specialty contact lens clinics.

Program Length

12 months

Start Date

July 1





Hours Per Week

40 (Plus On-call: Approximately 4 weeks/year rotating with other residents. Currently, on-call consists of phone triage)


Fully accredited by ACOE

Application Deadline

February 1

ORMS Matching Service


Educational Opportunities
The resident is encouraged to attend graduate level seminars and workshops, SUNY sponsored continuing education events and national optometric conferences.  In addition, close interaction with clinical faculty in varied clinical settings provides the resident with enhanced clinical skills and knowledge base.  Moreover, there is the opportunity for optometric research, if the resident desires.

Research/scholarly Responsibilities
Residents are required to present one minor and one major optometric lecture.  The resident is required to write at least one paper of publishable quality by the end of the residency.

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 Primary Care Optometry residency, at the State University of New York, State College of Optometry, provides the highly qualified optometrist with the opportunity to advance in all aspects of Primary Care rendered to a diverse patient population.  Opportunities are provided to diagnose, treat and manage a wide variety of visual system problems, including ocular diseases, and ocular manifestations of systemic diseases.  The residency program provides:

*  A broad based patient population, with sufficient numbers of encounters to supply a wide variety of conditions.
*  A pedagogic component that allows for the acquisition of clinical and classroom teaching skills.
*  Scholarly activities and didactic components that allow the resident to increase his/her knowledge base, along with contributing to the literature. 

When the resident completes the program, they will be qualified to provide a high level of diagnosis and management of a wide variety of visual disorders/ocular diseases, including co-management with appropriate physician referrals in both a private or institutional setting.  In addition, the resident will be able to provide advanced care in an institutional and/or academic setting, along with being able to participate and pursue clinical teaching and lecturing.

Goal 1: To attract and select qualified candidates.

Objective 1: The program will be announced in the College’s advertisement of all its residencies, in the AOA News, at least one time per year.

Objective 2: The program will be included in the College’s written material made available at the luncheon for residency networking at the annual American Academy of Optometry meeting.

Objective 3: The program will be listed and described on the Residency Page of the College’s Web Site.

Objective 4: The selection process will be conducted as specified in the College’s current Manual of Procedures for Residency Programs.

Goal 2: To provide advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of the wide variety of primary eyecare patients and the procedures associated with their diagnosis and management.

Objective 1: The resident will examine, manage and provide patient education to:
100-200 patients with retinal disease
150-250 patients with anterior segment disease
175-250 patients with suspected or diagnosed glaucoma
50-100   patients with binocular/accommodative anomalies
50-75     pediatric patients
75-125   contact lens patients.

Objective 2: The resident will attend and show proficiency in the procedures covered in the advanced clinical procedures workshops that are offered by the College during the summer academic quarter.

Objective 3:  The resident will participate in the annual “Special Olympics Lions Club International Opening Eyes”, Foundation Fighting Blindness’ Annual VisionWalk, and/or the “NY Diabetes Expo” which are coordinated by the SUNY faculty.

Goal 3: To provide the resident with advanced education in Primary Care Optometry.


Objective 1: The resident will complete readings of journal articles, textbooks and electronic informational services assigned by the residency supervisor.


Objective 2: The resident will attend at least one scholarly meeting featuring advanced concepts in primary eyecare.

Objective 3: The resident will attend the required number of Grand Rounds of the SUNY Friday Program, as specified in the College’s Manual of Procedures for Residency Programs.

Objective 4: The resident will attend the required number of Minor and Major presentations of the SUNY Friday Program, as specified in the College’s Manual of Procedures for Residency Programs.

Goal 4: To provide the resident with experience in clinical and didactic teaching.

            Objective 1: The resident will give one minor presentation in the SUNY Friday Program, and be formally evaluated.

Objective 2: The resident will give one major presentation in the SUNY Friday Program.

Objective 3: The resident will have academic opportunities such as: lecturing to interns, involvement in a didactic course.  The resident may utilize one of his/her optional rotations to participate in a clinical laboratory of interest to them (i.e. Visual Fields).  

Objective 4: Under the mentorship of the program supervisor and other selected faculty, the resident will provide clinical instruction to optometric interns rotating through the Primary Care Service for up to three sessions per week beginning in the Spring.

Objective 5: The resident will supervise second year interns in the second year Optometric Procedures Laboratory, during the fall and spring semesters.

Goal 5: To provide the resident with scholarly activities opportunities.

Objective 1: The resident will complete a publishable quality paper in accordance with the policy contained in the College’s Manual for Procedures for Residency Programs.


Objective 2: The resident will be provided the opportunity, based on interest, to participate in clinical research.


Goal 6: The resident will be scheduled for 12 sessions per week that will consist of a combination of direct patient care in the Primary Care Optometry Service (Group Practice), along with other clinical service exposure, teaching, and professional development.

Objective 1: The resident will be scheduled for approximately 4 Primary Care Optometry sessions per week, each quarter.  The resident will also spend one session per week in the Glaucoma Institute, each quarter.  Due to the diversity of the SUNY patient population,  the resident will experience Pediatric cases, contact lens cases and retinal cases while rotating through the Primary Care clinics.

Objective 2: The resident will rotate through a laser center to gain experience in pre/post operative care in refractive surgery.


Objective 3: The resident will be scheduled to provide patient care in a hospital eye clinic.


Objective 4: The resident will have the opportunity in each quarter to elect and participate in one session of a specialty area outside of Primary Care, such as Low Vision, Vision Therapy, Contact Lens Specialty, Head Trauma, Infant’s Vision, Neuro-optometry, and Oculoplastics or participate in laboratory instruction in a course.

Objective 5: The resident will participate in the SUNY Friday residency program and scholarly development for approximately 2 sessions each quarter.

Objective 6: The resident will maintain a patient log that summarizes the various types of patient encounters.

Goal 7: Patient care rendered by the resident will be monitored through the QA&I process. 

Goal 8: To provide the faculty the administrative support commensurate with the needs of the program.

Objective 1: To provide at least 0.15 FTE administrative support for the program.
Objective 2: To provide at least 0.10 FTE secretarial support services for the program.

Goal 9: To provide facilities and equipment appropriate to the needs of the program.

Objective 1: To provide an office for the resident’s use.
Objective 2: To provide a computer for the resident’s use.


Goal 10: Individuals who successfully complete this residency will have potential careers in a wide variety of primary care practices, providing the highest level of diagnostic and treatment and management to a broad spectrum of patients.  They will also have a broad based background to successfully play a role in optometric education.


Objective 1: In conjunction with the College’s Office of Institution Planning and Evaluation, the program will develop a questionnaire that will include, but not be limited to practice setting and duties, history of scholarly pursuits, and participation as a provider of optometric education.  This will be sent to all former residents at approximately 7 year intervals.

Primary Eye Care Residency Curriculum