Residency in Ocular Disease/Primary Eye Care Optometry

Dept. of VA, New York Harbor Health Care System, NY

Dept. of Veterans Affairs
New York Harbor Health Care System
Optometry Section/Surgical Service
112 800 Poly Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Program Supervisor
Evan Canellos, OD
Phone: (718) 836-6600ext. 6497
Fax: (718) 630-3573

Additional Faculty
John Laudi, MD

Program Description
The goal of this residency program is to enhance the clinical skills of recent graduates with emphasis on delivering primary care optometry within a multidisciplinary environment and treating and managing a host of ocular diseases. There are 4 positions for the program, with equal time spent at each hospital. The St. Albans VA Hospital sits on 30 acre campus-like site in Queens, New York, near Kennedy Airport. It is about 3 miles from the Nassau County border and 20 miles from both the Brooklyn VA Medical Center and Manhattan. The Brooklyn VA Medical Center is located at the base of the Verazzano Bridge, adjacent to Fort Hamilton in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. The St. Albans VA Extended Care Center, a division of the Brooklyn VA Medical Center has 225 beds serving as an out-patient clinic, domiciliary and an intermediate and extended care facility. The Brooklyn VAMC is a 275-bed acute care medical and teaching center. The Optometry section provides primary eyecare to inpatients and outpatients at the St. Albans VA Extended Care Center and the Brooklyn VAMC.

Program Length

12 months

Start Date

July 1





Hours Per Week



Fully accredited by ACOE

Application Deadline

February 1



Educational Opportunities
Conferences and seminars are held weekly. Ophthalmologic Grand Rounds, Retina Clinic and conferences are held weekly at the Brooklyn VAMC and SUNY Downstate Medical School. Three days per month are devoted to a college sponsored program which includes seminars at SUNY and a joint Grand Rounds meeting. Residents have the opportunity to rotate through other clinics in the hospital through the PRIME program. For example, general medicine, hematology/oncology, rheumatology and thyroid/diabetes clinic. Residents also have the opportunity to observe various ophthalmologic surgery like cataract extractions, trabeculectomy, etc.

Teaching Responsibilities
The resident acts as clinical instructor for fourth year optometry students who rotate through the facility.

Research Responsibilities
Each resident is expected to write a publishable paper. 

Eligible to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and Federal Employees Group Life Insurance. The resident's portion of the health and life insurance premium depends on the plan and coverage selected. Residents earn 13 days sick leave and 13 days annual leave.

Mission Statement

The mission of the NY Harbor Health Care System (Brooklyn/St. Albans) is to afford the resident training and education to provide for the ocular and visual needs of a middle-aged to elderly population of veterans.  Each resident will gain clinical experience in a primary care facility (St. Albans campus) and an acute care facility (Brooklyn campus). Each resident will be expected to diagnose and provide basic care in all aspects of optometry and advanced care in ocular disease with an emphasis on glaucoma.  The resident will act as a full member of the healthcare team with the ability to utilize all hospital resources and services. Residents will be prepared to assume academic/teaching responsibilities as part of their function in a healthcare service environment.

Goal 1: To attract a qualified applicant pool.

  1. To maintain at least 1 faculty contact in most U.S. schools or colleges of optometry and to communicate with that individual at least once during each recruitment cycle.

  2. To advertise the program in at least 1 optometric publication per year.

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

  1. Every candidate who is accepted must go through an interview.

  2. Every candidate who is in the pool must participate in ORMatch.

Goal 3: To provide the resident with training in primary care optometry with an emphasis on ocular disease.

  1. Each resident will be exposed to a patient population of approximately 2,000 individuals who require basic eyecare.

  2. The patient population will include at least 60% of patients who suffer from primary eye disease (e.g. glaucoma) as well as secondary eye disease due to underlying systemic disease or medications (e.g. diabetic retinopathy).

Goal 4: To provide the resident with training in hospital based optometry (primary/acute care) as preparation for future employment in a healthcare center.

  1. Residents will have access to each patient’s full medical record.

  2. Residents will have access to laboratory and imaging studies

  3. Residents will have access to other health care providers for on-site consultation and referral.

  4. The resident will gain clinical experience in a primary care facility (St. Albans campus) and an acute care facility (Brooklyn campus).

Goal 5: To provide the resident with patient comanagement and interdisciplinary care experience.

  1. Residents will have access to other healthcare providers for on-site consultation and referral.

  2. There will be significant patient care interaction between optometry residents, ophthalmology residents and attendings through joint participation in clinic.

  3. Each resident will rotate through other clinics such as emergency medicine, radiology, endocrine, internal medicine, etc. Residents are required to attend a total of 6 clinic sessions including at least two of the following: Emergency, Radiology, Dermatology, Endocrine, Internal Medicine,  Neurology, Rheumatology or Hematology/Oncology.

Goal 6: To provide the resident with advanced training in the diagnosis, treatment and management of glaucoma.

  1. The patient population seen by the resident will exhibit each of the different stages of the glaucoma disease process: initial diagnostic work-up, advanced and end-stage disease.

  2. The resident will participate in training in the use of the full scope of glaucoma medications and in appropriate surgical consults/referrals.

  3. Each resident will be assigned to glaucoma specific clinic rotations.

  4. The resident will have experience with cutting-edge technologies used in diagnosing and following patients.

Goal 7: To provide the resident with didactic and clinical teaching skills for future employment in teaching and/or academic settings.

  1. Each resident will be assigned supervisory responsibilities with optometry students, medical students and medical residents rotating through the optometry clinics.

  2. Each resident will attend lectures, workshops, grand rounds and conferences, a portion of which will be devoted to the development of presentation skills and clinical teaching skills.   

  3. Program requirements include a minor presentation, a major presentation and the preparation of a publishable paper.

VA New York Harbor Residency Curriculum