Residency in Primary Eye Care/Vision Therapy and Low Vision Rehabilitation

Category Title: Primary Care Optometry
Program Emphasis Areas: Ocular Disease
                                              Vision Rehabilitation

United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Northport VA Medical Center Optometry Service (123)
79 Middleville Rd
Northport, NY 11768

Program Supervisor
Shephali Patel, OD
Phone: (631) 261-4400 x 2136
Fax: (631) 266-6056

Additional Faculty
Lynn Finnegan, OD
Bradley Meltzer, OD
Marina Meyerowitz, OD
Catherine Scandiffio, OD
Grace Tan, OD
Joseph Hallak, OD
Sonia Valle, OD
Gina Cardone, OD
Lisa Chan-O’Connell, OD
Jessica Licausi, OD
Michael Fischer, OD
Danielle Kalberer, OD

The residency program at Northport VAMC is designed to provide the graduate optometrist with an excellent training experience through direct clinical care and extensive didactic and scholarly activities. The clinical component of the residency program involves direct patient care and rotations through various clinics throughout the hospital.

There are two main components of the program: rehabilitation and hospital-based primary eyecare. The rehabilitative orthoptics component consists of the diagnosis and treatment of visual problems secondary to aging, stroke, TBI and a variety of systemic/ocular conditions, in the construct of a multidisciplinary health team model. Residents also provide care in the hospital’s Center of Balance, a unique multidisciplinary program in which patients with vestibular and balance problems are evaluated and treated by Optometry, Audiology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services. The low vision rehabilitation components consist of diagnostic exams and treatment of patients with low vision/legal blindness in both an outpatient setting and through our comprehensive VICTORS Program (low vision, rehabilitation, social work, etc.).

As this is a hospital-based program, the opportunity to interact with medical, social service, nursing and other specialized care practitioners at the hospital is available. The emphasis of the primary eyecare component is the involvement of the residents in the Primary Health Care model and will emphasize the optometrist as the “Primary Eyecare Provider”. The residents will be exposed to clinical experiences in the diagnosis and treatment of refractive and binocular conditions, ocular pathology and the ocular consequences of systemic disease and medications. The didactic and scholarly activities component of the program includes morning lectures by staff, journal club, various lecturing responsibilities, attending professional meetings and participation in the comprehensive educational program sponsored by our affiliate.

Program Length 12 months
Start Date July 1
Positions 4
Compensation $40,237
Hours Per Week 40 hours (Plus on call: 1-2 weeks per month)
Accreditation Fully Accredited by ACOE
Application Deadline ORMatch Deadline
ORMatch Yes
Professional Liability Insurance Federal Tort

Educational Responsibilities
The resident will follow a curriculum that includes lectures and clinical care of patients within primary care, ocular disease, vision therapy, head trauma, vestibular and low vision clinics. Residents must also fulfill all of the educational requirements of the SUNY Friday Program.

Teaching Responsibilities
The resident will present lectures within the Optometry Service, as well as to other practitioners, staff and patient groups within the hospital. The resident will have the opportunity to partake in the teaching of fourth-year externs.

Research Responsibilities
The resident is required to complete a minor presentation, major presentation and a paper of publishable quality.

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 per year. Low rent dormitory housing is available.

Mission Statement
The residency in Primary Care/Vision Therapy and Low Vision Rehabilitation seeks to attract the best qualified optometry graduates who have demonstrated an interest in rehabilitative modalities, as well as advanced primary care in an interdisciplinary team setting. The resident will be provided with advanced clinical training in low vision and rehabilitative orthoptics, including evaluation and management of patients with sensorimotor deficits, visual consequences of head trauma and vestibular disorders. In addition, the resident will provide beyond entry level patient care in the diagnosis, treatment and management of ocular diseases. Residents will be involved in multidisciplinary patient care in a VA Medical Center setting. Individuals who complete the program are expected to be able to deliver a high level of clinical care in these areas.

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