Residency Program Descriptions

Residency Description



The mission of the optometry residency program at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH (Cincinnati VAMC) is to train individuals to be leaders in optometry by having advanced clinical competence, current knowledge, the capacity to practice full-scope optometry within an integrated health care setting, and who have the skills to participate in clinical research and optometric


  1. To increase the resident’s clinical competence and confidence in the delivery of eye care to veterans through direct patient care activities.
    1. Residents will have at least 1200 patient encounters,
      • At least 250 will be glaucoma patients
      • At least 250 will be diabetic patients
      • At least 100 will be macular degeneration patients
      • There will be at least 50 from the following categories:
        • Functionally significant cataracts
        • Acute care (red eye, foreign body)
        • Other retinal vascular disease
  • To broaden the resident’s ophthalmic knowledge base of ocular disease processes, and to enhance their ability to apply this clinically.
    1. The resident will attend at least 75% of the weekly grand rounds programs sponsored by the University of Cincinnati Ophthalmology Department.
    2. he resident will attend at least 75% of the monthly University of Cincinnati’s Optometric Continuing Education Lecture Series.
    3. Residents will prepare case reports and journal review s as assigned.
  • To develop the resident’s skills as an optometric educator.
    1. Residents will present a poster at a national/regional meeting.
    2. Residents will present at least one continuing education lecture at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, University of Cincinnati Department of Ophthalmology, a local zone meeting or to the staff at the Cincinnati VAMC.
    3. Residents will prepare a paper of publishable quality or complete a research project.
  • To cultivate the resident’s ability to interact with other healthcare providers in a multidisciplinary setting.
    1. Residents will observe healthcare providers from at least three different medical disciplines.
    2. Residents will attend hospital-wide lectures at the Cincinnati VAMC and/or University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio is part of VA Healthcare System of Ohio, Network 10 and consists of the main campus on Vine Street in Cincinnati and five Community Based Outpatient Clinics located in Florence, KY; Bellevue, KY; Clermont County, OH; Hamilton, OH and Lawrenceburg, IN. The Cincinnati VA provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services, including medicine, surgery, neurology, physical medicine, psychiatry, rehabilitation and mental health. The surgery care section has a robust ophthalmology program with all of the subspecialty services available. The medical center offers a wide variety of special programs including a hospice end-of-life care, a skilled care nursing home, geriatric evaluation and management, respite care, an Alzheimer's unit, home base primary care, residential and outpatient post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a wide range of mental health programs, including substance abuse programs. The hospital is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati Medical School and has health-related training agreements with over fifty colleges and universities.

    The clinic population is comprised primarily of males in their 6th – 8th decades of life. The prevalence of ocular disease in this population is quite high. While some “normal” eyes are examined, the vast majority of patients present with one or more chronic ocular conditions including: glaucoma, ocular hypertension, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration or cataracts. A significant number of patients also present with acute conditions including: uveitis, keratitis, conjunctivitis, trauma, and diplopia.

    The Cincinnati VAMC provides full-scope optometric and ophthalmologic care within a hospital setting where optometry has more than 6800 patient encounters per year and ophthalmology has over 5,500. The optometry clinic consists of 7 staff optometrists, 5 ophthalmic technicians and a tele-retinal photographer /technician. The medical center also has an ophthalmology clinic consisting of four University of Cincinnati ophthalmology residents and 14 consulting ophthalmologists with specialties in retina, glaucoma, cornea, strabismus, neurology and oculo-plastics. The optometry clinic and ophthalmology clinic often share patients and interact frequently. There are four fully equipped exam lanes devoted to ophthalmology and eight devoted to optometry. Auxiliary equipment includes a digital fundus camera with fluorescein angiography capabilities, a digital anterior segment camera, lasers (SLT, argon and YAG), an A and B scan ultrasonography unit, a Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer (HVF), a Cirrus OCT, a Visante OCT, Heidelberg Retina Tomograph (HRT), Frequency Doubling Technology perimetry (FDT) and a pachymeter. An eyeglass dispensary with a licensed optician is located on the hospital grounds for the convenience of our patients.


    Please send 2 letters of reference, Optometry school transcript and a letter of intent.

    Interviews will be completed in January and February.


    Clinical training to include at least 1200 patient encounters. The resident will participate in low vision clinic, depending on their interest. Observational experiences will also be available when interesting conditions or patients are examined by other doctors in the service. Training in auxiliary testing and advanced skills including: A/B scan, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Heidelberg Retina Tomograph (HRT), Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer (HVF), anterior/posterior segment photography, Fluorescein Angiography (FANG), gonioscopy, scleral depression, and punctual dilation and lacrimal irrigation. The Ohio State University provides visitations to organizations for the visually impaired which may include; the Ohio State School for the Blind, Pilot Dogs of America, Vision Center of Central Ohio (Blind Rehabilitation Center), and the Chicago Lighthouse. Residents attend weekly ophthalmology grand rounds; monthly optometric continuing education lectures and participates in various clinic assignments (i.e. lectures, case presentations, journal clubs, and clinical workshops). Residents rotate through various subspecialty ophthalmic practices including surgery (cataract, retinal, glaucoma and cornea). They attend hospital-wide lectures, participate on multidisciplinary teams in outpatient clinics, and observe healthcare providers from different medical disciplines (e.g. primary care medicine, neurology, radiology, and specialty ophthalmic practices). Educational skills are developed through preparing a paper of publishable quality, constructing and presenting a poster at the EastWest Eye Conference, and giving a continuing education lecture. Additional presentations made at the major optometric conferences are encouraged (American Academy of Optometry (AAO), Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO), American Optometric Association (AOA)), and Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS).


    Twelve months, beginning July 1.


    Established by the VA Headquarters in Washington D.C., currently $33,194


    Residents are eligible for health and life insurance and accrue 4hrs annual leave and sick leave per pay period.

    POSITIONS: Three



    Kelly R. Thompson, O.D., F.A.A.O.
    Residency Site Coordinator
    Cincinnati VA Medical Center – Eye Center
    2929 Highland Avenue
    Cincinnati, OH 45219
    Phone: (513) 559-3560
    Cell: (513) 276-9878
    Fax: (513) 475-6944