Cleveland VA Medical Center

An Ocular Disease Residency

4 Positions Available

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Ocular Disease Residency at the Cleveland VA Medical Center is to develop residents with advanced clinical skills and competency within an integrated health care system, as well as fostering lifelong learning and achievement in the profession for the betterment of patient care.


  1. To develop advanced clinical skills and competence in the delivery of eye care, specifically the treatment and management of ocular disease.
  2. To increase the resident’s ophthalmic knowledge base, and to enhance their ability to apply this clinically
  3. To develop the resident’s ability for making academic contributions in the eye care community by providing opportunities for lecturing, clinical teaching, and publishing, among other outlets.
  4. To effectively integrate the resident’s delivery of ophthalmic care into a multidisciplinary health care system.


Twelve months, beginning July 1.

Clinical administrative hours are 0800-1630, although patient care may require later attendance.

For one quarter of the year, each resident will take turns carrying a pager and triage emergency calls from the ED. After hours emergencies are covered by Ophthalmology.

Residency Description

This residency is designed to foster the skills of optometrists to enable them to manage patients with a high incidence of eye and systemic disease. Residents provide patient care with graduated supervision in the setting of a major, academically affiliated medical center, with rotations to the adjacent Blind Rehabilitation Center and one freestanding outpatient clinic. Clinical care delivered cooperatively with other health professions within the framework of a comprehensive health care facility is the primary focus of this residency and is amply supplemented by rounds, journal club, case conferences, lectures, and rotations.

Key features of the residency are multiple residents, major educational and research-oriented facilities, close cooperation with an academic ophthalmology program, optometry retina clinics, unique academic conference, advanced medical contact lens and low vision experience, multiple clinical settings, and opportunity to manage challenging out-patients and in-patients with graduated, increasing independence.

The Cleveland VA Medical Center is part of the The Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System of Ohio, providing health care to veterans in north central and northeast Ohio at the Medical Center and multiple Community Based Outpatient Clinics. Residents rotate among three sites:

The Wade Park Division is located in the University Circle area of Cleveland, a major medical, educational, and cultural hub. Much of the acute and tertiary care, as well as outpatient care, is delivered at this facility. Due to its proximity to the medical school affiliate, Case Western Reserve University, much of the medical education activity, including ophthalmology resident training, takes place at this VA unit.

The Cleveland VA Blind Rehabilitation Center, located at the Wade Park facility, is a 15- bed comprehensive blind rehabilitation program including low vision, orientation and mobility, living skills, computer access, manual skills, leisure and recreational activities.

The Parma CBOC (Community Based Outpatient Clinic) is about 40 minutes Southwest of Wade park. This is the largest of the Cleveland VA CBOC's with a broad scope of services offered.

Requirements for Completion

To successfully complete the residency and receive a residency certificate, the resident will:

  1. Attend and complete all clinical assignments, conducting yourself in a professional manner, arriving to work on time, and remaining in clinic until all patients received care and all exam notes are completed, on a daily basis.
  2. Attend, document, and complete all scholarly and didactic activities, including poster presentations, papers, and recruitment lectures, in accordance with the Mentor Guidelines
  3. Complete all assigned evaluations by the program and faculty and any remediation plan if deficiencies are noted.
  4. Obtain licensure in the State of Ohio, within the first six months of your residency (on or before December 31st), to allow for full participation in all levels of Supervision and Optometry student precepting. Maintaining Ohio licensure through the final day of your residency is required.
  5. Attendance during the final week of the residency program to ensure proper out-processing and clinical coverage. Terminal leave is not permitted.


  • STIPEND: Established by the VA Headquarters in Washington D.C., currently $44,081.
  • Salary is not contingent upon resident productivity.
  • Residents are eligible for health and life insurance.
  • Residents accrue 4 hrs annual leave and of sick leave per pay period.
  • Professional liability is covered by Federal Tort Claims act at all clinics

Application Materials and Procedures

ORMATCH application deadline is January 14. 

Apply through and participate in ORMatch website
ORMatch # 24124

Inquiries (for this program only) should be directed to Dr. Rachael Canana, Program Coordinator. When application materials are on file with the program coordinator, the applicant will be contacted regarding an interview. Residents are selected by a faculty committee based on credentials presented and a personal interview. Applicants will be evaluated without regard to gender, race, creed, national origin, or non-disqualifying disabilities. Residents must be graduates of a school or college of optometry accredited by ACOE and must be US citizens. They must also obtain licensure in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia before completion of the first year of VA residency.

Pass Parts I, II, III, and TMOD of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) examinations, before the first day of residency in July. Failure to pass all the above stated Parts by your first day, results in rescinding the ORMatch match results, and your immediate exclusion from the program.

Interview dates: 1/29, 2/2, 2/5, and 2/9

Dr. Canania

Rachael Canania, OD
Optometry Section
216-791-3800 ext.66087

Cleveland VAMC
10701 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106