Merrimack Vision Care
What's Next?
RESIDENCY IN PRIMARY EYE CARE, VISION THERAPY AND 
NEURO-REHABILITATION
At Merrimack Vision Care
Merrimack and Manchester, NH
Affiliated with the
SOUTHERN COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
 

PROGRAM MISSION

The mission of the residency is to provide an opportunity to experience full-scope primary care optometry with a strong emphasis on vision therapy, developmental vision and neuro-rehabilitative optometric care. Our program will provide post-graduate clinical experience beyond that of the Doctor of Optometry program and its clinical externships. It will provide the education and management skills that are needed to excel in a private practice setting. 

 

Goal 1: Enhance the resident’s examination skills in optometric primary care, with an emphasis on pediatrics and functional vision disorders

 

Objective: The resident will develop a high degree of efficiency in the provision of primary eye and vision care services, particularly focused on pediatrics, strabismus and amblyopia; vision related learning problems, vision therapy and neuro-rehabilitation.

Outcome: The resident will provide primary eye and specialized vision care services at any of our 3 sites, involving approximately 1500 patient encounters of which 50% will involve the areas of pediatrics, strabismus and amblyopia; vision related learning problems, vision therapy and neuro-rehabilitation.

Measure: The resident will report the number of patient encounters of each type using the activity log.
 

Goal 2: Develop the resident’s expertise in vision therapy and Neuro-rehab to a wide variety of patients.

 

Objective: The resident will be involved in the decision making process to determine which patients will benefit from other services like optometric vision therapy, neuro-rehab therapy or return for further ocular health testing.

Outcome: The resident will possess the ability to determine which patients will benefit from vision therapy/neuro-rehab therapy services or which patients require further testing for diagnosis and management of ocular disease. They will learn how to select and successfully perform proper vision therapy procedures at the appropriate level of complexity for the patient and as well as how to determine which patients require follow-up and referral to other professionals.

Measure: The resident will be evaluated quarterly by the supervisor to determine if the appropriate diagnosis and treatment recommendations are being applied at the appropriate level.
 

Goal 3: Strengthen the resident’s expertise in the diagnosis and management of refractive, physiological and pathological conditions of the eye, the adnexa, visual pathways and the central nervous system.

 

Objective 1: The resident will perform the appropriate diagnostic examination procedures, including visual fields, VEP, ERG, OCT and ocular photography as appropriate, which will improve their expertise as a clinician.

Outcome: The resident will consistently select and successfully perform the proper diagnostic procedures as indicated for each patient.

Measure: The resident will be evaluated quarterly by the supervisor to determine if the appropriate testing and interpretation is being followed.


Objective 2: The resident will determine the correct diagnoses for each patient.

Outcome: The resident will consistently select the correct diagnosis for each patient with increasing independence as the residency program progresses.

Measure: The resident will be evaluated quarterly by the supervisor to assess the appropriateness of the resident’s diagnostic ability.


Objective 3: The resident will determine the best management based on the diagnoses.

Outcome: The resident will consistently devise an appropriate management plan for each patient in order to best address the patient’s needs.

Measure: The resident will be evaluated quarterly by the supervisor to assess the resident’s management skills.
 

Goal 4: Increase the resident’s knowledge of the diagnosis, management and treatment of systemic and ocular disease

 

Objective 1: The resident will acquire additional knowledge in the diagnosis, management and co-management of systemic disease with particular emphasis on those with significant ocular manifestations such as trauma, stoke, hypertension and diabetes. The resident will also acquire additional knowledge in the diagnosis, management and treatment of ocular diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal disease and other primary eye care disease states.

Outcome: The resident will evaluate at least 100 patients with systemic disease with ocular manifestations.

Measure: The resident will report on the number of patient encounters of this type using the activity log.


Objective 2: The resident will develop knowledge in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of ocular diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal disease, dry eye, and other primary eye care disease states.

Outcome: The resident will evaluate at least 100 patients with ocular disease.

Measure: The resident will report on the number of patient encounters of this type using the activity log.
 

Goal 5: Develop the resident’s skills in presenting topics to fellow professionals.

 

Objective: The resident will acquire and practice skills needed to effectively present information to other professionals in group settings.

Outcome: The resident will present lectures during meetings of the clinic or other health care providers at least once per quarter. The resident will be trained to speak to OT groups, school nurses, teachers and parent groups on the relationship between vision and learning.

Measure: The resident will report monthly on these types of activities using the activity log.
 

Goal 6: Instill in the resident an appreciation of the importance of professional correspondence.

 

Objective: Educate the resident in the preparation of proper inter-professional correspondence.

Outcome: The resident will prepare professional reports to primary care doctors, medical specialists, neurologists in order to keep them apprised of the progress of patients in our neuro-rehab therapy program as well as patients in the primary care practice with ocular manifestations of systemic disease (Ex. diabetes).

Measure: The resident will report monthly on the number of professional reports/letters sent using the activity log.
 

Goal 7: Develop the skills necessary to provide inpatient care at several area rehabilitation hospitals.

 

Objective: The resident will manage the care of in-patients rehabilitation hospitals. Resident will utilize special, handheld equipment (portable auto-refractor, slit lamp, tonometer, portable lens meter, etc.) to examine, diagnose and manage the treatment of patients with various neurological disorders ranging from stroke, to TBI to ALS to Parkinson’s disease.

Outcome: The resident will manage the vision clinic at these facilities and will work closely with physiatrists, neurologists, and occupational therapists in order to manage the care of these patients and reduce their visual symptoms. The resident will evaluate at least 100 patients with ocular disease.

Measure: The resident will report on the number of patient encounters of this type using the activity log.
 

CURRICULUM

The educational objectives of the curriculum are intended to ensure attainment of the mission, goals, and objectives of the program. Consequently, each educational objective reflects an individual program goal. Specifically:
 

Program Goal 1

 

Objective: The resident will develop a high degree of efficiency in the provision of primary eye and vision care services, particularly in the area of pediatrics, strabismus and amblyopia, vision related learning, vision therapy, and vision rehabilitation, for head trauma and stroke.

Learning Activity: The resident will provide primary eye and vision care services involving approximately 1500 patient encounters, 50% of which will include both pediatric vision therapy cases and neuro-rehabilitation cases. These encounters will include but not be limited to: strabismus, amblyopia, binocular and accommodative dysfunctions, visual information processing dysfunctions, ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum and acquired brain injury.

Outcome: The resident will develop enhanced skills in the management of primary eye care and unique vision care patients as mentioned above.
 

Program Goal 2

 

Objective: The resident will develop a high degree of efficiency and skill in providing vision therapy services to a wide variety of patients.

Learning activity: The resident will perform vision therapy and help direct our therapists in dealing with children struggling with vision related learning problems; patients with accommodative, binocular, and oculomotor dysfunctions; patients with strabismus and amblyopia; patients with autism spectrum, ADHD; and individuals recovering from acquired brain injury and stroke.

Outcome: The resident will become proficient in providing and managing vision therapy services for a wide variety of patients in a private practice setting.
 

Program Goal 3

 

Objective: The resident’s expertise in the diagnosis and management of refractive, physiologic and pathologic conditions of the eye, the adnexa, visual pathways and central nervous system will be enhanced.

Learning Activity: The resident will provide services to a significant number of patients with refractive, physiologic and pathologic conditions of the eye and vision, particularly in areas of a functional/behavioral evaluation in addition to the routine optometric examination. The resident will formulate a diagnosis based on the results of the procedures performed. These encounters will include but not be limited to: strabismus, amblyopia, binocular dysfunctions, accommodative dysfunctions, oculomotor dysfunctions, visual-auditory integration dysfunctions, visual motor dysfunctions, visual perceptual dysfunctions, visual information processing problems, ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum, acquired brain injury from stroke, trauma, or neurological disease.

Outcome: The resident will become highly proficient in the performance and interpretation of basic and advanced ocular examination techniques on patients with complex ocular and vision anomalies and will attain advanced skills in the management of these patients.
 

Program Goal 4

 

Objective: The resident will utilize a wide variety of diagnostic procedures and instrumentation while caring for patients.

Learning Activity: The resident will perform and/or interpret ophthalmic diagnostic tests that can include: VEP, ERG, internal and external ocular photography, OCT, and other tests, such as genetic testing for AMD.

Outcome: The resident will develop advanced knowledge of specialized diagnostic procedures and instrumentation.
 

Program Goal 5

 

Objective: The resident will acquire additional knowledge in the diagnosis, management, and co-management of systemic disease with particular emphasis on those with significant ocular manifestations such as trauma, stroke, hypertension and diabetes.

Learning Activity: The resident will provide eye and vision care to patients with systemic disease and will consult with non-optometric providers in the total care of these patients.

Outcome: The resident will be able to communicate effectively with physicians in the co-management of patients who have systemic disease that impacts their ocular and visual health and that can have a direct impact on the patient’s quality of life.
 

Program Goal 6

 

Objective: The resident will develop and present original presentations to other health care professionals.

Learning Activity: The resident will present at least one lecture per quarter to the clinic or another staff/group including presentations on vision and learning to teachers, nurses and OT groups.

Outcome: The resident will develop skills in providing effective presentations to health care professionals.
 

Program Goal 7

 

Objective: The resident will engage in profession correspondence.

Learning Activity: The resident will utilize electronic records to assist in the proper correspondence with other medical professionals. .

Outcome: The resident will develop the natural ability to quickly compose professional reports in an efficient manner.
 

Program Goal 8

 

Objective: The resident will oversee the care or in-patients at 5 area rehabilitation hospitals.

Learning Activity: The resident will visit these area hospitals weekly and will perform thorough examinations utilizing unique handheld equipment. They will ultimately work with OT’s, neurologists, and physiatrists to manage the visual symptoms and eye health of the patients under their care.

Outcome: The resident will develop the ability to use special equipment and gain experience in dealing with patients with acute neurological injuries and degenerative conditions. They will learn to work with other medical providers as “part of the rehab team” in an effort to improve the quality of life of each of these patients.
 

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

A. All applicants must complete the SCO application and return by January 30. Supporting documents should be submitted to the Director of Residency Programs of Southern College of Optometry no later than January 30. This program uses Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch). Applicants must complete the ORMatch application by the SCO deadline of January 30, to be considered. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all supporting documentation is submitted to each entity involved, e.g., the College, ORMatch, and the residency site supervisor.

In order to take part in the Match you must have passed NBEO Part I, Part II (PAM) and TMOD. Those applying to a VA hospital or a state that does not require TMOD to obtain licensure are an exception if TMOD is not passed on first attempt.

B. Applicant must have earned an O.D. degree, or will have earned such a degree by the time of matriculation from a school/college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.

C. Applicant will furnish an official transcript from his/her school/college of optometry. An applicant should have a cumulative grade point average greater than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the professional optometric curriculum.

D. Applicant must pass all parts of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry examinations required for state licensure and furnish official transcripts when available. If accepted, the resident is expected to obtain a state optometry license.

E. Three letters of recommendation are required. 

F. A brief essay stating reasons for applying to this program.

G. A personal interview is required at Merrimack Vision Care.

H. Southern College of Optometry affirms that no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity at or affiliated with Southern College of Optometry on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, disability, or national origin.
 

LETTER OF INTENT

All applicants selected for admission must sign a standard letter of intent.
 

LENGTH OF RESIDENCY

Each residency is one calendar year in length, commencing July 1st.
 

LEAVE POLICY

The resident is eligible for thirteen days annual, sick, or personal leave. The resident is also eligible for approved educational leave to attend approved professional meetings. Annual and educational leave is granted with prior approval of the Supervisor in conjunction with the SCO Director of Residency Programs.
 

STATUS OF THE RESIDENT

A. The resident is defined as an employee of Merrimack Vision Care and the residency stipend is paid by Merrimack Vision Care. No tuition or fees are applicable.

B. The resident should apply for optometric license in New Hampshire and complete the NH written examination prior to the beginning of the residency.

C. Professional liability protection for residents for professional activity performed at Merrimack Vision Care and any area rehab facilities is provided by Merrimack Vision Care.

D. Residents will be required to present credentials according to the Southern College of Optometry policy for credentialing of residents.

E. Resident privileges will be determined by Merrimack Vision Care. Resident will be expected to provide services at all 3 Merrimack Vision Care owned practices. Placement will be at the sole discretion of the residency supervisor.
 

CRITERIA FOR COMPLETION OF RESIDENCY

A. The resident is required to deliver clinical services at a level that is satisfactory to the Residency Supervisor, the Residency Committee, Director of Residency Programs, and the SCO and Merrimack Vision Care. Normal clinic hours are from 8:00 A.M. until patient care is completed, usually around 5:00 P.M., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tuesday house are from 11:00AM until 8:00PM. Thursdays are reserved for external rehab hospital visits. These hours are dictated by the facilities, but usually begin at 8:30 and end by 5PM.In the event that rehab hours are cancelled due to low hospital census, resident will report to clinic from 11:00 AM until 8:00 PM. Saturday hours are required 2 Saturdays per month from 9:00AM until 1:00PM. The resident is expected to be present in the clinic during all scheduled working hours, except when attending or delivering lectures or attending approved education. The resident may occasionally be required to be on call.

B. The resident is required to keep a record of patient contacts. This can be easily done through our EMR system. The Supervisor of the Residency Program, the Director of Residency Programs, and the Residency Committee will review the resident’s activity periodically.

C. The resident is required to write a publication quality paper based on original research, literature review, or a clinical case.

D. The resident will be required to deliver an oral presentation at the annual Resident Weekend, held on the campus at SCO.

E. The resident is expected to perform in a professional manner in the delivery of patient care services and to observe those proprieties of conduct and courtesies that are consistent with the rules and regulations governing Merrimack Vision Center and Southern College of Optometry Residency Programs.

F. The resident is required to participate in and complete the requirements set forth in the curriculum.

G. Upon successful completion of the Residency Program, the Residency Supervisor and the Director of Residency Programs will recommend the granting of certification to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

H. Any resident accepted for training can be dismissed, without receiving a certificate of completion, for infractions of the rules and regulations of Merrimack Vision Care or those set forth by Southern College of Optometry, or for any action which jeopardizes the safety of patients, personnel, or physical facilities.


A resident rotating through a hospital based (or similar) residency program must adhere to all facility policies and procedures, including but not limited to, receiving all required immunizations or showing appropriate medical documentation that he/she is in full medical compliance with required immunizations.  In addition, if a resident cannot receive a flu or similar immunization due to potential allergic reaction, medical documentation must be made available to the Program Supervisor prior to the program's start date.  A resident should receive the required immunizations provided by the facility when appropriate.  Otherwise, any costs incurred will be the resident's responsibility.  Any grievances should be submitted in writing to SCO's Director for Residency Programs utilizing the procedures found in the Residency Handbook.
 

STIPEND

A residency stipend will be provided for the year of training paid by the clinic. The stipend is currently $39,000. Compensation is not contingent upon productivity of the resident. Additional benefits such as FICA and professional liability insurance are also funded by the clinic.
 

HEALTH INSURANCE

The resident will have the opportunity to receive up to $250 per month to purchase personal health insurance. 
 

MOONLIGHTING POLICY

Moonlighting is defined as employment outside of the residency during the term of the residency. Moonlighting is permitted while enrolled as a resident in this program ONLY with prior approval of the program supervisor. Moonlighting is not permitted to interfere with or be substituted for any assigned residency activity.
 

ACCREDITATION

The residency program at Vision Merrimack Vision Care will apply for accreditation by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141, 314-991-4100, during the first year a resident is enrolled in this program.
 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

Upon satisfying all the requirements for completion of the program as determined by the Supervisor of the Residency Program and the Director of the Residency Programs, a Certificate of Completion will be awarded to the resident by Southern College of Optometry.
 

REPORTING STATUS

The resident reports to the Supervisor of the residency program. The Supervisor reports directly to the SCO Director of Residency Programs who in turn reports directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern College of Optometry.
 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

 

Cheryl E. Ervin, O.D.
Director, Residency Programs
Southern College of Optometry
1245 Madison Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 722-3201