Vision Therapy & Low Vision Residency Program Policies
What's Next?
Residency in Vision Therapy/Low Vision Rehabilitation
at Southern College of Optometry
 

Program Mission Statement:

The Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation Optometry Residency Program at Southern College of Optometry provides qualified graduate optometrists with advanced clinical experience in the management of binocular vision disorders including vision therapy, low vision rehabilitation, acquired brain injury and developmental/behavioral aspects of vision care that will facilitate their development into exceptional clinicians offering specialized skills in optometric care for low vision rehabilitation patients and persons with binocular and developmental vision impairment.
 

Goal 1: Enhance the resident’s examination skills in vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation

 

Objective: The resident will develop a high degree of efficiency in the provision of vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation services

 

Outcome: The resident will provide vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation services involving a minimum of 1000 encounters.

 

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

 

Goal 2: Strengthen the resident’s expertise in the diagnosis and management of vision problems in binocular, perceptual vision and low vision.

 

Objective 1: The resident will perform the appropriate diagnostic procedures.       

 

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

 

Measure: The resident will be evaluated quarterly by the supervisor to determine if the desired level of technical and cognitive ability is being exhibited.

 

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

 

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 3: Expand the resident’s knowledge of specialized low vision assistive devices and non-optical low vision assistive techniques.

 

Objective 1: The resident will develop expertise in low vision patient evaluation and prescription of magnifiers.

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and instruct at least 125 low vision patients for magnifiers.

 

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

 

Objective 2: The resident will develop expertise in low vision patient evaluation and prescription of hand-held and spectacle-mounted telescopes.

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and instruct at least 60 low vision patients for hand held and spectacle mounted telescopes.

 

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

 

Objective 3: The resident will develop expertise in low vision patient evaluation and prescription of electronic magnification systems.

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and instruct at least 30 low vision patients for electronic magnification systems.

 

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

 

Objective 4: The resident will develop expertise in low vision patient evaluation and prescription of prism.

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and instruct at least 30 low vision patients for prism.

 

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

 

Objective 5: The resident will develop expertise in low vision patient evaluation and prescription of optical filters.

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and instruct at least 40 low vision patients for optical filters.

 

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

 

Objective 6: The resident will gain experience in managing patients with vision impairment with non-optical assistive devices.

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and manage at least 50 patients with vision impairment using non-optical assistive devices.

 

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

 

Goal 4:  Expand the resident’s knowledge of binocular and perceptual vision problems.

 

Objective 1: The resident will gain experience in managing patients with visual processing disorders and/or vision related learning disabilities.

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and manage a minimum of 90 patients with visual processing disorders and/or vision related learning disabilities.

 

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

 

Objective 2: The resident will gain experience in managing patients with accommodative dysfunction and/or non-strabismic disorders of binocular vision

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and manage a minimum of 95 patients with accommodative dysfunction.

 

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

 

Objective 3: The resident will gain experience in managing patients with strabismus.

 

Outcome: The patient will evaluate and manage a minimum of 75 patients with strabismus.

 

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

 

Objective 4: The resident will gain experience in managing patients with amblyopia.

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and manage a minimum of 35 patients with amblyopia.

 

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

 

Objective 5: The resident will gain experience in managing patients with acquired brain injury.           

 

Outcome: The resident will evaluate and manage a minimum of 85 patients with acquired brain injury.

 

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

 

Goal 5:  Develop the resident’s skill 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 at least one lecture per quarter during the regular Residency Conference and when possible will present posters or lectures in other settings such as the American Academy of Optometry, COVD or the American Optometric Association.

 

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

 

Goal 6: Instill in the resident an appreciation of the importance of scholarly activity.

 

Objective: Educate the resident in the preparation of a professional manuscript.

 

Outcome: The resident will prepare a publication-quality manuscript on an approved topic.

 

Measure: The resident will complete the manuscript by the designated completion date.

 

Goal 7:  Provide the resident with the opportunity to become an effective clinical educator.

 

Objective: The resident will supervise optometry student clinicians in the provision of vision services to patients.

 

Outcome: The resident will mentor and oversee the optometry students during the final 6 months of the residency.

 

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

 

Goal 8: Expand the resident's health care knowledge base in the field of rehabilitative vision care.

 

Objective: Expose the resident to the multidisciplinary approach for treatment and management of persons with vision impairment.

 

Outcome: The resident will attend a minimum of six community outreach/agency meeting (e.g., Vision Quest, Foundation for Fighting Blindness, Professional Network on Aging, etc.).

The resident will visit different practice approaches pertaining to low vision rehabilitation. These may include a private practice offering low vision services; a university based rehabilitation center; a non-profit rehabilitation agency; and/or a hospital based rehab center.

 

Measure: The resident will report participation in the above activities in the activity log.

In addition to the specific educational objectives listed, the resident will participate in the weekly residency conferences. These conferences cover a range of optometric topics and are updated each year. Generally, the following areas are covered during multiple presentations every year:

            Contact lens fitting and problem solving

            Office Emergencies

            Anterior and posterior segment ocular disease

            Binocular vision

Three to four grand rounds presentations, typically emphasizing ocular disease, are also presented each year.

 

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 a specific program goal. Specifically:

 

 Program Goal 1

 

Objective: The resident will develop a high degree of efficiency in the provision of vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation services

 

Learning Activity: The resident will provide vision therapy and low vision services involving a minimum of 1000 patient encounters

 

Outcome: The resident will develop enhanced skills in the management of vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation patients as mentioned above.

 

Program Goal 2

 

Objective: Strengthen the resident’s expertise in the diagnosis and management of vision problems in binocular, perceptual vision and low vision.

 

Learning Activity: The resident will perform appropriate diagnostic procedures, make correct diagnoses, and implement management plans for pediatric patients with regular assessment and feedback from the program supervisor.

 

Outcome: The resident will develop advanced skills in the diagnosis and management of vision problems in pediatric patients.  The resident will utilize a wide variety of low vision assistive and non-optical devices in caring for patients.

 

Program Goal 3

 

Objective: The resident will evaluate, prescribe, and educate patients in the use of magnifiers, telescopes, electronic magnification systems, prism, optical filters and non-optical assistive devices.  The resident will develop advanced knowledge of low vision assistive devices.

 

Learning Activity: The resident will develop advanced knowledge of low vision assistive devices.

 

Outcome: The resident will develop advanced competency in managing patients with low vision rehabilitative vision problems.

 

Program Goal 4

 

Objective: Expand the resident’s knowledge of binocular and perceptual vision problems.

 

Learning Activity: The resident will provide care to patients with vision related learning disabilities, accommodative dysfunction, non-strabismic disorders of binocular vision, strabismus, amblyopia, visual perceptual problems, oculomotor dysfunction and acquired brain injury.

 

Outcome: The resident will develop advanced competency in managing patients with binocular and developmental vision problems.

 

Program Goal 5 

 

Objective: Develop the resident’s skill in presenting topics to fellow professionals.

 

Learning Activity: The resident will present at least one lecture per quarter during the regular Residency Conference and when possible will present posters or lectures in other settings such as the American Academy of Optometry and SECO.

 

Outcome: The resident will develop enhanced effectiveness at presenting topics to other health care professionals.

 

Program Goal 6 

 

Objective: Instill in the resident an appreciation of the importance of scholarly activity.

 

Learning Activity: The resident will prepare a publication-quality manuscript on an approved topic.

 

Outcome: The resident will gain additional experience in the preparation of a publication quality manuscript.

 

Program Goal 7 

 

Objective: Provide the resident with the opportunity to become an effective clinical educator.

 

Learning Activity: The resident will provide instruction to student clinicians.

 

Outcome: The resident will develop skills necessary to provide clinical education.

 

Program Goal 8

 

Objective: The resident will be exposed to non-optometric aspects of care for patients with vision impairment.

 

Learning Activity: The resident will attend periodic community outreach/agency meeting (e.g., Vision Quest, Foundation for Fighting Blindness, etc.).

The resident will visit different practice approaches pertaining to low vision rehabilitation. These may include a private practice offering low vision services; a university based rehabilitation center; a non-profit rehabilitation agency; and/or a hospital based rehab center.

 

Outcome: The resident will develop an understanding of the multidisciplinary approach to care of patients with vision impairment.

 

CLINICAL ROTATIONS

The Resident will gain clinical experience at The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry and in external multidisciplinary clinics affiliated with the College.  Modern diagnostic instrumentation is readily accessible, as are Faculty who are experienced in all optometric specialties.  The resident will meet on a weekly basis with the residency supervisor for discussion of current cases. The resident will see patients at external multidisciplinary clinics in addition to the clinical experience available at the College.  These locations provide exposure to a wider variety of conditions than might be seen in an equivalent period of time at the College clinic.  The exact schedule for these rotations will be determined by the program supervisor.

 

DIDACTIC ACTIVITIES OF THE RESIDENT

During the residency, a weekly conference in the fall and spring semesters is given at SCO which the resident is expected to attend.  The resident will be expected to present a talk at a minimum of three of these conferences during the year.  A paper of publication quality is expected prior to the end of the residency.  The resident will be involved in occasional student supervision if teaching is deemed a career goal.  In addition, the resident may be asked to be a guest lecturer in a didactic course at SCO.

 

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. 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 of 3.0 or greater 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 Tennessee license and furnish official transcripts when available.  If accepted, the resident is expected to obtain a Tennessee optometry license.

E.   Three letters of recommendation are required.

The College 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.

 

CONTRACT

All applicants selected for admission must sign a standard resident contract.

 

STIPEND AND BENEFITS

The residency program is 12.5 months in length from July 1 to July 15 of the following year.  The stipend is $39,584.00 which will be paid on a bi-monthly basis. Compensation is not contingent upon productivity of the resident. The resident will also have the opportunity to purchase health insurance at a nominal cost.  Professional liability insurance and a $750 travel stipend are provided by the College.  Also included in the benefit package are clinic coats, 10 days academic leave, 10 personal days and 18 days vacation leave, as outlined in the paragraph below. Please note that the $400 Professional Privilege Tax, due May of each year, is not covered by the College.

The OEP Clinical Curriculum is a series of post-graduate courses designed for both optometrists and vision therapists who work with them. The courses are offered at multiple sites in the United States and Europe. Our approach is based on sound clinical practice and the theoretical background needed to understand the behavioral philosophy of optometry. The curriculum is designed so that the most advanced practitioner as well as the beginner will develop the necessary tools and skills to practice with confidence, understanding and true insight. Residents will have the opportunity to take at least one Clinical Curriculum course during their tenure at no cost and can take other courses elsewhere in the country at a significantly reduced fee.

 

LEAVE POLICY

Eighteen days of vacation leave are provided to the resident.  These days are those on which The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry is normally closed: July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the Friday following, ten working days at Christmas and New Year’s, Martin Luther King Day, two days during the Spring Break, and Memorial Day.  Provision of these vacation days is automatic and does not require approval or submission of a leave request form.  The resident may be required to provide on call services during some of these days.

Ten days of educational leave are provided.  These days are intended to allow the resident to attend professional meetings. Ten days of personal leave are provided. The resident must submit a standard leave request form in advance to request educational and personal leave.  This form should be completed by the resident and submitted to the supervisor.  The supervisor will then approve or disapprove the request.  If the request is approved by the supervisor the leave request form is forwarded to the Director of Residency Programs, who is responsible for tracking the resident’s leave balance.  If the resident has a leave balance sufficient to cover the request, the DRP will approve the request and forward the appropriate copies of the form to the resident and the supervisor.  The resident and supervisor are responsible for notifying the appropriate Chiefs of Service and the Director of Clinical Operations of the days that the resident will not be available to provide clinical services.

 

SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY

The resident is required to write a paper based upon original research, literature review, or a clinical case suitable for publication in a refereed optometric journal.

 

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 administration.  The resident will be given a specific schedule each quarter. Approximately 40 hours per week will be assigned.  After hours on-call assignments will be made on a periodic basis.  Participation in community screening activities will be required on a periodic basis.

B.   The resident will be required to keep a record of patient contacts.  Cases will be reviewed periodically by the Supervisor of the Residency Program, the Director of Residency Programs, and the Residency Committee when appropriate.

C.   The resident will be required to write a paper based on original research, literature review, or a clinical case for publication in an acceptable professional journal.

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 will be 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 the Southern College of Optometry.

F.   The resident will be 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 of 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 Southern College of Optometry, or for any action that 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.

 

OTHER EMPLOYMENT

Other employment (moonlighting) is permitted as long as moonlighting activities do not interfere with any part of the residency, including on-call assignments.  The professional liability protection provided by the College does NOT cover moonlighting activities.

 

ACCREDITATION

The residency in Low Vision Rehabilitation at Southern College of Optometry is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141, 314-991-4100.

 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

Upon evidence of satisfactory performance in meeting all requirements of the program, the resident will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

 

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 of Clinical Programs at Southern College of Optometry.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Cheryl Ervin, O.D.

Director, Residency Programs

Southern College of Optometry

1245 Madison Avenue

Memphis, TN  38104

(901) 722-3201; email: cervin@sco.edu