You're getting closer to graduation, but not quite sure what you want to do when your optometric education comes to a formal close. You'd like a more thorough grounding in clinical practice, but you'd also like to earn a steady paycheck. You like the idea of exploring a practice modality before committing to it. One way to acquire more clinical experience, broaden your education and build your resume is by completing a residency.
Residencies provide a year of intense clinical training that provides the resident opportunities to see and treat plenty of challenging cases. Optometric residencies are available in a variety of specialties, including family practice, pediatrics/binocular vision, low vision, rehabilitative optometry, contact lenses and ocular disease. They offer a springboard into different practice modes and settings. And if you have any inclination at all towards a career in academia and/or research, completing a residency is almost a requirement.
Currently, 141 accredited residency programs accommodate 231 residents, according to Joyce Urbeck, administrative director for Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE). There are 290 residency slots available. Less than 20 percent of optometric graduates take advantage of residencies right now, but the percentage is increasing.
For a list of accredited residency programs, click here.
For more information: Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) 800/365-2219 or 314/991-4100, ext. 4262 [Email]
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) 301/231-5944 www.opted.org.