On Campus Residencies
Berkeley Optometry offers residencies in the following areas. You may apply to only one area of study (e.g., Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation or Pediatric/Primary Care, etc.). Your letter of intent should explain your interest in both areas. All residents participate in the common curriculum.Application Process
- Improve the resident’s proficiency and clinical competency in delivering quality eye care.
- Train the resident to become an effective educator and communicator.
- Enhance the resident’s didactic knowledge of clinical eye care.
- Develop the resident’s ability to critically and comprehensively review the literature, and to present that knowledge in both oral and written form.
Common Curriculum (All Residents)
Kuniyoshi Kanai OD, FAAO
In addition to the primary area of study, all residents participate in a common curriculum. The following programs: After Hours Emergency Consultation Program (On-Call), Digital Health Clinic (Telemedicine primarily for diabetic retinopathy evaluation), UCSF Ophthalmology Grand Rounds, and Resident Conference. Every Thursday morning during the academic year (Aug-May) residents will be assigned to meet with one of these groups with the majority of those meetings being at UCSF Grand Rounds. This common curriculum rounds out the resident’s education in optometry regardless of specialty area. Residents also have the option of participating in research during their residency year in their primary specialty area. Residents have the option of working on a project in our Clinical Research Center or with one of our many esteemed research faculty.
Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation
Debora Lee, OD, MPH
This specialty track is designed to provide residents with advanced experience in assessment and management of patients of all ages with ocular motor, binocular vision and visual perceptual anomalies. Residents will gain experience in vision therapy techniques, neuro-rehabilitation activities and educational advocacy methods appropriate for patients with congenital and acquired brain injuries and neuro-optometric lesions. Our clinic draws from a common core of patients, including school children with reading challenges, young adults with sports vision related traumatic brain injuries, visually mature patients with anomalous adaptations to early onset strabismus and amblyopia, and adults with clinical outcomes following vascular accidents. Our residents can gain experience working independently with all of these populations.
Owing to the high number of advanced clinical presentations and the close collaboration with our institution’s clinical and research faculty, residents are offered the opportunity and encouraged to participate in academic meetings and collaborate in poster and paper authorships. Our residents are encouraged to lead seminars and other educational activities as part of our optometric program. Residents will also have opportunities to precept our third year optometry interns during their rotations through the Binocular Vision Clinic. As a way of expanding their own knowledge and expertise, our residents are participating in informal weekly seminar series and discussion sessions with their mentors. In addition, the resident will spend one day a week in an ocular disease community health clinic.
Cornea and Contact Lenses
Pam Satjawatcharaphong, OD
This program offers experience in fitting contact lenses for a general population of patients, but primarily focuses on those who need special designs such as keratoconic, post-surgical, bitoric, multifocal, aphakic, and prosthetic/cosmetic lenses. Residents can diversify their experience by rotating through Myopic Control Clinic, Dry Eye Clinic as well as Refractive Surgery Center. Residents may gain contact lens teaching experience in both didactic and clinical courses, and have the opportunity to participate in contact lens research projects if interested. During the year residents may attend contact lens related conferences, such as the Gas Permeable Lens Institute Residency Meeting and the Global Specialty Lens Symposium.
Funding for this residency was established by Dr. Michael G. Harris in appreciation for the outstanding clinical education he received at Berkeley Optometry, and his desire to train future educators and practitioners.
Low Vision/Ocular Disease
Marlena Chu, OD
The Ian L. Bailey Low Vision Residency provides residents with a broad experience in low vision care and rehabilitation for patients with decreased vision. Our Low Vision Clinics have a diverse clinical population and provide service for substantial numbers of visually handicapped children and adults in college, at work, or in rehabilitation programs.
The resident gains experience in understanding and measuring visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and visual field losses, functional vision changes with low luminance testing, prescribing hand-held and spectacle-mounted optical systems for distance and near activities, and prescribing devices to compensate for peripheral vision loss. The resident also learns about electronic magnification systems, and computer hardware and software solutions. By working with our rehabilitation specialists, the resident will acquire knowledge about rehabilitation services such as support group programs; educational access and modifications; orientation and mobility instruction; low vision driving evaluations; contrast enhancements; adaptive techniques; and lighting options.
The resident rotates through low vision clinics at the California School for the Blind, in Fremont, CA, and San Diego, CA; the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired; and the Sacramento Society for the Blind. In addition, the resident will spend one day a week in an ocular disease community health clinic.
Carl Jacobsen, OD
The specialty program in Ocular Disease offers advanced training in the diagnosis and management of ocular disease with an emphasis on glaucoma care. Patient care is offered primarily through the Berkeley Optometry Ophthalmology Clinic with possible rotations through affiliated off-campus clinics. The Ophthalmology Clinic is a referral clinic for area optometrists as well as other Berkeley Optometry clinics and, as such, serves a diverse patient population. Advanced imaging, retinal fluorescein angiography, minor surgical procedures, intravitreal injections, anterior segment laser procedures, and posterior segment laser procedures are performed in this clinic routinely. Supplementing direct patient care, the resident will attend and participate in daily clinic seminars and help supervise fourth-year optometry students.
The resident is supervised primarily by residency trained optometrists with assistance from staff ophthalmologists specializing in general ophthalmology, retina, cornea, and glaucoma. The goal of this residency is to develop a skilled clinician with advanced ability to detect, diagnose, and treat eye disease.
Deborah Orel-Bixler, PhD, OD
The specialty program in Pediatric Vision is broad-based, covering all sensory-motor aspects of visual development in infants and children. The primary goal of the pediatric residency program is to provide the resident with proficiency in optometric care and management of the pediatric population. This program includes training in vision screening, visual evaluation, monocular and binocular sensory processes, optics, binocular vision, cognition, and motor development. Residents will gain extensive experience in the diagnosis and management of anomalies of binocular vision and assessment of vision function in the normal and multi-handicapped pediatric population, using electrodiagnostic techniques (visual evoked potentials) and behavioral analysis of visual functions such as preferential looking techniques.
Primary Care/Community Health
Meredith Whiteside, OD
The specialty program in Primary Care/Community Health is designed to give residents a broad array of experience in providing advanced vision care for patients in a dynamic clinical program. The overall goal of the program is to develop clinicians with outstanding skills in detecting, diagnosing and managing eye and vision disorders in a challenging yet supportive primary care setting. By the end of the program, residents are fully prepared to begin careers providing advanced care in multi-doctor and/or multi-specialty clinical settings. Patient care takes place both in the Primary Care Clinic of the University Eye Center in Minor Hall, and in Berkeley Optometry’s affiliated community health care centers in the Bay Area. These ambulatory care centers are multidisciplinary settings in which residents serve as members of an interdisciplinary team and gain extensive experience in geriatrics and family eye care.
At least three days a week are spent examining patients in the University Eye Center, an 80,000 patient-per- year teaching clinic that provides a rich clinical experience, including urgent eye care evaluations, management of glaucoma, and care of patients with diabetes or cataracts. In addition, there are opportunities for the Primary Care/Community Health resident to spend 1 day per week in one of the University Eye Center’s specialty clinics, such as contact lenses, ocular disease, refractive surgery, pediatrics, low vision, myopia control or dry eye clinics. Finally, residents may also gain experience in clinical teaching as their schedule allows and based on their interest level.
Primary Care/Contact Lenses
Christina S. Wilmer, OD
The specialty program in Primary Care is designed to provide a broad clinical experience in an advanced curriculum. The patient population is diverse and a large variety of eye and vision disorders are encountered. The resident will participate in patient care in several different clinical settings, including multidisciplinary environments and ambulatory care centers. At least two days a week are spent in the campus Tang Eye Center, which provides extensive exposure to anterior segment disease and urgent care management often in consultation or referral from the primary care medical staff.
The track in primary care is designed to advance the resident’s clinical knowledge, diagnostic skills, and case management. During the residency year, primary care residents will be able to tailor their clinical experience to reflect a more focused curriculum or to maintain a broad overview of optometric subspecialties. These can include ocular disease, urgent care management, cornea and contact lenses, refractive surgery, low vision, pediatrics and geriatrics. The primary care track includes a secondary area of study in cornea and contact lenses that comprises 20% of the residency year. This provides the resident with additional opportunity for specialty contact lens fitting and design under the guidance of an expert contact lens mentor.