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NOTE: For information on nondiscrimination in federally conducted education and training programs, see: VHA Directive 1018.

Mission Statement

The Optometric Residency Program at the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry and its affiliate programs seek to recruit and admit the best-qualified post-graduate optometrists and to provide them with advanced clinical education and concentrated clinical experience in specialty areas of optometry in an institutional or hospital-based setting. This mentored educational and clinical experience prepares optometrists for lifelong scholarship in patient care, education, and optometric leadership.

The mission of the affiliate hospital based Primary Eye Care Residency Program at Veteran Affairs Central California Health Care System (VACCHCS) Fresno is to provide postdoctoral optometrists a rich clinical learning experience through its diverse patient base in a multi-disciplinary setting. This program will allow the resident to attain advanced clinical competencies and specialty skills to enhance the quality of eye, vision, and health care for the veteran population served by VACCHCS Fresno.

Apply by January 15th

3 positions available.

Program Goals

A primary goal of the program is to graduate optometrists who can competently, confidently and independently diagnose and medically treat and manage a wide variety and complexity of ocular disease. Residents learn the indications for and the utilization of advanced medical diagnostic procedures including MRI, CT, microbiology and the clinical laboratory. The resident will learn to work within a team of physicians and providers.

Instruction is intimate and immediate; residents work closely with the faculty optometrists with gradually increasing autonomy. The resident will work within therapeutic privileges that are amongst the most comprehensive in the country. While the curriculum is structured, enough flexibility exists for residents to emphasize specific areas of professional interest.

The academic component of the program is designed to develop the decision-making skills (especially critical thinking and the use of medical literature) necessary to independently manage complex problems. The residency will provide the foundation to be an effective lifelong learner, writer, speaker and professional leader.

Time Commitment

The Residency year is from July 1 to June 30.

The resident is expected to be in clinic five days per week, Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. There are no after-hours on-call duties.

Requirements for Residency Completion

  • Complete one year of training.
  • Three oral case presentations as part of the Resident Lecture Series.
  • Residency paper with approval from Program Coordinator and Residency Director.
  • Submission of residency binder.
  • Submission of patient logs and evaluations.
  • Favorable recommendation from the Program Coordinator.

Clinical Curriculum

Optometry serves as a true primary care gatekeeper for all ophthalmic problems, including glaucoma, retinal disease, refractive correction and ophthalmic emergencies. The resident also provides low vision care as well as specialty contact lens fittings. The resident will have the opportunity to rotate through specialty clinic services within the hospital, including Medicine, Dermatology, and Radiology. For half of the training program, one day per week is spent with a private practice ophthalmology group to gain extensive experience and perspective in the management of complex ocular disease.

Academic Research & Teaching Curriculum

The resident is required to attend and participate in all didactic activities, including weekly slide quizzes and journal clubs, and the quarterly Resident Lecture Series. Additional optional educational opportunities include the UCSF School of Medicine Lecture Series and optometric continuing education seminars held both locally and at UC Berkeley, School of Optometry. The resident is expected to author a manuscript suitable for publication by the end of the residency year. Up to four hours per week are used for professional development time for reading, research, and presentation preparation. The resident will receive instruction in clinical teaching and methods and have increasing responsibility in supervising the instruction of student interns from UCBSO, NECO, and PUCO.


The newly expanded optometry section consists of eight examination rooms, one of which is dedicated for each resident. Diagnostic equipment includes a Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer, Ocular Coherence Tomographer, digital fundus camera, and topographer.


  • Stipend: $44,477 (AY 2024-2025).
  • No tuition or fees.
  • Approved leave for educational meetings.
  • Health benefits through VA Fresno.
  • Professional Liability Protection provided.
  • Thirteen days paid annual leave and thirteen days paid sick leave per year.
  • There are also ten paid Federal holidays.

Admissions Eligibility Criteria

  • Doctor of Optometry degree from an ACOE-accredited institution prior to residency start date.
  • Cumulative Optometry School GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale required.
  • Candidates must have passed Parts I, II, and TMOD of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) examinations prior to the ORMatch date.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is an equal opportunity employer for all qualified persons.
  • By congressional law, candidates must be citizens of the United States.
  • If male, registered with Selective Service prior to their 26th birthday.
  • Candidates must be eligible for licensure as an optometrist in a state, territory, or commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia.

How to Apply

Apply by January 15th

Use the button below to apply for a residency via the Optometric Residency Match (ORMatch) program. ┬áThe Optometry Residency Match (“ORMatch”) is an application service and match that places applicants into optometry residency training positions.


The following application documents will be submitted to ORMatch, who will forward the information to the Fresno VA:

  • NBEO scores
  • Letter of intent
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Copy of optometry school transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation

Selection Procedure:

  • After thorough review of completed applications, top candidates will be invited to interview at Fresno VA.
  • Although phone or videoconference interviews are possible, the in-person format is strongly encouraged.
  • The program coordinator and faculty members decide which candidates to rank for the match and determine the sequential ranking of those candidates.
  • The final candidate ranking is submitted to ORMatch by the Residency Coordinator.
  • ORMatch contacts the program with the results of the match.
  • The program coordinator and the program director contact the matched candidates and confirm their intent to enroll in the residency program.
  • Matched candidates submit official optometry school transcripts to the Residency Coordinator as required by the UC Berkeley Graduate Division.
For information on nondiscrimination in federally conducted education and training programs, see VHA Directive

Residency Coordinator

Deana Lum, OD
2615 East Clinton Avenue
Fresno, CA 93703

Voice: (559) 225-6100, ext. 5366
Fax: (559) 228-5309