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

Introductory Webinar Video

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 Optometric Residency in Ocular Disease/Geriatric Optometry/Low Vision Rehabilitation at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) is twofold:

1. To provide a mentored learning environment in which residents develop increased proficiency in the delivery of eye, vision, and health care to the veteran population served by VAPAHCS.

2. To provide a mentored learning environment in which residents attain advanced skills in the specialty of adult low vision rehabilitation.

This mentored educational and clinical experience prepares the optometrist for lifelong scholarship in patient care, education, and optometric leadership.

3 positions available.

Apply by January 15

Program Goals

The program’s goals are to provide residents with varied clinical experience in primary optometric care and provide a didactic program that complements their clinical experience. The program endeavors to promote an appreciation of the significance of scholarly activity and professional development. Resident mentors will also educate and train residents in the specialty skill of low vision rehabilitation.

Time Commitment

The Residency year is from July 1 to June 30.

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

Primary Optometric Eye Care

In the primary eye care setting, residents will provide primary optometric care to a diverse population of patients including in-hospital patients, outpatients, and psychiatric patients. The patient population is predominately middle-aged to elderly males with a high incidence of ocular disease. Types of patient encounters at the primary care clinic vary greatly and include comprehensive eye exams, low vision exams, and medically-necessary contact lens fittings. The clinics are located at the Palo Alto VA, Livermore VA, and San Jose VA.

Low Vision Rehabilitation

The Ocular Disease/Geriatric Optometry/Low Vision Rehabilitation residents will provide full-scope low vision care in conjunction with rehabilitation instructors in all disciplines of vision rehabilitation, including visual skills, daily living skills, orientation and mobility, computer skills and manual skills. Optometry is part of the team approach to rehabilitation. Working with instructors from other areas provides an opportunity to learn about blind and low vision rehabilitation in a multidisciplinary setting. At the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center, the resident has the unique opportunity to work with various low vision devices and follow a patient’s progress as frequently as desired.

Didactic Curriculum And Teaching Activity

  • Weekly optometry conferences, Core Studies, Journal Club, monthly low vision/polytrauma journal club, and periodic Grand Rounds.
  • Optometry Conferences cover low vision, ocular disease, and primary care topics.
  • Core Studies review major clinical trials impacting eye care.
  • Current and significant past literature are analyzed and discussed during Journal Club.
  • Grand Rounds are an interactive, educational program on various ocular disease topics emphasizing live patient exams and a review of current concepts.
  • The residents present three formal lectures at the Berkeley Optometry Affiliated Resident Lecture Series, as well as informal case presentations throughout the year.
  • The residents participate in the presentation of slide quizzes with 4th year optometric externs.

Clinical Curriculum: Primary Care and Low Vision Rehabilitation

The residency year is divided into three four-month rotations:

  • Primary Care Optometry Clinic at the VA Palo Alto: provide primary optometric care, including two half-days/week of specialty contact lens care.
  • Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC): provide full-scope
    low vision care to veterans in outpatient and inpatient settings. This
    rotation also includes two days/week of Primary Care Optometry
    Clinic at the Livermore VA and San Jose VA.
  • Outreach Clinics: rotate through Primary Care Optometry Clinic at
    the VA Palo Alto and VA Livermore.

Requirements for Residency Completion

  • Complete one year of training.
  • Three oral case presentations as part of the Berkeley Optometry Affiliated Resident Lecture Series.
  • Submit a manuscript of publishable quality on either a case or research with approval from the Program Coordinators and Director of Affiliated Residency Programs.
  • Submit a poster abstract to a major optometric conference (e.g. AAO).
  • Submission of completed patient logs as well as program and mentor evaluations.
  • Favorable final evaluation from the Program Coordinators.


  • Yearly stipend of $53,956 (AY 2023-2024).
  • No fees or tuition.
  • 13 days accrued vacation leave.
  • 13 days accrued sick leave.
  • Approved leave for educational meetings (e.g., AAO, etc.).
  • Professional liability covered under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
  • Health insurance and life insurance.
  • 11 paid federal holidays.

Admissions Eligibility Criteria

  • US citizen
  • An optometry degree from an accredited optometry school (ACOE).
  • Cumulative GPA 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for optometric education required.
  • Passage of NBEO I, II, and TMOD prior to the ORMatch match.
  • If male, registered with Selective Service prior to their 26th birthday. This can be obtained at (

How To Apply

Apply by January 15

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


The National Matching Service requires the submission of the following pieces of information that will later be supplied to VA Palo Alto.

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

Selection Procedure

  • After thoroughly evaluating the applicant pool, top candidates will be invited for an interview.
  • Interviews will be conducted by videoconference. If desired, a visit to our campus and a tour of our facilities can be arranged.
  • The program coordinators 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 Coordinators.
  • ORMatch contacts the program with the results of the match.
  • The program coordinators 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 Coordinators as required by the UC Berkeley Graduate Division.

Residency Coordinator

David Yang, OD, FAAO
VA Palo Alto HCS
3801 Miranda Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1290

(650) 493-5000 x68041


Co-residency Coordinator

Lee Vien, OD, FAAO
VA Palo Alto HCS
3801 Miranda Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1290

(650) 493-5000 x68024