Primary Eye Care Residency at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, Gainesville, Florida - North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System
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Primary Eye Care Residency at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, Gainesville, Florida

Basic Information


Program Title:

Residency in Primary Care

Program Type:

Primary Eye Care

Program Area of Emphasis:

Program Site:

Malcom Randall VA Medical Center

Program Location:


Program Address:

5533 SW 64th Street Gainesville, Florida 32608

Phone Number:


Fax Number:




Nova Southeastern University, College of Optometry

Residency Director:

Mariem Abdou, O.D.,M.S., FAAO, 

Program Application Deadline:

January 31st

Program URL:

Program Description


Date Program Established:


Accreditation Status:


Combined Residency/Graduate Program:


Program Mission Statement:

The Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville, in conjunction with the Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry and the University of Florida Department of Ophthalmology, offers a one-year residency program in primary care optometry. The mission of the program is to provide qualified post-doctoral practitioners with an advanced educational experience that will enhance clinical skills in the areas of primary eye care and ocular disease. Individuals completing the program will be able to deliver an advanced level of optometric care in a clinical setting, practice in co-management and multidisciplinary practices, and serve as clinical instructors at optometry schools.

Program Description:

The resident will be required to participate in a structured educational program whose emphasis is on direct patient care. The resident will attend faculty lectures, grand rounds, journal club, and periodic multidisciplinary lectures. Residents will maintain a log of all lectures attended. The program is designed with an emphasis on exposing the resident to a wide diversity of patient encounters. To achieve this, the resident will participate with specialists in their particular fields of expertise. This will include rotating through retina, uveitis, glaucoma, neuro-ophthamology and oculoplastics clinics throughout the year. The resident will also examine a significant number of primary care referrals from other practitioners in the hospital and will participate in the follow-up, referral, and co-management of these patients. The ultimate goal is to enhance the resident’s ability to independently assess and treat primary care patients in a clinical setting. To insure the goals of the program are met, a log will be maintained listing the number of patients seen, their clinical diagnoses, and any specific treatment provided by the resident.

Program Length:

Twelve months

Number of Positions Available in Program:


Program Starting Date:

July 1st

Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

Residents perform clinical duties Monday through Friday at either the VA hospital clinic or the off-site Optometry Clinic. Clinic duties start at 7:30 am and finish around 4:00 pm at the Optometry Clinic, and begin at 8:00 am and finish around 4:30 pm at the VA hospital clinic. Residents are expected to stay until all patients have been examined. Residents rotate through the various specialty clinics throughout the year including Contact Lens Clinic (1/3 of the year), Low Vision Clinic (1/3 of the year), as well as rotations through Retina, Glaucoma, Uveitis, Neuro-Opthalmology, and Oculoplastics Clinics. Residents see patients presenting for consultative exams, return visits, visual fields, and urgent problems in both clinics on a weekly basis. Residents attend Grand Rounds at the University of Florida Department of Ophthalmology on most Friday mornings at 8:00 a.m.  They also attend other lectures within the Optometry, Ophthalmology, and GRECC Services as tme and opportunity allow.  The residents will meet with the Residency Coordinator on a regular basis to discuss clinical topics, ongoing projects, periodic evaluations or any other residency issues.

Requirements for Completion:

1) Timely attendance at all scheduled clinics, lectures, and seminars 2) Participation and completion of all assigned clinical duties 3) Satisfactory preparation and delivery of all scholarly assignments 4) Preparation of a manuscript of publishable quality 5) Performance of all additional duties as assigned by the Program Coordinator 6) Receipt of satisfactory evaluations from all faculty members

Program Salary/Stipend:


Program Benefits and Liability Coverage:

Health Coverage Professional Liability Insurance Vacation Paid Sick Leave


Completion Certificate:


VA Hospital Affiliation:


Key Contacts


Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title:

Susannah Marcus, O.D., FAAO, Program Coordinator





E-mail Address:

Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:



E-mail Address:

Application Information


Application Materials and Procedures:

Susannah Marcus, OD, FAAO Optometry Residency Coordinator Email: Phone: (352) 271-5967

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

Candidates must register with the Optometry Resident Matching Service (ORMatch) utilized by submitting a completed application. Applications to ORMatch must be completed by January 31s for consideration. The following must be received by the program director for consideration as a residency applicant: 1. Name, address, phone number, and email address 2. Curriculum vitae 3. Official transcripts of NBEO scores (provided automatically to ORMatch) 4. Official transcripts of optometric education  (copy nyst also be received directly from applicant's Optometry College for verification) 5. Minimum of three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the academic and/or clinical abilities of the applicant 6. Letter of intent from the applicant regarding his/her desire to complete this particular residency program. Interviews will be requested of specific candidates based upon the quality of  the credentials and application information. The qualified applicants are interviewed by an interview team, which consists of optometric faculty of the Malcom Randall VAMC, using a standardized list of questions. The Program Coordinator and interview team will rank applicants in order of merit based on the applicant's qualifications as well as personal and professional characteristics. The Program Coordinator will seek input from other faculty members and staff of the VA Eye Clinic. The list will be submitted to the matching service. At the same time, candidates will submit an independent list of their preferred programs. ORMatch will notify both the candidates and programs of the match results. In the event that match does not occur, the Program Coordinator will pursue interested applicants from the remaining unmatched pool or any other qualified candidate.

United States citizenship is required to qualify for VHA appointment in a paid VA optometry resident position funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations. Reference: VA Handbook 5005/57, Part II, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3.g.(1) & (5)(c), dated June 14, 2012.

Program Application Deadline:

January 31st

Additional Comments


NONDISCRIMINATION STATEMENT Candidates will be considered regardless of race, color, sex, age, nondisqualifying disability, religion or creed, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.