Residency Program

Please note: As of November 22, 2021, per Federal mandate, all Trainees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to be eligible for employment and to engage in patient care. At this time boosters are not required, but this is subject to change. Medical and Religious Exemptions are accepted on a case by case basis by the Office of General Council (OGC) with appropriate documentation. Those with medical or religious exemptions may be subject to additional mitigation measures such as weekly COVID-19 testing.

A strong tradition

The Baltimore VA is home of one of the longest running VA-based Ocular Disease Residency Programs in the entire country. Our program is ACOE Accredited and affiliated with Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry. A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the program.

What started as a small program in 1979 at the Loch Raven VA Hospital, has since relocated to the Baltimore VA Medical Center and has grown to include six residency spots annually. This highly competitive program has trained over 125 doctors since its inception. Our current stipend, set by the Office of Academic Affairs, is $39,457 Completion of a Doctor of Optometry (OD) Degree from an ACOE accredited Optometry School, as well as a passing score on Parts I, II, and III of the National Board of Optometry (NBEO) Examinations are required to participate in our residency program.

ORMatch Application Deadline: February 1

Why Baltimore?

We believe in the importance of career-long learning and the future advancement of optometry. As such, we provide our residents with didactic and clinical training that enable them to diagnose and manage patients with a variety of ocular and systemic conditions. The program is designed to provide the learning resources necessary to promote professional growth, while delivering high quality eye care to our patients.


Our program emphasizes didactic learning to supplement your clinical education and to build a strong foundation for future learning. This is accomplished through:

  • Weekly Journal Club

  • Weekly attendance of Grand Rounds at Wilmer Eye Hospital

  • Weekly conference, including lectures by students, residents and attendings

  • Poster submission for a major optometric conference

  • Grand Rounds presentation at PCO

  • Written Case report of publishable quality

  • Opportunity to lecture at Wilmer CE Event

  • Access to most major Ophthalmology Journals and Texts through VA Library

While the Baltimore VA provides ample opportunity for patient encounters, we believe that variety provides an opportunity to produce a well rounded clinician. As such, our residents rotate outside of the VA Medical Center once a week to gain experience in various sub-specialties and modes of practice. External rotations include:

  • Specialty Contact Lenses

  • Retina

  • Pre- and Post-op cataract

  • Cornea and external disease

  • Neuro-ophthalmology

  • Glaucoma

In order to successfully complete the residency program and receive a residency certificate from Salus University Pennsylvania

College of Optometry, the resident will:

● Attend and complete all assigned clinic sessions in a professional manner and remain in clinic until all

patients are cared for or the clinic preceptor states otherwise

● Maintain patient care log as assigned (with a minimum of 1200 patient encounters)

● Attend and document all other assigned activities, including external rotations, didactic, and scholarly


● Complete the required manuscript of publishable quality

● Present a clinical case at Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry, as well as lectures at Friday afternoon conference

● Achieve satisfactory performance evaluations

● Complete all assigned evaluations of the residency program and faculty

Upon termination of the appointment as a VA paid resident, the resident must complete “Employee’s Clearance

from Indebtedness” Form 3248. This form is available from the Residency Coordinator. As part of this clearance

procedure, all medical records must be completed and all items of Medical Center property must be returned,

including keys, uniforms, library books, parking pass, and photo‑identification badge. Final paychecks will not be

released until the clearance procedure and the form is fully completed.

Questions about our residency program? Contact our Residency Program supervisor. Rigoberto Arteaga, OD