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School of Optometry & Vision Science Residencies receive accreditation

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The School of Optometry & Vision Science is pleased to announce that our current residencies have received accreditation from the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE). The four current residencies are the Cornea and Contact Lens, Low Vision Rehabilitation, Ocular Disease and Glaucoma, and the Pediatrics and Vision Therapy residency.

"The School has been actively building our residency program over the last five years, and ACOE accreditation is a recognition of the quality of the residencies that we offer", said Dr. Susan Leat, co-Head of Residencies. "It also represents a commitment by the School to consistently offer these residencies in the future."

A residency is a highly individualized and intensive program of mentored clinical experience, guided scholarly activity and self-directed learning. The 13-month residency programs at Waterloo are primarily patient care-focused with targeted patient populations selected to accelerate that experience.  Residencies are further enriched by other activities directed at developing skillful clinicians with special expertise in their areas of clinical optometry. 

A series of lectures and workshops is provided throughout the program to accelerate residents’ ability to efficiently search and critically appraise clinical literature, as well as learn techniques to enhance clinical teaching skills, to present professional lectures at conferences and to hone academic and case report-writing skills. 

Over the years, Waterloo residents have been highly successful, not only in clinical faculty positions and as clinical supervisors, but also as PhD students, in hospital appointments, and in developing optometric practices and networks with a special optometric focus.

Dr. C. Lisa Prokopich, co-Head of Residencies at the School, commented that “residencies are a pivotal component of ensuring the advancement of the profile of optometry in our health care systems.  The School has the expertise, patient-populations and commitment to train cutting-edge residents, and we now have  confirmation of that from ACOE.

We are pleased to recognize the leadership of Drs. Susan Leat and C. Lisa Prokopich as co-Heads of the Residency program as well as the supervisors of each individual residency:

  • Gina Sorbara and Lacey Haines (Cornea and Contact Lens residency)
  • Tammy Labreche and Zay Khan (Low Vision rehabilitation residency)
  • C. Lisa Prokopich, Sarah MacIver and Andre Stanberry (Ocular Disease and Glaucoma)
  • Lisa Christian and Angela Peddle (Pediatrics and Vision Therapy)

Outgoing residents with our two School co-leads of the residency program

Congratulations to our current residents, Jessica Sgro (far left), Alex Hynes (centre), and Catherine Wright (far right) who are the first to complete the newly accredited residencies!

In our move toward accreditation, the School was grateful to receive support for the Ocular Disease / Glaucoma Residency in 2017-2018 in the form of an unrestricted educational grant from Shire, Canada.  Shire is committed to supporting independent, scientific research and educational opportunities for the advancement of medical and scientific understanding in certain therapeutic areas, and their support of the Ocular Disease Residency was pivotal for the School in this accreditation year.

"The School is grateful for the dedication and hard work of faculty and staff to realize the vision of a strong and growing residency program", said Dr. Stanley Woo, Director of the School of Optometry & Vision Science.  "Our leadership role as a national resource for optometric education and training is clear, and our strategic plan includes exploration and implementation of new academically-affiliated sites across Canada to increase residency training options for optometry."

To learn more about the topics and specialized training available this year, visit our residencies web page.

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