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Information for

Residencies at the School of Optometry and Vision Science

What is a residency?

Optometric residencies are normally one-year, post-graduate, experiential training programs that advance patient care skills beyond entry-level practice.  Residents provide supervised clinical eye and vision care services and experience a mix of learning methods including self-directed learning, seminar, workshop and conference participation, laboratory and clinical teaching opportunities, and scholarship activities.  Occasionally, optometric residencies are combined with a Masters in a two-year program.  For more general information about residencies, please see the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)  residency information web page.

Our Residency Mission Statement

To provide graduate optometrists with a programme of concentrated mentored clinical experience and education designed to produce practitioners with advanced knowledge, skill and judgement in a selected area(s) of optometric practice. This will enable them to deliver excellent clinical care, practice life-long learning and educate members of the profession.

Background

At the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science, we have offered clinical residency programs for over 40 years.  Our residencies share a similar curriculum to U.S. residencies that are accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE). Each of our residencies is an individually tailored program.

Residencies for 2018-2019

Cornea and Contact Lens residency: July 16th, 2018 – August 16th, 2019

The residency in Cornea and Contact Lenses is a clinical post-doctoral position that is designed to extend and Photo for CL Residencyrefine the optometrist’s knowledge and skill in specific areas of clinical practice. Skills will be enhanced primarily through clinical training and enriched by seminars, clinical research, and teaching. The emphasis of the one year program is on clinical training, nevertheless, the resident is encouraged to engage in scholarly activity and will be required to participate in the clinical education of optometry students. The benefits of teaching and research in refining skills and knowledge are self-evident.

Details can be found in our Cornea and CL Residency description (PDF).

Low Vision Rehabilitation Residency: July 16th, 2018 – August 16th, 2019

Photo of elderly eye check upThe LV Residency is intended to enhance low vision skills through assessment of individuals with low  vision age 3 and older. The emphasis of the one year program is on achieving competence through clinical training, however, the candidate will also engage in scholarly activity and will be required to participate in the clinical education of optometry students. The residency curriculum is constituted as an educational program focused upon patient care primarily in the Low Vision Clinic, with some patient care provided in External Geriatrics and the General and Acute Care clinics.

Details can be found in our Low Vision Residency description (PDF) .
 

Ocular Disease – Glaucoma Residency: July 16th, 2018 – August 16th, 2019

Child receiving eye examinationThe Residency in Ocular Disease and Glaucoma is designed to extend and refine the optometrist’s knowledge and clinical skills in the diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients with ocular diseases with an emphasis on the management of glaucoma. While the focus of the one-year program is on clinical training, the resident is strongly encouraged to engage in scholarly activity and will be required to present at and participate in organised seminars, as well as actively contribute to the clinical training and practical education of optometry students.
 
 

Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy Residency: July 16th, 2018 – August 16th, 2019

Child receiving an eye examinationThe residency in Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy is a clinical post-doctoral position that is designed to extend and refine the optometrist’s knowledge and skill in specific areas of pediatric optometry and binocular vision therapy including management of dysfunctions of the eye movement, accommodative and binocular vision systems. Aspects of visual perceptual system assessment and management will also be covered. The emphasis of the one year program is on achieving competence through clinical training, however, the candidate will also engage in scholarly activity and will be required to participate in the clinical education of optometry students. The Residency will be split between the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science (WSOVS) and the Vaughan Family Vision Care (VFVC).

Details can be found in the Pediatric and Vision Therapy Residency Description (PDF).  

Eligibility

Residencies at the University of Waterloo are available to those who have received an OD degree from an ACOE accredited programme,  who are eligible to hold a full license with the College of Optometrists of Ontario. All of the ACOE accredited programs are currently in North America.  

In order to obtain a full General license, applicants will need to write the Optometry Examining Board of Canada (OEBC) examination (including OSCE) and the jurisprudence examinations in sufficient time to obtain the license, see Information on applying for a  General Certificate of Registration, College of Optometrists of Ontario).
 

In all cases, the license must be in place on entry to the residency. This includes taking and passing the jurisprudence examination and obtaining the license through the College. Applicants are encouraged to take the OEBC exams at the earliest opportunity, in order to obtain the Ontario license by the start of the residency.

The immunization policy is the same as for undergraduate students admitted to the OD programme.

Application procedure

The application deadline is January 31st, 2018. Applications are made directly to Professor Susan J. Leat (Head of Residencies), but mailed to Stephanie Forsyth at the address below. The application should include:

  • a letter of application/interest (indicate in which of these positions you are interested)
  • a curriculum vitae (CV)
  • 3 letters of reference (these should be sent directly to Stephanie Forsyth)
  • official Doctor of Optometry transcripts (hard copies to be sent directly from the University/College to Stephanie Forsyth). Transcripts of other higher degrees may be included, if relevant. 

Notes on how to prepare these documents can be found in our Notes for Residency Applicants (PDF).

Stephanie Forsyth (sforsyth@uwaterloo.ca)  
Administrator for Residencies,
School of Optometry and Vision Science
University of Waterloo,
200 University Ave. West,
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada

Interviews

Interviews will be offered to applicants who are shortlisted and will be offered either in person at the School of Optometry and Vision Science or by Skype. The exception is that the in-person Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy interviews may be held in Vaughan at the office of Dr. Peddle.

The interviews are provisionally scheduled as follows

Cornea and Contact Lens residency: Thursday February 15th

Low Vision Rehabilitation Residency: Tuesday February 20th

Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy: Wednesday February 21st

Ocular Disease – Glaucoma Residency: Thursday February 22nd

Applicants are recommended to hold these dates and every effort will be made to arrange an interview at a mutually convenient time on the day. If it is impossible for an applicant to be available on the interview day, reasonable attempts to find alternative arrangements will be made.

Shortlisting and final selection are based on the merits of the applicant, including all aspects of the application package and interview. The applicant who is considered the best applicant is chosen, with no regard to gender, age, race, marital status, sexual orientation, place of origin, citizenship or religion. Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, a person has the right to equal treatment in employment, free from discrimination based on the following prohibited grounds: race; ancestry; place of origin; colour; ethnic origin; citizenship; creed/religion; sex; sexual orientation; age; record of offences; marital status; same-sex partnership status; family status; receipt of public assistance; mental or physical handicap.  (see here: https://uwaterloo.ca/secretariat/policies-procedures-guidelines/policy-33)

For more information you may contact Dr. Susan J. Leat (leat@uwaterloo.ca) or Dr. Lisa Prokopich (clp@uwaterloo.ca).

General information and Benefits

Health care

Residents are entitled to extended health care. Details can be found at: https://uwaterloo.ca/human-resources/support-employees/benefits/benefit-eligibility-and-eligible-dependents

Vacation and attending conferences

The resident is entitled to 10 days of vacation and 10 days of leave for attending conferences.

College Fees

The School of Optometry will pay one year fees to the College of Optometrists of Ontario. This will be for the year commencing in January of the residency programme.

Liability Insurance

The University of Waterloo’s general liability insurance policy, including professional and malpractice liability insurance, provides coverage for current University of Waterloo residents, in respect of any activity required by the discipline within their University of Waterloo program, whether their education or training is conducted on or off the campus.