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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 2017-2018

Cornea and Contact Lens residency: August 1st 2017 – August 31st 2018

The residency in Cornea and Contact Lenses is a clinical post-doctoral position that is designed to extend and refine 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 programme 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: Aug 21st 2017 - Aug 31st 2018 

Elderly woman with reading glassesThe 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 programme 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 programme 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: August 1st 2017 – August 31st 2018

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 programme 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: Aug 1st 2017 – Aug 17th 2018

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 programme 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)

Sports Vision and Vision Therapy Residency: not offered in the 2017/2018 year

Child performing vision testingThe residency takes place in Calgary with two short visits to Waterloo. The residency in Sports Vision 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 developmental optometry, sports vision, and neuro-optometric 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 programme 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. Further, the resident will participate in video conference seminars with other residents at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science.

The resident will need a license to practice optometry in Alberta for this residency.

Eligibility

Residencies at the University of Waterloo are available to those who are eligible to hold a full or an academic license with the College of Optometrists of Ontario.

If you are a graduate of an ACOE accredited programme you should apply for a full General license. All of the ACOE accredited programs are currently in North America.  This means writing the CACO 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.

An academic license is available to those who have successfully completed an optometry degree programme in the United Kingdom and who hold current or past membership in the British College of Optometrists and who are certified to administer Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents i.e. have a TPA certification.

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 CACO exams at the earliest opportunity, in order to obtain the Ontario license by the start of the residency.

For the Sports Vision and Vision Therapy Residency in Calgary, a license to practice optometry in Alberta is required. 

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

Application procedure

The application deadline is February 3rd, 2017. 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 here (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 following are the interview days for each residency:

Cornea and Contact Lens Residency - Fri Feb 17th

Ocular Disease – Glaucoma Residency - Tues Feb 21st

Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy Residency - Fri Feb 24th

Low Vision Rehabilitation Residency - Mon Feb 27th

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