Description of Program:
This Residency provides advanced clinical training in primary care optometry with an emphasis on geriatric patients and diseases of the elderly. Extensive clinical experience is gained by providing care to the St. Louis VA Medical Center's patient population of adult and elderly patients. A strong point of the program is the one-on-one interaction with the program's experienced faculty. The Residency is associated with the medical center’s Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC). The St. Louis GRECC and the twenty-four other GRECCs across the nation are recognized as leaders in advancing geriatric care. The program has areas of flexibility that can be adapted to meet the particular interests of the resident.

Program Mission Statement 
The Mission of the Primary Care Optometry Residency at the St. Louis VA is to inspire and cultivate capable and skilled optometric practitioners.  The primary care Optometry Residency seeks to fulfill its mission by providing clinically focused post-graduate education in a multi-disciplinary VA setting with emphasis on an adult and geriatric population. The residency will provide didactic opportunities, scholarly activities, and a broad clinical experience all while fulfilling the Medical Center’s commitment to provide high quality eye care to our veterans.

Educational Opportunities:
The primary means of learning and skill development is direct patient care. Because of the nature of the veteran population and the treatment programs available at our medical center, the resident is exposed to a wide range of medical and ocular diagnoses. A number of other activities are built into the program to broaden the overall learning 
experience. During the year the resident:

  • participates in optometry conferences and grand rounds
  • attends geriatric and ophthalmology grand rounds and seminars, and also continuing optometric/medical education
  • supervises fourth year optometry students training at the VA Medical Center
  • develops scholarship and literature research skills by working on a paper of publishable quality.

The resident's schedule is comprised of four full days a week in clinical care and approximately one full day for independent study and professional development.

Teaching Responsibilities for Resident/Graduate Student:
Resident supervises optometry students providing patient care in the clinic during the second half of the residency. The number of patient encounters gained in this manner is small compared to the number of patients directly seen by the resident.

Research Responsibilities:
Resident has the opportunity to perform a clinical research study.

Requirements for completion and award certification for St. Louis VAMC Optometry Residency

  • Complete a one year residency term beginning July 1 and ending June 30th of the following year
  • Graduate  from a School or College of Optometry recognized by the AOA
  • Obtain a current state license to practice optometry
  • Pass all sections of the National Boards in Optometry Examinations
  • Comply with all VAMC and Optometric policies during the residency
  • Attend clinic as assigned
  • Must be in good academic status and not on probation, remediation or suspension at the time of completion
  • Comply with evidence –based patient care and practice guidelines such as those published by the AOA
  • Complete all residency outcome measures as listed below:
    • Complete 1000 patient care encounters (400 over age 70, 
      30 low vision examinations, 3 CCTV’s, 3 electronic low vision devices)
    • Precept 4th year optometric interns for 6 months
    • Participate in interdisciplinary health care at the STL VAMC
    • Order and interpret non-ophthalmic clinical tests (serology, microbiology, imaging)
    • Attend STL VAMC Grand Rounds as assigned
    • Attend Geriatric core topics, seminar and grand rounds as assigned
    • Attend and participate in optometry rounds associated with the University of Missouri as assigned
    • Attend and participate in Ophthalmology Grand Rounds as assigned
    • Attend a national meeting for 3 days such as AAO, AOA, SECO, State or regional meetings
    • Present 5 lectures at STL VAMC
    • Lead Journal review with optometry 4th year interns and faculty
    • Present at the University of Missouri College of Optometry Grand Rounds
    • Present at a national meeting: poster or lecture
    • Complete a paper suitable for publication
    • Participate in quality assurance program

The award certificates are awarded to the residents after successful completion of all requirements and outcome measures at the end of June.


Program Coordinator:

Julia Pulliam, O.D., FAAO
Optometry Residency Coordinator
Voice (314) 652-4100 ext 5-3038
FAX (314) 289-6581
St. Louis VA Medical Center, Eye Clinic 
915 Grand Avenue
Saint Louis, MO 63106