Program Description

This Residency provides advanced clinical training in primary care optometry. 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 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 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 and a half days a week in clinical care and approximately one half 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.

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
  • O.D. degree from an ACOE accredited school or college of optometry prior to the residency start date
  • 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

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


Program Coordinator:

Allison Schafers, O.D., FAAO
Optometry Residency Coordinator
Voice (314) 652-4100 ext 53619
FAX (314) 289-6581
St. Louis VA Medical Center, Eye Clinic 
915 Grand Avenue
Saint Louis, MO 63106