About Us

Residency in Primary Care Optometry with an emphasis in Ocular Disease

General Information

Program Mission

The mission of the Brooke Army Medical Center Residency in Primary Care Optometry is to provide advanced clinical training for military optometrists, with emphasis in ocular disease, vision rehabilitation, and primary care, allowing residents, upon completion of the program, greater autonomy and increased professional capacity for managing a diverse and complex patient population.

Program Goals

The goals of the program include the following:

  • Goal A: Provide appropriately supervised clinical educational experiences with emphasis on ocular disease and trauma, medical/therapeutic contact lens and prosthetic device fittings, and primary vision and eye health care
  • Goal B: Stimulate scholarly development in the residents.
  • Goal C: Stimulate a commitment to professional growth and service in the resident.
  • Goal D: Facilitate experiences that are unique to the military optometrist. Participate in at least one military unique experience during the residency program, such as special trauma courses or opportunities to deliver eye care in an austere environment
Program Length 12 months for Primary Care Optometry Residency, 24 months for the combined MHA/Primary Care Optometry Residency
Start Date July 1
Positions 3 total: 2 for the 12 month program, 1 for the 24 month combined program
Compensation and Health Benefits Military Salary. Health insurance as provided by TRICARE.
Hours Per Week 40 hrs (there are no on-call responsibilities)
Leave Benefits 10 working days per academic year
Accreditation ACOE Accredited
Application Deadline January 1
ORMatch Matching Service No; Military Selection Board

Program Description

The 12 month residency program involves providing optometric care to patients with a diverse range of ocular conditions at the BAMC Optometry Department and at affiliated clinics. There is also a 24-month combined Master in Health Administration (MHA)/Primary Care Optometry Residency which involves part-time residency and part-time classes towards an MHA degree. These programs are only available to Active Duty Army Optometrists through the Long Term Health Education and Training Program.

Scholarly Activities: The resident is required to write at least one paper of publishable quality by the end of the residency. The resident is required to make one presentation on an optometric topic. This may take any of several possible forms, including a seminar, continuing education lecture, guest lecture in an optometry course, or a paper or poster presentation at an academic meeting. Residents participate in journal club, grand rounds, and seminar programs at the VA hospital, University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center, and the Rosenberg School of Optometry. The resident will also participate in the education of optometry externs.

Professional liability protection: Military clinicians do not have professional liability insurance; they perform their duties under the authority of lawful orders issued by the Department of the Army. Accordingly, while performing such training, military residents are considered employees of the Army acting within the scope of their employment under Federal law. The provisions of 28 United States Code, Section 2679 immunizes all government employees from individual tort liability. Furthermore, it is understood that the United States will protect the liability of the military resident, and that the US Government may, in its representation of the military resident, assert any defense available under Federal law.

The program is accredited by ACOE. Contact the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) at accredit@theacoe.org for more information about accreditation of optometric residency programs.

Educational Opportunities

Morning lectures: The resident has an open invitation to attend lectures that are conducted for the ophthalmology residents each morning. The optometry resident should preview the various topics that are presented each week, and attend those that are appropriate for the aims of this residency.

Grand Rounds: (Friday mornings) The optometry resident will be a guest of the Ophthalmology Service at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio each Friday morning. Additionally, the resident will have opportunities to participate in seminars and workshops hosted at UIW and the BAMC Optometry Department.

Sick Call: Each morning the resident will work at the Troop Medical Optometry Clinic supporting a walk-in clinic. During this time, the resident evaluates and treats acute ocular conditions such as injuries and infections. In addition, military physicals, safety glass exams, military entrance specialty exams and routine eye exams may present to the clinic for evaluation.

Case Review: The optometry resident will lead a case review discussion presented by the optometry externs. The resident and optometry staff conduct a question/answer session with the students to stimulate academic growth.

Additional BAMC Experiences

Combat Casualty Care Course: This exposure to medical care beyond the scope of normal optometry introduces the optometrist to other members of the medical community and prepares the optometrist for applying his skills in an austere environment.

Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS): As the military optometrist may be called to assist in the care of patients on the battlefield, PHTLS training may be a valuable adjunct to normal optometric skills.

Ophthalmology Review Course: The optometry resident audits an annual weeklong review course that is conducted to prepare ophthalmologists for board examinations. Many topics presented in the course serve as a review for basic optometric knowledge, while other topics are informative or unique in their perspective.

Other Military Training: The resident will have opportunities to participate in leadership and clinic management courses.

Experiences Beyond San Antonio

Gas Permeable Lens Institute Residents Symposium: The resident is invited to participate in the 4 day GPLI specialty lens course for residents.

MEDRETE or other Humanitarian Mission: There may be opportunity for the resident to actively participate in short medical mission remote locations. For such missions, the resident can expect to see hundreds of patients in an austere environment.

Continuing Education: The resident will be afforded at least one paid trip attend a national optometry conference. The resident may attend any additional meetings at their own expense.

Certification of Completion

A certificate of completion will be awarded to the resident upon satisfactory completion of residency requirements. The completion requirements of the program are:

  • Completed one paper of publishable quality (research paper, literature review, case report)
  • Deliver one presentation on an optometric topic
  • Submission of all residency evaluation forms (activity logs, patient logs and exit evaluations)
  • Demonstrate a minimum of 1300 patient encounters though direct patient care, precepting extern exams or observation in specialty clinics.

Application Process

Application Materials and Procedures: This program is only available to Active Duty Army Optometrists through the Long Term Health Education and Training (LTHET) Program. Each year, the Army publishes the application process in the LTHET message, which becomes widely disseminated to all Army Optometrists by the Army Optometry Consultant. Applicants apply approximately 18 months prior to the expected residency start date. Working with the Army Optometry Consultant and Human Resource Command, the officer submits an application and is board selected to attend the residency. The application involves a letter of intent, three letters of recommendation, and a optometry school academic transcript.

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria: Since the program is only available to Active Duty Army Optometrists, the BAMC Residency in Primary Care Optometry does not participate in ORMatch. All eligible applications are reviewed and a board of Army officers at the U.S. Army Human Resources Command selects residents. Decisions are made based on both academic and military records. The names of the selectees are published in June one year prior to the residency start date.

Admission criteria:

  1. Possess a Doctor of Optometry degree from a school or college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (by starting date).
  2. Pursue a full and unrestricted optometry license in any US state by starting date (and obtain within one year)
  3. Have a competitive GPA
  4. Successfully complete Parts I and II of the NBEO examinations (successfully complete Part III within one year)
  5. Submit completed U.S. Army application materials
  6. Be on U.S. Army active duty status

For additional information about this residency opportunity, please contact:

Phone: (210) 916-1717

McWethy Troop Medical Clinic
Department of Optometry
3051 Garden Ave, Bldg 1279
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234

Contact Us

Brooke Army Medical Center

McWethy Troop Medical Clinic
Department of Optometry
3051 Garden Ave, Bldg 1279
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234
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