VA Northern Indiana Health Care System - Residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease Fort Wayne, Indiana



PROGRAM AFFILIATE:  Michigan College of Optometry

ACCREDITATION STATUS:  Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.


Five full time optometrists, two optometry residents, and two optometry students provide primary and secondary ophthalmic care to Veterans at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Common services include: dilated eye examinations, refraction, automated perimetry, A/B scan ultrasonography, corneal pachymetry, anterior/posterior segment digital photography, low vision rehabilitation, diabetic tele-retinal screenings, traumatic brain injury screenings, pre/post operative care, minor anterior segment procedures, HRT 3, posterior and anterior segment OCT and additional ophthalmic imaging modalities including infra-red, red-free and auto-fluorescence.  Secondary and tertiary eye care is provided on site by three ophthalmology consultants (one general practice surgeon and two subspecialists (cornea and oculoplastics).  Common ophthalmologic services include: cataract extraction with intraocular lens implant, ptosis repair, blepharoplasty, entropion/ectropion repair, excision of malignant and benign lid lesions and ophthalmic laser procedures. Additional specialty ophthalmology services, including neuro-ophthalmology, glaucoma, and retina/uvea, are provided by local specialists or staff at other VA Medical Centers.

The clinic population is comprised primarily of males in their 6th – 8th decades of life and is characterized by a high prevalence of ocular disease.   While some “normal” eyes are examined, the vast majority of patients present with one or more chronic ocular conditions including: glaucoma, ocular hypertension, retinal vascular disease, age-related macular degeneration and/or cataracts.  A significant number of patients also present with acute conditions including various infectious and inflammatory conditions of the eye, ocular trauma and neuro-ophthalmic conditions including tumors, cranial nerve palsies and optic neuropathy.

The VA hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana has been active in optometric education for over three decades.  Dr. Dale Fath, in collaboration with Indiana University (IU) School of Optometry, initiated a fourth year student extern program at this facility in the early 1980’s.  In 1991, Dr. Timothy Messer expanded the student program by establishing an affiliation with Michigan College of Optometry (MCO). Under the direction of Dr. Sara Schamerloh, the student program continued to expand in complexity with the addition of fellowship trained ophthalmology consultants, residency trained optometric staff, ophthalmic technicians and clerical support. In 2002, an optometric residency program in ocular disease and primary eye care was established and in 2007, this program was expanded with the addition of a second resident. Through participation in lectures, journal clubs, supervised patient care, hands-on procedural experience and independent study, the residents achieve advanced competency in eye, vision and health care.  This experience is enhanced by state of the art equipment and space within the multidisciplinary setting of the Veteran’s Health Administration.


The optometry residency at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System will provide post doctorate clinical experiences resulting in advanced competency in the evaluation, treatment and management of a wide variety of ocular conditions, with a special emphasis on ocular disease.  The residency will equip the resident with the necessary tools for life-long learning, thereby enabling continued advanced level competency throughout his or her professional career.  Furthermore, the residency will highlight the trainee’s responsibility for future contributions to the profession of optometry.


  1. Provide experience in the evaluation and management of patients with ocular disease or ocular manifestations of systemic disease, utilizing advanced diagnostic and treatment modalities when indicated.
    1. The resident will provide care for a large number of patients with complex and/or multiple ocular problems.
    2. The resident will become proficient in performing and interpreting advanced diagnostic procedures. 
    3. The resident will become proficient in performing and interpreting advanced therapeutic procedures
  2. Enhance the resident’s ability to communicate with patients and other health care providers in a way that promotes patient-centered care.
    1. The resident will promote effective patient-centered care by effectively communicating with patients and their families.
    2. The resident will promote collaborative patient-centered care by effectively communicating with other health care providers.
  3. Provide an opportunity for the resident to function as a valuable member of the health care team in a way that promotes appropriate resource utilization and effective, coordinated care.
    1. The resident will practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation without compromising quality of care.
    2. The resident will be aware of health care system resources and will collaborate with other health professionals to ensure provision of comprehensive patient-focused care.
    3. The resident will be exposed to a multidisciplinary model of low vision care.
  4. Foster continuous patient care improvement through quality improvement activities, including the resident’s self-evaluation.
    1. The resident will be responsible for life-long learning and their own practice assessment and improvement strategies.
    2. The resident will participate in quality improvement activities within the hospital and utilize the information to improve patient care.
  5. Facilitate the resident’s acquisition, analysis and application of current medical and scientific information to improve their patient care practices.
    1. The resident will develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that will enhance their ability to form differential diagnoses and management plans.
    2. The resident will improve his/her knowledge of basic and medical sciences and apply this knowledge in the evaluation, diagnosis and management of patients.
    3. The resident will demonstrate the ability to acquire, analyze and apply scientific and medical literature to improve the care of patients, and will utilize information technology where applicable.
  6. Provide the resident with experiences and skills that will facilitate continued contribution to the profession of optometry through a variety of venues including:  teaching, scholarly activities and involvement in community and professional organizations.
    1. The resident will facilitate the learning of optometry students and other health care professionals through participation in scholarly activities
    2. The resident will facilitate the learning of optometry students and other health care trainees by participating in preceptor assignments.
    3. The resident will be exposed to community and professional organizations and will be given the opportunity to participate.


The program curriculum is comprised of four basic components:  clinical instruction, didactic instruction, teaching and research.

Clinical Activities

Over 80% of the resident’s scheduled time is dedicated to clinical instruction and the vast majority of this time is spent providing direct patient care in various outpatient optometry settings, including the following clinics:  established patients, consult, acute care, diabetic screening, post-operative and low vision.   The resident is responsible for providing comprehensive care, including:

  • Primary eye care, including screenings, wellness exams, and  diagnosis/treatment of vision disorders
  • Diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases, including acute care
  • Diagnosis and treatment of ocular manifestations of systemic diseases
  • Pre- and post-operative care
  • Low vision counseling and rehabilitation (very minor component)
  • Performance and interpretation of specialized ophthalmic testing procedures
  • Ordering and interpretation of laboratory, radiology and other diagnostic studies
  • Interaction with other health care providers to ensure continuity of care

The resident’s experience is enhanced by daily case discussions with faculty and review of clinical images (photographs, OCTs, FAs, CTs, MRIs, etc.) during clinic and conference time.   Strong emphasis is placed on development of critical thinking and problem solving - two skills that are essential for independent practice and life-long learning.  A continuous effort to improve patient care through acquisition, analysis, and application of current medical information is expected of the resident. 

Observational interdisciplinary rotations assist the resident in understanding the role of other health professionals.  Rotations may include:  dermatology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, cardiac stress testing, emergency room, and imaging (MRI, CT and ultrasound).   The resident will also have the opportunity to observe ophthalmic surgery and/or laser.

While not a formal part of the curriculum, participation in medical mission trips is facilitated and encouraged.

Didactic Activities

The resident participates in weekly optometry conference with attending staff and students.  This conference utilizes a variety of didactic instruction methods including:  case presentations and slide review, journal club, interactive faculty lectures, and resident/student presentations. 

The resident is encouraged to attend outside continuing education offerings through the affiliate, as well as those offered by the American Academy of Optometry, the local optometric society and other academic or professional organizations. 

It is expected that the resident will undertake a variety of independent study activities.  To facilitate the resident’s efforts, a large library of medical and ophthalmic resources is readily available. 

Scholarly activities

The following scholarly activities are required of the resident in order to satisfy program completion criteria.

  • The resident must complete a manuscript of publishable quality or present a scientific poster (or equivalent) at the American Academy of Optometry (or other similar approved venue) prior to the end of the residency year. Residents who submit a poster/paper (or equivalent) for presentation at an approved meeting will be eligible for a $500 travel scholarship from the Michigan College of Optometry.  
  • Prior to the end of the residency year, the resident will be required to present a lecture or case presentation to students, staff and/or colleagues at a collaborative venue with the affiliate, Michigan College of Optometry.  

Additional scholarly activities may include:  journal club, lectures, and case presentations.


The resident is responsible for clinical instruction and supervision of 4th year professional students from Indiana University and Michigan College Optometry during the latter part of their residency year.  At minimum, the resident will be assigned to work with the students an average of one half day per week for 6 months.


This schedule may vary according to patient care and training needs. A minimum of 40 hours per week is required. The resident participates in the 3 hour student/resident conference each week and a minimum of 1.5 hours per week is allotted for research and development. Most of the remaining time will be spent in direct patient care. When assigned to direct patient care, the resident will also be responsible for performing specialty diagnostic testing and for seeing the majority of the unscheduled/emergency patients. 

After the initial phase of the program, the resident’s patient care hours may include 2- 8 hours per week of clinical instruction of the 4th year optometry students. The exact amount is variable and depends on the resident’s experience and level of interest.  

At the discretion of the Residency Supervisor, additional time will be allotted for specialty clinics (ophthalmology, pre/post-operative care or low vision), surgical observation, special didactic offerings and observation of other disciplines within the hospital. 

Outside of normal clinic hours, clinic responsibilities will be assigned on an “as needed” basis to cover patients requiring close weekend follow up, or to provide coverage for acute ocular emergencies that present through the medical center emergency room. Attending staff back-up call is provided at all times to the resident. When the resident is not able to provide evening or weekend coverage due to illness or out-of town obligations, the attending staff will provide coverage. 


The professional staff is comprised of 5 full time optometrists, two optometry residents and three part-time fee basis ophthalmologists.  Ancillary staff includes two full time clerks and five full time ophthalmic technicians.  There are a number of other employees throughout the hospital who provide support for the program, including the surgical service secretary and administrative officer, as well as staff from the medical library, central supply and processing, pharmacy, lab, radiology, transcription, coding/billing, release of information, information technology and media production.  A contract optical is available on-site and MCO provides additional library and media production services in support of our program.   


Sara Schamerloh, OD, FAAO

Dr. Schamerloh has been involved in optometric education for over 25 years.  After graduating from the Indiana University (IU) School of Optometry in 1987, she completed a one-year residency in hospital-based optometry at the Jesse Brown VA (formerly known at the West Side VA) hospital in Chicago, Illinois.  Following the residency, Dr. Schamerloh served as full time faculty at the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) where she was responsible for the Physical Assessment course, Geriatrics course, Clinical Grand Rounds and clinical education of 3rd and 4th year optometry students.  In 1990, she returned to the Jesse Brown VA as a full time attending staff member.  In addition to precepting students and residents, she was responsible for coordination of student and resident educational activities under the direction of Dr. Thomas Stelmack. 

In 1994, Dr. Schamerloh transferred to the VA in Fort Wayne, Indiana (now known as VA Northern Indiana Health Care System or VANIHCS) where she continued her educational activities through lectures at IU and clinical preceptorship of IU and MCO students.  In 2002, she established the optometric residency program at VANIHCS and continues to serve as the residency program supervisor.  Additionally, Dr. Schamerloh is co-director of the IU and MCO student program and the lead optometrist for VANIHCS.  She holds an adjunct clinical faculty position with IU, is a clinical professor at MCO and is Board Certified in Medical Optometry. 

Dr. Schamerloh has authored numerous paper/posters and publications and has lectured on the local and national level.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), past vice-chair of the AAO’s admittance committee, past president and board member of the Optometric Residency Matching Service (ORMS), past chair and member of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry’s Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry (ACMO) committee, past-chief examiner for the NBEO Clinical Skills Examinations and a member of the National Association of VA Optometrists (NAVAO). 

Aaron Case, OD, FAAO

Dr. Aaron Case is a 2006 graduate of Indiana University School of Optometry.  He completed a residency in Ocular Disease and Primary Care at VANIHCS in 2007 and he joined the VANIHCS residency faculty in 2008.  He holds faculty appointments at Indiana University School of Optometry (Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor) and Michigan College of Optometry (Clinical Associate Professor), and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.   

Dr. Case has been involved in clinical and didactic instruction of students and residents at NIHCS since 2008.  Prior to that, he served as a preceptor for 4th year optometry students (2007), an undergraduate laboratory assistant in physical and organic chemistry (1997-2000) and a classical history tutor (1998-2000).

Dr. Case participated in laboratory research at the IU School of Optometry (mammalian retinal morphology) and he served as a clinical research assistant for a pilot study involving antioxidants and endothelial dysfunction (Cardiology Group in Fort Wayne, In).  Additionally, he has collaborated with researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to develop the phenotype for Sticklers, subtype 2.  Dr. Case’s research in the area of Stickler Syndrome was presented at the American Academy of Optometry in 2006.  Since then, he has co-authored several posters and resident presentations at the AAO. 

In addition to clinical and didactic instruction of students and residents, Dr. Case coordinates the optometric continuing education program and optometric traumatic brain injury services at our facility.  

Wendy Moyle, OD, FAAO

Dr. Wendy Moyle completed a one-year residency in hospital-based and rehabilitative optometry at the Jesse Brown VA in Chicago, Illinois and the Hines Blind Rehabilitation Center in Hines, Illinois following her graduation from the MCO in 1997.  She is a clinical associate professor at MCO and an adjunct clinical assistant professor at IU.  Dr. Moyle has been actively involved with the didactic and clinical instruction of students and residents since she joined our team in 1998.  

She coordinates low vision, ophthalmology and tele-retinal services at our facility.  She has lectured on the local and regional levels, has participated in low vision research, has co-authored several posters that have been presented at the annual AAO and SECO meetings, and has co-authored two articles published in Optometry and Vision Science.

She is a fellow of the AAO, Chair of the AAO admittance committee, a past examiner for the NBEO Clinical Skills Examination, a member of the NAVAO and has successfully passed the NBEO’s Advanced Competency in Medical Optometry (ACMO) examination.  She is also board certified in medical optometry and serves as a reviewer for various ophthalmic journals and the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE).    

Traci Seng, OD, FAAO

Following graduation from MCO in 1997, Dr. Traci Seng completed a one-year residency in ocular disease at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia.  She then served as the Residency Supervisor and student program coordinator at the WBJ Dorn VAMC in Columbia, South Carolina, where she was also Chief of the Optometry Department.  She transferred to VANIHCS in 2001. 

Dr. Seng has over 17 years of experience in didactic and clinical instruction of students and residents and she holds faculty appointments with IU (Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor) and MCO (Clinical Associate Professor).  She has lectured on a local and national level and has co-authored several posters/publications. 

At NIHCS, she serves as the co-director of the optometry student program and coordinates numerous administrative aspects of the clinic.  She has also served as a regional consultant for Optometry within the VA.  She is a fellow of the AAO, a member of NAVAO, a member of the AAO admittance committee, and a past examiner for the NBEO Clinical Skills Examination.  Additionally, she has successfully passed the NBEO’s Advanced Competency in Medical Optometry (ACMO) examination and is board certified in medical optometry. 

Brian Dornbos, OD

Following graduation from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University in 2012, Dr. Dornbos completed an Ocular Disease Residency at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center.   He then served with the Indian Health Services (Kayenta, AZ) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (various locations) prior to joining the Fort Wayne staff in December of 2013. 

Dr. Dornbos’ teaching experience dates back to 2010 when he tutored students in the Optometric Procedures and Binocular Vision courses at MCO.  Since then, he has taught optometry students and residents in a variety of didactic and clinical settings.  He currently holds an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor faculty appointment through MCO and serves as the faculty liaison for the NIHCS student/ resident Journal Club.  Dr. Dornbos also lectures at the state and local level, with a special interest in pain management and neuro-ophthalmic disorders.   

In addition, he authored and presented several scientific posters at national optometric meetings and successfully completed the National Board of Examiners’ Advanced Competency in Medical Optometry examination.  He is also a member of the Michigan Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association, The Armed Forces Optometric Society, The National Association of VA Optometrists and the American Academy of Optometry.


Applicants for VA residencies must be citizens of the United States* and have received a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree from an ACOE accredited School or College of Optometry by July 1 of the residency year. Prior to completion of the residency, it is expected that the applicant will have passed the National Board exams and will obtain state licensure (in any state). 

Application - Microsoft Word

Application - ADOBE - PDF 

*Due to federal regulations, funded VA residency positions are limited to US citizens.

Applicants must utilize the national optometric residency matching service (ORMatch). Detailed instructions regarding the application procedure, application deadlines, supporting documents and the matching algorithm may be found on the organization’s internet home page.

Application requirements include:

  • Application through ORMatch by ORMatch published deadline. (After this date, you may still apply by submitting an application package directly to the program supervisor, however, applications received after close of business, February 1 will be reviewed on an individual basis and acceptance is at the discretion of the program supervisor.
  • Completion of MCO’s “Application for Admission” form
    • Submit electronic or hard copy directly to the program supervisor no later than close of business, February 1.  Acceptance of late applications is at the discretion of the program supervisor. 
  • Supporting documentation
    • Submit electronic or hard copies directly to the program supervisor no later than close of business, February 15.  Official school transcripts may be transmitted through “electronic transcript delivery services” if available through your school.
      • Letter of Intent (Brief statement from the applicant regarding the individual’s desire to complete a residency)
      • Curriculum vitae
      • Official transcripts from applicant’s school or college of optometry.  Copies may be sent initially, however, official transcripts must be received by the specified deadline. 
      • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) scores (Unofficial copies are acceptable; ORMatch will forward the official scores)
      • Copy of state license, if applicant is already licensed to practice optometry in any state
  • Simultaneously arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the program supervisor. 
    • At least two must be from faculty (on campus or off campus) who are familiar with the applicant’s clinical skills.   It is preferred that at least one letter is written by a clinical instructor who directly supervised the applicant during his/her fourth clinical year. 
    • Letters must be received no later than February 15.  Electronic copies are acceptable only if they are signed and/or sent to the program supervisor directly by the person providing the recommendation.

The application deadlines and additional details may be found on the ORMatch website.

Following receipt of the necessary documents and interviews (preferably in person), the faculty members collaborate to choose and rank candidates.  The three primary criteria that are used in candidate selection are:

  • Basic knowledge (determined by interview, letters of recommendation, NBEO scores, transcripts of grades)
  • Clinical skills (determined by interview, letters of recommendation, clinical grades and previous clinical experiences)
  • Personal attributes including eagerness to learn/work hard, learning preferences and professional goals (determined by interview and letters of recommendation)


This program follows established organization wide non-discrimination policies, as detailed in the VA Employee Handbook, February 2002: 

“The VA is committed to an aggressive, affirmative policy to ensure equal employment opportunity and advancement to all qualified persons. Federal anti-discrimination laws are followed and enforced. Both the letter and the spirit of equal opportunity are observed in employment, assignment, and training opportunities.

Federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 and over), or mental or physical disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against for any of these reasons, you have a right to complain to an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor within 45 days of the incident giving rise to the complaint.” 


The program enjoys a wide variety of current educational and informational resources that are readily available to the resident.

  • Extensive on-line journal and medical references are available through VANIHCS, Michigan College of Optometry and Indiana University.  Over 100 ophthalmic journals are available with full on-line text.  These resources are also available to the resident 24 hours per day; 7 days per week. 
  • Over 150 ophthalmic and general medical textbooks are located in the clinic and area available to the resident 24 hours per day; 7 days per week.
  • Full access to library facilities and services through Michigan College of Optometry.  Services include article retrieval and inter-library loan. 
  • Additional library facilities within a 3-hour drive include:  Indiana University School of Optometry and Indiana University School of Medicine.


The learning environment is enhanced by state of the art facilities and equipment including the following:  

Description Contents

Patient waiting areas

  • Main and sub-wait (for patients who are dilating)

Clerk’s office

  • Fax machine/copier/printer, computer, telephone

Auxiliary Examination Equipment

(various locations)

  • Topcon auto-lensometers (2) and several manual lensometers
  • Humphrey FDT
  • Tonopen (3)
  • Kowa handheld slit lamp

Patient restroom


Conference room

  • 50” high definition LCD monitor for lectures/presentations
  • Networked computers (3) and networked printer (1)
  • Ophthalmic and general medical references
  • Conference table and work stations for students and resident

Imaging and special testing room

  • Humphrey-Zeiss Visuopac digital imaging system with Zeiss retinal camera
  • Haag Streit BX photo slitlamp
  • Corneal pachymeter
  • Zeiss Stratus OCT
  • Heidelberg HRT 3
  • Heidelberg Spectralis (spectral domain OCT with enhanced depth imaging, anterior segment OCT, infrared reflectance, fluorescein angiography, ICG angiography and fundus autofluorescence)
  • Aviso A/B ultrasound (with 10 MHz/20MHz posterior segment probes, 25 MHz linear high resolution anterior segment probe  and axial length probe)

Visual field room

  • Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer II, model 750

Pre-testing room

  • Topcon automated refracting system (including auto-refractor/keratometer/lensometer)
  • Haag Streit slit lamp
  • IOL Master

Fully equipped examination room with ophthalmic lasers

  • Fully equipped exam room including Haag Streit BQ slit lamp with teaching tube attachment
  • Argon, YAG and SLT lasers

-CO2 laser available in OR for oculoplastic cases

Fully equipped examination room with low vision equipment

  • Fully equipped exam room
  • Contrast sensitivity chart
  • Tangent screen
  • Low vision distance acuity chart
  • Low vision devices

6 Fully equipped examination rooms

  • Six additional fully equipped standard examination lanes

-Heine binocular indirect ophthalmoscopes, Haag Streit biomicroscopes 900 LED series, applanation tonometers, Reliance chair/stand units with wheel chair glides and computerized acuity testing systems

  • Additional exam room equipment includes: Sussman style 4-mirror, Goldman style contact 3-mirror, blood pressure cuff and stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, retinoscope, transilluminator, exophthalmometer, occluder, maddox rod, prism bars, color plates, amsler grid plates, trial lens set, trial frame, Feinbloom chart, red/green glasses, stereo fly/glasses, lacrimal dilator, lacrimal cannula, syringes, forceps, blades, and foreign body removal instruments including Alger brush

Patient education corner

  • TV/VCR with educational videos
  • Educational brochures and posters

Private offices for program supervisor and faculty

  • Printers
  • Additional ophthalmic and general medical references, journals and audio-tapes

Tech work station

  • Networked computers (2) and scanner

Staff restroom


Staff break room

  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Sink
  • Table/chairs


Numerous networked computers are located in offices and clinical areas (including each exam lane).  All are connected to networked laser printers.  From these computers, residents may access the following:

  • Internet (including e-mail and shared clinical calendar)
  • Word processing, database management and presentation software
  • Electronic medical records (including teleretinal photographs,  radiologic studies and other remote images)
  • Medical reference material
  • An extensive assortment of full text journals and text books (ophthalmic and general medical) 


The resident is entitled to the following:

  1. Employment for a 12 months period commencing on July 1 and ending June 30 of the residency year
  2. A stipend in the amount of $32,110* for this period, funded through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Academic Affairs.   (*Academic year 2014-15 rate; check with program director for current salary)
  3. 13 leave days for personal/professional activities (accrued at the rate of 4 hours per pay period) ; unused annual leave may be “cashed out” at the conclusion of the program
  4. 10 Federal Holidays
  5. Additional days of “authorized absence”, granted at the supervisor’s discretion for purposes of attending professional activities that are part of the formal program curriculum
  6. 13 sick days (accrued at the rate of 4 hours per pay period);  medical documentation required for extended sick leave 
  7. Eligibility to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program
  8. Access to clinical instruction and facilities sufficient to meet the mission, goals and objectives of the program
  9. Access to a general schedule and program curriculum at the start of the program
  10. Uniforms (Clinic jackets and/or scrubs)
  11. A certificate upon satisfactory completion of the residency 


  1. The resident practices under the privileges of the attending optometrists/faculty. The “Tort” act covers malpractice for practitioners within the scope of these privileges. The practitioners will have all authority regarding patient management.
  2. The tour of duty for the resident will be assigned at the beginning of the program and modified depending on the needs of the clinic and the resident. The schedule is likely to contain irregular number of hours for each workday; however, the weekly average will be 40-45 hours of assigned duties. (This does not include outside development time necessary for research, lecture preparation, journal reviews, manuscript preparation, and independent study.) Resident will be assigned on an “as needed” basis for evening and weekend emergency coverage. Residents may be excused in the event of illness or out of town obligations. On average, the resident is called for such duty less than 2 times per month.   Care will be provided in consultation with attending staff.  When resident is not available due to illness or other obligations, the attending staff will assume the responsibility for after hour emergency patients.
  3. The resident may not hold a second VA position of employment. The resident may, however, work outside of the VA if the following criteria are met:
  • Clinic/practice opportunity provides an academically oriented experience
  • Outside work does not interfere with the resident’s ability to fulfill their obligations to the residency program
  • The program supervisor gives his/her concurrence

Malpractice insurance is the sole responsibility of the resident or non-VA employing facility.


The resident is responsible for the following:

  1. To perform to the best of his/her abilities in all assigned duties
  2. Completion of all residency requirements including:
  • Serve as a resident for the entire period of time specified above
  • Complete a manuscript of publishable quality or present a scientific poster (or equivalent) at the American Academy of Optometry (or other similar approved venue) prior to the end of the residency year
  • Maintain patient and activity logs in a timely and accurate manner
  • Provide periodic self assessment and summary reports as requested by the program supervisor to assist in determining whether the program is meeting its objectives
  • Actively participate in didactic activities
  • Prior to the end of the residency year, present a lecture or case presentation to students, staff and/or colleagues at a collaborative venue with the affiliate, Michigan College of Optometry
  • Log at least 1700 patient encounters by the end of the residency year; exceptions may be made at the discretion of the program supervisor
  • Demonstrate overall “satisfactory” or better clinical performance throughout the residency year
  1. To act in a professional manner at all times
  2. To observe all rules and regulations of the Medical Center including:
    • Practice within the scope of clinical privileges
    • Practice according to the rules of residency supervision within the VA
  3. To refrain from participating in any activities (personal or non-VA employment related) that would interfere with the effective performance of all assigned duties and responsibilities

6. To refuse fees or payment in any form from patients, staff physicians or others


Sara Schamerloh, OD, FAAO

Residency Program Supervisor

VA Northern Indiana Health Care System



Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Summary of VA educational opportunities, including optometric residency and fellowship training:  Follow link entitled “Education and Training”.
  • Benefits of a VA Career in Optometry:  Follow link entitled “Career as an Optometrist”.

National Association of VA Optometrists (NAVAO)

Description of VA optometric residencies and directory of programs:  Follow link entitled “VA residencies”

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)

Commonly asked questions about optometric residencies, residency directory and several other residency related links

Accreditation Council on Optometric Education

List of accredited residency programs; Questions or concerns may be addressed to:

Optometric Residency Matching Service – ORMatch

Matching forms and residency directory

Michigan College of Optometry (MCO)

Summary of MCO affiliated residency programs, including the Ocular Disease/Primary Care Residency at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System in Fort Wayne, Indiana

National Board of Examiners in Optometry – ACMO examination

Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry (ACMO) Examination - For Doctors of Optometry who have completed or who are in the process of completing an ACOE-accredited residency program.  Also open to Optometrists who are actively involved in the training and education of VA optometry residents or who are clinically privileged to provide optometric patient care services to VA patients. 

Visit Fort Wayne

Things to do, events, maps and other information about the city

Relocation information

For additional information contact:

Sara Schamerloh, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Residency Program Supervisor

VA Northern Indiana Health Care System