Pediatric Optometry/Vision Therapy

The residency in Pediatric Optometry/Vision Therapy is a challenging and comprehensive 54-week educational program.

The residents work closely with the faculty in the Pediatric and Binocular Vision Service (PBVS) at The Eye Institute to provide visual function evaluation and treatment options for kids and adults.  The PBVS is comprised of six services – primary care pediatrics, infant vision, binocular vision, perceptual evaluations, brain injury clinic, and vision therapy.

Mission Statement

The mission of the residency in Pediatric Optometry/Vision Therapy is to recruit and train qualified post-graduate optometrists to provide primary pediatric care and advanced vision care through clinical management and co-management experiences in a broad range of complex visual disorders.  This program will prepare the resident to competently diagnose and manage accommodative, binocular vision, and eye movement disorders, strabismus and amblyopia, learning-related vision problems, and visual problems associated with acquired brain injury.  The residents will be provided with an orientation and didactic program throughout the year, and will be provided a suitable environment in which the resident can flourish and develop skills as an educator and self-learner.
 
The nature of the patient population at The Eye Institute provides the foundation for the resident to hone their entry-level skills to a level of expertise.  The residents will achieve the objectives of the program through an appropriate level of supervision and support of highly trained clinical faculty of optometrists and other specialists, leading to clinical autonomy as a pediatric and vision therapy specialist.

ASSIGNMENTS

The Pediatrics/Vision Therapy residents are typically assigned 40-44 hours per week, and two Saturdays per month.  The residents spend three to four days in the PBVS, and the remaining time is in other patient care services and various educational activities. The residents are also required to attend lectures and conferences, which are scheduled outside of normal patient care responsibilities.  The Pediatric/Vision Therapy schedule include the following assignments: 

  • Rotation through the 6 services in PBVS – primary care pediatrics, infant vision, binocular vision, perceptual evaluation, brain injury clinic, and vision therapy.  Each resident is assigned responsibility for the care of about 20 vision therapy patients each week.
  • Hospital rotations
    • Magee and Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospitals – residents will work closely with faculty to provide care for patients with a wide range of brain injuries.
    • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children – residents will work alongside hospital staff optometrists and ophthalmologists and engage in direct care of complex pediatric cases not routinely seen in an optometric setting. 
  • Emergency Eye Care - Under appropriate supervision, residents manage their own patients in the Emergency Service, where they see walk-in patients with ocular urgencies/emergencies.  Patients may be referred our ophthalmology sub-specialists. In addition, each resident is on-call weekends and evenings four to five weeks per program year. 
The residents will attend and participate in an educational program throughout the year, which includes conferences and lectures. They will also participate in Grand Rounds presentations to fourth year students, fellow residents, and faculty members.  A schedule for conferences/ lectures is distributed to the residents on a quarterly basis.

Residents are occasionally asked to conduct off-campus vision screenings and participate in other College activities outside of program requirements.  An additional stipend may be paid for these services.

Sample Pediatric Optometry / Vision Therapy Resident Schedule (PDF)