at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry
Residency in Low Vision Rehabilitation
The residency in Low Vision Rehabilitation is an intensive 52 or 54 week educational program at The Eye Institute. The William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center provides low vision rehabilitation services to individuals with visual impairments at the Center and through its community outreach program. Through an interdisciplinary team, the Center provides comprehensive low vision evaluation and management services. These services may include the prescription of specialized optical devices and adaptive technology systems, as well as rehabilitative services to facilitate more efficient use of residual vision in vocational, educational, and home environments. The Center, with its hospital-based satellite clinics, also provides Low Vision evaluation services to individuals with multiple impairments as a result of head trauma, stroke, or developmental disabilities. The Center also provides low vision services to visually-impaired students through programs established with neighboring school districts. Counseling and support services are also available for patients and their families through the Center's social service department. Additional services include: evaluation of multiply-impaired individuals; pediatric low vision service; adaptive technology service; and neurovisual rehabilitation service.
The mission of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Residency at The Eye Institute is to recruit a qualified graduating or graduate optometrist; to train the entry level graduate optometrist to provide patient care, including advanced low vision rehabilitative care, to patients with a broad range of ophthalmic disorders and ocular diseases; to train the resident to evaluate and manage patients with visual impairment, multiple impairments, and developmental disabilities; to provide an orientation and didactic program throughout the year; to promote development of skills as an educator and self-learner; and to provide a suitable environment in which the resident can flourish.
The nature of the patient population at The Eye Institute provides the foundation for the resident to hone entry-level skills to an advanced level and to cultivate new skills and knowledge as well. The resident is able to achieve the objectives of the program through an appropriate level of supervision and support of a highly trained clinical faculty of optometrists and general and subspecialty ophthalmologists leading to clinical independence.
The Low Vision Rehabilitation resident is typically assigned 40-44 hours per week, and an average of every other Saturday. A total of three to four days are spent in the Low Vision Service, and the remaining time is in other patient care services, as well as in various educational activities. Residents are also required to attend lectures and conferences which are scheduled outside of normal patient care responsibilities.
During the assigned low vision sessions, the resident is primarily in the William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center. The resident also participates in the care of patients in the Special Populations Assessment and Rehabilitation Center in The Eye Institute, as well as to the Vision Rehabilitation Clinic at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, to examine and supervise students in the examination of patients with vision impairment, ocular and systemic disease processes, brain damage secondary to head trauma, stroke, neurological disease, developmental disabilities, and multiple impairments. The resident also conducts examinations and screenings at low vision satellite program including Overbrook School for the Blind, Overbrook Educational Center, St. Lucy’s School for the Blind and the Delaware County Intermediate Unit Low.
- 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 to our ophthalmology subspecialists. In addition, each resident is on-call weekends and evenings four to five weeks per program year.
- Specialty Services
- The resident is assigned to Vitreo-retinal Disease, Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease, and Specialty Glaucoma Services in The Eye Institute on a rotating basis.
- The resident may also have the opportunity to participate in other services in The Eye Institute and other area eye care venues.
- The resident attends and participates in an educational program throughout the year, which includes conference and lectures, and is typically assigned to teach in a laboratory. They also participate in Grand Rounds presentations to fourth year students, fellow residents, and faculty members. A conference/lecture schedule is distributed to the residents on a quarterly basis. Our low vision resident will typically be assigned to teach in a laboratory at some point throughout the program year.
- Residents are occasionally asked to conduct vision screenings off-campus and to participate in other College activities. An additional stipend may be paid for these services.