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Primary Care and Ocular Disease Residency

The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) is the first-of-its-kind partnership between the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. This fully-integrated federal health care facility has the mission of “Readying Warriors and Caring for Heroes.”

A combined mission of the health care center translate to active duty military, their family members, military retirees and veterans are all receiving care at the facility. The health care center and its branch clinics ensure that nearly 40,000 Navy recruits transitioning through Naval Station Great Lakes each year are medically qualified. We care for nearly 67,000 eligible military and retiree beneficiaries each year and provide first-rate care to veterans throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Optometry Clinic at the West Campus
The optometry clinic on the West Campus is headed by an active duty Navy optometrist, who is supported by two civilian optometrists along with one active duty Navy optometry resident. The ophthalmology clinic is supported by two full- time civilian ophthalmologists and part-time consultants. The ophthalmology specialties available are vitreo-retina, neuro-ophthalmology, oculo-plastics, cornea and glaucoma. The merger of VA and DoD provides an opportunity for optometry to work closely with ophthalmology to provide supervision and a vast patient-base to facilitate an advanced clinical training environment in primary care and ocular disease. In addition, this program meets the unique mission of the United States Navy, Veterans Affairs and the FHCC.


The mission of this Residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease at Federal Health Care Center is to provide advanced clinical competency and schol-arly development for the Navy optometrist so that he/she can get the ultimate preparation to meet the mission of the United States Navy in all military settings.

To provide supervised clinical education ex-perience, resident will: 

  • Examine a minimum of 1,500 patients in clinic either alone or in conjunction with optometry and/or ophthalmology supervi-sors during the course of the residency. 
  • See all stat consults to the clinic with op-tometry and/or ophthalmology supervisors during the course of the residency. Mini-mum of 50 stat consults need to be seen in 12 months.
  • See at-least 25 cases in which nutritional deficiencies are assessed based on clinical examination. 
  • Spend a minimum of 8 hours of clinical ob-servation in each of the following clinics: neurology, cardiology (peripheral vascular lab) and primary care clinic. 
  • Maintain a log of patients seen in the Illinois College of Optometry Meditrek system. 

To advance their academic education and training, residents will: 

  • Present at grand rounds to Illinois College of Optometry students and faculty. 
  • Attend a national or regional optometric meeting and will be encouraged to do a clinical poster during residency.
  • Produce a research paper, literature review or case report of publishable quality by the end of the program. 
  • Participate in monthly journal club discussions learning to critically review current ophthalmic literature in order to promote lifetime learning. 
  • Be encouraged to sit for the Advanced Competency in Medical Optometry examination. Prepare for the Academy of Optometry Fellowship oral boards to attain FAAO status. 
  • Maintain a log of scholarly schedule and a didactic activity log. 
  • Provide resident didactic education to support patient care he/she will attend weekly conference at ICO. Be provided a recommended reading list.

  • Optometry residency completed in the first tour of duty while still receiving officer salary. Gain knowledge from experienced optometrists and ophthalmologists.
  • Become well-rounded through multi-disciplinary rounds.
  • Manage emergent ocular disease cases with confidence and poise.
  • Understand the meaning of practicing full-scope optometry.Take the residency coordinator position the following year.
  • Completion of most FAAO fellowship and ABO certification requirements.Instill a sense of preparedness for any solo billet moves.


If interested please contact:

Navy Specialty Leader:
Capt. Penny Walter

Main Residency Coordinator:
Dr. Stuart Richer