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Primary Care and Ocular Disease Residency

  • Program Site: Illinois College of Optometry/Illinois Eye Institute
  • Program Coordinator: Heather McLeod, OD, FAAO (
  • Residency Director: Janice Jurkus, OD, MBA
  • Number of Positions: 5
  • Program Dates: The residency is a 53-week program beginning the first Monday in July. This time frame ensures overlap with current residents to provide an orientation period.
  • ORMatch: #15337

Read the FAQs for our Primary Care and Ocular Disease Residency

Program Description

This accredited 53-week program provides the framework to achieve advanced competency in primary care and ocular disease through intensive clinical training in both patient care and educational activities. The program emphasizes the diagnosis and management of ocular disease, as well as the co-management of oculo-systemic disease, in an excellent multi-disciplinary setting. Residents provide care in the Illinois Eye Institute’s Primary Care, Neuro-ophthalmic, Vitreo-retinal, Glaucoma, Emergency and after hours on-call services. Rotations through Cornea and Contact Lens, Pediatrics, Low Vision and Comprehensive Ophthalmology services may also be arranged. Residents are given the opportunity to expand leadership and communication skills through Grand Rounds case presentations, journal club, resident conferences, vision screenings, classroom instruction and formal lectures. Residents are encouraged to attend national education programs such as the American Academy of Optometry and American Optometric Association meetings. To achieve the goal of providing superior post-doctoral clinical training, the resident’s activities are supervised by residency trained clinical faculty as well as consulting ophthalmologists. Supervision of third and fourth year clinicians will further enhance the resident’s diagnostic and therapeutic skills. This enables the resident to develop the complex skills necessary to practice optometry at its highest level.

Program Design

The resident participates in the following rotations:

  1. Primary Care Service (12-20 hours/week)*
  2. Emergency Service (4 hours/week)**
  3. Retina/Neuro/Advanced Glaucoma (8-12 hours/week, rotating quarterly)
  4. Faculty Conference (1-2 hours/week)
  5. Residents’ Conference (2-3 hours/week)
  6. Personal Development (4 hours/week)

Rotations through the Cornea/Contact Lens, Binocular Vision/Pediatrics, Low Vision Services or Comprehensive Ophthalmology Services may be arranged at the resident’s request (4 hrs/week).

*July – mid-November in Primary Care and Emergency services residents perform direct patient care only. Mid-November – end of the program, residents’ will mainly precept students in the Primary Care and Emergency services, but maintain ½ day of direct patient care Primary Care throughout the year.

**Additional responsibility includes the on-call emergency service rotation, which occurs for a one-week period on a five week rotating basis with the other primary care and ocular disease residents at the Illinois Eye Institute. The resident is responsible for emergency eye care delivered at the Illinois Eye Institute both during and after hours.

Residents develop/enhance skills of an advanced diagnostic nature:

  1. A-scan and B-scan ultrasonography
  2. Nerve fiber layer analysis
  3. Fluorescein angiography>
  4. Automated perimetry
  5. Electrodiagnostic testing
  6. Anterior and posterior segment photography
  7. Corneal topography and endothelial cell studies

Educational Conferences

  1. Emergency conference
  2. Resident Conference
  3. Journal Club
  4. Faculty Conference/Grand Round Series
  5. Teaching Skills Workshop


The resident’s salary is $39,670 pro-rated for 53 weeks.


Benefits include eligibility to participate in medical and dental insurance programs with a prescription card, and professional liability insurance for eye care provided at the Illinois Eye Institute and its affiliated clinics. Group term life and disability insurance is also provided. Additional benefits include: five days of personal vacation, five days academic leave, as well as six days of floating holidays.

Criteria for Completion

  1. Attendance at all clinical assignments
  2. Successful completion of clinical learning objectives
  3. Attendance and participation at Faculty Conference/Grand Rounds Series
  4. Attendance and participation at regularly scheduled conferences
  5. Attendance and participation at course work related to clinical teaching and lecturing
  6. A written paper of publishable quality, completed by the end of the residency period

Completion of Acknowledgment

A certificate is presented upon successful completion of the program.

For more information

Heather McLeod, OD, FAAO
Primary Care and Ocular Disease Residency Coordinator
Illinois College of Optometry
3241 S. Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60616