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Erie VA Medical Center


Residency Program - Optometry Department

The Erie VAMC Optometry Department has 2  full time, 1 part time and 1 intermittent optometrists on staff.  The optometrists   provide primary eye care as well as management of chronic ocular diseases and ocular manifestations of systemic  diseases  The optometrists also   participate in Low Vision,  TBI and compensation and pension exams. Optometrists are the only ones who will be supervising optometry residents.

There are  currently no ophthalmologists on staff , however, we will soon be recruiting for cataract and minor surgeries and laser procedures to be done at the Erie VAMC's brand new surgical center.  Residents rotate thru private ophthalmologists to support all areas of eye care.

The Erie VAMC Optometry Department has numerous health care technicians on staff.  The technicians screen patients and do Visual Fields,  photos, OCT, pachymetry, B-scans,  I-care tonometry, etc.

The Erie VAMC Optometry Department has a teaching   program involving fourth year optometry students  from Nova Southeastern University's College of Optometry, MCPHS and PCO at Salus University. 

The Erie VAMC developed a Hospital Base Primary Care Optometry Residency program in  January 2016.  Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University is the academic affiliate.  The first optometry resident is anticipated to start July 1, 2016.  The residency program is pending accreditation by the ACOE.

The mission of the Erie VAMC Optometry Residency program is to provide training to post-doctoral level optometrists that will enhance their clinical skills in both primary eye care and ocular disease.

The Resident is responsible their housing.  It is recommended that you live in or very near Erie. 

The Resident should bring their own handheld lenses, if preferred, everything else is provided by the VA

Computer access to resources at the VA and PCO are available in each room.



Low Vision/VIST, TBI, Cornea, Retina, Oculoplastics, Neuro-ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Occupational Therapy


  • Satisfactory completion on all evaluations
  • 3 Formal Presentations: 1-2 at VISN 4 Meetings, 1 at PCO College of Optometry. Optional opportunities at Erie VA Professional Staff Grand Rounds and / or at local optometry society meeting if necessary
  • Completion of Paper or Poster by June 30
  • Obtain 3 hrs of CE at CFSOP and 12 hours of CE at national meeting (AAO, SECO, VisionExpo, Nova, AOA, etc.) at own expense)
  • Completion of all check-out procedures at VA
  • RESIDENT'S SCHEDULE (Subject to Change)
  • Monday to Friday 7:30A-4:30P (no call)
    • Urgent care may extend hours.
  • Conference: MD Wednesday, OD Monday (Scheduled Journal Reviews, Presentations, Slide Quiz, etc.)


  • Salary (approx. $32, 109) set nationally by VA
  • 13 Days Annual Leave, available Sick Leave
  • Authorized Absence to attend CE Meetings
  • Professional liability under Federal Tort Claims Act
  • Health Insurance (at resident's expense)


  1. The applicant will have achieved a minimum, cumulative GPA of 3.0 or equivalent in optometry school to being considered for an interview for the residency.
  2. The applicant must have earned an OD    degree or will have earned such a degree from an accredited School or College of Optometry prior to July 1.
  3. The candidate must have a passing score from Part I of the NBEO to be interviewed; Part II and TMOD scores shall be submitted as soon as they are available. Candidates must pass both Part II and TMOD and be license eligible by the ORMatch date in order to be ranked in ORMatch by March of the preceding residency year.
  4. Every candidate that applies is required to take Part III of NBEO and have scores submitted as soon as available.
  5. Residency applicants will be evaluated and chosen without regard to sex, race, religion, age, national origin or handicap.
  6. Residency applicants must be citizens of the United States to be considered for a funded residency position.


After all of the minimally acceptable candidates have been interviewed and the supporting materials reviewed, a panel of full-time staff optometrists will rank the candidates and send the rankings to the ORMatch office by the matching deadline.  Once the Erie VAMC Optometry Residency Program Coordinator has been notified as to the outcome of the matching process, the matched applicant will be contacted.


The selected resident is required to have submitted an application for an optometry license in any state prior to July 1.   Should the selected resident not have an optometry license prior to July 31, the selected resident will be discharged from the program and an alternate resident (if available) may or may not be selected to fill the position through names of unmatched residents provided by ORMatch.

Application Checklist
All documents must be received prior to interview.

  • Register with ORMatch
  • Send Letter of Intent
  • Send Curriculum Vitae
  • Send Official Transcripts thru 12/31
  • Send Letters of Reference (3)
    • Clinical Rotation Faculty
    • Clinical Rotation Faculty
    • 1 Ocular Disease Lecture Faculty or Clinical Rotation Faculty
  • Interview Date / Time (if granted)
  • Complete ORMatch Ranking
  • Wait for ORMatch
  • Take and Pass NBEO Part III
  • Apply for any state License
  • Obtain any State License

Contact Information
Margaret B. Harrington, OD
Erie VAMC - Optometry

Contact Info


  • Eye Clinic - 1st Floor

Contact Number(s)

  • 814-860-2789

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday from 7:30am-4:30pm