Two new optometric residencies have been added to those offered by the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo, for 2016-17.

The new residencies are Ocular Disease and Glaucoma, and Sports Vision and Vision Therapy, which are added to the offering of Cornea and Contact Lens, Pediatrics and Vision Therapy, and Low Vision Rehabilitation, bringing the total residencies offered to five.

The inclusion of an Ocular Disease residency is an important step, due to the increased scope and responsibility of Optometry in this respect.

The Sports Vision and Vision therapy is a new venture, as it takes place at an affiliated site in Calgary. This is the first residency that is based totally at an affiliated site, although close contact with the School is maintained. With the other residents, the Sports Vision and VT resident takes part in a course on Evidence Based Medicine and Clinical Statistics via Skype, has regular phone meetings with supervisors at the School and there are assessment visits to the site.

The resident will also visit Waterloo to take part in seminar presentations towards the end of the residency.

This residency opens up the possibility of a far greater number of residency offerings than can be offered within the School itself.

During the last four years, the School has sought to offer residencies more consistently and to actively increase its number of residencies. Up to and including 2012-13 there was at most one residency offered per year. In 2013-14 and 2014-15, this increased to two and in 2015-16 to four.

A residency is a highly individualised program of mentored clinical experience, guided scholarly activity and self-directed learning. Also residents are usually involved in teaching labs in the OD program.

The residency program enriches the profession and creates a pool of individuals with expertise for clinical faculty appointments. Over the years, our residents have gone on to take positions as clinical faculty, PhD students, part-time clinical supervisors, hospital appointments, and to develop offices with a special focus of optometric care.

The residencies are designed to follow the standards of the US ACOE accreditation body for residencies, in anticipation for obtaining this accreditation in the near future.

To learn more about the topics and specialized training available this year, visit the residencies web page.