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The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) — the accrediting body for the schools and colleges of optometry and for their residencies — defines an optometric residency program as a planned program of post-OD clinical education that is designed to advance significantly the optometric graduate’s preparation as a provider of patient care services beyond entry level practice. A residency must be a minimum of twelve months and must be composed of appropriately supervised clinical eye/vision care provided by the resident. A residency should also include a well-designed mix of self-directed learning, seminar participation, instructional experiences and scholarship.
Completing a residency in optometry is a unique and invaluable experience. The rich rewards gained from the additional year of training serve to enhance career opportunities and add to the level of confidence the resident has when beginning his/her post-residency career. Inherent in this training program, however, is the need to understand that these rewards are best gained by being self-motivated, enthusiastic and hard working. The most successful graduates of these programs are individuals who recognize early that what one gets out of the program is determined by what one puts into the program. Dedication, discipline, commitment and enthusiasm are expected of the resident throughout the year of training.