National Capital Consortium residency in Vision Rehabilitation

AZCOPT-Affiliated Residencies

Optometric Residencies / National Capital Consortium Residency

The National Capital Consortium optometric residency in Vision Rehabilitation with emphasis in Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Primary Care Optometry is conducted at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  The residency is open to military optometrists on active duty status.

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) is one of the nation's largest and most renowned military medical centers.  Recently dubbed "The Nation's Medical Center, " it represents the joining of the "Best of the Best" in military medicine.  The National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center came together in September of 2011 to form WRNMMC as decreed by the Base Realignment and Closure law of 2005.

WRNMMC is comprised of nearly 7,100 dedicated staff members who make it their daily mission to achieve the vision and mission of the medical center.  Its vision is to serve military families and the nation's active duty, returning war heroes, veterans, and our Nation's leaders.  WRNMMC is committed to operational readiness;  outstanding customer service; maintaining excellent graduate medical and dental education and research; and always delivering premier quality health care within an integrated system.  Those who come through its doors come to heal, stay healthy, help others, teach the next generation, practice quality medicine, and take part in cutting-edge clinical research.  While taking pride in its rich history, WRNMMC is moving toward a new horizon in health care - one that offers synergy and revolutionary collaboration.

The WRNMMC Optometry Service is a world class clinic that specializes in eye and vision care.  The Optometry Service offers state of the art testing, diagnosis and treatment in ocular pathology, refractive conditions, binocular vision, TBI and low vision.  WRNMMC Optometry Service serves as a center of learning for our nation's optometry colleges as well as conducts and collaborates on vision and eye related research.

General Information

Program Goals

  1. Develop expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and visual rehabilitation of TBI patients
  2. Develop expertise in the fitting of specialty medical contact lenses for patients with advanced corneal disease or injury
  3. Strengthen the resident's clinical skills and promote the development of confidence in examining patients in the areas of primary care and ocular disease
  4. Stimulate scholarly development through lectures, grand rounds, journal clubs, continuing education and case report activities
  5. Guide the resident in the development of skills necessary for effective clinical and didactic teaching
  6. Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully function as an optometrist in a military setting

Duration of the resident's training program

The residency program is one calendar year in length, typically beginning each year on July 1st and continuing through June 30th of the following year.  

Number of Positions


Expected weekly hours of resident's attendance including on-call duties

The resident is scheduled 40-45 hours per week at the various clinics; the resident typically starts at 0700 and ends at 1600 with an hour break for lunch.  The resident is encouraged to pursue scholarly activity during the scheduled time and after clinic as needed.


The resident receives a military salary commensurate with the resident's years of service and rank, regardless of the resident's productivity.

Health, professional and leave benefits

The resident accrues military leave at the rate of 2.5 days per month (30 day/year). In general, WRNMMC clinics are closed for all Federal Holidays and may have several military training holidays. Residents also receive professional leave to attend continuing education meetings. The amount of professional leave the resident receives is at the discretion of the Residency Coordinator.

Professional liability protection

The resident's professional liability protection is covered by Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) under 28 US Code, Section 2679.

Requirements for residency completion

  1. Participate in 1000 patient encounters
  2. Prepare and submit a manuscript of publishable quality to a peer-reviewed optometric journal
  3. Submit one poster or lecture to a major optometric meeting
  4. Deliver a COPE-approved continuing education lecture at a quarterly NCRFOS meeting.

Selection Procedure

Residents are appointed by their respective branch service optometric consultant.

Admissions eligibility criteria

  1. Applicants must earn the degree of Doctor of Optometry from a school or college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education prior to the starting date of the residency program.
  2. Pursue a full and unrestricted optometry license in any U.S. state by starting date (and obtain within one year)
  3. Have a competitive GPA
  4. Successfully complete Parts I and II of the NBEO examinations (successfully complete Part III within one year)
  5. Submit completed U.S. military application materials
  6. Be on U.S. military active duty status

Non-Discrimination Policy

Non-discrimination policies must be followed in selecting residents; WRNMMC adheres to non-discrimination policies. For more information regarding WRNMMC non-discrimination policies, please visit:

Recruitment Materials

Interested military applicants should contact his/her specialty leader for information regarding the program.

Click here to access the brochure with additional information about this program.

Accreditation Status

The program was initially accredited in 2019, with the next full site visit expected in 2028.  The accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) is the accrediting body.  Contact the ACOE at

Contact Information

Dr. Geeta Girdher
WRNMMC Residency Coordinator
Phone: 301.295.0213
Fax: 301.295.6497


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