Tséhootsooí Medical Center Residency in Ocular Disease

Optometric Residencies / Tséhootsooí Medical Center Residency

The Tséhootsooí Medical Center (TMC) residency will be dormant in the 2022-2023 residency year and is not accepting applications at this time.  We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to return to normal residency operations next year.

Tséhootsooí Medical Center (TMC) and Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT) have joined forces to create the TMC Ocular Disease Optometry Residency Program with emphasis in Primay Care Optometry on the Navajo Reservation. Serving the Navajo Native American population provides some of the most well rounded residency and externship programs available. The unique combination of ocular disease, trauma, and high refractive disorders in patients of all ages in addition to a close-working multidisciplinary staff creates a highly effective learning environment The Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board, Inc. consists of the Tséhootsooí Medical Center (TMC) and its satellite clinic Nahata'Dziil Health Center in Sanders, AZ. TMC is a 245,000 square foot, state of the art facility that was built in 2002. It is a 56 bed inpatient hospital and houses a number of outpatient clinics including a 10 lane optometry clinic.

The hospital provides multidisciplinary, high quality and community guided health care services to approximately 40,000 Native Americans.  The Navajo Reservation is the largest tribe and reservation in the United States spanning 25,000 square miles. The Navajo or Dine people whom we serve are a very pleasant and appreciative people that are a joy to work with. Many of the elderly patients still speak only Navajo, living according to traditional Navajo religious and cultural practices. A number of our patients do not have electricity or running water in their homes. Unfortunately, there is a high incidence of diabetes mellitus in the Navajo population and a significant number of patients have hypertension, autoimmune disease and other systemic diseases.

Frequently encountered eye problems include glaucoma, uveitis, cataracts, diabetic and other vascular retinopathies, cranial nerve palsies, infectious and vernal conjunctivitis, amblyopia, high refractive errors, foreign bodies, and ocular trauma from domestic violence and motor vehicle accidents.  The TMC optometry resident will spend a majority of his/her time at the eye clinic within the hospital, but will also travel to our satellite clinic in Sanders. The eye clinic is fully equipped with modern ophthalmic instruments and is staffed by technicians. Observation of surgical procedures with respected ophthalmologists in the area will be arranged.

Inexpensive housing is provided in hospital housing next to the hospital. We are located in one of the most scenic areas of the country, and offer almost unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreational activities. We are within a half a day drive of more than a dozen national parks and monuments and we are only minutes away from the Navajo Nation Capital in Window Rock, Arizona.

General Information

Duration of Agreement: August 1 - July 31 
Number of Positions: One (1) position available each year. 
Annual Salary: The annual compensation for each resident is $88,778 (including sign-on and relocation incentives). 
Hours: The resident will work four ten-hour shifts per week with one weekday off.  Variations in scheduling will be made to meet patient care demands of the clinics, available personnel, and the programs goals of the residency. 
Leave: The resident accrues 4 hours of paid annual leave and sick leave per pay period (every 2 weeks), in addition the resident also receives 9 federal and 2 floating paid holidays. The resident may need to provide on-call services during holidays. The resident is also allowed appropriate administrative leave for the purposes of attending continuing education meetings, obtaining a state license, and other professional activities. 
Professional Liability Protection: Professional liability insurance is provided under the Federal Tort Claims Act Aon Risk insurance Services West Inc. 
Health Insurance The resident will be eligible for the health insurance benefits that TMC offers to all employees. Employee related health immunizations are also available to the resident at no charge. 
On-Call Duty: The resident will be on-call from 6:00pm to 8:00am on weekdays and 24 hours per day on weekends for a period of at least one week out of each month. 
Certificate of Completion: A certificate of completion will be awarded to the resident upon satisfactory completion of the residency requirements.

Program Goals

  1. Enhance the resident's skills in primary eye care, urgent care, and ocular disease management. The resident will have exposure to both commonly encountered ocular conditions and rare presentations of ocular disease. The management of urgent care patients will include conditions such as: foreign body removal, orbital fractures, hyphemas, acute ocular pain, vision loss, and ocular manifestations of systemic disease. Collaboration with referral sources will further develop the resident's ability to function effectively within an interdisciplinary setting.
  2. Expand the resident's proficiency with specialized diagnostic instrumentation.
  3. Strengthen the resident's ability to provide patient-centered care through patient education, communication, and shared decision-making.
  4. Provide advanced optometric clinical training in a hospital based setting by exposing the resident to a variety of disciplines and allowing the resident to participate in the management of complex patients with multi-system diseases.
  5. Expose the resident to contemporary methods of ongoing provider performance improvement, quality assurance and peer review.
  6. Foster the resident's ability to advance and master their knowledge base by analyzing the best current scientific information and assist in integrating this knowledge into patient care through evidence-based clinical decision making.
  7. Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to join the global discussion among members of the medical community through the presentation of clinical experiences and/or research.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Applicants must have earned 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. Applicants must have passed the NBEO Part I and have taken Part II by the application deadline. The selected candidate must have passed Part II and be scheduled to sit for Part lll.
  3. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen

Application Requirements

  • Applicants must apply to this residency program through the Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch) online at www.natmatch.com/ormatch/.
  • Applicants must submit a letter of intent describing the applicant's reasons for pursuing a residency, as well as their goals and expectations for the year.
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty or practicing optometrists familiar with the applicant's clinical and/or didactic abilities are required; at least one letter must be from a faculty member.  Letters should be submitted directly by the author through ORMatch.
  • Applicants must include a current curriculum vitae, NBEO board scores, and an unofficial optometry school transcript through ORMatch.  Applicants invited to interview will be asked to additionally supply an official transcript from their optometry school's registrar.

Selection Procedure

  • Qualified applicants will be invited for an in-person interview.
  • Applicant rankings will be determined by Residency Coordinators and submitted to ORMatch.

Completion Requirements

  • The resident is required to submit a paper based upon original research, literature review, and/or clinical case or cases suitable for publication in a peer reviewed optometric journal.
  • The resident will participate in continuing education events. The resident will also participate in the Arizona College of Optometry Residents' Day.
  • The resident will be expected to present at least 2 lectures or case presentations to the optometric staff Tséhootsooí Medical Center (TMC).
  • The resident will receive written evaluations from the Residency Program Coordinator on a quarterly basis. The resident will also have the opportunity to evaluate the residency program on a quarterly basis.


For additional information about this residency program, please contact:

Irina Andrushenko, O.D., M.A., FAAO
Residency Supervisor
Tséhootsooí Medical Center 
PO Box 649 
Fort Defiance, AZ 86504 


Apply Now

Visit our

Take Tour

Support the

Donate to our future