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Information for Potential Residents

To all Residency Candidates:

Dear Doctor,

The Omni Eye Services Residency in Ocular Disease has a long and proven track record, producing some of the most successful optometrists in the profession!  Beginning with the first resident in 1983, Omni has been a training ground for new graduates who wish to increase their skills in diagnosing and managing ocular disease. Graduates of our accredited program have gone on to successful practices in the private, corporate, and academic realms, including many who have stayed in co-management as directors of their own centers of excellence, or as leaders in ophthalmology referral practices.

We are fully accredited by the ACOE, in partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. Upon completion of the Clinical Program and the required publishable paper that is presented at the UAB Residency Conference in Birmingham in the Spring, graduates will be invited to attend the graduation ceremony where they will receive an attractive diploma from this highly rated institution. The UAB School of Optometry web pages are located at www.uab.edu/optometry and the specific residency site is www.uab.edu/optometryresident

We participate in the ORMatch matching program. Residency candidates are asked to visit the ORMatch website at http://www.natmatch.com/ormatch.htm

and supply the necessary information to be placed in the match.

Thank you for your interest!
Dr Ajamian

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • I. Introduction/Mission Statement/Goals
  • II. Administrative Structure
  • III. Recruitment of Residents
  • IV. Application Requirements
  • V. Selection of Residents
  • VI. Orientation
  • VII. Resident Status
  • VIII. Criteria for Residency Completion
  • IX. Adverse Decisions and Complaints
  • X. Curriculum
  • XI. Credentials and Privileges
  • XII. Physical Facilities and Equipment
  • XIII. Faculty and Staff
  • XIV. Evaluation
  • XV. Written Supervision Policy

I. Introduction and Mission Statement and Goals

Consistent with its educational mission, Omni Eye Services in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry (UABSO) places significant emphasis on residency education. UABSO develops,maintains, advances, and promotes post-doctoral clinical training programs of excellence in the major areas of optometric care, including ocular disease.

Omni Eye Services has had a disease residency program since 1983, long before most residency programs existed.  We have been accredited through ACOE for over 20 years.

The mission of the Residency in Ocular Disease at Omni Eye Services is to seek to attract and select the best-qualified optometric graduates and to provide them with concentrated clinical experience and advanced didactic knowledge in secondary care optometry. Training will be provided at a level to allow individuals who complete the program to deliver a high level of secondary eye care, serve as teachers in optometric or other professional environments, and serve the profession of optometry as experts and leaders in secondary eye care.

Program Goals:

  • To identify highly qualified applicants interested in further training in ocular disease.
  • To select the best qualified candidates from the pool of applicants.
  • To promote interaction between the Resident and the faculty and administration who serve as leaders in optometric education, clinical care, and organized optometry.
  • To emphasize the clinical care of a challenging and diverse patient base in order to develop the Resident’s skill in diagnosing and managing ocular disease.
  • Develop or enhance the resident’s didactic presentation skills
  • To enhance the Resident’s teaching experience through scholarly development and clinical preceptor responsibilities.
  • To provide didactic training for the resident.
  • To provide the Resident with the physical facilities necessary to promote high level clinical care and scholarly development.
  • To gain exposure to the political aspects of optometry, at a local and state level

II. Administrative Structure

The Residency Program Supervisor, Dr. Paul Ajamian, is responsible for the daily functioning and clinical activities of the program. He reports to the Director of Residency Programs at UABSO, Dr. Caroline Pate. The Director of Residency Programs is responsible for the coordination of all activities related to the administration of the  programs. The Director of Residency Programs reports to the Associate Dean for Professional Studies and through him/her to the Dean of UABSO. A Residency Advisory Committee advises the Dean through the Director of Residency Programs about such issues as the selection of new programs or other issues for which the Dean seeks advice in regard to residency education.

III. Recruitment of Residents

Beginning before classes commence in the first year, optometry students are encouraged to pursue residency training. Students are encouraged to meet individually with the Director of Residency Programs and with other faculty members to discuss the benefits of pursuing a residency as well as specific programs which would be of interest. The ASCO website (www.opted.org), along with its on-line directory of residency programs (http://www.natmatch.com/), is promoted as an up-to-date source of general information and application for all available accredited optometric residencies.

UABSO advertises all of its residencies in the AOA News in November and December . The same ad will be placed in the AOSA Foresight newsletter.

IV. Application Requirements

All applicants must complete and return an application by February 1. Admission eligibility criteria include:

  • Applicant must have earned an O.D. degree, or will have earned such a degree by the time of matriculation, from a Council on Optometric Education accredited school or college of optometry.
  • Applicant should show evidence of a strong academic and clinical record. Applicant must furnish complete transcripts of all optometric education.
  • Applicant must have passed parts I, II, and III of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and furnish results of these examinations when they become available.
  • Applicant must take and pass the Georgia Jurisprudence Exam to become eligible for a Georgia State License.
  • An interview with each applicant may be required.
  • Letters of reference (3) are required from clinical faculty members that have worked directly with the student.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Omni Eye Services of Atlanta affirms that all residency applicants are evaluated without regard to sex, race, color, creed, national origin, or non-disqualifying physical disability.

V. Selection of Residents

Selection Procedure:
Interested candidates for the residency position are asked to visit the prospective resident’s section of the Omni Eye Services Website.  Applicants may contact the Residency Director from the UABSO website (www.uab.edu/optometryresident) or the Residency Supervisor from the Omni Eye Services website (pajamian@omnieyeatlanta.com) to obtain more information about the program.

The application process begins with the resident applying to ORMatch. First, the resident applicant will need to register with ORMatch by submitting a completed application form. The application and ORMatch processing fee are due by February 15. Second, ORMatch recommends that the resident applicant contact the residency program coordinator (Dr. Ajamian) and send all supporting documents to him. These supporting documents include a statement of interest, curriculum vitae, optometry transcripts, and a printout of the NBEO score report. The applicant is also instructed to have three letters of recommendation sent directly to the residency program coordinator. Finally, the resident applicant should submit his or her ranking of residency program preferences to ORMatch by the deadline date.

Each ocular disease applicant is strongly encouraged to visit Omni Eye Services, but a personal interview is not mandatory. Telephone interviews may be arranged if a visit cannot be scheduled. Dr. Ajamian is responsible for ranking candidates based upon their applications, references, and interviews and then submits this ranking order on the ORMatch website. Official notification of matches will be sent to all parties by ORMatch one week after the matching deadline date. Dr. Ajamian contacts the candidate within 10 business days of the announced match. Dr. Ajamian sends each of the matched candidates a letter of appointment.

Resident applicants who do not match will be informed of such by ORMatch. The names of residency programs which also did not match and the name of unmatched applicants will be available on the ORMatch website at the earliest possible date after the match. After official notification of non-matched status by ORMatch, interested parties can proceed with independent negotiation in filling residency programs.

Program Application Deadline: February 15

VI. Orientation

Orientation is conducted during the first week of the program. Since Omni Eye Services considers Residents full-time temporary employees, they are entitled to certain benefits, as of this writing through Surgery Partners, the corporate owner of the practice. Benefits will be reviewed with the Resident by the Office Administrator. Each resident wil be oriented to UABSO and Omni residency policies and procedures outlined in the Residency Manual. The residents use the Optometric Clinical Practice Guidelines of the American Optometric Association (available in the clinic) as clinical practice protocols for the residency.

VII. Resident Status

A resident is a full-time temporary employee of Omni Eye Services. A Georgia State license is required and will be issued by the Georgia State Board of Optometry after the applicant successfully passes the law portion of the state exam. Georgia accepts the national board exams and does not require a separate written test except as relates to the Georgia laws. Omni Eye Services provides professional liability insurance for each resident. The professional liablity insurance covers the resident’s activities at all educational sites the resident goes to as part of the residency program. This insurance also covers action taken subsequent to the residency for acts that occurred during the residency which were undertaken as part of the residency program. Any outside work (“moonlighting”) will require the resident to obtain their own separate malpractice coverage.

Each residency is 13 months in duration, commencing July 1 and ending on July 31 of the following year. Two weeks (ten working days) of leave will be granted with prior approval of the Center Director.

Each resident is expected to participate in residency activities 40 hours per week. He/she is also expected to provide emergency coverage for the clinic during day, night, and weekend hours on a rotating basis . Outside employment by the resident during the residency is allowed, but must be approved by the Director and cannot conflict with on-call responsibilities.

VIII. Criteria for Residency Completion

When a resident successfully completes the training program, the Director of Residency Programs recommends to the Dean the granting of a certificate. Criteria for residency completion include:

  • The resident is required to deliver a presentation at least 30 minutes in length during the Spring Conference at UABSO.
  • Multiple one-hour presenations are to be delivered to Omni Externs throughout the year.
  • The resident is required to deliver clinical services at a level which is satisfactory to the Residency Supervisor.
  • The resident is required to keep a record of patient encounters. Cases are reviewed periodically by the residency supervisor.
  • The resident is required to write a paper based on original research, literature review, or a clinical case for publication in a refereed ophthalmic journal.
  • The resident is expected to perform in a professional manner in the delivery of patient care services and to observe those proprieties of conduct and courtesies that are consistent with the rules and regulations governing the operation of Omni Eye Services.
  • The resident is required to participate in and complete the requirements set forth in the curriculum.

IX. Adverse Decisions and Complaints

Any resident accepted for training can be dismissed, without receiving a certificate of completion, for infractions of the rules and regulations which govern Omni Eye Services or UABSO or for any action which jeopardizes the safety of patients, personnel, or physical facilities. The Human Resources Director of Surgery Partners is Laine Kennedy.

X. Curriculum

It is desirable that the curriculum for each residency program be very clinically oriented. The residents are involved in direct patient care approximately five days per week. The remainder of the residents’ time is devoted to such academic interests as conferences, symposia, case presentations and discussion. Residents spend 40 hours per week in Omni offices, but are expected to be available for rotating emergency coverage after-hours.

Resident/Extern Conference

The following topic areas are presented to all residents in the form of conferences throughout the year. These topics have been selected with the thought in mind of achieving a relatively equal common knowledge base. The entire Resident/Extern Conference schedule is presented throughout the year.

These topics include but are not limited to:

  • Diagnosis and management of common external eye disease
  • Management of ocular emergencies and urgencies
  • Diagnosis and management of open and closed angle glaucoma
  • Uveitis
  • Pain management
  • Pre- and post-operative management of cataract patient
  • Pharmacology and topical/oral medications
  • Retinal diseases
  • Journal club
  • Records review

Resident Presentations

It is required that the residents participate in lecture presentations. Specifically, the resident is required to present patients periodically to students and clinical faculty. The Omni Resident will also present a talk at the UABSO Resident Presentations in the Spring of each year.

Paper for Publication

All residents are required to write a paper suitable for publication in a refereed ophthalmic journal. This paper may be a unique or unusual case report, clinical review, or original research. This serves not only to teach residents the elements of research and paper writing but also to enrich the optometric literature.

Clinical Teaching Experience

The resident will be involved in clinical teaching of externs and supervision of technicians. Currently Omni has affiliations with 12 schools and colleges of optometry, and the Resident will play an active role in their orientation, patient flow and care day to day, and formal lecturing, case presentations, and clinical workshops. Residents may also be invited to present specific topics to optometrists and/or paraoptometrics as part of continuing education programs.

Residency in Ocular Disease Curriculum

  • The educational objectives, learning activities, and expected outcomes of the Residency in Ocular Disease include the following:
  • Training in pre- and post-operative care of the cataract patient, anterior segment disease, corneal conditions, glaucoma, and retina by the Residency Supervisor and the other Omni Eye Services Doctors and Staff.
  • Provision of patient care at all three Omni offices (North Atlanta main office, West office, South office).
  • Presentation of a lecture to other residents and faculty of UABSO during the latter part of the program.
  • Regular formal presentations at the weekly resident/intern conferences.
  • Completion of a paper suitable for publication in a refereed ophthalmic journal.
  • Poster presentation at a continuing education or scientific meeting is encouraged.
  • Membership in local, state, and national optometric organizations which promote scholarly and political activity is encouraged.
  • Supervision of a group of interns each quarter, with responsibility in orienting, monitoring progress, and presenting their own lecture series to the interns.
  • Attendance at monthly lectures given by the Center Director and weekly lectures given by the MDs in the practice, and retinal rounds on Fridays.
  • Attendance of continuing education lectures at local, state, and regional meetings such as GOA and SECO is encouraged.
  • Attendance at all Greater Atlanta Optometric Society meetings.
  • Trip to the State Capitol on at least one full day to allow exposure to law making and testimony and lobbying for a bill from inception to committee hearings to full house and senate votes.

XI. Credentials and Privileges

The resident is allowed an increasing level of independence in diagnosis and management as the residency year progresses, with supervision close at the beginning and relaxed over time. Although each resident presents credentials and receives privileges identical to those of faculty members, faculty member is always available for consultation when patient care is rendered by a resident.

Residents provide clinical services in accordance with the statutory provisions of the state of Georgia. Accordingly, services include the independent use of topical and oral medications, including certain controlled substances. The Resident is expected to obtain a DEA Registration number through the Drug Enforcement Administration.

XII. Physical Facilities and Equipment

Omni Eye Services has 8 exam lanes at the North office, 6 exam lanes at the South office, and 10 lanes at the West Paces/Marietta Office. Each operatory is fully equipped in order to maximize clinical efficiency. There are multiple special testing rooms with automated field units, digital cameras, GDx and OCT analyzers, IOLmaster and conventional A Scan units, topographers, etc. We have the first LenSx laser in the Metro Atlanta area.

The Resident will be provided his/her own office with phone and internet access.

XIII. Faculty and Staff

A list of faculty are available on this website under “Meet the Staff”.
We hope this website has been helpful to you. To set up an interview, or if you have any further questions, please contact Dr. Ajamian.

XIV. Evaluation

The resident is evaluated throughout the program, and on a formal basis three times during the 13 month program.  The resident evaluates his/her instructors, residency director, and the program itself twice a year.

XV.  Written Supervision Policy

In the first week of the program, the resident follows Dr. Ajamian and / or the outgoing residents to observe their manner in dealing with the various patient types that we see, their pre- and post-operative examination techniques, along with their communication of findings to patient and referring doctor, surgical counseling, and referral techniques if applicable. Fairly soon after this, the Residents begin seeing significant numbers of patients to get used to working patients up the way Omni does and recording the findings into EMR.  Cataract surgery is observed, typically for a day, so that the resident knows what goes on behind the scenes as they begin to see the post-op results. They will typically observe Dr. Lawrence Woodard, our cataract/corneal surgeon on this day. Retinal and glaucoma surgical observation is more difficult due to being in a hospital but is arranged when possible. Dr. Alurkar does most of his retinal surgery on Thursdays, and welcomes residents to accompany him. Dr. Arkadiy Yadgarov, our glaucoma specialist, performs cataract and glaucoma surgeries on Tuesdays at our surgery center. Many laser procedures and injections along with burping wounds, punctual plugs, etc. are done in-office and can be directly observed, including YAG’s, PRP, SLT, laser PI’s, etc.

On most days, Residents will be in clinic with one of the faculty. Occasionally they will be alone, for example at the South Office, where they would see a number of 1 day and one week post-op cataract patients on their own.  In this case, they have instant phone access to the Residency Supervisor and surgeons.  After the first month, the resident begins seeing some patients independently, including on-call patients at night and on weekends.  During this time, the resident checks in on every patient with the faculty in the clinic.  When on call, the Resident has access to one of the cataract/anterior segment surgeons, and the retinal and glaucoma specialist at all times.  The Center Director is the first line of back up if there are questions on how to triage the patient.  Sometime around the fourth month of the residency, the frequency of the resident needing to check in drops off somewhat, but with continued audit of charts by the supervising faculty member of those patients seen independently by the resident.  By six months, most residents usually check in only when they require assistance.

Each resident receives training in pre- and post-operative care of cataract, corneal surgery, glaucoma, and retinal surgery patients by the Residency Supervisor and other Omni faculty.  This process is on-going and begins in the first month of the residency with an overview with the Residency Supervisor and the outgoing residents during orientation.

Residents provide clinical services in accordance with the statutory provisions of the state of Georgia.  Accordingly, services include the independent use of topical and oral medications, including certain controlled substances after the resident has obtained a DEA number.  Co-management of patients is undertaken for clinical services that fall outside the current scope of optometric practice.

The following guidelines apply to each resident:

  • Until the resident obtains a Georgia license, he/she cannot examine patients independently.  An attending physician must see the patient, repeat key elements of the examination, and sign the record.  A Georgia license is typically obtained by August.
  • With a Georgia license but no provider number, the resident can legally examine a patient and sign the chart but cannot file a claim for third party reimbursement.  It must be filed by a licensed attending with a provider number.  This attending must also sign the patient record.
  • With a Georgia license and a provider number, the resident can function independently, examining the patient, signing the chart, and filing a claim for third party reimbursement.
  • Residents apply for a DEA number as soon as they obtain their Georgia license.

 

Email him with any other questions at pajamian@omnieyeatlanta.com
Thank you for visiting our Residency site!

Paul C. Ajamian, O.D. Center Director
updated 6/1/2015