Future Students & Residents | Academic Programs

Primary Care Optometry

Program Site:

University of Houston University Eye Institute



Application Deadline

February 1

Program Coordinator/Contact:

Janet Garza, O.D., Rebekah Montes, O.D.
University of Houston
College of Optometry
Houston, TX 77204-2020
  (713) 743-6481 |   (713) 743-3749
  (713) 743-2053 
  E-Mail: jgarza@central.uh.edu |   E-Mail: rguillen4@central.uh.edu

Mission Statement:

The Primary Care Optometry Residency Program at the University of Houston seeks to attract highly qualified optometric graduates and to provide them with a one-year post-doctoral, clinic training program designed to provide advanced knowledge and concentrated clinical experiences as well as promote scholarly development. Residents who complete the program are expected to attain advanced clinical competencies in a variety of aspects of optometric care including contact lens, low vision, pediatrics and binocular vision, and treatment and management of ocular disease. 

Program Description

This residency provides advanced clinical and specialty training in primary care, low vision rehabilitation, pediatric optometry, specialty contact lenses, and diagnosis and management of ocular disease. The resident will participate in direct patient care and rotate through specialty areas. The program includes supervised primary care clinical experiences and participation in primary care research. In addition, teaching experiences in clinical as well as seminar, lecture and laboratory formats will be provided. Participation in the emergency call service is also an integral part of the educational experience. One resident is based at the College and the second resident located at community based clinics.

Length of Program: 53 weeks
Starting date of program: June 22, 2020
Cost of tuition to resident/graduate student: None
Thesis Requirement: Yes
Salary /Stipend: $38,000
Date Program Established: 1987
Hours of attendance at College:  The typical week for the resident is 43 hours of attendance including patient care, seminars, and teaching assignments;with up to 47 hours including On-call responsibilities. On-call responsibilities are shared by the residents at the College (typically 7 residents). One week of after-hours on-call is assigned approximately every 7 weeks.
  1. Health benefits
  2. Retirement program
  3. Vacation
  4. Sick leave
  5. Financial support to professional meetings
  6. Institutional malpractice insurance
  7. Access to University courses, and continuing education offered by the College.

Accreditation Status:

Accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141, 314-991-4100

Educational Opportunities:

Direct supervised patient care experiences in primary care, rehabilitative optometry, contact lens, and pediatrics. Participation in graduate courses related to the field of interest is available. Attendance and participation in faculty and resident seminars and clinical grand rounds. Observation of senior clinicians providing direct patient care. Interaction with ophthalmologists who serve as clinic faculty in the Medical Eye Service at the University Eye Institute. External rotations are available on an elective basis. 

Teaching Responsibilities for Resident/Graduate Student:

Participation in laboratory teaching opportunities in areas such as primary care and medical procedures. Supervise third and fourth year professional students in the Family Practice, Cornea and Contact Lens Services, and/or community based clinics affiliated with the University of Houston College of Optometry. 

Research Responsibilities:

Participation in ongoing research at the University of Houston. Completion of a paper suitable for publication based on original research in the area of primary care optometry. 

Completion Requirements

  1. The resident is required to deliver clinical services at a level, which demonstrates they have attained the core competencies specific to their program. This attainment will be determined through formal evaluations of the resident’s patient care.
  2. The resident is required to keep a log of patient names and associated information.
  3. The resident must complete the scholarly project requirements specific to their program. This is either original or library research resulting in a paper of publishable quality.
  4. The resident is required to deliver three rounds-style presentations..
  5. The resident is required to successfully complete all clinical rotations included in the Core and Elective curriculum.
  6. The resident is required to successfully complete all teaching assignments.
  7. The resident must attend required seminars, journal clubs and case discussions.
  8. The resident must complete all required evaluations of clinical attendings, rotations, seminars, their Program Coordinator, and the exit interview.
  9. The Director of Residency Programs in conjunction with the Residency Program Coordinator will recommend the granting and certification to the Dean. Upon completing all requirements of the program to the satisfaction of the Program Coordinator and Director of the Residency Programs, a certificate of completion will be awarded to the resident.

Curriculum requirements in hours:

5 day work week between 43 to 47 hours per week; including after hours on-call.

  1. Doctor of optometry degree (OD) from an Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) accredited school or college of optometry
  2. Two letters of reference from clinical faculty members
  3. Copy of all optometry transcripts
  4. Curriculum Vita and a letter of intent
  5. Pass all parts of the NBEO prior to the beginning of the residency
  6. A State of Texas Optometry license (completion of testing prior to beginning of program)

Apply through ORMatch and submit application materials to:

Cristian Loayza
University of Houston
College of Optometry
4901 Calhoun Rd. 
Houston , TX 77204
 (713) 743-1990
  (713) 743-2046