MCO Residency in Pediatric Optometry

Infant Eye ExamType: Pediatric Optometry

Number of Positions: 1

Location: Michigan College of Optometry, Big Rapids, MI

Mission: The Pediatric and Binocular Vision Residency at the Michigan College of Optometry will provide post-doctoral clinical experiences resulting in advanced competency in primary and secondary pediatric care. Special emphasis will be placed on the evaluation, treatment, and management of infant and preschool patients and binocular vision disorders, with opportunities in the areas of vision therapy, vision information processing, and traumatic brain injury. Residents will be equipped with the necessary tools for life-long learning through clinical, scholarly, and didactic activities, thereby enabling continued advanced level competency throughout his or her professional career.

 Residency Supervisor:

Paula McDowell, OD, FAAO
Michigan College of Optometry 
1124 S. State Street, MCO 250
Big Rapids, MI 49307 
231.591.2182 - telephone 
231.591.2394 - fax 
[email protected]

Program Information

  • Goal 1: To provide an extensive and varied clinical experience in the management of primary pediatric care

    • The resident will become proficient and efficient in the provision of eye care services.
    • The resident will provide care to a sufficient number and diversity of patients to feel competent in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and management of pediatric patients.
    • Under the supervision of attending faculty, the resident will provide care to a sufficient number of patients to feel competent in the treatment and management of binocular vision anomalies.
    • Under supervision of attending staff, the resident will provide care to patients with learning-related vision problems.
    • Under supervision of attending faculty, the resident will provide care to a sufficient number of primary care patients to enhance clinical decision-making skills.

    Goal 2: To gain and develop expertise in advanced technical skills necessary to care for patients with complex problems

    • The resident will become proficient in diagnostic and therapeutic pediatric and binocular vision procedures.
    • The resident will become proficient in amblyopia and strabismus evaluations.
    • The resident will become proficient in administering and interpreting testing for visual information processing assessments.

    Goal 3: To develop critical thinking skills necessary to care for patients with complex problems

    • The resident will develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that will enhance his or her ability to form differential diagnoses and management plans.
    • The resident will improve his/her understanding of the role of optometry in the general medical community.
    • The resident will improve his or her understanding of experimental design and statistical analysis, and will apply this knowledge in critical review of ophthalmic literature.

    Goal 4: To provide the resident with experiences that will facilitate continued contribution to the profession of optometry through a variety of venues including teaching, scholarly activities, and community and professional organizations

    • The resident will develop skills necessary for clinical optometric teaching.
    • The resident will participate in a wide variety of didactic offerings.
    • The resident will prepare a scientific publication and presentation.
    • The resident will be exposed to community and professional organizations and will be given the opportunity to participate.

    Goal 5: To enhance the resident’s ability to communicate verbally and in writing

    • The resident will develop the skills necessary for effective verbal communication with patients and members of the medical community.
    • The resident will develop the skills necessary for effective written communication within the medical community.
  • The Resident should expect to work Monday through Friday, for a total of around 40-45 hours per week. There may be special events or meetings that occur on weekends or evenings outside of the regularly scheduled clinic time. The resident will be on-call after hours for about half of the year; time on-call is split with the other in-house resident. The day-to-day schedule varies by semester and with individual resident interests, and has some flexibility. Each semester will include at minimum direct patient care at MCO and at a Federally Qualified Health Center, precepting of students, lab instruction, advanced lectures, and research/development time. Time is built into the schedule for attending national meetings such as AAO, COVD, or AOA, and sub-specialty observations such as the DeVos Children’s Hospital, pediatric neuropsychiatry, or private ophthalmology or vision therapy practices.

  • Curriculum:


    • Direct patient care in pediatric/vision therapy clinic
    • Direct patient care in Federally Qualified Health Center one day a week
    • Precepting students in primary care and pediatric/vision therapy clinics, with increasing responsibility throughout the year
    • Assistant precepting or direct care in Vision Rehab, Medical/Surgical, Interprofessional Wellness Clinic, or others depending on resident interest


    • Assistant Lab Instruction for Development and Vision Therapy Labs
    • Instructor role in Billing/Coding/Grand Rounds Course
    • Lecture or Lab Leader opportunities as interested
    • Weekly Advanced Lectures with various faculty on various topics


    • Monthly Pediatric Journal Club meetings, led by the resident
    • Weekly Advanced Lectures with various faculty on various topics
    • Opportunity to complete a research project
    • Presentation of cases at MCO Resident’s Day, Michigan Vision Therapy Study Group, and a national meeting
    • Opportunity to take COVD fellowship exam
    • Attendance for specialty meetings and events is encouraged, such as AAO, COVD, or the Michigan Vision Therapy Study Group
  • The University Eye Center (UEC) is a full-service eye care clinic located within the Michigan College of Optometry (MCO) at Ferris State University. The clinic services University employees, students, the Big Rapids community, and Northern/Western Michigan. In addition to providing comprehensive care, the UEC has specialty clinics in the following areas: Ocular Disease, Pre- and Post-Surgical Care, Specialty Contact Lenses, Pediatrics, and Binocular Vision & Vision Therapy. Each specialty clinic is run by dedicated doctors who are leaders in their areas of expertise, and often receive referrals from practitioners all over the state of Michigan.
    • Employment for a 12 months period commencing on July 1 and ending June 30 of the residency year
    • Stipend of $31,000
    • Medical and malpractice insurance
    • Ten leave days for personal/professional activitiesAn appropriate amount of leave for illness. Extended sick leave requires documentation of medical necessity from the resident’s physician
  • In order to successfully complete the residency, the MCO pediatric resident is required:

    • To serve as a resident for the entire period specified
    • To perform to the best of his/her abilities in all assigned duties
    • To maintain and complete supervisor evaluations, patient logs, and activity logs as requested
    • To complete one paper of publishable quality
    • To present one poster or paper at a national meeting
    • To present at the MCO “Resident’s Day” Grand Rounds