Skip to main content

Residency Profile: Gallup Indian Medical Center

Residency Programs
Gallup Indian Medical Center

Staff photo

Established: 1997

Positions: Two

Gallup Indian Medical Center, Eye Clinic
P.O. Box 1337
Gallup, NM 87305

Program Faculty

Residency Coordinator: Alicia Thibodeaux, OD


  • Michael Davis, OD, FAAO
  • William Thibodeaux, OD, FAAO
  • Rachel Stephan, OD, FAAO
  • Kandace Alfred, OD

Mission Statement

The fundamental mission of this training program is to provide qualified postdoctoral optometry practitioners with an outstanding, full-scope educational experience that will nurture their development into exceptional, caring clinicians with broadened general skills and additional specialized skills.

With the guidance of GIMC Eye Clinic staff optometrists, the resident is trained to fully integrate their skills within a medical center and public health care system.

The residency program strives to create for the resident an atmosphere that fosters a compassionate appreciation for the needs of patients from all backgrounds and ages and a sense of caring for the Native American populace the resident serves.


   RainbowLandscapeTrees in the fallMeadow with flowers


Program Description

Program Goals

  1. Strengthen the resident’s primary eye care skills
  2. Provide the resident with a practical understanding of the patient care components of a health care system
  3. Expand the resident’s health care knowledge base.
  4. Instill in the resident an appreciation for the significance of teaching, research and scholarly activity.
  5. Improve residents understanding of the Native American culture in the area.

Program Objectives

  1. To ensure the resident performs a solid foundation of primary eye care evaluations. To expose the resident to a variety of interesting case presentations.
  2. To familiarize the resident to the health care team concept. To ensure that the resident fully utilizes other hospital clinical and supportive services.
  3. To encourage the resident to review and discuss health care issues. To expose the resident clinically to other health care disciplines.
  4. To educate the resident in the process of manuscript preparation and presenting a clinical lecture.
  5. To discuss with the resident the history of the Navajo people. To document the resident’s participation in or observation of Native American events in the area.

Typical Daily or Weekly Schedule in Clinic

Duration of the program: Starts at the beginning of the pay period closest to August 1 and continues for 52 weeks.

The resident is scheduled in clinic 40 hours per week and takes call for approximately 30% of the residency cycle.

Here is a typical work week schedule:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Didactic Activity 8:00-8:30 8:00-8:30 8:00-10:00 8:00-8:30 8:00-8:30
Direct Patient Care 8:30-4:00
Tohatchi or Gallup
Tohatchi or Gallup
Tohatchi or Gallup
Lunch 12:30 – 1:00
Administrative Time 4:00-4:30 4:00-4:30 4:00-4:30 4:00-4:30 4:00-4:30

Rotation through other Services

The resident will be given the opportunity to shadow other disciplines including Internal Medicine, Diabetes Clinic, Retinal Surgery, Glaucoma Specialty, Cornea Specialty, and more.

Type and Number of Patients

The emphasis of the program is clinical assessment and management of patients of all ages in a multidisciplinary setting. About 85-90% of the resident’s time is spent in direct patient care. It is expected the resident will provide at least 1,200 patient care encounters during the residency cycle. The resident works primarily in the Optometry Department, but occasionally evaluates patients in the Emergency Room and in the in-patient ward.

The resident will follow pre- and post-operative care, observe ophthalmological surgery and disease specialties.

Teaching Responsibilities

Opportunities to augment the education of the eye clinic staff will be afforded to the resident periodically.

Lecturing Opportunities

Didactic training is emphasized through case reviews, journal clubs, discussions, and lectures.

Scholarly Activities

As required by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, the resident is required to write a publishable paper suitable for submission to a referred professional journal. The residency program coordinator guides the resident with the topic selection and preparation for the paper.

The resident will use a patient care log to report quarterly on:

  • total patient encounters
  • the diversity of clinical presentations encountered
  • observational, educational and direct patient care activities associated with the health care team
  • the number and types of referral/consults

Requirements for Residency Completion and Awarding of Certificate

  • The resident is required to keep a detailed log of all required program aspects, which will be reviewed by the SCCO Director of Residency Programs, and Gallup's Residency Coordinator.
  • The resident is required to provide patient care services at a level deemed satisfactory by the Residency Coordinator and faculty, in line with the highest levels of current optometric standards of practice.
  • The resident is required to participate in the Navajo Area Indian Health Service (NAIHS) Residents Journal Club.
  • 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 is expected to deliver patient care services in a professional manner and to observe those proprieties of conduct and courtesy that are consistent with the rules and regulations governing SCCO and the IHS.
  • Upon evidence of satisfactory performance in meeting all requirements of the program, the resident will be awarded a Certificate of Residency Completion by the SCCO.

Additional Employment Opportunities

The resident may engage in outside (moonlighting) activity once supervisory approval (GIMC & SCCO), New Mexico licensure and malpractice insurance are obtained. Outside activity is limited to non-workdays.


The annual stipend is $88,778 (GS11 step 1) for the 12-month program paid through the IHS


Health The resident is responsible for obtaining personal health insurance, though may receive employee related immunizations at the hospital at no cost.
Holidays The Gallup Indian Medical Center recognizes ten federal holidays.
Educational Travel Expenses related to educational travel are paid by the resident.
Vacation The resident accumulates 4 hours of leave per each two-week pay period to be used as needed for professional, sick or other leave.
Liability As a federal employee, the resident is covered by the Tort Claims Act. If the resident chooses to engage in outside (moonlighting) activity, s/he is responsible for obtaining adequate malpractice insurance.
Continuing Education Indian Health Service optometry meetings are held annually giving each resident an opportunity to present to IHS optometrists and accrue continuing education credit. Residents may also attend one national (AAO, AOA) meeting during the residency cycle. Costs for attendance are borne by the resident.


  • OD degree from accredited school of college of optometry
  • Cumulative GPA:  2.50 minimum
  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Passage of NBEO
  • Eligible for licensure as an optometrist in a state, territory, or commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia

Application Requirements

  • A completed application must be submitted to the Optometric Residency Matching Service, Inc. (ORMS) no later than February 15.
  • Applicant must provide 3 letters of recommendation, CV, letter of intent, and recent transcripts to residency coordinator.
  • An interview, typically in person but occasionally via phone contact, will be requested of specific candidates based upon the quality of their credentials and application information.
  • All residency applicants will be evaluated without regard to sex, race, color, creed, age, national origin, or non-disqualifying physical abilities.

Program Accreditation

The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) continued the status of “accredited” for the program in 2012. The next currently scheduled site visit is April, 2020.


Adequate housing is available at apartments located near the hospital. Houses and rooms for rent are also available with costs ranging from $400 to $1000.

Local Activities & Attractions

  • Many outdoor recreational activities
  • National monuments
  • Tribal parks
  • Historic Sites
  • Nearby metropolitan areas include Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and Phoenix. Commercial airline services are currently not available to or from Gallup.

Former Residents

2018-2019: Kandace Alfred, OD and Hannah Greenfield, OD

2017-2018: James Andrew Ho, OD and Jesse Hogan, OD
2016-2017: Alicia Thibodeaux, OD and Matthew Diggory, OD
2015-2016: Sarah Thomas, OD and Jarred Rasmussen, OD
2014-2015: Yen Bui, OD and Natalia Noble, OD
2013-2014: Justin Chin, OD and David McIntosh, OD
2012-2013: Rachel Stephan, OD and Eric Johansen, OD

Email Dr. Thibodeaux for former resident's contact information.

Alicia Thibodeaux, O.D.
Residency Coordinator
Gallup Indian Medical Center, Eye Clinic
P.O. Box 1337
Gallup, NM 87305
505-722-1324 • Email:

Judy W.H. Tong, OD, FAAO
Assistant Dean of Residencies
Southern California College of Optometry at
Marshall B. Ketchum University
2575 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-1699
714.449.7429 • Fax: 714.992.7811• Email: