Skip to main content

Residency Profile: Kaiser Permanente, Seattle, WA*

Residency in Primary Care Optometry
Kaiser Permanente - Seattle, WA

*Formerly Group Health Cooperative Residency in Primary Care Optometry 

Established: 2007

Positions: One

Kaiser Permanente
Northgate Medical Center

9720 Fourth Ave., NE
Seattle, WA  98115

Program Faculty

Coordinator: Stuart Frank, OD, FAAO

Attendings

  • Stuart Frank, OD, FAAO
  • Carol Hsiao, OD, FAAO
  • Gelea Ice, OD
  • Lynna Kim, OD, FAAO
  • Lance Matsuda, OD, FAAO
  • Brian Reeh, OD, FAAO

Mission Statement

The Kaiser Permanente Washington Residency in Primary Care Optometry seeks to provide optometric graduates with the experience, skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to work effectively as a primary eye care clinician, and as an entry point into the health care system.

Our resident will receive advanced clinical training and experience in the diagnosis and management of ocular health and visual function, as well as ophthalmic manifestations of systemic disease and medications. The resident will develop an appreciation of the patient as an individual faced with multiple life and health care challenges.

Public Market SignFerryEye

Program Description

Program Goals

  1. To enhance the resident’s clinical experience in primary and secondary optometric care.
  2. To enhance the resident’s skill set in primary and secondary optometric care.
  3. To expand the resident’s skills, experience, and knowledge base in ocular disease detection, diagnosis, management; secondary and tertiary eye care; and, ocular manifestations of systemic disorders and medications.
  4. To gain experience as an integral member of a multidisciplinary health care team, with the interactive skills and knowledge base for successful communication with non-ophthalmic health care disciplines; to recognize the importance of a multidisciplinary, coordinated approach to health care delivery; and, to develop an appreciation of the patient as an individual faced with multiple life and health care challenges.
  5. To develop the resident’s ability to present ophthalmic information to health care professionals, as well as to the lay public.
  6. To develop the resident's appreciation for scholarly activities and lifelong learning.

Program Objectives

  1. To experience numerous direct clinical encounters consisting of primary and secondary eye care of varying complexity, with a population of diverse patient demographics, and requiring proficiency in advanced ophthalmic skills, ophthalmic imaging, knowledge of laboratory and radiographic testing, and other medical support systems.
  2. To develop the ability to formulate appropriate ocular differential diagnoses, implement treatment plans, and manage patients with ocular disease and systemic disorders with ophthalmic manifestations, including infectious processes, vascular disorders, ocular inflammatory disease, ocular trauma, post-surgical eye care, and glaucoma.
  3. To utilize and contribute to the electronic medical record system to form a global picture and understanding of each patient’s overall health status and multiple health care issues; to complete thorough and accurate records of examination; and, perform appropriate coding for medical procedures and diagnoses, all of which become part of the comprehensive, multidisciplinary electronic medical record (EMR) system.
  4. To gain additional experience and skills in the disciplines of contact lenses and low vision care.
  5. To successfully communicate with ophthalmic and non-ophthalmic medical colleagues, medical support staff, and patients for the delivery of optimal and coordinated patient care.
  6. To develop public speaking skills via case presentations for rounds, and lectures to ophthalmic colleagues, non-ophthalmic medical providers, and the lay public.
  7. To attend continuing medical education courses, complete assigned readings and audiotapes, and review the ophthalmic and medical literature and reference resources on a regular basis in order to expand the resident’s knowledge base and remain abreast of new developments.
  8. To complete a required, publishable quality research manuscript or patient report as partial fulfillment of the residency requirements.

The Residency Experience

  • The resident will be examining approximately 1,200 Kaiser Permanente patients. The resident will perform full comprehensive primary care and secondary care exams; problem-focused ocular disease visits; and, non-scheduled urgent care evaluations, many of which are generated by family practice, pediatric, and internal medicine colleagues. The resident will participate in contact lens care, and will observe and participate in the care of low vision patients at SightConnection, a non-profit, comprehensive low-vision clinic in Seattle. 
  • The resident will acquire “hands-on” experience in the diagnosis, co-management and/or independent management of ophthalmic disease, including infectious processes, ocular inflammatory disease, ocular trauma, post-surgical eye care, and glaucoma.  The resident will participate in outpatient clinic “first call” for urgent care ophthalmic presentations to Eye Care Services; and, accompany supervisory staff in quarterly after-hours and weekend call.
  • Our resident will initiate appropriate urgent and non-urgent referrals for ophthalmologic care, develop management and co-management strategies with optometric and ophthalmologic colleagues, directly observe ophthalmologic secondary and tertiary care with general ophthalmologists, as well as subspecialists in retina, oculoplastics, glaucoma, pediatrics, and others.
  • As an integral part of the health care team, the resident will develop an understanding of common acute and chronic health problems, and the coordinated, multidisciplinary nature of patient care.
  • Our resident will gain experience in the evaluation and management and/or co-management of ophthalmic manifestations of systemic disease and medications. The resident will examine patients referred for ocular evaluation by non-ophthalmic healthcare providers (e.g. family practice, pediatrics, dermatology, rheumatology, internal medicine, etc.), as well as participate in Kaiser Permanente's ongoing diabetic retinal screening program. Conversely, the resident will consult with, and refer directly to non-ophthalmic healthcare disciplines, as well as order laboratory and radiology studies as indicated for diagnosis and management of ocular and systemic disease.
  • Approximately 60-70% of the resident's time will be spent in direct patient care.
  • Approximately 10-15% of the resident's time will include: observation and interaction with family practice and internal medicine clinicians; rotations through a variety of medical specialties, including dermatology, neurology, rheumatology, radiology, and family medicine. Additional rotations are encouraged and may be arranged with endocrinology, otolaryngology, pediatrics, rehabilitative medicine, and other specialty areas depending on the resident's inclination and availability of staff.
  • Approximately 10-15% of the resident's time will include observation and interaction with the ophthalmology service, including subspecialty ophthalmology care, and observation of surgery (if desired).
  • At least 10% of the resident's remaining time will be set aside for scholarly activities, including preparation of a required case report, poster, or original research of publishable quality; required reading assignments; administrative duties; lecture preparation; library research; log maintenance; and, other assorted tasks.

Typical Daily or Weekly Schedule in Clinic

The usual weekly hours of resident's attendance will be Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., with one hour for lunch time.   The resident is required, however, to remain until all patient care activities are concluded, which rarely extends beyond an additional hour.

Four weeks of after-hours call (evenings, weekends, and possible holidays) with supervisory staff will be required as part of the residency experience, with one week during each quarter of the program.  Each after-hours call week commences at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and extends to 5:00 p.m. the following Friday.  During that time, the resident is required to be available by phone and pager, and in-clinic if needed, for urgent consultations and acute ophthalmic care, if called. Choice of call weeks is negotiable.

A typical monthly schedule may resemble the following:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Primary care Contact lenses or low vision care Contact lenses Primary care and administrative time Primary care
Primary care and administrative time Contact lenses or low vision care Medicine rotation (e.g. neuro, derm, int. med) Medicine rotation (e.g. neuro, derm, int. med) Medicine rotation (e.g. neuro, derm, int. med)
Primary care Contact lenses or low vision care Contact lenses Primary care and administrative time Primary care
Primary care Contact lenses or low vision care Ophthalmology rotation Ophthalmology rotation Primary care and administrative time

 

Each clinic day, at least 30 minutes will be set aside for case discussions and review of required reading assignments.  The resident will present interesting cases from the day's encounters for review and discussion with supervisory staff.  From these discussions, the resident may be assigned a topic to research and present at a later date, or asked to review a relevant journal article.

Our resident will receive personalized training in advanced ophthalmic competencies by medical and technical staff. Advanced techniques will include scleral depression, fundus contact and non-contact lens evaluation, fundus photography, automated visual field testing and interpretation, pachymetry, gonioscopy, OCT testing and interpretation, corneal topography, A and B-scan ophthalmic ultrasound, foreign body removal and patching, dilation and irrigation of the lacrimal system, and non-ophthalmic injection techniques (IV, IM and subQ).

Rotation Through Other Services

Teaching Responsibilities

The resident will be required to engage in clinical teaching of ophthalmic disease and examination techniques to Family Practice residents, as well as Eye Care support staff.

Lecturing Opportunities

The resident will be asked to prepare and present a different case, journal article, or ophthalmic topic at regional optometric rounds.  Additionally, the resident will prepare and deliver a topical lecture to the Family Practice residents  within Kaiser Permanente; to a non-ophthalmic health care audience at the University of Washington; to attendees at the annual Kaiser Permanente Eye Care Services continuing education conference; and, to a lay audience comprised of patients.

Scholarly Activities

  • Scholarly training is emphasized through regional case conferences and weekly local clinic meetings; attendance at  Eye Care Services continuing education meetings; and required completion of 50 hours of Washington State Board of Optometry approved continuing optometric education. Additionally, the resident is encouraged to attend multidisciplinary Kaiser Permanente clinical presentations, continuing education, and lectures that are given almost weekly during the year.
  • The resident will be asked to prepare and present a different case, journal article, or ophthalmic topic at regional optometric rounds. Additionally, the resident will prepare and deliver a topical lecture to the Kaiser Permanente Family Practice residents; to a non-ophthalmic health care audience at the University of Washington; at the annual Kaiser Permanente Eye Care Services continuing education conference; and, to a lay audience.
  • A case report or research paper suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal is required.  The resident will also be encouraged to submit a poster presentation and attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry.
  • Journal Clubs

Program Duration
The residency will be 12 months in length, beginning approximately August 1, and continuing through completion of 12 months of training. Start and end dates may be altered based upon extenuating circumstances, such as personal illness, a death in the family, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Stipend
The annual stipend will be $32,896, and is distributed in equal payments at the middle of the month and the last working day of the month. The resident's compensation is not contingent upon the resident’s productivity. In addition to the annual stipend, the resident is awarded $1,600 annually for approved continuing education costs, travel, books and journals, and professional society dues. There is no state income tax for residents domiciled in Washington State. Though our resident is not allowed to work outside of the organization delivering eye care in a paid professional capacity, there are opportunities for “extra work for extra pay” available within the organization.

Benefits
Comprehensive Kaiser Permanente medical and dental coverage is offered, with premiums deducted each pay period. Term life insurance is offered up to $250,000. Sick leave accrues at one day/month to a maximum of 12 days. And, the resident may participate in the 401(k) retirement plan.

Professional liability is covered by Kaiser Permanente.

The following (paid time off) holidays are observed:

  • New Years Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • President’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Residents will accrue a total of 15 days of annual leave, along with 5 additional days of professional educational leave that must be approved by the Medical Director and result in at least 5 hours per day of professional education applicable to optometric re-licensure. The resident is encouraged to use their educational leave time to attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry or other professional continuing educational conferences.

The resident is defined as an employee of the Washington Permanente Medical Group, and as such, she/he will be afforded library privileges and research assistance, a variety of staff discounts, and other assorted benefits available to employees.

As part of the residency contract with the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University, the resident will also be afforded additional benefits as indicated in the SCCO/MBKU Residency Manual and/or Administrative Guide. These may include free attendance at SCCO/MBKU-sponsored continuing education programs on a space available basis, use of SCCO/MBKU Multi-Media Services for approved residency presentations, research design assistance, library services, and discounts from the SCCO/MBKU Campus Store.

Eligibility Criteria and Application Process

  • Attainment of the OD degree from a school or college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association.
  • Successful completion of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO).
  • Applicants must satisfy all requirements to allow for Washington State optometric licensure. This includes successful completion of NBEO Part III and passing the Washington State Board of Optometry Law Exam.
  • Applicants must submit three letters of reference from faculty members responsible for their clinical education.
  • A personal interview is required.
  • Applicants chosen for the program will need to submit formal application materials for employment by Washington Permanente Medical Group.
  • Applicants should notify the Residency Program Coordinator of their interest in our program.
  • Applicants will also need to apply directly to the Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch) National Matching Services, Inc. (ormatch@natmatch.com).

On or before February 1st of the residency year, applicants should have on file with the Optometry Residency Program Coordinator:

  • A current curriculum vitae (CV).
  • A one-page letter of intent, discussing the reasons for pursuing residency training, in general, and this program, in particular; expectations from the residency experience; any interested areas of specialization; and, future professional goals.
  • Official transcripts of work completed in professional school.
  • NBEO transcripts of completed sections.
  • Letters of recommendation from three faculty members closely acquainted with the applicant's clinical proficiency.

All prospective applicants are welcome to visit the clinic on an informal basis. Candidates with completed applications may be invited by the Residency Admissions Committee for a formal interview.  All formal interviews will be held by invitation only in January and February.

All residency applicants will be evaluated without regard to sex, race, color, creed, age, national origin, or non-disqualifying physical disabilities.

Selection Process
Once all the application materials for candidates have been received and the interviews have been conducted, the team at Kaiser Permanente Eye Care – Seattle begins their selection process. The following elements are taken into consideration:

  • Statement of Interest (10%) 
  • Curriculum Vitae (10%) 
  • Letters of Recommendation (10-20%) 
  • GPA, Grade Point Average (10-20%)
  • NBEO, National Board Scores (10-20%) 
  • Interview (40%)

Each of the elements above are weighted as indicated, with the interview weighted most heavily, followed by a combination of GPA, NBEO scores, and Letters of Recommendation at 40%, and the Statement of Interest and Curriculum Vitae each receiving 10% weighting.  Competitive candidates will have at least a 3.0 GPA. Principal faculty members and the current resident independently assess and rank each applicant. The residency coordinator collects and compiles the final rankings, and a group meeting is held to finalize the program’s ranking for submission to the ORMatch.

Program Accreditation
The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) continued the status of “accredited” for the program in 2015. The next currently scheduled site visit is June, 2023.

The Residency Faculty
The Residency faculty includes six optometric physicians with more than a century of practice experience. Five ODs are Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry; five of the ODs are residency or fellowship trained; and three are members of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH). Personal interests range from church and family activities to travel and international healthcare, fishing, mushroom hunting, sports, cooking, literature, and the arts. Each OD will be involved in residency training and supervision.

  • Stuart Frank, OD, FAAO: Residency Program Coordinator; graduated from New England College of Optometry, 1980; resident in Low Vision Rehabilitation, Northport, NY Veterans Administration Medical Center, 1980-1981; staff optometrist, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, 1988-present (formerly Group Health Cooperative); adjunct clinical faculty, Southern California College of Optometry; Fellow, American Academy of Optometry (AAO); past regional chair AAO Admissions Committee; member, Primary Care Section of the AAO; member Optometric Physicians of Washington and the AOA; active in VOSH – Northwest and VOSH/International missions and leadership roles; professional interests in neuro-ophthalmic disorders, international eye care, and medical ethics.
  • Carol Hsiao, OD, FAAO: a graduate of the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, 2000; Research Fellow in Cornea and Contact Lenses, University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, 2005-2006; staff optometrist, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, 2001 to present (formerly Group Health Cooperative); past chief, Kaiser Permanente Contact Lens Service (formerly Group Health); Fellow, American Academy of Optometry; presenter of multiple posters, ARVO and AAO annual meetings; member, VOSH – Northwest; professional interests in contact lenses, pediatric optometry, and dry eye. 
  • Gelea Ice, OD: a 2009 graduate of NOVA/Southeastern University College of Optometry, she completed her training in Primary Care Optometry at the Kaiser Permanente Seattle residency program (formerly Group Health), where she presently serves as a full-time staff optometrist and assistant residency program coordinator. 
  • Lynna Kim, OD, FAAO: a 2007 graduate from the Southern California College of Optometry, Dr. Kim was the inaugural resident of our program, and presently serves as a staff optometrist in primary care at the Kaiser Permanente Seattle residency site (formerly Group Health); she is a member of the Optometric Physicians of Washington, the AOA, and VOSH – Northwest. She enjoys travel, music, hiking, and the culinary arts, and has a professional interest in scholastic development of diagnostic logic. 
  • Lance Matsuda, OD, FAAO: graduated from University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, 1990; Certificate of Merit, University of California Berkeley School of Optometry Low Vision Clinic, 1990; resident in Hospital-Based Optometry, American Lake Veterans Administration Medical Center, 1990-1991; successfully passed TMOD, 1991; staff optometrist, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, 1991 to present (formerly Group Health Cooperative); Fellow, American Academy of Optometry, 1996; President’s Award, Mercer Island Lions Club, 2002-03; clinic chief, Kaiser Permanente Eye Care at Northgate Medical Center, 1995 to present (formerly Group Health). 
  • Brian Reeh, OD, FAAO: graduated from University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, 1996; staff optometrist, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, 1997 to present (formerly Group Health Cooperative); member, Optometric Physicians of Washington and American Optometric Association; Fellow, American Academy of Optometry; secretary, VOSH – Northwest; mission leader, 2005 VOSH – Northwest eye care mission to Peru.

Eye Care at Kaiser Permanente Washington is organized under the Ancillary Services Division, with departments of optometry and ophthalmology working cooperatively to deliver cost-effective, coordinated care. Optometrists at Kaiser Permanente are not employees, but active, equal members of the Medical Staff along with our physician colleagues. The current Physician in Chief and Director of Eye Care is an optometrist.

Housing
Seattle has a wide range of housing options available, including a large rental market of apartments, condominiums, houseboats, and homes.

Local Activities & Attractions
Seattle is one of the most naturally beautiful cities in the world, nestled between the incredible mountain ranges of the Cascades and the Olympics. Mount Rainier peeks out over the skyline on most days, and along with the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound, makes Seattle a destination for those who like the outdoors.

Seattle is also a sophisticated center for the arts, with a symphony, opera, multiple theaters, sports venues, concert halls, and film festivals. The Museum of Pop Culture reveals the city's rich musical heritage. Nearby Woodinville, Washington hosts a community of celebrated wineries. Although Seattle's image is one of dreary rain, in reality the annual average rainfall is just 38 inches – that's less than Boston, Atlanta, Charlotte, and much of the state of Hawai'i. While there are a few overwhelming downpours, Seattle's winter is often gray and mild, with frequent drizzles (but usually you can walk between the raindrops!) that don’t keep most Seattleites indoors for very long. 

Contact Info
Stuart B. Frank, OD, FAAO
Optometry Residency Program Coordinator
Kaiser Permanente Eye Care
9720 Fourth Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
206.527.6588 • stuart.b.frank@kp.org

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 92831-1615
714-463-7568 • Fax:  714-872-5683• Email: jtong@ketchum.edu

Also See
Kaiser Permanente physicians web site 
Kaiser Permanente Eye Care web site