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Residency Profile: Santa Fe Indian Hospital

Established:  2015

Positions: One

Santa Fe Indian Hospital
1700 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM  87505

Program Faculty

Residency Coordinator: Joanna Tanaka, OD, FAAO

Mission Statement

The mission of the residency program is to provide a comprehensive experience in primary care optometry with an emphasis on ocular disease in a multi-disciplinary hospital setting for postdoctoral optometric practitioners to continue to cultivate their clinical and educational growth.  Residents in this program will provide optimal patient and primary eye care to Native Americans of all ages in an educational-clinical setting that utilizes a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to direct and carry out patient care.  Fostering an appreciation for the culture of the Pueblos of Northern New Mexico will help insure that the resident appreciates and becomes a caring and compassionate provider for all patients with diverse cultures.

Program Description

Program Goals

  1. Strengthen the resident’s primary care skills.
  2. To provide the resident with a practical understanding of the patient care  components of an IHS health care system which may be representative of  other health care systems that the resident will encounter in their future.
  3. Expand and enhance the resident’s ocular and systemic health care  knowledge base.
  4. Provide a forum for the development of the resident’s interest in scholarly  activity.

Program Objectives

  1. Provide the resident with an extensive primary care patient base of all ages.
  2. Provide the resident with a variety of diverse, challenging, and complex  cases such as anterior uveitis, ocular trauma, diabetic retinopathy,  glaucoma, retinal detachment, ocular infections, unusual refractive errors,  and others.
  3. The resident will work within and develop an understanding of the  interdisciplinary concept of health care.
  4. The resident will develop an understanding of the support services that  are available within a medical center health care system.
  5. Require the resident to read at least one ocular health care journal article  per week, and encourage the resident to review other health care  literature.
  6. The resident will develop an understanding of other health care  disciplines.
  7. Require the resident to meet SCCO at MBKU mandated deadlines in the process of  manuscript preparation.
  8. Instruct and advise the resident in the preparation of clinical  presentations.
  9. The resident will develop an understanding of and experience the  responsibilities of an optometric educator.

Typical Daily or Weekly Schedule in Clinic

  • Duration of program: August 1st to July 31st.
  • Clinic hours: Monday through Friday (8:00am – 5:00pm) with lunch from 12:00pm – 1:00pm (Hours can change based on administrative changes to program.  40 hr work week scheduled work week).
  •         o   The resident will be expected to take urgent care/after hours clinic calls when deemed appropriate.
  • Clinical care patient centered, and clinic hours/lunch period are dependent upon completion of patient care.

Rotation Through Other Services

  • The resident rotates through Ophthalmology sub-specialties observing surgery in Santa Fe, NM and Albuquerque, NM at sites that are utilized for referred care.
  • The resident may also provide care at outlying clinics/facilities within 50 miles on occasion. 
  • Provide care in Fall for community outreach programs, including Headstart Program.

Type and Number of Patients

Approximately 85% of patient care includes:

  • Providing comprehensive primary eye care examinations on a significant volume of patients with various visual and ocular problems of all ages.
  • Participation in the joint management, treatment, and consultation of patients with ocular disease.
  • Co-manage patients with other health care specialties
  • Provide prescription for eyewear, topical and/or oral medications, perform non-invasive therapeutic procedures (eg foreign body removal), and order indicated laboratory testing and imaging studies within the scope of the resident’s current practitioner license and current hospital privileges.

Approximately 15% of patient care encounters includes the supervision of 4th year students.
Teaching Responsibilities

The resident will be required to supervise 4th year students.
Lecturing Opportunities

  • The resident will present lectures on a regular basis in the Eye Clinic to students and preceptors.
  • The resident will present a case report at the annual IHS conference in Spring/Early Summer.
  • The resident presents an ocular disease presentation to the medical staff.
  • The resident may present lectures to ophthalmic technician conferences.

Scholarly Activities

A publishable paper suitable for submission to a referred professional journal is a requirement for completion of the residency program. The resident may choose a topic from a lecture they have presented during the year. The deadline for submitting a draft is April 15. Preparation for the paper is done with guidance and assistance from the residency director.
The resident will receive didactic training, which includes:

  • Daily clinical case reviews.
  • Weekly clinical discussions.
  • IHS journal clubs (In conjunction with other IHS residency programs, on a rotating basis, the resident receives important articles in optometric or ophthalmologic publications which will be discussed in a monthly forum with all service unit eye care providers attending).
  • Resident lectures and presentations to the medical staff or provide a Continuing Education lecture.
  • Attend IHS/NAIHS optometry meetings.
  • Attend hospital multidisciplinary continuing education.

Additional Employment Opportunities

Optometry residents as required when working within the Indian Health Service, would require official approval for any "Outside Activities" and that approval cannot be guaranteed.

The annual stipend is approximately $97,867 (GS-11, Step 1 in the federal pay scale system which is determined annually) with biweekly disbursements for the 12 months paid through IHS.



The resident has the opportunity to purchase federal health insurance. Employee related immunizations are available at no cost.


The resident receives 10 federal holidays.

Educational Expenses

Expenses related to education travel are usually paid by the resident.


12 days annual & 12 sick leave. Annual leave must be requested 8 weeks in advance, except in the rarest of emergency circumstances. CME conference days M-F are not considered as leave.


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. (Must be approved for outside activity as noted above)

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.

Information Resources

IHS pending local funding/gives NIH access to numerous ophthalmic, primary care, and healthcare specialty subscriptions.

The MBKU Ketchum Library provides a journal service to residents:  it provides up to 5 articles per month per resident on request.  Remote access to journals is also available.


  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States of America.
  • Applicants must have earned an O.D. degree from a school or college of optometry accredited by the Council on Optometric Education prior to the beginning of the residency program.
  • The resident is required prior to start and maintain throughout residency,  licensure as an optometrist in a state, territory, or commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia.
  • The applicant must apply through the National Matching Service (ORMatch) and follow the application guidelines. The deadline for application submission is February 1st.
  • Applicant must have taken and passed all applicable parts of the NBEO examinations, including the TMOD.
  • Applicants must provide SFIH residency program with the following: a letter of intent with goals outlined, official transcripts of all optometric education, official copies of NBEO scores, three letters of reference and a curriculum vitae.
  • Ranking is as follows:
    • Interview 20%
    • GPA 15%
    • NBEO scores 15%
    • Letter of Intent 10%
    • Letter of Recommendations 20%
    • Special qualities/characteristics 20%
      • Maturity / Compassion
      • Professionalism
      • Communication Skills
      • Attitude
      • Ability to get along with others
      • Work Ethic / Punctuality for past clinical assignments
      • Past preceptor inquiry
      • Professional Goals
      • Clinical Performance History
  • An interview is mandatory either in person or via telephone.
  • Applicants must be eligible for licensure as an optometrist in a state, territory, or commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia.
  • All residency program applicants will be evaluated without regard to sex, race, color, creed, age, national origin, or non-disqualifying physical disabilities.

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 at MBKU Assistant Dean of Residencies and the SFIH 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. A topic for the case report or research project must be selected by the October 3rd; the abstract of the case report or research project is due on December 1st; the 1st and 2nd draft of the paper will be submitted by March 1st and May 1st respectively; and the final paper is due on July 2nd.
  • 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 at MBKU 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 at MBKU.

Program Accreditation

The program is fully accredited by ACOE.

Housing is available within the local area (Santa Fe, NM).  Housing costs vary by type of housing obtained.
Local Activities & Attractions

  • Proximity to wide open spaces and the San De Cristo and San Juan mountains of southern Colorado provide for a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including local skiing/boarding, hiking, mountain biking/downhill biking, kayaking, sightseeing, etc.
  • Santa Fe has local airport with some commercial services, and Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ) is located within a 1 hour drive for more broad flight access.

Contact Info

Joanna Tanaka, OD, FAAO
Residency Coordinator
Santa Fe Indian Hospital
1700 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe,  NM 87505
Tel:  505-946-9218

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: