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Residency Profile: Sierra Vista Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC)

Sierra Vista Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), Sierra Vista, AZ
Southern Arizona VA Health Care System


Program Type: Ocular Disease / Primary Care
Established: 2013
Positions: 2
ACOE Accreditation Status: Accredited.  Contact the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) at Click here for more information about accreditation of optometric residency programs.

Sierra Vista CBOC
101 N. Coronado Drive, Suite A
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635

Program Faculty

Mark McKenzie, OD, FAAO

Mission Statement

The fundamental mission of this training program is to offer a one-year post-doctoral optometric residency in ocular disease with an emphasis in primary care that enables practitioners to attain advanced competencies and specialty skills needed to effectively manage the eye, vision, and related health care of patients in a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) within the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS).

Exam Room Exam Room Exam Room

Technician Office

Program Description

The residency is a one-year post-graduate training program typically from July 1 – June 30, although resident orientation may occur prior to the July 1 start date. Patient care occurs at a multidisciplinary facility located 70 miles from the affiliated VA medical center and serves the rural population surrounding Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca. Many of the veterans served by the clinic are either unable or unwilling to travel to the affiliated VA medical center. Therefore, the residents are exposed to a large patient base in need of complex care. The Sierra Vista CBOC is a close-knit environment of approximately 40 employees, where the residents are part of the multidisciplinary team.

Program Goals

  1. Ensure that resident develops advanced eye/vision/health care management skills
  2. Educate resident to optometry’s role as a contributing member of each patient’s health care team
  3. Instill in the resident the importance of disseminating their acquired knowledge and the value of actively participating in professional development
  4. Instill in resident an appreciation for the importance of ongoing professional development

Program Objectives

  1. Resident will provide care to at least 1200 patient encounters representative of the Veteran population provided services.
  2. Resident will have the responsibility to triage walk-in/urgent care cases and provide proper follow-up affording continuity of care.
  3. Each resident will demonstrate proficiency in advanced eye/vision care procedures.
  4. Resident will communicate with other clinical services (e.g., primary care, neurology, rheumatology, radiology, laboratory) as indicated by a patient’s clinical presentation and medical needs.
  5. Provide resident an orientation at matriculation regarding optometry’s role in the SAVAHCS health care team model.
  6. The resident will attend at least three medicine-based lectures quarterly
  7. The resident will serve as a member of interdisciplinary team.
  8. Resident will be introduced to opportunities for involvement at state and national professional organizations including mentorship towards becoming a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.
  9. Each resident will develop a poster/paper abstract of a case and will be highly encouraged to submit the abstract to AAO’s Residents Day or comparable venue.
  10. Resident will prepare a manuscript of publishable quality.
  11. Resident will prepare and present a continuing education lecture.
  12. Resident will be introduced to future career opportunities
  13. Resident will be encouraged to attend one national optometric conference.
  14. Resident will participate in weekly didactic activities including but not limited to journal club, case presentations, and chart review.

Typical Weekly Schedule

Normal duty hours are 7:30am – 4:00pm Monday through Friday although clinical patient care activities may conclude after 4:00pm on some days. There are no on-call, evening or weekend assignments.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
AM  Patient Care Patient Care

Patient Care

Patient Care Patient Care
PM Patient Care

Medicine-Based Lecture

Patient Care

Patient Care Ocular Disease Education Patient Care

Resident Activities

90% Direct Patient Care

  • Gatekeeper for all eye clinic consultations, including walk-in and urgent care cases
  • Large number of diabetics, macular degeneration, and glaucoma patients
  • Refer for ophthalmological subspecialty care
  • Interpret auxiliary testing: visual fields, fundus photography, OCT and OCT angiography
  • Order systemic work-up as indicated by patient presentation
  • Refer to other health disciplines as indicated by patient presentation
  • Prescribe with a wide array of oral & topical therapeutic agents

10% Didactic Activities

  • Weekly education meeting on Thursday Afternoons
    • Ophthalmic Disease Lectures
    • Journal Club
    • Grand Rounds
    • Advanced Diagnostic Workshop
  • Regular medicine-based lecture series on Tuesdays
  • Opportunity to attend a national optometric meeting (AAO or AOA)

Scholarly Activities

  • Professional development time
  • Develop a case report of publishable quality
  • Create a poster/paper outline and abstract to educate the resident on the process for an academic submission. Additionally, residents are highly encouraged to submit their abstract for the AAO Resident's Day or comparable venue.
  • Present a continuing education lecture

Lecturing Opportunities

The resident will present a continuing education lecture in the Spring.

Completion Requirements

  • Completion and submission of all SCCO at MBKU required paperwork to the Residency Coordinator (Dr. McKenzie) and SCCO at MBKU (Dr. Tong)
    • Quarterly Patient Encounter and Diagnosis Log
    • Quarterly Faculty Evaluations
    • Quarterly Program Evaluations
    • Quarterly Resident Referral Log
    • Quarterly Resident Activity Log
    • Quarterly Resident Reading Log
    • End of the Year Evaluation of Program
    • Certification of Completion of Residency Requirements
    • Resident Contact Address after Completion
  • Minimum of 1200 patient encounters
  • Be present for Resident Orientation, which may occur prior to July 1 start date
  • Be present for complete academic year for the entire tour of duty except when on approved vacation, sick, or authorized absence days
  • Provide quality, compassionate, ethical care to all veterans
  • Participate in the Optometry Education Meetings on Thursday afternoons
  • Attend the medicine-based lecture series
  • Develop a poster/paper outline and abstract to educate the resident on the process for an academic poster submission
  • Prepare a manuscript of publishable quality
  • Prepare and present a continuing education lecture
  • Obtain licensure in a State, territory, or Commonwealth of the United States or in the District of Columbia before completion of the first year of VA residency.  Note: The license does not have to be from the State where the residency program is located

Application Prerequisites

  • Candidates must currently possess an OD degree from an Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) accredited institution or will have attained the OD degree, from said institution, prior to matriculation.
  • COVID-19 vaccination.
  • By congressional law, candidates must be citizens of the United States.

Selection Process

Interviews, which are conducted in-person or virtually, are requested of specific candidates based upon the quality of their credentials, their supporting documents, and the quantity and quality of competing candidates.

Following the interview and just prior to the deadline date for submission of a ranking list to ORMatch, the Residency Coordinator ranks candidates in consideration of the combined relative quality of each applicant’s credentials, interview, and other intangible factors such as their professional characteristics.

After discussing with the Program Director of Optometry, the Residency Coordinator submits a ranking list of preferred candidates to ORMatch.  Simultaneously, candidates independently submit a ranking list of preferred programs to ORMatch.  Utilizing these ranking lists, ORMatch algorithmically matches residents to programs.  ORMatch subsequently informs the program and the candidates of the outcome.  In the event of not being matched, the Residency Coordinator can pursue interested candidates from the remaining unmatched pool after the 48 hour grace period per ORMatch or may consider any other qualified individual.

Note: all residency applicants will be evaluated without regard to sex, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin, disability, or any other applicable legally protected status.

Optometry residents are appointed as temporary employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As such, they are subject to laws, policies, and guidelines posted for VA staff members.  There are infrequent times in which this guidance can change during a training year which may create new requirements or responsibilities.  If employment requirements change during the course of a training year, the residents will be notified of the change and impact as soon as possible.

The VA is a Drug Free Workplace, which applies to any substance that may be legalized in some states but are not federally legalized. Optometry residents are subject to random drug testing.


$45,203 – determined by VA central office, not contingent upon productivity.


Health The resident is offered health insurance and life insurance options (premiums vary depending on type of coverage selected).
Holidays There are 11 Federal holidays – New Year’s Day, MLK Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas
Educational Travel The resident is provided authorized absence to attend one national meeting: American Academy of Optometry or American Optometric Association.
Vacation The resident accrues annual leave at the rate of 4 hours per 2-week pay period for a total of 13 days per year. Unused annual leave is reimbursed at the conclusion of the year.
Liability Professional liability is covered by the VA under the Federal Tort System.
Information Resources There is a small library of books located within the eye clinic. The resident also has access to a vast number of electronic resources through the VA Medical and the SCCO Libraries.


There is no housing provided.

Local Activities and Attractions

  • Population: 45,000
  • Climate: temperate four seasons in the high desert
  • Historic Fort Huachuca, home of Army Military Intelligence
  • Outdoor activities: hiking, biking, fishing at Patagonia Lake or Parker Canyon Lake, bird watching, amateur star-gazing
  • Nearby wineries
  • Area attractions: Tombstone, Bisbee, Ghost Towns, Chiricahua National Monument, Kartchner Caverns
  • 75 miles southeast of Tucson: numerous top-rated resorts, spas & golf courses; Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Pima Air & Space Museum; Tucson Botanical Gardens; Arizona Opera & Theater Company; Biosphere; Saguaro National Park; Kitt Peak Observatory; Accenture Match Play World Golf Championship; Tucson Gem & Mineral Show
  • For more information:

Contact Information

Mark McKenzie, OD, FAAO
Residency Coordinator
101 N. Coronado Drive, Suite A
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
520.459.1529 x23489
Fax: 520.459.3654

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
Fax: 714.992.7811