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Residency Program: Kaiser Permanente - Los Angeles, CA

Residency in Primary Eye Care Optometry

Established: 2021
Positions: 2

Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles, California
Department of Optometry

1515 N. Vermont Ave.
6th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Photo of KP Los Angeles  Photo of KP Los Angeles

Program Faculty

Jonathan P Christie, OD, FAAO
Residency Coordinator

Ruby L Bates, ABOC
Residency Program Administrator

Program Attendings

Larry Macapagal, OD

Mission Statement

The Optometry residency seeks to attract the best qualified optometric graduates and provide training in primary care with advanced clinical and diagnostic skills through direct patient care as part of a multidisciplinary integrated care team.  Our resident will gain experience managing ocular disease, ophthalmic manifestations of systemic disease and medications, specialty contact lens fitting, low vision, and pediatric eye exams.  The residency will promote the development of skills as an educator and self-learner. It will also prepare them for their role as a leader in the optometric community through leadership development training and will provide them with the unique opportunity to learn about Kaiser Permanente’s Labor Management Partnership (LMP).  The resident will further their optometric knowledge by engaging in both didactic and scholarly activities. Residents will work to fulfill Kaiser Permanente’s goal to make lives better by improving the wellness and quality of life for our members, physicians, employees, and the communities that we serve. Upon completion of the residency, the clinician will be ready to assume a leadership role in academics or any clinical setting from hospital based to public or private sector.

Program Description

Program Goals

  1. To expand the resident’s skills, experience and knowledge base in primary eye care and ocular disease detection, diagnosis, and management.
  2. To provide a didactic education to enhance the resident’s clinical decision-making skills, to develop the resident’s appreciation for scholarly activities and commitment to lifelong learning.
  3. Provide the resident with a practical understanding of their role as an integral member of a multidisciplinary health care team and to recognize the importance of an integrated coordinated approach to health care delivery.
  4. To provide the resident with leadership fundamentals that will prepare them to lead and work collaboratively within teams.
  5. Provide the resident with the opportunity to develop cultural competency by learning how to meet the needs of the diverse cultural and socioeconomic groups that make up our metro Los Angeles service area.

Program Objectives

  1. The resident will have at least approximately 1,200 direct patient care encounters consisting of primary and secondary eye care. These encounters will consist of regularly scheduled patients and non-scheduled urgent care patients.
  2. Ensure the residents skills in primary eye care, including contact lenses, low vision, binocular vision, ocular disease detection, diagnosis and management is strengthened and expanded. The resident will develop and demonstrate the ability to form appropriate ocular differential diagnoses.  
  3. The resident will acquire hands on experience with advanced techniques and ophthalmic skills. Advanced techniques may include cranial nerve testing, epilation, exophthalmometry, foreign body removal, fundus contact lens examination, gonioscopy, imaging orders, laboratory orders, OCT interpretation, pachymetry, punctal dilation and irrigation, punctal plug insertion, retinal photography, visual field interpretation, vitals.
  4. The resident will interact with ophthalmological and non-ophthalmological healthcare providers via phone consults, virtual consults, and non-urgent consultations and referrals.
  5. The resident will attend continuing education conferences and/or workshops on ocular disease and advanced clinical techniques.
  6. The resident will participate as a member of the health care team by adding diagnoses and other information useful to the multidisciplinary health care team into the HealthConnect electronic medical record system.
  7. The resident will interact with non-ophthalmic health care providers from a variety of disciplines, which may include family practice, internal medicine, pediatric, dermatology, neurology, rheumatology, radiology, social work, and speech/language/learning services.
  8. The resident will prepare and deliver lecture presentations and/or clinical information to audiences comprised of Optometrists and possibly non-ophthalmic health care providers (MAs, OAs, non-Optometric residents, and physicians).
  9. The resident will prepare a manuscript of publishable quality.
  10. The resident will attend and actively participate in Friday conference/rounds, optometric medical education, and case reviews in person or virtually.
  11. The resident is strongly encouraged to attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry, and/or other major regional optometry meetings.
  12. The resident will participate in Kaiser Permanente LAMCs unique Optometry Leadership Program (OLP) and learn leadership fundamentals that will prepare them to lead and work collaboratively within teams.
  13. The resident will experience and learn how to deliver high quality optometric care to the diverse population of our Los Angeles service area.


Example of a Typical Daily or Weekly Schedule in Clinic**
Hours: 40 hours/week; May work 1-2 Saturday’s/month*

Monday: 7:55am-4:25pm-Full Day Patient Care
Tuesday: 7:55am-4:25pm-Full Day Patient Care
Wednesday: 7:55am-4:25pm-(Full Day Patient Care or Half Day Patient Care/Academic Time***)
Thursday: 9-5:30pm-Full Day Patient Care
Friday: 7:30-4pm- Academic Time (Friday Conference)/Half Day Patient Care****
Saturday: 7:30-4pm -Full Day Patient Care

*Saturday resident staffing based on furthering Resident’s academic development
**Observation at various clinics
***Academic time/Time for telemedicine
****Schedule may change to full day patient care

Duration of Program

12 months: August 1 to July 31

Type and Number of Patients

Minimum of 1,200 direct patient encounters in Primary Eye Care including

  • Geriatric
  • Pediatric
  • Contact Lens
  • Ocular Disease
  • Low Vision
  • Binocular Vision

Clinical Teaching Opportunities / Lecturing Activities

  • Lectures/in service training in ophthalmic disease and examination techniques presented to groups which may include Optometrists, eye care staff, ophthalmic professionals, and non-ophthalmic health care providers
  • Case discussions, reviews, and lectures with mentors and or residency preceptors

Scholarly / Didactic Activities

  • Leadership and management workshops/meetings
  • Attend continuing optometric and medical education conferences/workshops/meetings on primary eye care, ocular disease, systemic conditions that affect ocular health, and advanced clinical techniques
  • Participate in Friday conference held at KP LAMC including, “image of the week” discussion, case discussions and presentations, journal club, grand rounds presentations and frequent quizzes.
  • Case report or research paper of publishable quality is required (resident is encouraged to submit a poster presentation and attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry).

Compensation and Benefits

The resident will be compensated as an employee of the Kaiser Permanente

Stipend: Total stipend of approximately $59,522, less any federal/state required payroll deductions, will be paid by Kaiser Permanente. Not contingent upon productivity.
Health Insurance: Kaiser Permanente
Holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day
Educational Travel: No additional funding as expense is included in stipend
Paid Time Off: 15 days per year
Liability Insurance: Kaiser Permanente

Application Process

Admissions Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have a valid Visa to work in the U.S.
  • Must have graduated from an optometry school, college, or university accredited by the ACOE.
  • Successful passage of NBEO I, II, and TMOD by the start of the residency program. If possible, highly preferred passage of NBEO I, II, III and TMOD by Interview day.
  • Earned a terminal GPA 3.25 in optometry school.
  • All applicants will be evaluated without regard to gender, race, color, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or national origin.
  1. All materials should be sent to Jonathan Christie, O.D. FAAO, Chief of Optometry
  2. Register with the Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch) program
  3. Send a copy of your curriculum vitae and a 1-page letter of intent.
  4. Submit three letters of recommendation.
  5. Provide transcripts of all college-level course work, including undergraduate, graduate and optometry school
  6. Request NBEO Part I, II and TMOD Scores (forwarded from ORMatch)
  7. Personal interviews are highly recommended

Selection Process

  1. The Residency Coordinators and Residency Program Administrator decide which candidates to rank for the match and determine the sequential ranking of those candidates based on the application materials, the on-site interview, letter of intent, and recommendation letters.  Candidates are ranked according to the following categories and weight:

    GPA 15%
    NBEO Scores 15%
    Letters of Recommendation 20%
    Letter of Intent 10%
    Interview 20% ( may include on site oral / written testing )
    Special qualities/characteristics 20% (Including personality, motivation, professionalism, communication skills, willingness to learn, attitude, ability to work as part of a team, etc.)

  2. Final candidates’ selections are reviewed by the Assistant Dean of Residencies and the approved list is submitted to ORMatch by the Residency Coordinator.
  3. ORMatch contacts the Residency Coordinator with the results of the match
  4. The Program Coordinator contacts the matched candidate within 1 week to confirm their intent to enroll in the residency program.

Requirements for Residency Completion and Awarding of Certificate

  • Be present for complete academic year from August 1 through July 31 for the entire term of duty except when on approved vacation, sick, or authorized absence day
  • The resident will be expected to perform in a professional manner in the delivery of patient care services and to observe those proprieties of conduct and courtesies that are consistent with the rules and regulations governing KP and SCCO at MBKU.
  • The resident is required to provide quality, compassionate, and ethical care to all KP patients and all the while deliver clinical services at a level that is satisfactory to the Residency Coordinator and the Assistant Dean of Residencies.
  • The resident is required to complete the requirements set forth in the curriculum and keep a detailed log of all required program aspects which will be reviewed at least quarterly by the Residency Coordinator and the SCCO at MBKU Assistant Dean of Residencies.  These documents include:
    • Quarterly encounter activity
    • Quarterly patient encounter log
    • Quarterly faculty evaluations
    • Quarterly program evaluations
    • Quarterly resident referral log
    • Quarterly resident activity log
    • Quarterly resident reading log
    • End of year evaluation of program
    • Certification of completion of residency requirements
    • Resident contact address after completion
  • The resident will be required to write a publishable quality paper based on original research, literature review, or a clinical case.
  • The resident is highly encouraged to participation and present at the Southern California College of Optometry at MBKU Annual Residency Forum.
  • The resident is highly encouraged to attend and participation at the Annual American Academy Meeting, California Optometric Association Symposium, or any pre-approved educationally rich meeting.
  • The resident is required to return any property that belongs to Kaiser Permanente at the end of the residency year.
  • Upon successful completion of the Residency Program, the Residency Coordinator and the Assistant Dean of Residencies will recommend the granting of certification to the Dean at the Southern California College of Optometry.
  • Any resident accepted for training can be dismissed, without receiving a certificate of completion, for infractions of the rules and regulations of Kaiser Foundation Health and/or Southern California College of Optometry at MBKU, or for any action that jeopardizes the safety of patients, personnel, or physical facilities.

Local Activities & Attractions

  • Griffith Observatory
  • Getty Center
  • Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
  • Grand Central Market
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Hollywood Bowl
  • Sunset Strip
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
  • Hollywood Sign & Hollywood Blvd
  • Venice Beach and Boardwalk
  • Disneyland & Universal Studios

Points of Contact / Faculty

Jonathan P Christie, OD FAAO
Residency Coordinator
Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles
Department of Optometry
1515 N Vermont, 6th Floor 
Los Angeles, CA  90027
323.219.7974 • Email:

Judy W.H. Tong, OD
Assistant Dean of Residencies
Southern California College of Optometry at
Marshall B. Ketchum University
2575 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-1699
714.473.7568 • Fax: 714.992.7811 • Email: