A residency at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute (VEI) in Nashville, TN, has launched, bringing the total number of residency programs available at the UAB School of Optometry to seven, with a total of 12 positions. This is one of two pediatric residencies available. The other is in-house at UAB Eye Care, the clinical arm of the UAB School of Optometry. 

The residency, which has one position available, is undergoing the accreditation process during its first year. It includes training competent and compassionate optometrists who provide high-quality, evidence-based pediatric eye care and are prepared for a career in a medical and/or academic setting. 

Under the supervision of Residency Coordinator Stephanie Jian, OD, FAAO, residents in this 12-month program will strengthen their pediatric exam skills as well as learn to diagnose and manage pediatric visual and ocular conditions in a hospital-based setting. 

Nicole Roddy, OD, MBA, a 2020 graduate of the UAB School of Optometry, is the first resident to experience the Vanderbilt residency program. 

"This residency program partnership is a very exciting time," she said. "The faculty at both VEI and UAB have worked so hard to make this dream come true and I am honored to play a small role in the process of molding and shaping the program for future residents."

Residents will receive training in pediatric low vision, pediatric contact lens fitting, and providing eye care to children with special needs. Residents will have the opportunity to co-manage patients with pediatric ophthalmologists as well as other subspecialty ophthalmologists. They will be able to collaborate and consult with other healthcare providers across the academic medical center as part of the residency experience also.

“The partnership with the Vanderbilt Eye Institute is an exciting addition to our already strong residency portfolio,” said Caroline Pate, OD, FAAO. “Both UAB and Vanderbilt are part of respected medical communities that place emphasis on residents obtaining advanced clinical education and competencies in patient care. Now, in addition to our pediatric residency program at the UAB School of Optometry, we are able to offer a different pediatric residency experience associated with a children’s hospital in an academic medical center. I am proud of this partnership and expect this to be a competitive position.”