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DLC Residency Program

Residency in Ocular Disease

Dell Laser Consultants

Residency Program Coordinator: Derek Cunningham, O.D.

Education Coordinator: Nabila Gomez, O.D.


Program Mission

The mission of the Residency Program in Ocular Disease / Refractive and Ocular Surgery at Dell Laser Consultants is to provide optometric residents an opportunity to become a “Leader in Specialty Eyecare”. Residents will obtain advanced clinical competencies in the areas of optometric co-management of ocular surgery while mastering skills necessary to assess and be competent in treating ocular disease through education and patient care.

Program Goals

The Council on Optometric Education defines a residency program as “an academic postgraduate program of prescribed length and content, usually in an area of patient care, which is available to fully qualified clinical practitioners. A residency program is clinical in content, and has the goals including development of unique skills and competence in one or more areas of optometric practice. It includes a body of knowledge beyond that effectively covered in the undergraduate program. In any postgraduate education program, it is important to clearly delineate program goals that are both desirable and attainable within the general parameters of the program.” The following goals of the Dell Laser Consultants Optometric Residency Program are designed to not only provide a framework within which the resident will develop significant expertise in the diagnosis and management of disorders of the eye and visual system, but to provide a level of personal and professional support that produces a caring and competent health care professional.

Goal 1: Develop a distinguished pool of applicants dedicated to delivering advanced clinical care in the areas of Ocular Disease Ophthalmic Surgery.

Objective 1: Encourage highly qualified 4th year student externs from the Rosenberg School of Optometry to apply.

Objective 2: Advertise the residency to 4th year student externs from the Rosenberg School of Optometry to apply.

Outcome: A qualified candidate will be selected for the program.

Measure: Participate in resident awareness activities at RSO or American Academy of Optometry. Recruitment materials to be posted on RSO website.

Goal 2: Select one highly qualified Resident.

Objective 1: Residency Supervisor/ Coordinator and resident faculty will perform an interview on all qualified applicants with identical questionnaires through direct contact or by phone

Objective 2: Interview participants will rate the responses and rank applicants based on qualifications and submit ranking choices to ORMatch, meeting all timelines.

Outcome: One highly qualified Resident will be matched without bias.

 Measure: All documentation of selection will be recorded and kept.

Goal 3: Provide the resident with a practical understanding of a referral based ophthalmic practice.

Objective 1: Ensure that the resident learns proper interaction with referring providers.

Outcome: The resident will be responsible to review information provided by the referral source and for correspondence back to the referring doctor following evaluation.

Measure: Using the resident’s activity log, the resident will document the amount of doctor correspondence via email or phone. The resident will write every phone or email correspondence with an outside provider in the log.

Objective 2: Help the resident to learn appropriate use of other clinical support services.

Outcome: The resident will refer patients and consult with other providers such as: radiology, vascular, clinical laboratory etc.

Measure: Residents will report quarterly on the patient care log any referrals and consultations requested.

Goal 4: Expand the resident health care knowledge base.

Objective 1: Encourage the resident to review the current literature and utilize evidence-based medicine.

Outcome: The resident will participate in the optometry journal club.

Measure: Documentation will be provided in the resident’s activity log.

Objective 2: Encourage the resident to strive toward academic and clinical excellence.

Outcome: Faculty will present lectures on various topics of eye care to the eye care community.

Measure: The resident will document these lectures in the resident activity log.

Goal 5: Instill in the resident an appreciation for the importance of research and other scholarly activity.

Objective: Educate the resident as to the process of optometric research and manuscript preparation.

Outcome: The resident will prepare a manuscript of publishable quality.

Measure: The supervisor will monitor the progress of manuscript preparation as


Goal 6: Assist the resident in becoming an effective educator.

Objective 1: Educate the resident on how to prepare and present a clinical lecture.

Outcome: The resident will prepare and present at least one clinical in-service or continuing education lecture.

Measure: The resident will document this presentation in the resident activity log.

Objective 2: The resident will learn how to effectively educate new residents by helping educate the new resident during their first month transition.

Outcome: The resident will serve as a mentor for the new resident.

Measure: Utilizing the resident activity log, the resident will report teaching activities quarterly.

Goal 7: Help the resident to gain an appreciation for service to patients and to the optometric profession.

Objective 1: The resident will gain experience and an appreciation for service to the profession of optometry.

Outcome: The resident will participate in local optometric society and state association activities.

Measure: The resident will document service and activity with organized optometry in the resident activity log.

Goal 8: Prepare the resident with a strong understanding of clinical integration and communication between healthcare providers including referral letters, progress notes, and proper billing and coding.

Objective 1: The resident will learn proper CPT and ICD coding and billing procedures.

Outcome: The resident will be responsible for filling out the routing sheet properly on all patients.

Measure: The attending reviews the coding prior to discharging the patient and the practice’s certified billing/coding compliance coordinator regularly reviews charts for proper coding.

Objective 2: The resident will gain vast experience working in an optometry/ophthalmology co-management setting.

Outcome: Residents completing the program will be qualified to obtain employment in a multidisciplinary setting.

Measure: The residency program supervisor will monitor resident program evaluations, completion rates, and career placement.

Program Description

Dell Laser Consultants (DLC) and the Rosenberg School of Optometry (RSO) have jointly developed a 13-month residency program to assist in the advancement of clinical optometric education. DLC is a tertiary, referral eyecare practice whose mission is to become a “Leader in Specialty Eyecare”. DLC’s office is located in Austin, TX. The resident will spend the majority of their time at our main clinic working under the guidance of Derek N. Cunningham, OD, FAAO, Affiliated Residency Supervisor, Nabila Gomez, OD, FAAO, Education Coordinator, and our ophthalmology corneal subspecialists.

Program Length
Start Date
13 Months (57 Weeks)
July 1
CompensationContact Us
Hours Per Week40-50
Accreditation StatusAccredited
Application Deadline
ORMatch Matching Service
January 30

Educational Opportunities

The program is designed to enhance the clinical skills necessary to diagnose and manage a wide variety of ocular disease. The residency program will provide vast experience in medical and surgical management of ocular disease with an emphasis on the co-management of ocular and refractive surgery and dry eye treatment. In addition to the advance clinical experience, the program will provide numerous opportunities for teaching the optometric community, scholarly activity including lecturing, writing, and clinical research, and service to both the profession and the community.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. This program uses Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch). Applicants must complete the OR Match application by the RSO deadline of January 30, to be considered. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all supporting documentation is submitted to each entity involved, e.g., the College, ORMatch, and the residency site supervisor
  2. Applicant must earn the degree of Doctor of Optometry from a school or college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council of Optometric Education prior to the starting date of the residency.
  3. Applicants will furnish an official transcript from his/her school/college of optometry. An applicant should have a cumulative grade point average greater than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the professional optometric curriculum
  4. Applicant must pass all parts of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry examinations required for a Texas license and furnish official transcripts. If accepted, the resident is expected to obtain a Texas optometric license.
  5. Three letters of recommendation are required.
  6. A brief essay stating the reasons for applying to this program is required
  7. A personal interview is required
  8. Rosenberg School of Optometry affirms that all residency candidates will be evaluated without regard to sex, race, color, creed, national origin or disability.

Certificate of Completion

The completion requirements of the program are:

  1. The resident is required to deliver clinical services at a level that is satisfactory to the Residency Supervisor of DLC, the Director of the Affiliated Residency Programs at RSO and the administration of RSO.
  2. The resident will be required to keep a record of patient contacts. The Residency Supervisor and the Director of the Affiliated Residency Programs at RSO, will periodically review patient contacts.
  3. The resident will be required to write a paper based on original research, literature review or a clinical case for publication in an acceptable professional journal.
  4. The resident will be expected to assist in the continuing education programs provided at DLC.
  5. The resident will be expected to perform in a professional manner in the delivery of professional care services and to observe the proprieties of conduct and courtesies that are consistent with the rules and regulations governing DLC.
  6. The resident will be required to participate in and complete the requirements set forth in the curriculum. The Residency Supervisor and the Director of the Affiliated Residency Program will recommend the granting of certification to the resident through the office at The University of Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry upon successful completion of the Residency Program at DLC.
  7. Any resident accepted for training can be dismissed by DLC, without receiving a certificate of completion, for infraction of the rules and regulations of DLC, or those set forth by Rosenberg School of Optometry, or for any action that jeopardizes the safety of patients, personnel or physical facilities.
  8. The resident must prepare and present a Grand Round type presentation on campus at RSO at the time and date chosen by RSO. The Residency Program Supervisor tracks the resident and ensures he/she attains all criteria. At the end of the year, the Residency Supervisor is required to send a letter in writing to the Director of Affiliated Residency Programs attesting to the fact that the Resident has completed all criteria to the Residency Supervisor’s satisfaction and may be awarded the residency certificate. The certificate is mailed to the Resident after July 31 (or end date of the residency).


Scholarly Activities

The resident is also required to write at least one paper of publishable quality by the end of the residency. Residents participate in journal club, grand rounds, and seminar programs. Opportunities to participate in research studies exist for those residents with an interest in clinical research.

Lecturing and Teaching

The resident is required to make one presentation on an optometric topic. This may take any of several possible forms, including a faculty seminar, continuing education lecture, guest lecture in an optometry course, or a paper or poster presentation at an academic meeting.

Clinical Privileges

Residents must apply for and be granted clinical privileges by the UIW Eye Institute to be able to participate in the residency program. Residents are required to be supervised as per the Rosenberg School of Optometry Resident Supervision Policy. The Residency Program Supervisor must evaluate and monitor the resident’s level of training, which determines the resident’s privileges

Continuing Education

Residents are able to attend continuing education sponsored by the Rosenberg School of Optometry at no charge for credit hours. The resident is encouraged to attend at least one major national educational meeting during the year. A travel stipend is available to the resident to help defray the cost of attending a national educational conference.

On Call Policy for DLC Resident

Resident will have phone triage responsibilities after hours. Doctors will rotate within the practice in taking second calls for patients. Our office hours are from 8am to 5pm. Resident will use their personal cell phones for on-call purposes.  Residents may be required to see emergency cases in clinic after hours. 

 Resident’s Professional Liability Protection

Resident’s Professional Liability Protection The resident will be provided with professional liability insurance by the professional liability insurance program of DLC. The cost of this insurance coverage will be paid by DLC. This insurance will cover activities associated with the residency and DLC, not any patient care outside of DLC. It is understood that upon separation from DLC, insurance benefits provided by DLC would cease and it will be the resident’s responsibility to provide his or her own insurance. 


The resident will typically work at Dell Laser Consultants and its affiliated clinics in the Austin area. The resident may also rotate through various external specialty clinics over the course of the residency program, including both retina specialty and plastics specialty group practices.

Employment Benefits

The resident receives employment benefits through Dell Laser Consultants. These include health insurance, professional liability insurance, paid vacation, and paid sick leave. Residents receive 80 hours paid vacation leave and 40 hours paid sick leave per year. In addition, residents receive 5 days of professional leave and a travel stipend to assist with attending a national optometric conference.

The cost of obtaining a professional Texas license to provide optometric care within the state will be covered by DLC. The cost of licenses outside of Texas will not be covered by DLC.


For additional information about this residency opportunity, please contact:

Derek Cunningham, OD., FAAO or Nabila Gomez, OD., FAAO

Dell Laser Consultants

Barton Oaks Plaza 4, Suite 350

901 S MoPac Expy

Austin, TX 78746


[email protected] or [email protected]

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