Residency Program

Azul Vision, in affiliation with Marshall B. Ketchum University Southern California College of Optometry, offers a one-year optometry residency program (two positions) in the specialty of ocular disease.

The mission of this residency program is to provide optometric practitioners with the experience, skills, training, and knowledge necessary to develop advanced competence in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases and disorders of the visual system and eye problems.

Program Goals:

  1. To ensure that the resident acquires sufficient experience in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases of the ocular and visual systems.
  2. To ensure that the resident develops advanced skills and competence in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases of the ocular and visual systems.
  3. To ensure that the resident develops advanced knowledge in order to diagnose, treat, and manage diseases of the ocular and visual systems. To reinforce and expand the resident’s knowledge base in ocular disease and ocular manifestations of systemic disease.
  4. To ensure that the resident obtains experience working with subspecialty ophthalmic providers in order to develop an understanding of his/her role in the comprehensive eye care of a patient.
  5. To instill in the resident the importance and value of professional development.

Program Objectives:

  • The resident will have no less than 2000 patient encounters in a primary and secondary care setting. These patients will include regularly scheduled patients, unscheduled urgent appointments, and after-hours “on call” patients.
  • The resident will diagnose, treat, and manage ocular diseases to the extent of their license and refer to a subspecialist for procedures outside the scope of California optometric practice. Common ocular disorders encountered on a daily basis include dry eyes, cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, pathological diplopia, macular degeneration, and urgent “red eye” cases.
  • The resident will acquire hands on experience in advanced techniques such as punctal dilation and irrigation, gonioscopy, epilation, foreign body removal, rust ring removal, OCT interpretation, VF interpretation, fundus photography, endothelial cell count, pachymetry, and cranial nerve testing.
  • The resident will detect and diagnose ocular manifestations of systemic diseases, communicate with patients’ primary provider and specialty providers, and order laboratory tests and imaging studies as needed.
  • The resident will attend weekly seminars presented by MBKU adjunct clinical faculty.
  • The resident will receive weekly lessons or journal articles to read and review.
  • The resident will write a manuscript (research paper or case report) suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed health care journal, or prepare a poster suitable for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry or other similar conference.
  • The resident will spend no less than 15 days directly observing a subspecialty clinic. Subspecialty clinics include cataract, glaucoma, cornea, oculoplastic, and retina.
  • The resident will write a manuscript (research paper or case report) suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed health care journal, or prepare a poster suitable for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry or other similar conference.
  • The resident will have no less than 4 days of direct surgical observation in the Eye Surgical Center. Surgical observation can include cataract, glaucoma, cornea, oculoplastic, and retina surgeries.
  • To encourage the resident to practice to the extent of his/her knowledge and license, the resident will be encouraged to consult with subspecialists for challenging cases, via phone, email, or direct conversation, before referring the case for a subspecialty appointment.
  • The resident will be encouraged to attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry or other similar national conference.
  • The resident will be introduced to academic and research modes of practice.

Testimonials

"After interning for 3 months as a student, I knew that the residency program offered by Azul Vision was going to help advance my critical thinking skills, knowledge and patient care as a new grad."

— Nayiri Abnous, O.D.

(Resident, 2021-22)

"This residency program was easily the best decision I have made to further my optometric knowledge. It provides a wide range of ocular diseases under the guidance of excellent mentors. It has given me the skills and confidence needed to enter the next journey of my career."

— Austin Hoy, O.D.

(Resident, 2023-24)

“This residency helped fuel my love for optometric learning and assisting patients. I experienced a diverse range of exam encounters, patient demographics and ocular findings during my time here.”

— Timothy Hammill, O.D.

(Resident, 2022-23)

“The program provided many opportunities for collaborative care given the diverse range of cases that required consultations with

— Shabnam Habibi, O.D.

(Resident, 2022-23)

“Azul Vision draws a diverse and complex patient population, making it a perfect opportunity to train and gain experience in diagnosing and managing intellectually complex and challenging cases.”

— Talin Khachatoor, O.D.

(Resident, 2020-21)

“This residency helped fuel my love for optometric learning and assisting patients. I experienced a diverse range of exam encounters, patient demographics and ocular findings during my time here.”

— Timothy Hammill, O.D.

(Resident, 2022-23)

Program Schedule:

The residency will be one year in length, typically from August 1 - July 31.

Clinic hours are from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday. A typical week will consist of:
  • 4.0 days: Direct patient care
  • 0.5 days: Optometry seminars
  • 0.5 days: Subspecialty clinic observation, subspecialty surgery observation, medical optometry clinic observation, administrative time, or additional direct patient care.

Congratulations toDr. Austin Hoy and Dr. Agatha Sleboda
for graduating from Azul Vision's Residency Program this year!

Dr. Austin Hoy was born in Toronto, Canada where he grew up playing ice hockey and discovering his passion for Optometry. He completed his undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Waterloo, where he was the president of the pre-optometry club. Dr. Hoy is a proud graduate of the Pacific University College of Optometry in Oregon where he was involved in a variety of clubs and intramural sports teams. He strives to provide high quality eye care and effective communication for his patients. Dr. Hoy is excited to become part of the Azul Vision team and serve the Inland Empire community.
Dr. Agatha Sleboda is a New York native who grew up in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from the State University of New York College of Optometry. Dr. Sleboda provides comprehensive eye care to patients of all ages, treats ocular conditions, and co-manages pre- and post-operative surgical care. She is passionate about promoting health literacy within her community by building meaningful connections focused on patient education and preventative care. In her free time, Dr. Sleboda enjoys yoga, traveling, and cooking.

Subspecialties:

The resident will have the opportunity to observe and work with the sub-specialists in their various clinics on a weekly basis. The resident will also have the opportunity to observe ocular surgery.

The sub-specialties include:
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Cornea
  • Vitreoretinal
  • Oculoplastics

Congratulations to our recent grads!

Dr. Agatha Sleboda was mentored by Dr. Rex Villegas, O.D. FAAO through our Los Angeles program.
Dr. Austin Hoy was mentored by Dr. Matthew Diggory, O.D. through our Inland Empire program.

Teaching Responsibilities:

The resident will have the opportunity to precept 4th-year optometry interns throughout the academic year.

Azul Vision currently supports two optometry interns.

Didactic Activities:

  • Optometry seminars/lectures will be held every Thursday or Friday afternoon.
  • Lectures will be conducted by adjunct clinical faculty from Marshall B. Ketchum University.
  • The seminars are attended by MBKU residents from local residency programs.

Scholarly Activities:

Application Requirements:

All applicants must apply on the Optometry Residency Match website. The application deadline is January 31. Note that all residency applicants will be evaluated without regard to sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, age, national origin, or non-disqualifying physical disabilities.

Required Paperwork for Residency Applicants:

For more information about this program, please contact:

Rex Villegas, O.D., FAAO

Residency Coordinator (Los Angeles)
Email: rvillegas@azulvision.com

Matthew Diggory, O.D.

Residency Coordinator (Inland Empire)
Email: mdiggory@azulvision.com

For more information about Marshall B. Ketchum University, please visit their website..
For more information about the Residency Match Service, please visit ORMatch..
For more information about other optometry residency programs, please visit ASCO's website..