Pediatric Optometry Residency

We are excited to announce that Dr. Melissa Kontos from The University of Houston College of Optometry will be our pediatric optometry resident for 2024-25. Welcome, Dr. Kontos! 

Applications for the 2025-26 pediatric optometry residency at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute are due Friday, January 31, 2025. Selected applicants will be invited to interview in person in Nashville, TN in February 2025.

Mission Statement

The pediatric optometry residency program at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute provides advanced clinical training in pediatric eye care. We intend to train 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.

Program Description

Residents in our 12-month program will strengthen their pediatric exam skills and learn to diagnose and manage pediatric visual and ocular conditions in a hospital-based setting. They will learn to provide eye care to children with disabilities and developmental delay and also have the opportunity to learn about pediatric contact lens fitting and pediatric low vision. Residents will have the opportunity to co-manage patients with pediatric ophthalmologists as well as other subspecialty ophthalmologists. They will also learn to collaborate and consult with other healthcare providers across the academic medical center.

Clinical Curriculum

The resident will have clinic four and a half days per week. Direct pediatric patient care is prioritized. Residents will spend the majority of their clinic time at the main Vanderbilt Eye Institute location in Nashville but will also go to the Vanderbilt Eye Institute clinic in Franklin (30 minutes south of Nashville).

Up to two half-days per week will be spent in the Comprehensive and Contact Lens Optometry Clinic providing direct patient care. The resident will provide routine eye care and contact lens services and have the opportunity to learn specialty contact lens fitting. The resident will also have the opportunity to see patients in Low Vision Rehabilitation Clinic and to observe subspecialty pediatric ophthalmology clinics.

There is no vision therapy in the curriculum.

Academic Curriculum

The resident will have up to one half-day per week for academic and administrative responsibilities.

  • Pediatric ophthalmology journal club
  • Pediatric optometry case conference
  • Weekly Vanderbilt Eye Institute Grand Rounds
  • Resident lectures pertaining to pediatric ophthalmology

The resident will be strongly encouraged to attend the American Academy of Optometry meeting. They are also encouraged to attend continuing education activities offered by the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and the UAB School of Optometry at no cost to the resident.

The resident will be required to keep a patient and academic activity log. The resident will also be required to write a paper based on original research, literature review, or a clinical case or case series suitable for publication in a refereed ophthalmic journal. The resident will give a lecture as a part of the Residents Day Presentations at the UAB School of Optometry.

Program Faculty

Adam Baird, OD, FAAO
Deepa Chandrasekaran, MS, OD, FAAO
Meghan Flemmons, MD
Stephanie Jian, OD, FAAO
Lori Ann Kehler, OD, FAAO
Dora Mathe, MS, OD, FAAO
Caitlyn Reynolds, OD, FAAO
Joshua Robinson, OD, FAAO


The stipend is $64,025 (for 2023-24, subject to annual GME increase). Health insurance and liability insurance are provided. The resident can be reimbursed for up to $2,000 of eligible academic/professional expenses. The resident is eligible for up to 15 days of personal leave.


Applicants must submit an Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch) application that includes the following supporting documentation: statement of interest, curriculum vitae, official optometry school transcript, copy of full NBEO score report, and three letters of recommendation. Selected applicants will be invited to interview with the Residency Selection Committee in February.

Applicants must have earned, or will have earned by the start of the program, an O.D. degree from an ACOE accredited school or college of optometry. Applicants must have passed parts I, II, and III of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exams. Successful completion of the Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease (TMOD) examination and the Injections Skills Exam (ISE) is required for licensure in the State of Tennessee. The Vanderbilt University Medical Center is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

Contact Information

Stephanie Jian, OD, FAAO
Pediatric Optometry Residency Director

Silvia Clavijo
Program Coordinator