Welcome to the student Armed Forces Optometric Society!
The page exists to give you more information about career options, scholarship opportunities, networking contacts, and as a place to meet up with other optometrists and students that share your experiences.
Many students don't know the myriad of career opportunities that exist for them in Federal Optometry.
There are many options that you may never have considered, below find information and contact information for mentors in each organization that are excited to speak with students about future careers:
Army Optometry provides full-scope integrated eye care for soldiers and their families. Army Optometrists provide readiness care, comprehensive exams, well-eye checks, emergency care, military entrance processing physical exams, glaucoma management, specialty contact lens, and low vision services. Health Professions Scholarship Program is available to pay for school, stipend, tuition, and equipment. Other entry/hiring options and bonuses available, including Reserves, depending on the needs of the Army.
Full-scope optometry at hospitals and hospital ships around the world, with patients who include servicemembers, their families, and retirees, as well as Third World children and adults. Your duties may include prescribing spectacles or contact lenses, pathology, Surgical co-management, low vision, traumatic brain injury rehab, specialty contact lenses, Aerospace, Surface or Undersea Medicine. Health Professions Scholarship Program is available to pay for school, stipend, tuition, and equipment. Other entry/hiring options and bonuses available, including Reserves, depending on the needs of the Navy.
As an Air Force Optometrist, you'll care for Airmen and their families, free from the complications of private practice. Comprehensive eye exams, pre and post deployment, pathology, and physiological optics research are all part of your duties. Health Professions Scholarship Program is available to pay for school, stipend, tuition, and equipment. Other entry/hiring options and bonuses available, including Reserves, depending on the needs of the Air Force.
Contact a Mentor
Veterans Affairs optometry has a long history of clinical, academic, and research excellence. The VA Optometry Service was created in 1976, and has grown since then to employ over 700 full time and part time optometrists across the nation, providing the majority of primary eye care and low vision rehabilitation to our nation’s veterans. The VA also offers a robust optometry residency program and multiple student externship learning opportunities.
Optometrists within federal service are often a close knit group, and VA optometry is part of that group. The more tangible benefits of VA service, such as annual leave, sick leave, holiday leave, and health and life insurance, among others, are impressive, but there are less tangible benefits as well. Camaraderie with other VA and federal colleagues, access to medical records that include labs and imaging, teaching and learning opportunities, and serving those who have chosen to serve our country are among the less tangible, and these count for much when one searches for fulfilling career choices.
See Attached Documents for more information:
If a VA career interests you. Feel free to reach out to the contact below.
Indian Health Services
Contact a Mentor
Work with many local populations and manage pathology and primary care that is unique and challenging. Live in diverse places, from Alaska to Florida in 35 states with a large patient base and specialized pathology.
Public Health Service
Provide direct patient care, diagnostic services, research, administration, and uphold a successful public health program. You will work in underserved areas of the country/world as part of a healthcare team. You will enjoy leadership, competitive pay and benefits, and participate in primary care, pathology management, and emergency situations like hurricanes, flooding, and public health emergencies.
AFOS Student exists to create an efficient and instructive avenue for optometry students into Armed Forces Optometry, with online resources, better access to recruiters, and more information about the benefits of life as an Armed Forces Optometrist.
Join our Facebook page, read through this site, learn from the reports from new ODs out in the field, current Health Professions Scholarship students, and tips on how to make the most of your student membership with AFOS and your time as a student with your assigned branch.
AOSA/AFOS National Liaison
Jason Christman, Army, 3-year HPSP