Career as a VA Optometrist
BENEFITS OF A CAREER AS A VA OPTOMETRIST:
The Veterans Health Administration's mission is to strive for excellence in eye care for our Nation's Veterans. Doctors of optometry help fulfill this important mission goal and make significant contributions as primary eye care providers. To recognize this contribution, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) offers numerous tangible and intangible benefits to VA employed optometrists. The VHA offers a state-of-the-art environment that encourages professional growth and development with individual recognition for personal achievement. In addition, VA optometrists enjoy a special appreciation for their efforts from Veteran patients which is not typically found in other practice settings.
These and many other professional rewards are available in the Department of Veterans Affairs in addition to generous employment benefits and educational opportunities.
For a list of current opportunities for optometrists within the Department of Veterans Affairs, please click here.
Slit Lamp examination.
Leave and Holidays
Taking Blood Pressure.
Health and Life Insurance
VA offers a variety of group health insurance plans with premiums partially paid by the Federal Government. You can select individual or family plans and can change your plan annually if you choose.
Term life insurance with coverage based on salary is available with the cost shared by the Federal Government. Family and additional coverage options are available.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is available for eligible employees to use pre-tax allotments to pay for certain health care expenses in a Health Care FSA, and for eligible dependents care expenses through a Dependent Care FSA.
The United States Government accepts responsibility and liability for the actions of its employees during the exercise of their official duties. VA optometrists are protected by the Federal Government in instances of alleged malpractice or tort resulting from the performance of their duties for the Veterans Health Administration.
Newly hired optometrists are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tier retirement plan composed of Social Security benefits, FERS basic benefits, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Similar to the 401 (k) savings plans widely available in the private sector, the TSP allows employees to invest 10% or more of their income each year, subject to the annual limitation requirements of the Internal Revenue Service. The Federal Government also provides a basic contribution and matching, depending on the amount of the employee contribution.
VA health care facilities are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. An employee may seek employment at any location where there is a vacancy and if hired, transfer without loss of benefits and usually no loss in pay. Opportunities to receive both monetary and honorary recognition for overall superior performance and special or unique achievements are available. In addition, substantial monetary awards can be earned through participation in VA's Employee Suggestion Program when employees offer creative solutions to problems, or ideas for improving procedures and services.
A Veteran completes visual field testing.
The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes the importance of continuing education and research, and the benefits they provide to both Veteran patients and employees. Numerous opportunities are available to optometrists, including:
To leave feedback regarding this page or the VHA Optometry Website email Ms. Kathleen Gernhart, Administrative Officer, VA Optometry Service.