ROCKVILLE, Md.—The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) has announced that its optometry residency matching service—or ORMatch—posted strong results again this year. The 2018 match occurred March 12. Results from this year’s match “continue positive upward trends from last year’s, and suggest that optometry students increasingly value completing a residency after graduation,” ASCO noted in its announcement this week. Among the key statistics from this year’s match are: the number of participating students (517) was the all-time highest and marked an increase of 7.7 percent from 2017, and the number of residency sites increased to 240, a 2.1 percent increase.

In addition, the number of submitted applications totaled 2,614, an increase of 9.1 percent, while the average number of rankings per participant rose to 3.5 from 3.2 last year. Residency programs filling all positions also rose to 8.2, from 7.2, an increase of 13.8 percent. Seventy percent (364) of participants were matched with a residency, a decrease of 4 percent from 2017.

“The Optometry Residency Match shows a continued upward trend in interest in residency education,” Dr. Diane T. Adamczyk, professor and director of residency education at State University of New York, College of Optometry, said in the announcement. “This year's match, when compared to prior years, has seen an increase in the number of applicants, an increase in residency sites, and an increase in residency positions offered. The match reflects the growing interest and importance residency education provides to the practitioner, the patient and the profession.”

Completing a residency in optometry is a unique and invaluable experience that permits a resident to work under an experienced mentor and to enhance career opportunities, the association noted.