Douglas W. Hopkins Primary Care Residency Award

History and Purpose

Douglas W. Hopkins, OD, FAAO, passed away in March 2007. He obtained his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University in 1979 and maintained a private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Hopkins served as Chair of the Primary Care Section and Chair of the Primary Care Section Diplomate program. To honor his memory and longtime commitment to both the AAO and AAOF, his wife, Roberta Hopkins, many colleagues, friends, and donors helped to establish a fund in his name that provides one primary care resident support and recognition for taking the extra step to receive additional training.

Residency training is becoming an increasingly important aspect of optometric training. A post-OD residency program significantly advances a graduate's preparation as an eye-care provider and provides additional experiences in instruction and scholarship. Many schools and colleges of optometry now require residency training as a basic prerequisite for new clinical faculty.


The Douglas Hopkins Residency Award is intended to promote the practice and development of the field of Primary Care Optometry by providing incentive and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research, and education in primary care.

The Douglas Hopkins Residency Award is $2,000 plus one $750 travel fellowship to attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry; where the recipient will spend volunteer time at the AAOF exhibit booth and be recognized at the annual AAOF Celebration Luncheon. 

Eligibility and Application

The submission window opens April 1, 2020 and closes June 1, 2020.

One award will be granted to an optometrist currently serving  in a 2019-20 academic year calendar Primary Care/ Family practice residency through a North American school, college of optometry or veterans administration facility is eligible to apply. Anyone who has yet to begin a residency for the 2019- 20 academic year calendar is ineligible.

Applicants should read an article by Dr. Hopkins, Primary Care Are We All on the Same Page? and write a one-page essay on the importance of primary care to optometry and  their future as a primary care optometrist. 

The application must also include:

  1. Cover page that lists the applicant name, any degrees, facility of residency, optometric institution under which serving residency, current and permanent address information, email and phone contact information.
  2. The applicant’s education, clinical, research, and teaching experience, in the form of a CV.
  3. A brief description of the residency program and the names and email addresses of the three people you have contacted to submit letters of recommendation.
  4. A one-page statement of career goals plus a brief statement indicating what your timeline is for becoming a Fellow.
  5. Three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to comment on educational qualifications, research abilities, and potential.  One of which must be the Residency Director or Program Coordinator of the institution. These should be emailed separately by the recommender.
  6. The applicants must be a member of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO); whether as a student, candidate, or Fellow at the time of acceptance of any award.  To learn more, visit the AAO website: Student Membership for student membership information and Candidate for Fellowship for how to become a Fellow. 

Applications and letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically (preferably as a PDF file) to Please include "Hopkins Residency Award" and applicants last name in the subject line. Ex: Hopkins Residency Award -Smith.

Applications will be reviewed and a selection made by the American Academy of Optometry’s Primary Care Section, or another group selected by the AAOF Board. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their educational background, their ability, and their potential to advance in their career.

Award Notes

It is the standard policy of the AAOF that na award recipient who receives, a travel stipend to attend an event, cannot also receive a second travel stipend from the Foundation or its affiliate, the AAO.

Prior to the award window opening the guidelines for any given award are subject to change by the AAOF and/or the award sponsor. Applicants are reminded to please review all information before submitting their application to ensure all award criteria is met.

All award recipients by application and acceptance of an award agree to allow the AAOF and/or the sponsor of the award to which they applied to publish their name, image, institution information, and any statement or quote provided by the recipient. These will appear in a variety of media formats that will announce and promote the award including, but not limited to, the AAOF and/or sponsor annual report, website, annual meeting promotional materials.

For additional information contact Jennifer Rubin, Foundation Program Manager, at: 321-319-4870 or

Past Recipients

2018: Dorothy Chou, OD - Family Practice resident at the University of Houston College of Optometry/ 2017 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry

2017: Ashley Rose Pi'ilani Luke, OD, BS - Resident at Zuni Comprehensive Community Health Center/ 2016 graduate of Southern California College of Optometry

2016: Shannon K. Leon, OD
  - Resident at the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry/ 2015 graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry

2015: Matthew Bovenzi, OD  - Resident of the East NY Diagnostic & Treatment Center, Brooklyn, NY through the State University of New York College of Optometry (SUNY) / 2014 graduate of SUNY

2014: Mark Emmanuel Lao Landig, OD  - Resident of the West Los Angeles VA Health Care Center through the Southern California College of Optometry / 2013 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry

2013: Gloria Chow, OD  - Resident of the State University of New York College of Optometry (SUNY) / 2012 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry

2012: Laura Ashley "L.A." Lossing, OD, MS  - Resident of White River Junction VA, Vermont / 2011 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry

Douglas W. Hopkins, OD, FAAO

Photo Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)