Taking On The Challenge
Optometrists provide Primary Vision Care, including comprehensive eye examinations and the diagnosis, treatment, and management of most eye conditions and diseases. To prepare you as a professional capable of meeting this broad scope of responsibilities, the Curriculum at Berkeley Optometry is designed to provide first-rate clinical training as well as instruction in the science of vision.
Our world-class faculty offer comprehensive clinical training enhanced by cutting-edge education in vision science. They will prepare you to meet the challenges of expanding primary eye care (see Career Facts). You will acquire knowledge of cell and molecular biology, pharmacology, genetics, epidemiology of eye disorders, and state-of-the-art clinical technology. You will also have training in all clinical areas, including primary care and specialties such as binocular disorders, contact lenses, low vision, ocular disease, geriatrics, pediatrics, and refractive surgery.
Berkeley Optometry operates its teaching clinics on a twelve-month basis. Our students have progressively more clinical training and responsibility as they advance through the four-year degree program. Third-year students spend about half their time in clinic, while fourth-year students spend virtually all their time in clinic.
One key element in the Berkeley Optometry program is the provision of in-depth clinical experience in a variety of settings. Our intensive-training clinics (On-Campus Clinics, Off-Campus Externship Clinics, and Community Outreach Clinics) offer services to populations associated with our Berkeley Optometry clinics or affiliated clinics around the country and the world.
The Meredith Morgan Eye Center provides comprehensive eye care to members of the Berkeley campus and the local community. There are more than 80,000 patient visits each year for which our faculty and students provide a full range of services from primary eye care to the diagnosis and management of vision problems caused by diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetes. All students also participate in external clinical rotations. At the end of the four-year OD Program, each student will have, on average, examined 2,500 patients.
Berkeley Optometry makes a major contribution to the field of health care by training skilled practitioners through a curriculum that is continuously updated to reflect the latest in research and clinical training. We are dedicated to keeping pace with the expanding field of optometry and the profession's move toward a more extensive health science model of primary care.
As you look through the course descriptions in our Curriculum, you will see the depth and range of study and training offered by our Optometry program. One exciting and effective approach is introducing our students to clinical education from the first day.
For example, Optometry 200A (Clinical Examination of the Visual System; Fall semester) is taught in the first semester of the program, when you will learn how to take case histories, perform preliminary examinations of the eye, and measure refractive error. By the spring of your first year, Optometry 200B (Clinical Examination of the Visual System; Spring semester) will introduce you to advanced examination techniques. These clinical procedures will be complemented by course work in biology, optics, and pharmacology. We have found that this early introduction to the clinical examination, combined with basic science courses, makes the learning of optometry interesting and relevant. Please look at our curriculum and see for yourself how we integrate clinical and basic science from the beginning.