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Students will be expected to have achieved proficiency to practice optometry independently with an emphasis placed on refining and polishing integrative skills within primary and specialty areas of optometry.

The fourth year student will also be introduced to new knowledge while rotating through the specialty clinical services offered at Minor Clinic and the externships through the external clinical educational program. Upon graduation, each student will:

  • Be able to quickly identify the patient’s chief complaint and any secondary complaints and/or symptoms, and perform appropriate vision care diagnostic procedures. Formulate treatment plans to meet the patient’s needs in a timely fashion (sixty minutes or less in Primary Care) and efficient manner using the state-of-the-art instrumentation and office procedures. Each student will be able to perform proficiently in Primary Care Clinic as well as in each of the Specialty Clinical areas.
  • Be knowledgeable regarding ocular and systemic non-ocular health care in order to care for and counsel patients effectively and appropriately refer patients to other disciplines when indicated. In particular, the student will be conversant with contemporary medical and other health-related professional treatment of common systemic diseases.
  • Have an in-depth understanding of the practical management of ocular and non-ocular conditions and situations important in primary care optometry, including ocular urgencies and acute emergencies, specific ocular diseases, psychosomatic and other visual ailments of psychological origin. Identify patients with common health problems for referral and/or consultation.
  • Be knowledgeable about pediatric vision care, including the genetics and the development of the visual system from birth to adulthood, and the special techniques and procedures in the examination of infants and children.
  • Be able to identify and formulate appropriate treatment plans for children who display substandard school achievement that is related, or at least in part, to some factor that falls within the scope of the optometrist; this includes the responsive referral/report letters to appropriate disciplines such as physical and occupational therapy, special education and educational psychology.
  • Be familiar with the effects of aging on the visual system, the impact of the loss of vision upon the aged and the special techniques and procedures of examining the geriatric patient, including the psychology of dealing with the elderly.
  • Be knowledgeable with advanced techniques for the management of patients with significant vision problems, and understand the rehabilitation services available for patients with these anomalies. Students should understand not only the optical avenues for working with these patients, but also the support groups and services available. Students will be able to incorporate these techniques into a community-based, multi-disciplinary delivery of health care and be able to work and communicate with other health care professionals.
  • Be knowledgeable in electro-diagnostic services to patients with retinal or neural anomalies.
  • Be proficient at understanding both the treatment and management of patients with ocular disease and understand treatment options for the care and delivery of medical eye care.
  • Be knowledgeable in the binocular function of the visual system, including unique visual demands such as computer eye and sports vision care.
  • Be acquainted with recent advances that are important to practice and patient management. Know the value and be able to perform careful and critical analysis of current literature for improving and enhancing knowledge and patient care ability. Be prepared for active involvement and to assume responsibility for their own continuing education and professional development.
  • Be capable of assessing community vision and eye care needs. Prepare for opening and operating a private practice.
  • Be able to establish appropriate interaction between themselves as providers and patients and ancillary office personnel and other inter-professional staff. Be able to apply relevant concepts from the behavioral sciences for the most efficacious optometric care of patients.
  • Be knowledgeable about vision care insurance coverage and familiar with diagnosis coding.
  • Be able to practice independently.