OD Curriculum

The professional program leading to the Doctor of Optometry (OD) at The SUNY College of Optometry is four years in duration. The curriculum integrates the basic biological and vision sciences that form the foundation of clinical practice, teaches the fundamentals of optometry and develops critical thinking for patient care and clinical decision making. Patient care begins early and continues throughout all four years of the program with increasing responsibilities under the supervision of our clinical faculty at the University Eye Center (UEC) as well as through a minimum of two quarters during the fourth year at externship sites nationally and internationally.

The first two years of the program concentrate on integrating basic biological and visual sciences with clinical practice, while developing and understanding the theory and fundamentals of ocular examination, treatment and therapy. Students begin working in the UEC clinics in the first year and continue with greater responsibilities in subsequent years. Direct patient care begins in the spring of the second year. The third year integrates didactic and clinical teaching further and students care for patients in primary care and in various specialty services.

Clinical education in the fourth year is delivered in four, 12 week quarters. In the fourth year, students work as interns with patient care responsibilities and are assigned to multiple rotations through various clinics in the UEC and at least two external sites at various hospitals, other health care facilities and private practices as part of our externship program. Opportunities for rotations through one of the College’s international clinical affiliates also exist. After the successful completion of the fourth year, the Doctor of Optometry (OD degree is awarded. Once state licensing exams are passed, the graduate is qualified to begin practicing.

Course Catalog
Elective Catalog

Curriculum Features: Tracks and Integration

The curriculum is delivered in two 16-week semesters per year for the first three years. Individual courses may be conducted for a full semester or within an eight-week module. An additional 10-week summer session takes place in year three. Year four consists of four quarters beginning in the summer after year three.

The curriculum features seven tracks that extend throughout the four years:

Department of Biological and Vision Sciences

  • Systemic and Ocular Health
  • Refractive Conditions
  • Visual Perception and Sensorimotor Control

Department of Clinical Education

  • Clinical Examination – Optometric Theory and Procedures
  • Public/Community Health
  • Optometric Clinic
  • Integrative Seminar

The Integrative Seminar Track is designed to help students integrate clinical knowledge and skills with the basic sciences that form the foundation of the profession. The Integrative Seminars provide small-group learning environments that use clinical case studies to improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In the third year, the Integrative Seminar is directly tied to the student’s patient care assignments and takes place in the clinic in clinical care units called “pods”, which are comprised of small groups of students and two clinical faculty supervisors.

Electives on a variety of areas and advanced topics are offered in the summer and spring for third year students.

First Year

The scientific foundation for optometric practice is established in the first year. During this year, students are introduced to the profession of optometry, optometric theory and the elements of clinical practice. The program builds from the knowledge base acquired prior to professional school through prerequisites and sets the foundation for advanced didactic and clinical activities during the rest of the curriculum and into optometric practice. Students provide elements of patient care in the UEC. Integrative Seminar helps students tie the basic and clinic sciences together.

Fall Semester
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Biological and Vision Sciences

Fall Semester Systemic and Ocular Health
Human Bioscience I

BVS-121FA | 4.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Jerry Rapp
Human Bioscience I is the first of a three course sequence. This course provides instructions in principles of basic biochemistry, cellular physiology, histology, molecular biology and human nutrition with appropriate clinical correlations throughout the course. The framework of this course provides a foundation for the successive courses in the human bioscience sequence.

Gross Human Anatomy

BVS-106FA | 2.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: David Krumholz
This course is included in the curriculum because it is necessary that the optometrist understand the fundamental anatomy of the entire body in order to deal successfully with a specialized part of it. Gross Human Anatomy provides not only a basic foundation in human anatomy, which will be of use in later courses, but also an appreciation that the eye is not an isolated entity. The immediate objective of this course is to introduce the student to the structural organization of the human body at the macroscopic level. The course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the spatial and functional relationships of body systems, and to anatomical terminology. This will give the student an understanding of three-dimensional anatomical relationships, and enable the student to communicate effectively with other health care professionals. This course begins with the basics of gross human anatomy. A survey of the body’s major systems serves as a basis for which to understand regional anatomy and how disease might be caused. The head is covered in greater detail, concentrating on the anatomical systems that surround or support the eye and orbit.

Neuroanatomy

BVS-105FA | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Patricia Modica
The purpose of this course is to educate students about the basic structure and function of the human central nervous system. This encompasses human neuroanatomy as well as some associated elements of neurophysiology and neurology. Beginning at the cellular level and spanning the nervous system from the periphery through spinal cord, brainstem and cerebrum, the course will cover all the major functional systems, their pathways and the consequence of pathology. The long-term objective is to provide students with the capability to recognize neurological issues in patients based on an understanding of the relationship of the visual system to the rest of the nervous system in health and disease. In addition to illustrated lectures, there will be laboratory studies of the human brain and small group conferences in which the clinical significance of neurological systems will be emphasized.

Ocular Anatomy, Biochemistry & Physiology I

BVS-181FA | 2.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Richard Madonna
The OABP sequence is given as 2 courses in the Fall and Spring semesters of the first year. Modules are delivered that cover the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of the eye, related visual structures and the visual pathway. The course is designed to emphasize the anatomy and underlying physiology of the eye and visual system particularly in relationship to a variety of important clinical conditions. Course material taught in histology, gross anatomy, neuroanatomy, and sensory visual function is heavily integrated into OABP and is emphasized throughout the course.

In OABP I we cover the anatomy and histological structure of the outer and middle coats of the eye, the physiology of corneal transparency and the fundamentals of the eye’s regulation of fluid formation and flow. The course also includes segments on structure and function of the ocular appendages and the physiology and biochemistry of the tear film. The anatomy, development, molecular composition and metabolism of the lens are discussed in the context of changes in the lens that occur during aging, including the biochemistry of cataract formation. The neuroanatomical basis for pupillary and accommodative responses and their clinical context is also covered.

Refractive
Integrated Optics I

BVS-131FA | 3.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Steven Schwartz
This is the first in a three-course sequence on clinical optics. Students learn the fundamentals of geometrical and visual optics as they apply to clinical practice. Topics include refraction at spherical and plane surfaces; image formation; thin and thick lenses; spherical ametropia; accommodation; astigmatism and cylindrical lenses; prisms; depth of field; magnification; retinal image size; reflection; and aberrations. Problem-solving skills are emphasized with the goal of developing an intuitive sense of optics that supports successful clinical interventions. Laboratories provide students the opportunity to visualize material covered in lectures.

Visual Perception/Sensorimotor

Clinical Education

Fall Semester Clinical Examination
Optometric Theory I

CEX-141FB | 2.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Mark Rosenfield
This course will introduce the student to the theoretical basis for the clinical optometric examination, covering the analysis of clinical findings and appropriate testing procedures. The theoretical concepts underlying the clinical measurements of visual resolution, as well as the etiology and correction of refractive error will be examined. An evaluation of both objective and subjective techniques for quantifying refractive error will be included. Further, the etiology, measurement and clinical management of abnormal accommodative disorders will be introduced.

Clinical Optometry I

CEX-151FA | 2.5 Credits

Instructor of Records: Sarah Zuckerman/ Cathy Pace
The Clinical Optometry course is given as two courses in the Fall and the Spring of first year. The course will contain lecture, laboratory and clinical portions during both semesters. The lecture will focus on patient communication and case analysis. The patient communication portion will discuss how to approach a patient, perform a case history and proper medical documentation. Other topic discussions will include professionalism and ethics, cultural competence and interprofessional collaborative patient care. The case analysis portion will focus on performing patient-centric and problem-driven clinical examinations, clinical reasoning and interpretation of result. Other topic discussions will include examination and prescribing techniques for different refractive cases and development of differential diagnosis and illness scripts. The laboratory component will teach clinical techniques, proper interpretation of results and expand upon performing patient-centric and problem-driven clinical examinations. The laboratory will incorporate new technology into the traditional eye exam. During the clinical component of the course, students will act as an optometric assistant in the Primary Care clinic of the University Eye Center. Clinical Optometry I will focus on the assessment of visual acuity and determination of refractive error.

Clinic
Public Health
Optometric Practive in a Changing Health Care Environment

CEP-321A

Instructor of Record: Richard Soden
Rapid changes in health care and in optometric practice make it essential that graduating optometry students be well-versed in optometry’s role in the public health system. The increased scope of optometric practice has made the Doctor of Optometry a significant part of the overall health care team.  As a result, students will need to understand their own interests, goals and values so they may end up in a career path that is attractive to them. This course will provide each student with the knowledge, skills and background required for the development of a career plan.  The student will become familiar with the various modes of practice available to a recent graduate. Key elements of health care reform, the role of optometry in the public health system and as a member of an interdisciplinary team, will be highlighted along with discussions of essential non-clinical factors (e.g. Medicare, Coding and Billing, etc.) that each graduate will be required to know regardless of their chosen career path. A key goal of the course is to encourage students to explore the various opportunities available to them within the Profession of Optometry and to prepare them for that path.

Integrative Track
Integrative Seminar I

CEI-1FA | 2.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Susan Schuettenberg
This course teaches students how the material in the first year curriculum relates to their role as healthcare providers through a synthesis of lecture, clinical observation, case-based learning and small group discussion. Once a week, the entire class will attend a one-hour lecture with topics reflective of the ongoing course material being presented in other courses. For two additional hours per week, small seminar group observation and discussion will take place. The seminar meetings will reinforce the lecture concepts through clinical observation and case discussions relating to those observations. Lecture and small group discussions will include the participation of both basic and clinical science faculty in order to promote integration of the curricular material, and to show how the care provided is related to what is currently being learned. This will enable future clinicians to make informed clinical decisions, encourage critical thinking and promote lifelong independent learning.

Spring Semester
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Biological and Vision Sciences

Spring Semester Systemic and Ocular Health
Human Bioscience II

BVS-122SA | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Tracy Nguyen
This course is a continuation of Human Bioscience I that begins with instructions in the lympatic system, basic immunology and commone principles of pathological mechanisms followed by a system based approach to the discussion of the functional anatomy, physiology and pathology of organ systems. The organ systems covered in this course of the human bioscience sequence include the cardiovascular, blood and renal systems. Clinical correlations to the visual system is provided throughtout the course as appropriate.

Ocular Anatomy, Biochemistry & Physiology II

BVS-182SA | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Richard Madonna
The OABP sequence is given as 2 courses in the Fall and Spring semesters of the first year. Modules are delivered that cover the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of the eye, related visual structures and the visual pathway. The course is designed to emphasize the anatomy and underlying physiology of the eye and visual system particularly in relationship to a variety of important clinical conditions. Course material taught in histology, gross anatomy, neuroanatomy, and sensory visual function is heavily integrated into OABP and is emphasized throughout the course.

OABP II begins with the study of the formation and flow of aqueous and its relationship to intraocular pressure. It continues with the study of the anatomy of the vitreous, retina, optic nerve and visual pathway with emphasis on the anatomical basis of diseases of the posterior segment and neuro-ophthalmic system. The biochemistry of the visual process including the biochemistry and molecular biology of rhodopsin and cone pigments and the events that occur during the visual cascade will be studied including a discussion of color blindness, congenital night blindness and hereditary retinal degeneration. Nutritional and biochemical implications in age-related ocular disease are also explored. The course ends with the study of the development of the eye and visual system and related developmental anomalies.

Refractive
Integrated Optics II

BVS-132SB | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Steven Schwartz
This the second in a three -course sequence on clinical optics Students learn the fundamentals of particle-wave optics and related phenomena as they apply to image formation and clinical practice. Topics include quantum and wave optics; interference; diffraction; scatter; polarization; lasers; blur of the retinal image; monochromatic and polychromatic aberrations of lenses and the eye; photometry; entoptic images; optical axes and angles; and optometers. The goal is an intuitive understanding of the optical aspects of vision as related to clinical care. Laboratories provide students the opportunity to visualize material covered in lectures.

Visual Perception/Sensorimotor
Visual Function: Sensory

BVS-170SA | 4.0 Credits

Instructor of Records:  Module A: Steven H Schwartz Module B: Harold Sedgwick
This course covers monocular sensory processes and visual perception. Topics include spatial and temporal visual processes; visual adaptation; color vision; psychophysical methodology; information processing; gross electrical potentials; basic visual development and senescence; form, space, and motion perception; visuallyguided action; and basic visual-cognitive processes. Topics are discussed in terms of their normal function and clinically relevant deviations from normal. The anatomical and neurophysiological bases for visual performance are examined and related to clinical testing. Laboratories emphasize the measurement of these functions in assessing the visual capacities of individual patients and the demonstration of relevant visual phenomena.


Clinical Education

Spring Semester Clinical Examination
Optometric Theory II

CEX-142S  | 2.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Mark Rosenfield
This course is a continuation of Optometric Theory I. The clinical assessment of abnormal oculomotor function at both distance and near, and the etiologies underlying these conditions will be introduced. Treatment of abnormal accommodation, vergence and their synkinetic interactions will be discussed.

Clinical Optometry II

CEX-152SA  | 2.5 Credits

Instructors of Record: Sarah Zuckerman/Cathy Pace
This is the second course in the Clinical Optometry sequence. The course will contain lecture, laboratory and clinical portions during both semesters. The lecture will focus on patient communication and case analysis. The patient communication portion will discuss how to approach a patient, perform a case history and proper medical documentation. Other topic discussions will include professionalism and ethics, cultural competence and interprofessional collaborative patient care. The case analysis portion will focus on performing patientcentric and problem-driven clinical examinations, clinical reasoning and interpretation of result. Other topic discussions will include examination and prescribing techniques for different refractive cases and development of differential diagnosis and illness scripts. The laboratory component will teach clinical techniques, proper interpretation of results and expand upon performing patient-centric and problem-driven clinical examinations. The laboratory will incorporate new technology into the traditional eye exam. Clinical Optometry II will focus on the assessment of binocular vision and accommodation, anterior segment evaluation and provide an introduction to posterior segment evaluation.

Clinic
Public Health
Optometric Practive in a Changing Health Care Environment

CEP-321A

Instructor of Record: Richard Soden
Rapid changes in health care and in optometric practice make it essential that graduating optometry students be well-versed in optometry’s role in the public health system. The increased scope of optometric practice has made the Doctor of Optometry a significant part of the overall health care team.  As a result, students will need to understand their own interests, goals and values so they may end up in a career path that is attractive to them. This course will provide each student with the knowledge, skills and background required for the development of a career plan.  The student will become familiar with the various modes of practice available to a recent graduate. Key elements of health care reform, the role of optometry in the public health system and as a member of an interdisciplinary team, will be highlighted along with discussions of essential non-clinical factors (e.g. Medicare, Coding and Billing, etc.) that each graduate will be required to know regardless of their chosen career path. A key goal of the course is to encourage students to explore the various opportunities available to them within the Profession of Optometry and to prepare them for that path.

Integrative Track
Integrative Seminar II

CEI-1SA | 2.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Susan Schuettenberg
Integrative Seminar II is a continuation of Integrative Seminar I, with a slightly different emphasis. As students gain a greater knowledge base and become more familiar with the practice of optometry, the seminar will show how the delivery of care is based on the student’s foundation of knowledge. Clinical observations will continue and be augmented by the provision of direct patient care during clinical screenings. Multiple lecturers will continue to address the group as a whole, which serves to place an emphasis on how the basic science courses form the foundation for the practice of optometry. By observing and discussing patient care strategies, utilizing critical thinking skills and introducing the concept of evidence-based medicine and other resources, students will acquire the skills necessary for lifelong independent clinical learning and decision making.

Second Year

The knowledge acquired in the first year sets the foundation for the second year. Basic knowledge acquired during the second year is intended to enhance the clinical skills of students. The Integrative Seminar in second year continues to integrate basic and clinical sciences and includes more direct clinical exposure. Students take on greater patient care responsibilities throughout the year, culminating with their taking on full responsibilities for their first patients by the end of the second year.

Fall Semester
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Biological and Vision Sciences

Fall Semester Systemic and Ocular Health
Human Bioscience III

BVS-223FA | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Suresh Viswanathan
This is the third and final course in the human bioscience sequence that adopts a system based approach to the functional anatomy, physiology and pathology of the renal endocrine, respiratory, gastrointestinal and reproductive systems. Additionally, the pathophysiology of the skin, bone, and hematopoietic system will also be covered. As with the previous course in this sequence, clinical correlations to the visual system is provided throughtout the course as appropriate.

Microbiology

BVS-204FA | 2.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Ann Beaton
This course imparts knowledge about organisms that are responsible for causing human disease, in particular ocular disease. The course begins with basic immunology encompassing the specifics of innate and adaptive immunity, inflammation, humoral and cell mediated immunity, hypersensitivity, complement pathways and ocular immune privilege. The course includes information about bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses and encompasses information about their structure, growth, genetics, classification and pathogenesis always keeping in mind ocular implications. There is an emphasis on understanding how organisms acquire antibiotic resistance and the public health implications for appropriate prescription and utilization of antibiotics. Organisms that play a role in ocular disease will be highlighted along with their clinical presentations. In addition, other important public health information in terms of immunizations and which disinfection techniques are most efficacious is imparted to students that may impact not only their clinical practice but their personal health and well-being.

Pharmacology I

BVS-205FB | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Miduturu Srinivas
This course is designed to acquaint students with general principles of drug action on organ systems, including the eye. The methods of administration, pharmacological actions, clinical applications and adverse effects of drugs in current clinical use will be considered in detail.

Refractive
Integrated Optics III

BVS-233FA | 3.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Mark Rosenfield
In this course, students will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate modern ophthalmic lenses, and to understand their use in today’s world. The optical and physical properties of ophthalmic prisms and lenses are covered in depth, including lens materials, design, standards, aberrations, safety, absorption, magnification and verification. The section on environmental optometry will cover the use of protective eyewear, as well as evaluating contemporary visual demands. Frame specification, design, selection and adjustment will also be discussed. Laboratories are geared to developing skills in frame selection, verification and dispensing.

Visual Perception/Sensorimotor
Visual Function: Sensorimotor I

BVS-271FA | 2.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Jordan Pola
This course is concerned with oculomotor behavior and physiology. It provides the student with a broad appreciation of the characteristics of eye movements and the functional properties of the mechanisms (e.g., neurophysiological networks, extraocular muscles) responsible for generating these movements. A central feature of the course is the utilization of control systems theory as a means to integrate and simplify some the complexities of the oculomotor behavioral and physiological data. As well as lectures, the course includes laboratory studies of basic quantitative aspects of fast and slow eye movements, and also the manner in which simple functional models of the oculomotor system can account for both normal and abnormal eye movements.

Visual Function: Sensorimotor II

BVS-272FA | 2.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Jingyun Wang
This course is an analysis of the geometrical, psychophysical and physiological sensory and motor aspects of binocular vision, including their clinical implications. Topics include visual direction and correspondence, binocular summation/averaging, rivalry, fusion, the horopter, stereopsis, optically-based perceptual distortions/ adaptation and aniseikonia, fixation disparity and vergence/accommodation motor/perceptual interactions. Laboratory sessions cover many of these topics.


Clinical Education

Fall Semester Clinical Examination
Clinical Optometry III

CEX-253FA | 3.0 Credits

Instructors of Record: Joan K. Portello/ Amy Steinway
The Clinical Optometry III course considers disorders of the anterior and posterior segments of the eye together with the tools used to analyze, diagnose and manage these conditions. This course adds to the skills learnt in the Optometric Theory I and II and Clinical Optometry I and II courses with advanced proficiency in the slit lamp examination, including contact and non-contact funduscopy, gonioscopy, and applanation tonometry. Students will develop binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy skills using both simulators and live subjects. The use of diagnostic pharmaceutical agents will be covered, as well as advanced diagnostic procedures such as anterior segment optical coherence tomography and ultrasonography of the anterior and posterior segment. Students will be encouraged to focus on the interpretation of results, critical reasoning, and developing appropriate management plans. To gain additional clinical exposure, students will continue to perform pre-testing procedures in the primary care clinic throughout the semester.

Clinic
Public Health
Integrative Track
Integrative Seminar III

CEI–2FA | 2.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Teresa Lowe
This course is designed to facilitate the student’s transition into clinical practice by using an integrative approach. The course serves as an educational vehicle for the student to develop clinical thinking in becoming a Doctor of Optometry. In the Integrative Track, the student uses case studies for developing intellectual skills founded on informed clinical decision making, critical thinking, independent and collaborative learning. Students develop a foundation for optometric practice by employing scientific knowledge, informational resources and clinic participation. Through a synthesis of classroom teaching, case-based learning, group activities and clinic participation, the student will form an individualized patient evaluation, assessment and plan. The highest standards of professional conduct and responsibility will be emphasized throughout the course.

Spring Semester
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Biological and Vision Sciences

Spring Semester Systemic and Ocular Health
Ocular Disease I

BVS-251SA | 4.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Mitchell Dul
The course is the first in a series of three courses detailing the pathogenesis, physiologic response, clinical manifestations, treatment and rehabilitation of conditions of the body and eye in response to local and systemic pathologic processes (e.g., infection, trauma, neoplasm) and disorders (e.g., congenital) with emphasis on the conditions of the anterior segment of the eye, related systemic conditions and the glaucomas. Epidemiological data is included to allow students to differentiate between high probability and/ or high risk conditions and low probability and/or low risk conditions. Previous course work in anatomy, physiology, pathology, epidemiology, monocular sensory processing, pharmacology and systemic medicine will provide the student with the foundation for understanding the principles and practices covered in this course.

(A) Clinical Medicine Pharmacology II

BVS-225SA | 1.0 Credit

Instructor of Record: Xiaoying Zhu
This course will consist of group discussions that are case-based and reinforce the material presented within the clinical medicine and ocular disease courses. Team-based learning will be emphasized. Homework assignments will include cases that each team will complete before the group discussion. Answers to the homework 21 assignments will be discussed during the group discussion. Discussion groups may include instruction of certain physical exam techniques, such as cranial nerve testing, lymph node assessment and others.

Refractive
Contact Lenses I

BVS-261SA | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: David Libassi
This is the first half of an extensive course spanning two semesters on the art and science of prescribing contact lenses. This course will develop the principles of contact lens physiology and optics, and integrate them with your understanding of the cornea, tear film, and eyelid anatomy. Ocular measurements necessary for contact lens design will be correlated with on-eye evaluation of soft and rigid contact lenses. Oxygen requirements for safe lens wear will be contrasted for daily wear soft and rigid lenses, extended wear hydrogel lenses, and siliconehydrogel lenses worn for continuous wear. This course emphasizes standard soft and rigid contact lens design, fitting and prescribing, as well as problem-solving in order to prepare you for fitting basic types of contact lenses as you start patient care. The laboratory sessions will support the lectures, providing the student with skills needed for lens handling, verification, pre-exam testing, lens selection, on-eye evaluation, patient education, patient education, patient instruction and problem solving.

Visual Perception/Sensorimotor
Anomalies of Visual Sensorimotor Function I

BVS-281SA | 2.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Myoung Hee (Ester) Han
This course will concentrate on the diagnosis and treatment of non-strabismic binocular, accommodative, and oculomotor conditions. The course will explain the prevalence of functional sensorimotor vision disorders and discuss current research. Students will be able to choose and understand the appropriate clinical tests, to discuss clinical findings with patients, and to share relevant information with other professionals. The lab will familiarize students with hands-on testing and will provide the basic foundation to design and implement an optometric vision therapy program.


Clinical Education

Spring Semester Clinical Examination
Clinical Optometry IV

CEX-254SA | 3.0 Credits

Instructors of Record: Joan K. Portello/Amy Steinway
Clinical Optometry IV continues the Optometric Theory and Clinical Optometry course sequence held through the first and second year. The major emphasis of this course is the capability to examine patients in the University Eye Center. In particular, the ability to integrate previously learned skills in history taking, refractive and binocular testing and ocular health assessment in conjunction with optimal patient communication and interpersonal skills so that the student can efficiently develop a viable assessment and treatment plan. The course will also follow an interdisciplinary approach to facilitate optimal patient care outcomes.

Clinic
Public Health
Optometric Practive in a Changing Health Care Environment

CEP-321A

Instructor of Record: Richard Soden (This course continues throughout the curriculum)
Rapid changes in health care and in optometric practice make it essential that graduating optometry students be well-versed in optometry’s role in the public health system. The increased scope of optometric practice has made the Doctor of Optometry a significant part of the overall health care team. As a result, students will need to understand their own interests, goals and values so they may end up in a career path that is attractive to them. This course will provide each student with the knowledge, skills and background required for the development of a career plan. The student will become familiar with the various modes of practice available to a recent graduate. Key elements of health care reform, the role of optometry in the public health system and as a member of an interdisciplinary team, will be highlighted along with discussions of essential non-clinical factors (e.g. Medicare, Coding and Billing, etc.) that each graduate will be required to know regardless of their chosen career path. A key goal of the course is to encourage students to explore the various opportunities available to them within the Profession of Optometry and to prepare them for that path.

Integrative Track
Integrative Seminar IV

CEI-2SA | 2.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Teresa Lowe
This course is an extension of Integrative Seminar III. The format consists of small group, lecture and clinic. Having acquired an increased knowledge and skills base, more complex critical thinking and clinical decision making skills will be stressed. There will be more emphasis placed on self-evaluation and self-learning as a means of professional development. Participation in the patient examination will be increased. Each student will present a formal slide show citing current literature.

Third Year

In the third year students continue to take didactic courses in areas of ocular disease, contact lenses, binocular vision, public health and optometric practice. In addition, students are required to take two elective courses in the third year. Electives on special and advanced topics are offered during the summer and spring of the third year. While course work continues, students are also providing patient care in the primary care service in the UEC. Students are assigned to small clinical teaching units – called pods –comprised of students and two doctors. Each pod meets weekly for a full day clinical session and includes an integrative seminar where patient care is discussed. Students are assigned to a single pod for 16 weeks, spending 8 weeks with each of the two faculty members during the semester.

Summer Semester
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Biological and Vision Sciences

Summer Semester Systemic and Ocular Health
Refractive
Visual Perception/Sensorimotor
Pediatric Optometry and Vision Development

BVS-319RA | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Matthew Vaughn
Pediatric Optometry and Vision Development covers the facts and testing of the developing human and his/her vision during the infant, toddler, and childhood years. The course is intended to give the third year student an understanding of the developmental processes involved in the comprehension of both the normal and abnormal development of visual spatial concepts. The first half of the course starts with a survey of general physical and psychological development, followed by basic science of visual development. The course applies this knowledge to the pediatric optometric exam and prescribing for infants and children. Clinical application of research in perceptual and cognitive development and new techniques used in evaluation with discussion of the practical aspects involved in examining and treating children from birth to five years of age, as well as those with learning related vision problems are presented. Review of relevant research of the efficacy of perceptual training and communication skills in vision therapy will also be covered.


Clinical Education

Summer Semester Clinical Examination
Clinic
Optometric Clinic I

CEC-341RA | 2.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Julia Appel
The third year clinical program provides the intern with a broad exposure to all facets of primary care optometry. Rotations are in the areas of primary care and in various specialty clinics. During these rotations, interns have patient-care responsibilities under the supervision of clinical faculty. The rotations are designed to allow the intern increasing levels of clinical responsibility and patient care opportunities.

Public Health
Epidemiology

CEP-304RA | 1.0 Credit

Instructor of Record: Mark Sherstinsky
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems. As such, epidemiology is the basic science of public health and underpins the practice of health care at multiple levels (global, national, community and clinical). This course is designed to introduce optometry students to epidemiologic principles and research methods, with emphases on evidence-based clinical practice and public health in eye care. The overall course mission is to teach the student clinician to describe and understand the clinical presentation of disease and healthrelated events in a measured and evidence-based way. Course goals include an introduction to the following: a more critical and measured reading of ophthalmic and medical literature; the application of current and best research evidence to clinical care; study design and its translation into clinical care; and a community perspective to individual patient care.

Integrative Track
Integrative Seminar V

CEI-3RA | 0.0 Credit

Instructor of Record: Julia Appel
The emphasis of Integrated Seminar is on developing the ability to think critically and obtaining the skills necessary for independent, life-long learning. Daily chart review and end of day case discussion foster clinical reasoning ability. Over the year, interns will submit clinical case analyses and professional writing samples to the IOR to assess written communication ability and competence of clinical thinking. There will be informal class discussions tackling the use of clinical reasoning in topics of patient care.

Fall Semester
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Biological and Vision Sciences

Fall Semester Systemic and Ocular Health
Ocular Disease II

BVS-352FA | 4.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Kimberley Poirier-Schmidt
Ocular Disease II is the second in a series of three. Ocular disease courses detail the pathogenesis, physiologic response, clinical manifestations, treatment, and rehabilitation of conditions of the body and eye in response to local and systemic pathologic processes and disorders. This course will concentrate on conditions of the posterior segment of the eye and related systemic conditions. This course will discuss selecting and utilizing appropriate methods of evaluation to differentially diagnose diseases of the posterior segment and to initiate or direct the patient toward appropriate treatment.

Refractive
Visual Perception/Sensorimotor
Anomalies of Visual Sensorimotor Function II

BVS-382FA | 2.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Audra Steiner
Through two hours weekly lecture and one-and-one-half hours weekly lab, students will gain competence in the diagnosis and treatment of strabismus and amblyopia. Prevalence, incidence, public health impact, and implications for limitations in vocational and avocational pursuits will be presented. Coursework presents the full scope of impact of amblyopia and strabismus from a sensory and neurosensory perspective. Comorbid accommodative, binocular, and oculomotor dysfunctions and the psychosocial impact of the conditions will be considered. Students will master diagnostic skills necessary to develop a patient-centered treatment plan. They will understand the utility of refractive correction, occlusion, vision therapy, and surgical referral. Students will learn to determine when reduced vision or strabismus are signs of an underlying vision or health concern, how to assess the urgency of such concerns, and appropriate professional communication necessary to facilitate care.

Contact Lenses II

BVS-362FA | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Eva Duchnowski
This course will introduce the principles of advanced contact lens fitting. The application of a variety of gas permeable, soft and hybrid lens designs will be discussed. The course will teach students fitting techniques for corneal dystrophies/degenerations, presbyopia, aphakia, the post-surgical or traumatic eye, prosthetics, torics and orthokeratology.


Clinical Education

Fall Semester Clinical Examination
Clinic
Optometric Clinic II

CEC-342FA | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Julia Appel
This course is a continuation of Optometric Clinic I. The third year clinical program provides the intern with a broad exposure to all facets of primary care optometry. Rotations are in the areas of primary care and in various specialty clinics. During these rotations, interns have patient-care responsibilities under the supervision of clinical faculty. The rotations are designed to allow the intern increasing levels of clinical responsibility and patient care opportunities.

Public Health
Integrative Track
Integrative Seminar VI

CEI-3FB | 0.0 Credit

Instructor of Record: Julia Appel
The emphasis of Integrated Seminar is on developing the ability to think critically and obtaining the skills necessary for independent, life-long learning. Daily chart review and end of day case discussion foster clinical reasoning ability. Over the year, interns will submit clinical case analyses and professional writing samples to the IOR to assess written communication ability and competence of clinical thinking. There will be informal class discussions tackling the use of clinical reasoning in topics of patient care.

Spring Semester
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Biological and Vision Sciences

Spring Semester Systemic and Ocular Health
Ocular Disease III

BVS-353SA | 4.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Patricia Modica
This course is the third in a series of three courses detailing the pathogenesis, physiologic response, clinical manifestations, treatment and rehabilitation of conditions of the body and eye in response to local and systemic pathologic and developmental processes and disorders. Emphasis is on the conditions of the neuro-ophthalmic and neurologic systems, including psychiatric conditions and acquired brain injury. It also integrates additional medical topics that include cardiac disease, endocrinology. Material is presented in a fashion that includes integration of ocular and systemic medical concepts as well as medical, surgical and rehabilitative management concepts. Epidemiological data is included to allow students to differentiate between high-probability and/or high-risk conditions and low probability and/or low risk conditions. Previous course work in neuro-anatomy, physiology, pathology, epidemiology, pharmacology and systemic medicine will provide the student with the foundation for understanding the principles and practices covered in this course.

Refractive
Visual Perception/Sensorimotor

Clinical Education

Spring Semester Clinical Examination
(A) Low Vision

CEX-349SA |1.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Rebecca Marinoff/Richard Soden
As the population continues to age, optometrists will be confronted with a greater need to manage their visually impaired patients with low vision rehabilitation. This course will overview the evaluation, management and treatment options for individuals who are visually impaired and legally blind. After obtaining an appropriate case history, students will learn how to perform a series of functional tests to evaluate the visual capabilities of the patient. Ultimately the student will be able to prescribe the appropriate optical and non-optical devices for their patients, as well as appropriately refer for additional services. In addition, students will learn what low vision rehabilitation encompasses. This course will also cover the psycho-social aspects that patients with low vision may experience as well as the community resources available to visually impaired individuals. It is expected that after completing this course, students will be able to apply the knowledge they receive by performing low vision examinations in clinical settings.

Clinic
Optometric Clinic III

CEC-353SA | 3.0 Credits

Instructor of Record: Julia Appel
This course is a continuation of Optometric Clinic I and II. The third year clinical program provides the intern with a broad exposure to all facets of primary care optometry. Rotations are in the areas of primary care and in various specialty clinics. During these rotations, interns have patient-care responsibilities under the supervision of clinical faculty. The rotations are designed to allow the intern increasing levels of clinical responsibility and patient care opportunities.

Public Health
Optometric Practice in a Changing Health Care Environment (B) (Conclusion)

CEP-321SA | 2.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Richard Soden
Rapid changes in health care and in optometric practice make it essential that graduating optometry students be well-versed in optometry’s role in the public health system. The increased scope of optometric practice has made the Doctor of Optometry a significant part of the overall health care team. As a result, students will need to understand their own interests, goals and values so they may end up in a career path that is attractive to them. This course will provide each student with the knowledge, skills and background required for the development of a career plan. The student will become familiar with the various modes of practice available to a recent graduate. Key elements of health care reform, the role of optometry in the public health system and as a member of an interdisciplinary team, will be highlighted along with discussions of essential non-clinical factors (e.g. Medicare, Coding and Billing, etc.) that each graduate will be required to know regardless of their chosen career path. A key goal of the course is to encourage students to explore the various opportunities available to them within the Profession of Optometry and to prepare them for that path.

Public Health

CEP-310SA | 2.5 Credits

Instructor of Record: Mort Soroka
This course introduces the student to major health policy issues and examines the role of government in the health care system. Much of government policy relates to the payment systems of Medicare and Medicaid and regulation. Health care reform legislation impacts on all financing programs; private and governmental. New organizational structures such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) and health care exchanges, will impact on the delivery and quality of care. The course introduces basic principles (such as supply and demand and quality assurance) in health care economics. The economics of health care markets and provider payment systems, especially managed care and third party programs and vision plans are covered. Of special emphasis is the role of optometry in the Medicare and Medicaid program and managed care and coding in third party programs. This course prepares optometry students to analyze and debate health care policy issues. Sessions are designed to help students understand how politics, economics, professional, social and ethical values contribute to health policy development and implementation. Specific policy issues reviewed include interprofessional relations, licensure, board certification, professional standards, cost containment, 25 equity and access to care, quality improvement electronic medical records, complementary and alternative medicine, managed care systems, health care law, workforce and health care ethics. The course also addresses health law, health care reform, quality assurance, professional standards, clinical practice guidelines and regulation, disease management strategies, health disparities and health literacy and emerging legislative efforts and initiatives within health care. The history of research ethics, medical research oversight, institutional review boards, privacy and HIPAA are also discussed.

Integrative Track
Integrative Seminar VII

CEI-3SA | 0.0 Credit

Instructor of Record: Julia Appel
The emphasis of Integrated Seminar is on developing the ability to think critically and obtaining the skills necessary for independent, life-long learning. Daily chart review and end of day case discussion foster clinical reasoning ability. Over the year, interns will submit clinical case analyses and professional writing samples to the IOR to assess written communication ability and competence of clinical thinking. There will be informal class discussions tackling the use of clinical reasoning in topics of patient care.

Fourth Year

Students request and are assigned to four clinical rotations during the fourth year. Rotations take place in a number of carefully selected internal and external sites in order to allow students to experience a greater variety of clinical environments. These environments expose fourth year students to a diversity of ocular and general conditions among patients of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. Students must receive exposure in the core areas of refractive care, binocular vision, ocular disease/trauma and interprofessional practice. At least two rotations must be at external clinical affiliates.