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IOBP at Waterloo

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by nomadic123, Jun 17, 2009.

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  1. nomadic123

    nomadic123

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    Hey guys,
    Does the IOBP at waterloo qualify you to work in the States? or do you have to take further examinations?
  2. UWOpt2009

    UWOpt2009 New Member

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    The IOBP doesn't qualify you to work in Canada, it only enables you to write the Canadian licensing exam (CSAO).

    I don't think it's recognized by the NBEO, but I'm not entirely sure. Isn't there a 'bridging program' somewhere in the US?
  3. jefguth

    jefguth Senior Member

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    No, in fact most states specifically require that a person hold a "Doctor of Optometry" degree....that basically eliminates all foreign grads.
  4. nomadic123

    nomadic123

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  5. nomadic123

    nomadic123

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    Does successfully completing the CSAO qualify you as an OD?

    Say a foreigner has a BOptom and goes through IOBP and passes CSAO. He is then licensed to practice in Canada. But does he practice under a BOptom or OD?

    It may seem like a silly question, but if I was a patient, I would rather see the Doctor of Optometry person rather than the Bachelor of Optometry person
  6. jefguth

    jefguth Senior Member

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    Generally, if you're a registered optometrist in Canada then you are permitted to use the title of "doctor" regardless of your education. If might be a little unethical to place the OD acronym behind your name, but Dr. Nomadic123, Optometrist would be perfectly fine.
  7. nomadic123

    nomadic123

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    hey can someone just clarify something for me: Is the IOBP recognized by the American NBEO? Can you sit the US National Boards if you only go through IOBP at Waterloo and not formally an entire OD program?
  8. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Veterinary Optometrist?

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    An OD seems to be a requirement for sitting the US boards.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  9. jefguth

    jefguth Senior Member

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    A state board may sponsor a optom that does not hold an OD, which allows them to write the NBEO exams, but I've have to guess that the chances of that happening are slim to none.
  10. Dogod

    Dogod

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    IOBP accepts any foreign optometrist or ophthalmologist from countries such as Nicaragua, Nigeria, China, India, Phillipines, UK, Costa Rica, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, ect. North American optometry is significantly advanced relative to the rest of the world where pre-opt is simply graduating high school. Optometrists in many countries perform as refracting opticians, and there is a question regarding established regulatory framework especially in foreign countries where optometry is relatively new. The same applicants would have to do at least 2 yrs of OD school in the States, but would earn the OD degree. There are concerns regarding IOBP, and the politics surrounding it. Compared to the US, the IOBP may be preferable to any foreigner claiming to be an eye doctor, although the US would likely not recognize the IOBP as qualification to sit for licensing exams.

    Qualifications and education of applicants are assessed for placement into one of 2 streams. Until last year, most if not all, went through Bridging 1 which is now 6wks (was 4wks until last year); there is also Bridging 2 - 48wks. Completing IOBP they then get to sit for the CSAO exams. Most fail; last year only 43% passed on first try. They get to re-write, but only need to re-write the sections they fail, recently increased to a maximum of 3 re-writes. Most US/Can. grads pass on first try. This allows them a license to practice optometry in Canada alongside those who have the OD degree through an ABEO-approved OD school in North America. The IOBP has the capacity to accept 50-100 foreigners annually, and there is concern this, combined with an increasing number of Canadians returning from US schools (over 90 this year), will contribute to the growing OD oversupply problem especially in urban areas in Canada. Waterloo has also gradually increased its class size from 60 to 90 starting a few years ago.

    This directly affects new grads who have to spend the time and money for 3 yrs pre-opt education then 4yrs OD school. And for example, TPA eligibility in Canada (which has been granted just in the last decade in most provinces), practicing OD's have to complete at least 100 hrs of TPA education; this takes about 2wks out of your practice. Yet the IOBP grad who comes from a country where they may not even have DPA's, let alone TPA's, may only have completed 6 wks in total. Yet they have been granted the same license to practice - can use the "doctor" title, just no degree.

    There are a few detailed threads on IOBP on ODWire; use the Search "IOBP" feature. There is also an article on International Optometry in the recent issue of Rev. of Optometry.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  11. jefguth

    jefguth Senior Member

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    CSAO candidates are not permitted to just continually retake the sections failed, they can only do so two additional times after the initial assessment. After that they must retake the entire set of exams. That said, I agree with your concerns.

    Speaking of TPA licensure, it might help if the CSAO examinations relevant to therapeutics really were ...umm, relevant and maybe just a little bit challenging... I find it particularly disconcerting that most of the provinces consider the Ocular Therapeutics component to be equivalent to the TMOD when these two exams are not even remotely similar in difficulty.
  12. Dogod

    Dogod

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    Actually, the CSAO reassessment policy was 2 rewrites before 2007, but since then, one can rewrite up to 3 times before having to do the whole thing again. Obviously it benefits the internationals since 99% of North Americans pass within 2 attempts.
    What are the re-write limits for other professionals? Likely only 1 or 2 re-writes; I doubt other professional bodies would be so lenient to allow as many as 3.
  13. Dogod

    Dogod

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    At a recent meeting, the Ontario Association of Optometrists announced their withdrawl of support for the IOBP program.
    No sure if that will initiate changes, but obviously the IOBP program is being scrutinized.
  14. UWOpt2009

    UWOpt2009 New Member

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    Interesting. Is there written proof somewhere to verify this? I can't find anything on the OAO website.
  15. Dogod

    Dogod

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    It was announced at the Annual General Meeting. Just have to wait until the minutes of the meeting are published.
  16. socal2014

    socal2014

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    so what does this effectively mean?

    Waterloo will not be graduating internationally trained OD's?
  17. Dogod

    Dogod

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    With the OAO withdrawing support, it can create awareness and the backing to put pressure in the right places for change. So no immediate change. The IOBP has already been under some scrutiny by the registration committee of the college.
  18. Tania M

    Tania M

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    Hi,

    anyone on here has completed PLA exam? I am planning on writing it this Feb 2014. Just wondering what to expect. How did you prepare? Do you have question papers? Thanks!
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