Difference between optometry schools?

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by J.opt, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. J.opt

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    Difference between optometry schools?

    Hi, right now I?m in the process of deciding which optometry schools I am going to apply for. I?ve gotten information packages from some schools and I?m still waiting for the rest to come in.

    Is there any real difference among the schools?
    Price is a big factor; I?ll have to pay out of state tuition (because I?m foreign), and some school?s prices are just out of my league. I?ve heard that Berkeley and Ohio St. are pretty tough and have highly competitive programs, and I also was told to stay away from the schools in Florida and Puerto Rico.

    I read in the Internet that some schools emphasize research while others emphasize patient care experience, but they don?t name specific schools. I have read some trends from students complaining about the lack of contact lens exposure in some schools as well.

    What do you guys think?

    J.
     
  2. one major difference that I've noticed is that some schools are interested in turning out clinicians, while others are interested in turning out people who do research and clinic. For example, ICO (sigh:love: ) is completely clinic based. IU and NEWENCO however, are very into research. So you might be able to narrow it down depending on what type of school you want to go to.
     
  3. TPMOH

    TPMOH Senior Member
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    One thing you might consider when choosing a school is when in the program you start learning the optometric exam procedures. Some schools, like NOVA in Florida, start you off with an optometric methods class the very 1st semester, while Ohio State doesn't get into optometric methods until the 2nd year- the whole first year just heavily emphases the sciences and optics. It all depends on how you like to learn- my preference is the OSU approach since I like to learn the theory and background info 1st before I put something into practice so I understand why I'm doing something. Others prefer to jump into the practical stuff right away.

    Also, you should research the 1st time passage rates on Part I of the optometry boards for each of the schools you are interested in applying to. OSU has had a 1st time passage rate from 92-100% the last 10 years or so, with a couple recent classes at 100%. The national average of all of the schools is around 70-75%. If a school has poor stats on the boards, like around 50-60% or so, I would be concerned with going there. Just some thoughts to consider when choosing a school. Good luck.
     
  4. christie

    christie Senior Member
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    TPMOH is right, learning clinical skills early on is benefiical.

    AT PCO we already started clinical skills, like visual acuity, auto ref/auto K's, FDT, tonometry, stereopsis, color vision, and history taking. Next semester starts off with Retinoscopy. Also, with PCO's new currculum, we are taking Ophthalmic applications/optics - all about glasses prisms, decentration, etc... In the old curriculum, it was in the second year.

    PCO is a private school, but not as pricy as say NEWENCO. PCO has contracts with some states as well.

    PCO is such a great school but a tremendous amount of work!

    Good luck in choosing the right school for you!
     
  5. christie

    christie Senior Member
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    I just reread TPMOH's comment, opps i made a mistake - he prefers learning clinical skills alittle later on- sorry, i should read more carefully:rolleyes:
     
  6. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    Well, at UHCO you start learning clinical skills your first day of classes. By third semester you've learned an entire comprehensive eye exam and you take the school clinical competency exam. Fourth semester you start seeing patients. (go two hour eye exams!) ;) The exposure to clinic so early has been great for me, as it encourages me to show me where I'm going with my basic science classes. Although, trying to take 18 hours and prep for the competency exam all in the same semester gets to be a little much (especially with Pharm in there).

    All in all.. you have to look at the programs of each of the school's you're applying to. Yes, UHCO has a great research program, but they don't push it on you.. if you're interested great, if not.. their clinical program is excellent too. Berkeley seemed to be to be a VERY heavy research school, but they're working on advancing their clnical program. SCCO was VERY clinical and I really loved their facilities. (it was just very pricy)

    Hope all of this rambling helps. Good luck in your decisions! :D
     
  7. J.opt

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  8. TPMOH

    TPMOH Senior Member
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    I've also tried to find board scores on the web in the past and was unsuccessful. You will probably have to ask each school you contact to give you passage rate information.
     
  9. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    Just make sure the schools gives you FIRST TIME pass rate .. and not the one they put on the brochure which has an astrick next to it saying (at graduation in fine print). You want FIRST TIME pass rates.
     
  10. CherryIceeQueen

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    I've interviewed at several schools and have been told that:

    PCO focuses more on ocular disease, primary care, and clinical experience
    OSU focuses more on contact lenses and research
    IU focuses more on research
    NOVA focuses more on clinical experience
     
  11. jefguth

    jefguth Senior Member
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    I really don't believe that board pass rates are that critical. Basically, Part I is the hardest by far, its entirely academic and basic science related. I don't care what school you go to they will at least prepare you for all that, dare I say useless, garbage.

    That said, they just changed the structure of boards this year, so my experience may no longer apply.
     
  12. ML1983

    ML1983 PCO Class of 2010
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    PCO's the only school to start rotations earlier. I'm a 3rd yr on my 5th month of rotations and no other 3rd yrs from other schools have started yet. I love it! The weather is definitely warmer in LA than Philly :D
     
  13. blysssful

    blysssful SUNY c/o 2013
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    I think the OP has probably made up his/her mind by now... it's a 7 y/o thread :laugh:
     
  14. 362.04

    362.04 SDN Mentor
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    "..about the lack of contact lens exposure in some schools as well...."

    This is actually a problem for all optometry schools. Where once the contact lens faculty had been the major draw for a particular school and was the basis of much political advantage, it is has slipped significantly.

    However, it is still possible to get contact lens exposure (pre-doctoral) if you are willing to sacrifice some of the "away" or "ocular disease only" electives and choose a contact lens elective over and above the usual clinical experience.

    Lastly, you might want to ask the contact lens companies which schools get the most in contact lens-related external funding. In those schools, it is likely that the contact lens experience might be richer.
     
  15. OpticalBlackOut

    Optometrist 7+ Year Member

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    On a related question,
    would employers hire graduates because they went to a certain institution? Assuming that these graduates have passed boards, do certain schools have a better reputation for current optometrists?
     
  16. Eye-Spy

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    From talking to hiring ODs, I understand that overall once you're out you are an OD and that's all that matters. As long as you pass boards and get licensed, you're good. Most places just look at your qualifications (OD, license, maybe residency) and then go by your personality and whether or not you'll be a good fit in the practice setting.

    That said, I have also heard that some docs prefer to hire fellow alums from their own school, so picking a larger school like ICO could be an advantage in this respect (depending on where you want to practice). haha not that that matters for me -- I have every intention of going back to Canada to practice where most people graduated from Waterloo.

    Off topic... what's with people digging up these super old threads??
     
  17. eyepoker

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    hmm....does anybody know about this for SUNY??
    seems like our CL floor is always pretty quiet every time when i observe in clinic.
     

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