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Do optometrists learn how to do surgery in optometry school?

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Bob_Barker27

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I was looking at the U. of Houston optometry school website last night, and I saw the following description of the 3rd year of the program:
"Lectures and laboratory courses cover advanced tapics in pediatric optometry, glaucoma, contact lenses, rehabilitative optometry, retinal and neurological disease, ophthalmic lasers, refractive surgery, environmental optometry, primary care optometry and practice management"

I didn't think optometrists were allowed to do any kind of surgery including laser. Any feedback will be appreciated.
 

cpw

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As of right now ODs cannot do laser procedures. But, you have to learn how they work etc if you're going to co-manage patients.

So yes.. we do fire lasers in lab. You get to do a peripheral iridotomy on a rabbit (and yes, he's sedated and no he's not put to sleep) if you want to. no one is forced to shoot lasers at the bunny if they dont want to. I did because i thought it was a great learning experience. You also get to do PRP on the rabbit as well. we also go to see how yag capsulotomy works by firing the laser at a simulated secondary membrane.

In Oklahoma, yes ODs can do laser surgery, but only PRK.

Even if you're never going to fire a laser.. in this age of laser surgery and co-management you have to know what you're managing and it's risks and benefits.
 

Bob_Barker27

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cpw said:
As of right now ODs cannot do laser procedures. But, you have to learn how they work etc if you're going to co-manage patients.

That makes sense, although it would seem that the opthamalogist would manage a laser surgery patient before and after since he is the one liable. Are optometrists worried that if more and more people have laser surgery, there might be less demand for optometrists to prescribe glasses and contact lenses? On an unrelated issue, I noticed this optometrist has started a petition opposing the opening of a new optometry school at UNC-Pembroke. He thinks 25-75 new optometry graduates a year is going to saturate the market and drive down salaries for optometries. This seems like a fairly small number of additional graduates to me. Is he just paranoid or is the job market for optometrists really that sensitive to any slight increase in the number of optometrists?
 

jefguth

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You need not worry about laser surgeries decreasing the demand for optometrists. In fact, it does quite the opposite; patients who have this procedure require (as mentioned) pre and post operative care. Furthermore, they will continue to need regular eye exams to check for pathology and also for refraction because those who do have this surgery will still experience deteriorating vision as they age. Besides, I can't imagine that there really are that many people opting for lasik - its still fairly expensive and has enough negative possible consequences to scare most people away. I would certainly rather go the route of Ortho-K contact lenses (despite the expense) long before lasik.
 

christie

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At PCO, we did the same laser procedures cpw described above, just not on a rabbit
 
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