MRFREEZE

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2005
19
0
Status
During a recent school interview, the "future of Optometry" topic surfaced. The doctor conducting the interview said that he was certain that Opticians would eventually acquire rights to carry out eye examinations that are now routinely performed by ODs. However, I have also heard statements to the contrary. Just curious to know if anyone has any insight into this issue?
 

jchod

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2004
99
0
47
Utah
Status
They may eventually be able to refract. However without A LOT more education, they will NOT be able to do complete exams (dilated or undilated).
 

Phillygirl98

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2002
44
0
Just outside Philly, PA
Visit site
Status
Hey

Well right now I'm working as an optician in a retail optical chain. My manager has been working as an optician for around 15 years. I cannot see him ever becoming able to do eye exams. He is very good at what he does..and knows his stuff well concerning fitting people for glasses but as far as actually dealing with a patient in an exam room and having a direct impact on someone's vision..I don't see it happening. I think that if opticians want to do what optometrists do they should have to go to 4 years of optometry school for it. As for me, I was going to optometry school all along but I needed a job for a year...haha. That's just my thoughts on that. :)
 

cpw

It's a boy !!!
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2001
13,393
0
43
Tampa
Status
Optometrist
the first step would have to be unifiying the profession. In most states you don't even have to be a LICENSED optician to be an "optician". I know many people working as techs at stores that call themselves opticians when they really aren't. Until there's a national testing standard and requirement of at least a high school education it's going to be a loooong battle. (unless it's a state where this is already in place)
 

jefguth

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
819
0
British Columbia
Status
Optometrist
Are there any juristictions within the US that either allow an optican to refract or refract under the direction of an MD/DO?

In Canada, there are a few opticians using autorefractors. This is completely legal at the moment in BC, but in other provinces they must have an opthamologist sign the prescription. The OD are of course opposed and so is the Canadian Medical Association, but there really isn't anything they can do to prevent the practice.

I heard an optometry professor speak about how opticians in Alberta attempted to get the refraction under their scope using the claim that doing so would do no harm to the patients because there is no evidence that a full exam detects pathology. Of course it was easy for the OD's to discount this, and the opticians did not win.

I can't imagine that any juristictions (other than BC) will allow opticians to include refraction since there seems to be a considerable amount of evidence that full exams detect pathology in patients that do not present with any symptoms.

Unless they can demonstrate that this is in the public interest then I can't imagine it ever happening - opticians would definately need to upgrade their skills to meet the same standards of care.
 

Katalio

SDN Angel
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2004
250
0
Vancouver, BC
www.xanga.com
Status
Hi Jefguth,

I would like to clarify the statement in your first paragraph. As for now, BC opticians who uses automated system to check the prescription of a customer's eyes is not only an autorefractor. I believe that majority of the ppl who are currently not residing in BC assume that BC opticans only check ppl's eyes with an autorefractor. Even when I went for my interivew at PCO, my interviewer thought that BC opticians only had an autorefractor and rely completely on it. The truth is, 1.) Opticians in BC uses not only the autorefractor but also a computer assisted phoryptor also known as "eyelogic". 2.) Yes, although the accuracy of that system is very high if performed on a healthy individual, there is no way of detecting any signs of eye health or any irregularities.

Also, I thought Alberta also uses the "Eyelogic" system?

Link to BC opticians' view on "Eyelogic" :
http://www.cobc.ca/sighttesting.htm#1

Katalio


jefguth said:
Are there any juristictions within the US that either allow an optican to refract or refract under the direction of an MD/DO?

In Canada, there are a few opticians using autorefractors. This is completely legal at the moment in BC, but in other provinces they must have an opthamologist sign the prescription. The OD are of course opposed and so is the Canadian Medical Association, but there really isn't anything they can do to prevent the practice.

I heard an optometry professor speak about how opticians in Alberta attempted to get the refraction under their scope using the claim that doing so would do no harm to the patients because there is no evidence that a full exam detects pathology. Of course it was easy for the OD's to discount this, and the opticians did not win.

I can't imagine that any juristictions (other than BC) will allow opticians to include refraction since there seems to be a considerable amount of evidence that full exams detect pathology in patients that do not present with any symptoms.

Unless they can demonstrate that this is in the public interest then I can't imagine it ever happening - opticians would definately need to upgrade their skills to meet the same standards of care.
 

jefguth

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
819
0
British Columbia
Status
Optometrist
Hey Katalio,

Sorry, I didn't realize the eyelogic system was phoryptor. I think opticians are using the system all over canada. I know of an optical in my hometown in Ontario that advertises computerized sight test so I assume thats the eyelogic system.

The only difference is that in BC, opticians are now allowed to provide this service without medical or optometric oversight as required in the other provinces.
 

Katalio

SDN Angel
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2004
250
0
Vancouver, BC
www.xanga.com
Status
Hi Jefguth,

No prob, no need to apologize! =). It's pretty amazing if you guys can actually see one. It just looks like the phoryptor that OD uses execept it's all automated. THe optician just need to enter the customer's responses etc etc.

BC is kinda funny isn't it? heh.. actually, before, all results have to be sent to an OMD to verify and signed; however, OD's in BC pressured him pretty badly, so in the end, he quit. THen the optician had another OMD signing it, but OD's boot him off too.. heh.. its' a warfare in BC! =P

Cheerz,

Katalio


jefguth said:
Hey Katalio,

Sorry, I didn't realize the eyelogic system was phoryptor. I think opticians are using the system all over canada. I know of an optical in my hometown in Ontario that advertises computerized sight test so I assume thats the eyelogic system.

The only difference is that in BC, opticians are now allowed to provide this service without medical or optometric oversight as required in the other provinces.
 

jefguth

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
819
0
British Columbia
Status
Optometrist
Hey Katalio,

Are the opticians still seeking the signatures of OMD's for their prescriptions? I though the big deal was that they don't need it anymore...
 

Katalio

SDN Angel
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2004
250
0
Vancouver, BC
www.xanga.com
Status
jefguth said:
Hey Katalio,

Are the opticians still seeking the signatures of OMD's for their prescriptions? I though the big deal was that they don't need it anymore...
HIya,

Hmm..from my knowledge, they are... but then the OD's in BC pressure whoever is willing to sign it so I don't know if there is any currently. I've heard but not sure that an OD was willing to sign it, but then again the ODs' got rid of him as well. =P

I believe that most opticians won't mind sending the data to an OMD to verify and sign; however, OD's strongly opposes it because they feel it's a threat to the public health (which I agree), but then if we really think about it, it's partly optometrists fault as well because they want to take over the dispensing business as well. You don't really see MD's filling out drugs prescription.

Katalio
 

jefguth

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
819
0
British Columbia
Status
Optometrist
THe college of optometrists of ontario has filed an injuction to stop an optical store from using the eyelogic system. They claim that the optical is exceeding the scope of practice by comunicating a diagnosis, and dispensing before the supervising MD has reviewed the prescription.

read the text of the application for injunction here: http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/onsc/2003/2003onsc11137.html
 

Leroy

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2005
14
0
Status
jefguth said:
THe college of optometrists of ontario has filed an injuction to stop an optical store from using the eyelogic system. They claim that the optical is exceeding the scope of practice by comunicating a diagnosis, and dispensing before the supervising MD has reviewed the prescription.

read the text of the application for injunction here: http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/onsc/2003/2003onsc11137.html
That happened a long time ago (notice the date: June 2003)! The superior court judge ruled that the optical chain was practising outside their scope, and they were ordered to stop doing so.