traveljunky

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Dec 4, 2007
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Hello Everyone,

I would like to start a pre-optometry club at my university, but do not know what types of programs or activites such clubs participate in. So I am asking anyone who has/ is part of an opto club to share their experiences. Any thoughts and comments are welcomed.

Thankyou very much for your time :) !
 

mathcod

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Dec 2, 2008
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intro to optometry profession
intro to optomcas
timeline for the average pre-opt student
intro to OAT
practice OAT workshops
interview workshops, do's and don'ts, what to wear, etc
fundraising for trips to opt schools or for socials or for charity
opportunities to volunteer or help get extra curriculars (besides holding officers)

speakers from opt schools or colleges

If you're school has a pre-optometry adviser or a health advising service, best bet is to be in touch with them for support.
 
May 31, 2009
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I did a glasses drive with my pre-optometry club. Even in a troubled economy, people usually have old, used pairs of glasses lying around their house that they don't wear anymore. And it doesn't require any monetary donations. You can give the glasses to the Lions Club. Or you can give them to SVOSH (an organization found at most optometry schools), where optometry students then go overseas to prescribe the glasses to less fortunate people who need them.

Our club also had a Leader Dogs for the Blind dinner where we auctioned off gift cards and other items donated by local businesses. The club then matched the donations raised by the auction and presented a check to a representative from Leader Dogs at the benefit.
 

xmattODx

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I did a glasses drive with my pre-optometry club. Even in a troubled economy, people usually have old, used pairs of glasses lying around their house that they don't wear anymore. And it doesn't require any monetary donations. You can give the glasses to the Lions Club. Or you can give them to SVOSH (an organization found at most optometry schools), where optometry students then go overseas to prescribe the glasses to less fortunate people who need them.
Up front I want to say that I don't intend the following post to be construed as picking on you. I stumbled across your post and it happened to mention a pet peeve of mine.

For your enjoyment I present a short section of a paper I wrote:

"Although the use of recycled spectacles has been a long-used strategy, it is discouraged by the WHO Refractive Error Working Group (REWG), and no study was found that supports its utility or benefit for patients.

The WHO REWG describes the collection and distribution of used spectacles as a well-intentioned but not a cost-effective strategy. They raise quality control concerns, as well as concerns with patients not receiving spectacles that are correct for their refractive error. Importantly, the REWG points out that the use of recycled spectacles is not helpful in the development of a sustainable refractive error eye care system because it creates a dependence on outside sources."
 
Last edited:
Jul 12, 2009
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Pre-Optometry
I'm glad I ran across your post! There is no pre-opt club at my university, and I'm thinking about starting one. However, I'm just concerned with time commitment and what to do once it gets started! Plus, there is no pre-opt major (or concentration) at my school and no optometry school within about 6 hours driving, so I'm worried there will be no interest in joining.
 

zyg0te

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Jan 16, 2007
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Optometrist
Up front I want to say that I don't intend the following post to be construed as picking on you. I stumbled across your post and it happened to mention a pet peeve of mine.

For your enjoyment I present a short section of a paper I wrote:

"Although the use of recycled spectacles has been a long-used strategy, it is discouraged by the WHO Refractive Error Working Group (REWG), and no study was found that supports its utility or benefit for patients.

The WHO REWG describes the collection and distribution of used spectacles as a well-intentioned but not a cost-effective strategy. They raise quality control concerns, as well as concerns with patients not receiving spectacles that are correct for their refractive error. Importantly, the REWG points out that the use of recycled spectacles is not helpful in the development of a sustainable refractive error eye care system because it creates a dependence on outside sources."
I always assumed VOSH or LC grinded new lenses for the donated frames.
 

xmattODx

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I always assumed VOSH or LC grinded new lenses for the donated frames.
Nope. They use the old frame and old lenses. They are typically sorted by right eye prescription and then you sort through the box looking for something close to the right eye and close to the left. Seg height/PD are ignored. Aniso and axis are as close as possible.

The unsustainability of this care (depending on donations) is probably an even larger problem than the suitability of the glasses prescription to the patient's.
 

blysssful

SUNY c/o 2013
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Aug 9, 2007
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Nope. They use the old frame and old lenses. They are typically sorted by right eye prescription and then you sort through the box looking for something close to the right eye and close to the left. Seg height/PD are ignored. Aniso and axis are as close as possible.

The unsustainability of this care (depending on donations) is probably an even larger problem than the suitability of the glasses prescription to the patient's.
But even if this isn't an ideal situation, wouldn't it be temporarily better than the alternative (no glasses at all) until a sustainable system were put in place? Do you think that the donation of glasses would decrease the motivation to create a sustainable system?
 

xmattODx

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But even if this isn't an ideal situation, wouldn't it be temporarily better than the alternative (no glasses at all) until a sustainable system were put in place? Do you think that the donation of glasses would decrease the motivation to create a sustainable system?
There are a lot of ways to look at the issue of "vision camps" and "recycled spectacles".

Those that are pro recycled spectacles use the justification that something is better than nothing.

Even though this style of care has been in use for decades no one has ever shown that recycled spectacles are:
  1. Beneficial
  2. Actually used by people weeks or months after receiving them
  3. Providing adequate visual acuity
  4. Providing adequate visual comfort

There are 153 million people in the world who are visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive error (not counting the millions more who have uncorrected presbyopia) simply doing vision camps with recycled spectacles will never reach all of these people. Something more sustainable and local needs to be done.

The solution for many of these people will probably be low cost ready made spectacles with a local prescriber and local distribution network. Those who are doing vision camps and using recycled spectacles need to think more broadly and consider community needs rather than individual needs and shift the work they do to development rather than clinical care. By doing this they will be able to help more people in a shorter amount of time.

There are a number of papers about this in the literature that might be worth looking at if you have any interest.
 

sevanuh06

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Dec 19, 2008
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Pre-Optometry
I'm glad I ran across your post! There is no pre-opt club at my university, and I'm thinking about starting one. However, I'm just concerned with time commitment and what to do once it gets started! Plus, there is no pre-opt major (or concentration) at my school and no optometry school within about 6 hours driving, so I'm worried there will be no interest in joining.
I started the Pre Opt club at WVU, and like you, the nearest Optometry School is Salus - 6 hours away. Since there is no pre-opt major or huge interest or knowledge about the profession here (and at your school I assume) you will need to do a TON of advertising. I put up flyers with meeting dates all over campus, especially in the Bio/Chem/Physics buildings. That still was not enough at first and I was totally let down when only 4 students showed up to our first meeting. Later on, there were a few more. Still, don't expect a huge turn out- for all of a sudden half of the student body to be interested in optometry. Also, if you have a pre-medical or pre-health club (like AED) then go to their meetings and announce your meeting dates.

I didn't mean for this to sound discouraging at all - I think doing all the work to start a pre-optometry club is totally worth it. You will meet people (even if it is only a few) that you can shadow with, get tips from, study for the OAT with, and visit optometry schools with. Three members from my club just visited SCO together and it was a great experience.

Good luck starting your club! Let me know if you need any ideas for meetings or advertising, I would love to help!
 

zyg0te

10+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2007
310
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Optometrist
I started the Pre Opt club at WVU, and like you, the nearest Optometry School is Salus - 6 hours away. Since there is no pre-opt major or huge interest or knowledge about the profession here (and at your school I assume) you will need to do a TON of advertising. I put up flyers with meeting dates all over campus, especially in the Bio/Chem/Physics buildings. That still was not enough at first and I was totally let down when only 4 students showed up to our first meeting. Later on, there were a few more. Still, don't expect a huge turn out- for all of a sudden half of the student body to be interested in optometry. Also, if you have a pre-medical or pre-health club (like AED) then go to their meetings and announce your meeting dates.

I didn't mean for this to sound discouraging at all - I think doing all the work to start a pre-optometry club is totally worth it. You will meet people (even if it is only a few) that you can shadow with, get tips from, study for the OAT with, and visit optometry schools with. Three members from my club just visited SCO together and it was a great experience.

Good luck starting your club! Let me know if you need any ideas for meetings or advertising, I would love to help!

Kind of sounds like our club. If for nothing else, a pre-optometry club is a great networking tool. The main benefits I got out of my club was just talking to fellow pre-opts and learning from eachother's experience.