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Warning: Don't waste your time on trying to bridge through the IOBP at Waterloo!

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by eighteen, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. eighteen

    eighteen

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    Jan 29, 2018
    I’m writing this because I wish someone had warned me. Anyone from Canada considering studying optometry in the UK, DON’T DO IT! unless you plan on living there forever. The states will be a lot more expensive, but the uncertainty, stress and years wasted on trying to bridge back to Canada is not worth it!

    If you’re coming back now from the UK to Canada now, don’t waste your time on trying to write the evaluating exam and trying to bridging through the IOBP at Waterloo. The whole process is just a scheme set up against you. Even if you do well on the exam, you are not guaranteed to get into the program and getting in seems to be all based on luck during the exam. There are lot of qualified people that haven’t gotten in and some that you wouldn’t expect to have gotten through, did, (some don’t even have undergrad degrees) so it makes no sense. A lot of things are being done that are unfair and there's no transparency, it’s just not worth wasting your time on uncertainty. Also, the people running this could care less if you’ve invested your whole life into this and just say too bad. They even canceled the shorter bridging program last minute AFTER people had already done the exams and some even qualified for it, so people just wrote exams under false pretenses. They were basically leaving them no choice but to complete the longer bridging program now which costs more than triple the money!!! If they wanted to get rid of the shorter program they could've just been upfront about it so people didn't waste their time and money.

    Now there is only one program left which only takes the top few people based on a single exam and the rest can’t practice optometry even if they’re good optometrists. Compare that to if only the top scoring optometrists on the final boards were allowed to practice, and the rest were told too bad, even though they passed, I wonder how people would react then.

    Many wish we hadn’t bothered with the IOBP and gone straight to the states so don't waste your time!!!
     
    Jane.88 likes this.
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  3. Jane.88

    Jane.88

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    Feb 8, 2018
    This process of coming back is described 100% accurately. The IOBP program is not worth it. The college of optometrists for Ontario do not want internationally trained Optometrists. Period. Every year they will continue to screw people that are qualified out of coming back home to Canada. Do yourself a favor - avoid the uncertainty and bureaucracy of the IOBP and the college and go to the states for a more certain future and less stress for you and your family.
     
    eighteen likes this.
  4. Optogal

    Optogal 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2010
    Umm... The College of Optometrists of Ontario ALLOWS for internationally trained optometrists to enter practice in Canada. If I'm not mistaken, I don't see any UK grads entering practice in the U.S. Why aren't you criticizing the 50 US states for not recognizing your degree?
     
  5. eighteen

    eighteen

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    Jan 29, 2018
    You are mistaken. The States have a FAIR process in place where internationals can get placed into advanced standing based on their educational credentials, work experience and recommendations. It is not the nightmare that has become the bridging process in Canada where getting in is based on a single exam, on getting lucky and by being from a certain province (Ontario) where people before you could help you, where programs are cancelled last minute which people had qualified for, where fees are doubled within 1 year, where no one can make informed decisions. This has all happened since the College of Optometrists of Ontario got involved because they were against the IOBP.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  6. Optogal

    Optogal 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2010
    No. You both are mistaken. You both make seemingly irrefutable claims that are completely factually incorrect.

    Lessee... COO 100% doesn't want international grads so your advice to Canadians is for them to go to the US for their education. Hmm....

    Like I said. No US state recognizes your degree. Perhaps there are some SCHOOLS that offer bridging but no STATE BOARD recognizes the B Optom for entry to practice. They require the OD. Canada, which you criticize, does not.

    You seem to think your position is irrefutable and yet you are completely wrong in your basic arguments. No offense, but if the above is representative of your analytical ability, then maybe there's a reason you (two) didn't get the grades necessary to get educated in Canada.
     
  7. eighteen

    eighteen

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    Jan 29, 2018
    First of all, your rude and ignorant comments are unnecessary. You said "If I'm not mistaken, I don't see any UK grads entering practice in the U.S. " so I responded by saying they have a fair process in place. There ARE UK grads that have entered practice in the US after going through that process.

    I'm not sure how you can determine we didn't have the grades to get educated in Canada. Canada only has 1 English teaching school, competition is intense and majority of students accepted are from Ontario. With all of these factors, many people don't even bother to apply to UW and go elsewhere. So guess you're saying saying anyone that went to the UK or States wasn't intelligent enough to be an optometrist and Canadian trained optometrists are superior. Wow.

    Above all, I'm sharing my experience for others in this position. You haven't been this through this experience so not sure why you felt the need to get involved so aggressively. Your comments only demonstrate your level of intelligence. Go find something better to do with your time.
     
  8. aries09

    aries09 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 29, 2009
    Unfortunately, many people like Optogal, have preconceived misconceptions that those that chose to study in the UK must be subpar. Since Canada only has one school, a lot of people do have to study outside of Canada and there is no need to insult their intelligence for that. Not everyone can afford to study in the US or wants that much debt, so people go to the UK as there was a process available for them to bridge back which has significantly changed in the past few years. Fair enough, the scope of practice isn’t the same in the UK as in Canada but it’s not that drastically different either; the scope of practice in the US is even wider than Canada. However, that is what the IOBP is for. It is supposed to ensure Canadian standards are met and everyone should be given a fair chance to do so with a transparent process. Each year internationals are being further restricted. The people going through it are the ones that can actually make those claims.
     
    eighteen likes this.
  9. Optogal

    Optogal 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2010
    I'm going to give you some advice.. This may take a couple posts as I write during my breaks. This advice is going to going to go from wide ranging, to very specific to your situation. Given your situation, you'd be best to listen to it as you're in a difficult spot and probably not in the state of mind to handle it all given the stresses involved.

    I think there are two potential paths for you to follow. One of them, if what you have written is true, should be entirely satisfactory to you (to use your words, "fair"). The other, much more difficult, would be remaining path if the first one doesn't work.

    But before I begin, I'm going to make some general remarks about how to write persuasively, and demonstrate why your posts here, while succeeding in some areas, fail in others. When you criticize someone's (or some organization's) behaviour, you have to be precise with your arguments. People without an interest in the matter can sense when there is hyperbole (there's a lot of it in this thread). So if you make use of exaggerations, it takes away from your central argument. The idea is, if you're going to exaggerate or speak untruths about THAT, then readers begin to wonder what OTHER things here aren't true? When you exaggerate and make wild claims (e.g. your outcome is determined by "luck"), then it makes readers want to hear the other side of the story, because there surely is one. When you make an argument, you want the opposite to happen. You want people to hear more about YOUR side of the story. "Really? Did they really do that? That's not fair!" So that's what you have to try to do. If this becomes a legal matter, you need to be able to tell a judge, factually, why the other person's conduct was wrong. If you exaggerate, then it weakens your reliability as a witness.
     
  10. Optogal

    Optogal 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2010
    I had intended to be very pedantic about some errors here. I'll just mention them in passing as there's no use in making a big fuss about them, and there are clearly some more important concerns.

    1. The gist of this thread, that the IOBP/COO is basically there to stop people from bridging is of course, (1) not true, and (2) not common sensically true. Although they may not be bridging as many people in the past, or they aren't bridging everyone you'd like them to bridge, it doesn't mean that they aren't bridging people. Adjacent to this point is...

    2. It's not fair for you to blanket warn that no one should go through with the IOBP path. SOME people apparently are making it into Canadian practice successfully, so someone who would otherwise go to the UK and bridge back successfully, might decide not to because of your warning. Letting people know the risks is good, but saying that basically that route is going to lead to failure is not accurate.

    3. You wrote, "So guess you're saying saying anyone that went to the UK or States wasn't intelligent enough to be an optometrist and Canadian trained optometrists are superior. Wow."
    I wrote, "No offense, but if the above is representative of your analytical ability, then maybe there's a reason you (two) didn't get the grades necessary to get educated in Canada."
    All I talked about was grades and entry to education in Canada (as well as a snide remark about analytical ability, which can be construed as an ad hominem). I didn't mention anything about clinical ability, or the minimum intelligence required to practice optometry. I don't know how anyone would determine that. Any case, those are two different things.

    Now... to get to your situation...
     
  11. Optogal

    Optogal 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2010
    So the idea I independently conceived of on the weekend (which happens to be the topic of the other thread right now below this one...), is the option of doing a US bridging program to the OD. So no surprise, someone else has thought of it.

    You mention here that that is a fair process and you speak highly of it. I'm assuming you'd do it but I imagine the costs are high. The fact that you apparently aren't pursuing it (as of when you started this thread), suggests to me that that route has it's negatives as well. Aside from the costs, which are probably substantial, you still have to take the Canadian licensing exam. But in that case, you don't need to do the IOBP. That was my "Plan 1" for you. (Edit: while we're here, can you talk a bit about why this isn't an option for you?)

    Plan 2 is a lot more challenging. Which is, to kinda try to fight your way into/through the program as it is now. The premise behind this strategy exists because of what I understand about some of the changes that have happened with the IOBP, and what you have mentioned here - that the requirements have changed. Your basic argument is that you deserve to be "grandfathered" under the old regulations. This argument exists, but it is a difficult argument to make because unfortunately, the laws and hence power to make decisions are basically on the side of the IOBP/COO. I'll ad a bit more in a sec.
     
  12. Optogal

    Optogal 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2010
    I'm going to add more in a bit, but this is significant, especially if people PAID for that exam and an outcome was promised for successful completion of that exam.
     
  13. Optogal

    Optogal 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2010
    OK - although I may be able to provide some insights, I could probably only provide a rudimentary "argument" as to how you could fight your case. The reason is, the IOBP has been a fought-over matter for about 10 years now, so everything that has been said about it, probably has been already said. And these fights have occurred in not just UWSO and the College, but above them. The result, is that the situation you are facing now, has probably largely been "agreed" to by most of the people in power.

    As a background, the IOBP has been around since like the mid-2000. In the early days it was probably too lenient, allowing too many underqualified people into the program and ultimately into Canadian practice. The backlash against this "lessening" of standards has led to the back and forth fighting at all levels, of who and what should be allowed to bridge.

    The "rudimentary" challenge I think "you" face (and perhaps you don't, since this point has probably already been argued ad nauseum), involves the way in which the Ontario optometry law is written. If things haven't materially changed, and if I remember my Jurisprudence classes correctly, the law stipulates that to enter practice in Ontario, you need (1) a UW OD, or (2) an equivalent degree. I'm assuming you have a Bachelor of Optometry. I think THAT makes your position difficult. Because OD holders by and large hold a bachelor degree already, so if that's all you have, then how is it equivalent to an OD, which is a secondary-entry program.
     
  14. Optogal

    Optogal 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2010
    But probably, that isn't where you (and others in your situation) are entering the conversation. It's been decided apparently by people with power, that optometric education from a British school is OK to use for entry to practice (or entry to the IOBP) under certain circumstances. So what you have "left", is to find errors in the administration of the IOBP that were committed by them. Unfulfilled promises is probably the only thing you can really grasp at, because that's basically the main issue you're having with them (i.e. had you known you would be in the situation you are in, you wouldn't have chosen it. Ergo, you assumed you would be in a different situation. This suggests to me, the entry requirements for the IOBP were different before you decided to get educated in the UK, than what they are now).

    The people to "appeal" this issue to, if I'm not mistaken, is HPRAC (Home). Unfortunately, they've been involved with the IOBP for years now. Or at the least, my understanding is that the IOBP was referred to them some years back. I don't know how long HPRAC was involved for, but given they were involved at some point, it suggests that any decisions made today would be at some level, in compliance with HPRAC's governing mandate.
     
  15. Optogal

    Optogal 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2010
    I don't know enough about the IOBP and what changes have been made, other than I know "it has changed", and what you've written here. It would seem to me your only recourse is pursuing the "grandfathering" issue. The problem is, who do you go to with your problem? Obviously the COO/UW has made up their mind on what they are going to do, so they aren't going to help you. HPRAC is technically the governmental organization that you would appeal to, but given their previous involvement, I can only imagine they'd tell you go to go COO/UW to appeal your case (although, my guess is you COULD still try them anyways). The courts of course is always an option. But this wouldn't be a small-claims type of thing. This would be kicked up to a higher court pretty quickly, and it would involve a type of effort/work/time that I don't know enough about. And THEY perhaps would claim no jurisdiction in the matter, that it is the jurisdiction of HPRAC to decide on these matters. The bottom line is, you're in a tough spot.

    You'd have to share more specifics and details, and any case against them would require hard "evidence" in the way of previous literature on entry-to-IOBP requirements. The fact they are bridging some folks through is actually to your advantage because if you have similar credentials to someone who got in, then you have greater grounds to claim a grievance. Regarding the "test" that occurred. I think that's a strong argument for someone who took it and got a "passing" grade. But if it was for admittance to a program that they are no longer running, I guess it may be in their prerogative to cancel such a program, which again leaves such a person out of luck.

    I think I've spilled my 0.02. I'll await replies if any.
     
  16. iBALL

    iBALL

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    May 11, 2017
    I truly feel for you. I hope you've found a way to bridge back to Canada or USA. I was in the UK previously as well and dealt with IOBP. Good luck in whatever brings you home.
     
    eighteen likes this.
  17. withwap

    withwap 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 9, 2012
    Canada
    Guys listen, Optometrists in Ontario are struggling to find work. The market is saturated like crazy. Canada's population is very limited hence not enough patients unlike California where all optoms are extremely busy.

    I dropped out of optometry recently in the UK and started law school instead. I have a much better prospect as a lawyer than I have as an optometrists. If law society of upper Canada were caught doing what College of Optometrists of Ontario is doing, they would have been sued a long time ago. The College has a egotistic power that they have abused in my view.

    I plan to sue the Association of Optometrists and the College when I graduate as a lawyer. Guaranteed!
     
    eighteen likes this.
  18. eighteen

    eighteen

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    Jan 29, 2018
    Good for you. Smart move in switching to law school. If fair changes are not made asap, a class action is inevitable and I would be interested in joining you. It's interesting how Ontario is so saturated yet the majority they accept are from there.
     

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