What options does an Optometry student in the UK have in the US?

sikhklutz

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Jul 13, 2006
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Hi everyone!
I'm an Optometry student in the UK. I've just finished my first year but I'm thinking about what options I have in the US once I've qualified as an Optometrist here. There doesn't seem to be much scope/options over here in the UK to get further in my field once I qualify, but I have heard of the OD course over in the US. We as UK optometrist aren't able to prescribe or perform any type of surgery on patients, does you're optometry course allow you to?

I'm hoping you guys all know about the difference between an Optometrist here and an Optometrist over where you guys are, and I'm hoping if you you could fill me in on the explicit differences between us too, because I'm really quite confused.
Basically I would love the oppurtunity to come over to the states and further my education in Optometry but I'm unaware of the options I have as an international student, and where the courses available to me will lead me. At the moment my degree will lead me to a BSc, whereas you guys recieve an OD. Am I right?
But what does the OD allow you to do that the BSc doesn't. Are you able to perform surgery on the eyes and prescribe for ocular diseases?

Is there anyway I am able to also do the OD course as an international student in the US and will this simply be a case of undertaking a conversion course?

Sorry for all these questions but no-one so far has been able to answer these over here in the UK! So I'm hoping someone can help me because you all seem really knowledgeable in the field.

Thanks a million,
Gushi
 

Schroder79

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Jul 2, 2006
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I probably am not the best to answer this but at Pacific University we have several international students who qualified as opthalmalogists in their country. Usually they spend a year or two taking courses here that weren't given in their country then take the licensing exam and return to their country.
As far as the surgery, I believe the for awhile Oklahoma was allowed to do refractive surgery's but that isn't possible anymore so no state here allows optometrists to preform laser surgeries. In the US the governing board for what optometrists can and can't do is governed according to the state you practice in not the national level. Some states are stricter about the injections and treatments we are allowed to do but in school the courses are pretty descriptive of the treatments or how to find out what the treatments are (as some are changing with technology.)
I'm not to familiar with optometry in the UK but in the US optometrists are the best refractors available. We also get trained in vision therapy in order to treat binocular problems. There are specializations available such as Contact lens prescriptions for kerataconus and other special cases, to pediatric, to primary care, to other types like sports vision therapy. The practice has been able to work with the opthalmalogical community pretty well and we have been able to gain opportunities to help in eye care that wasn't available years earlier.
It seems most optometrists spend most of their time refracting for lens prescriptions but when the opportunity comes they treat diseases or refer them as needed. In an academic setting patients come in with relatively more serious disorders however. Perhaps there would be a good opportunity for you to come here. Maybe some others will answer your thread and leave some other answers that could help.
 

4Eyes

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Oct 30, 2005
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Actually, I believe Oklahoma ODs can still do some laser surgery...and they never did refractive surgery.

I believe most states can not use injectables, including mine, but we are taught how to administer them anyway...in case we end up practicing in a place where we can use them.

I think the biggest difference in curriculum as far as UK vs US goes is diagnosing and treating disease. At least the treating part.

I think I've heard that optometrists in the UK might (?) be looking at trying to expand the scope of practice, so you might enjoy the curriculum here. But I honestly don't know much about your curriculum, either.
 

jefguth

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sikhklutz said:
Hi everyone!
I'm an Optometry student in the UK. I've just finished my first year but I'm thinking about what options I have in the US once I've qualified as an Optometrist here. There doesn't seem to be much scope/options over here in the UK to get further in my field once I qualify, but I have heard of the OD course over in the US. We as UK optometrist aren't able to prescribe or perform any type of surgery on patients, does you're optometry course allow you to?

I'm hoping you guys all know about the difference between an Optometrist here and an Optometrist over where you guys are, and I'm hoping if you you could fill me in on the explicit differences between us too, because I'm really quite confused.
Basically I would love the oppurtunity to come over to the states and further my education in Optometry but I'm unaware of the options I have as an international student, and where the courses available to me will lead me. At the moment my degree will lead me to a BSc, whereas you guys recieve an OD. Am I right?
But what does the OD allow you to do that the BSc doesn't. Are you able to perform surgery on the eyes and prescribe for ocular diseases?

Is there anyway I am able to also do the OD course as an international student in the US and will this simply be a case of undertaking a conversion course?

Sorry for all these questions but no-one so far has been able to answer these over here in the UK! So I'm hoping someone can help me because you all seem really knowledgeable in the field.

Thanks a million,
Gushi
Hi Gushi,

I think you would find that the practice of optometry in the US can be much more medically oriented compared to the UK. However, there are many cases where American optometrists would practice in very much the same way as would be done in the UK - where the primary activity is refraction and ocular health exam. One of the problems with American optometry though is that the scopes of practice can vary by a great deal between states. For instance, in Oklahoma there are some laser surgical procedures that optometrists are licensed to perform, and in North Carolina OD's can do injections and Fluorescein Angiography, and many states allow OD's to Rx oral pharmaceuticals. However, there are some states where the scope is much more restrictive, those are usually the ones where Medicine is a strong and effective lobby group. Also, as foreign optometry grad you would run into licensing problems in the US. Some states explicity require that you hold an OD from an accredited school, while some states will require an audit of your degree to ensure exquivalency to the OD education. While I'm sure the of the UK optometry BSc is pretty similar I forsee two problems: the UK BSc is a 3year degree (at least the last time i checked) and there probably is no option for UK optom students to gain experience Rx'ing drugs and treating ocular disease like OD students are required to do in their training. The 1st problem could be overcome by possibly enrolling in one of those MSc Optom programs (is it 5 years?), but I still think you'd have trouble getting the necesarry therapeutic treatment experience.

However, there are a couple options. Once you're done your BSc you could apply to an American OD school (OD school requires that you have at least done 3 years of a bachelors, and I'm assuming you're just a year out of high school) - some even offer accelerated programs for foreign qualified optometrists (http://neco.edu/international-programs/default.aspx). The other thing you might consider is Canada. The University of Waterloo offer an "international bridging program" (http://www.optometry.uwaterloo.ca/iobp/index.html) which is designed to help foreign graduates pass the Canadian licensing exams. There have been quite a few British optometrists enter the program, and actually a large number of the UW facutly are UK, Australia, and South Africa trained optometrists. While the scope of practice in Canada is determined by each province, most are fairly similar or moving towards similar priviledges. Basically its like the UK but Canadian OD's are allowed (or soon will be allowed in most provinces) to Rx a limited number of drugs but cannot currently treat glaucoma in any of the provinces. GLC must be comanaged with an ophthalmologist.

Hope that helped :)

Jeff
 

EyeBaller

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Jul 25, 2006
184
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Optometrist
Hi Gushi,

Which uni are you at?
I graduated from Aston in 2004 (with my BSc Optom)... I'm now at SUNY Optometry doing my OD.

There's definitely a much wider scope of practice in the US, and you will learn more about eyes than you ever thought was possible! =P

I think most of the main points have already been covered by most people.. The treatment of disease is the biggest factor. I know in the UK we get taught to pick up disease, but as soon as we see something (whether we can remember what it's called or not) we just refer.. Here, at the beginning of my third year I've already treated someone who came into clinic with pressures of 50mmHg! Administered meds to get her pressure down before sending them home with a prescription and a follow up appt. It really hit me, how much more interesting optometry can be!

I decided against the accelerated program at NECO because they require you to complete your degree, then pre-reg, then have TWO years of practice experience before you can apply. Then the program is a full, demanding 2 years. This would have taken me 5 in total. So I decided a straight 4 year OD program was best for me... I have to say it's probably the way to go. When it comes to boards in the US we don't learn half as much stuff as they do here (basic sciences.. histology, anatomy etc etc)

Feel free to PM me with questions.. I'll be happy to help you out where I can.
 
Jun 17, 2009
22
0
Status
Optometry Student
Hi Gushi,

Which uni are you at?
I graduated from Aston in 2004 (with my BSc Optom)... I'm now at SUNY Optometry doing my OD.

There's definitely a much wider scope of practice in the US, and you will learn more about eyes than you ever thought was possible! =P

I think most of the main points have already been covered by most people.. The treatment of disease is the biggest factor. I know in the UK we get taught to pick up disease, but as soon as we see something (whether we can remember what it's called or not) we just refer.. Here, at the beginning of my third year I've already treated someone who came into clinic with pressures of 50mmHg! Administered meds to get her pressure down before sending them home with a prescription and a follow up appt. It really hit me, how much more interesting optometry can be!

I decided against the accelerated program at NECO because they require you to complete your degree, then pre-reg, then have TWO years of practice experience before you can apply. Then the program is a full, demanding 2 years. This would have taken me 5 in total. So I decided a straight 4 year OD program was best for me... I have to say it's probably the way to go. When it comes to boards in the US we don't learn half as much stuff as they do here (basic sciences.. histology, anatomy etc etc)

Feel free to PM me with questions.. I'll be happy to help you out where I can.
Hi Eyeballer
I'm an optometry student in New Zealand and want to obtain an OD from the States as I believe you are doing/ have done. How did you get into SUNY? What were the steps? Did you have to have work experience as an optom in the UK? Did you take the OAT exam? Is there an accelerated program at SUNY? or anywhere else in the States for that matter?
Thanks.
 
May 18, 2009
17
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi Gushi,

Which uni are you at?
I graduated from Aston in 2004 (with my BSc Optom)... I'm now at SUNY Optometry doing my OD.

There's definitely a much wider scope of practice in the US, and you will learn more about eyes than you ever thought was possible! =P

I think most of the main points have already been covered by most people.. The treatment of disease is the biggest factor. I know in the UK we get taught to pick up disease, but as soon as we see something (whether we can remember what it's called or not) we just refer.. Here, at the beginning of my third year I've already treated someone who came into clinic with pressures of 50mmHg! Administered meds to get her pressure down before sending them home with a prescription and a follow up appt. It really hit me, how much more interesting optometry can be!

I decided against the accelerated program at NECO because they require you to complete your degree, then pre-reg, then have TWO years of practice experience before you can apply. Then the program is a full, demanding 2 years. This would have taken me 5 in total. So I decided a straight 4 year OD program was best for me... I have to say it's probably the way to go. When it comes to boards in the US we don't learn half as much stuff as they do here (basic sciences.. histology, anatomy etc etc)

Feel free to PM me with questions.. I'll be happy to help you out where I can.
Hi Eyeballer,

Thanks for sharing your experiences here, it helps especially for other international graduates needing guidance on being able to practice here. if possible can i ask you some other questions as i am needing some guidance in my own journey to being a licensed optometrist? will it be possible tog et your email address?
Anyway, so since you already are a holder of a degree in Optometry, was it necessary for you to go back to school? According to the Boards in CA, a foreign graduate just needs to pass the exams, what is the reason you went back to school..please share...I need some help and guidance myself..would appreciate if i can reach you via your email add..have more questions if possible..Thanks a lot.
 
May 18, 2009
17
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi Gushi,

I think you would find that the practice of optometry in the US can be much more medically oriented compared to the UK. However, there are many cases where American optometrists would practice in very much the same way as would be done in the UK - where the primary activity is refraction and ocular health exam. One of the problems with American optometry though is that the scopes of practice can vary by a great deal between states. For instance, in Oklahoma there are some laser surgical procedures that optometrists are licensed to perform, and in North Carolina OD's can do injections and Fluorescein Angiography, and many states allow OD's to Rx oral pharmaceuticals. However, there are some states where the scope is much more restrictive, those are usually the ones where Medicine is a strong and effective lobby group. Also, as foreign optometry grad you would run into licensing problems in the US. Some states explicity require that you hold an OD from an accredited school, while some states will require an audit of your degree to ensure exquivalency to the OD education. While I'm sure the of the UK optometry BSc is pretty similar I forsee two problems: the UK BSc is a 3year degree (at least the last time i checked) and there probably is no option for UK optom students to gain experience Rx'ing drugs and treating ocular disease like OD students are required to do in their training. The 1st problem could be overcome by possibly enrolling in one of those MSc Optom programs (is it 5 years?), but I still think you'd have trouble getting the necesarry therapeutic treatment experience.

However, there are a couple options. Once you're done your BSc you could apply to an American OD school (OD school requires that you have at least done 3 years of a bachelors, and I'm assuming you're just a year out of high school) - some even offer accelerated programs for foreign qualified optometrists (http://neco.edu/international-programs/default.aspx). The other thing you might consider is Canada. The University of Waterloo offer an "international bridging program" (http://www.optometry.uwaterloo.ca/iobp/index.html) which is designed to help foreign graduates pass the Canadian licensing exams. There have been quite a few British optometrists enter the program, and actually a large number of the UW facutly are UK, Australia, and South Africa trained optometrists. While the scope of practice in Canada is determined by each province, most are fairly similar or moving towards similar priviledges. Basically its like the UK but Canadian OD's are allowed (or soon will be allowed in most provinces) to Rx a limited number of drugs but cannot currently treat glaucoma in any of the provinces. GLC must be comanaged with an ophthalmologist.

Hope that helped :)

Jeff
Hello Jeffguth,

Were you also a foreign grad? Please, can you share some of your experiences on your journey to getting licensed? thanks!
 

jefguth

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Hello Jeffguth,

Were you also a foreign grad? Please, can you share some of your experiences on your journey to getting licensed? thanks!
No, I graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry... I just know (or knew) alot about it b/c I considered school in the UK and Australia. If you're considering a move to the US, be sure to do your own research b/c I can't guarantee the accuracy of the info I've given.
 
Aug 18, 2009
2
0
Status
Hi,
I'm currently studying at University of Toronto, and I'm thinking of going to Australia or the U.K. to study Optometry. From my research it appears that these international schools only offer a Bachelor of Optometry (and Masters) instead of O.D.. Would that pose a problem if I wish to come back to Toronto to practice?
Also, I've contacted Waterloo to ask questions about the bridging program. They told me that it doesn't matter which university I attend, they only assess you based on individual knowledge and it's through the assessment will they put you in the correct bridging program. Can you give me any insight as to what is necessary to be accepted into the bridging program? Is it difficult to be accepted? What are potential problems I may face coming back to Canada?
Lastly, does anybody know which international schools are the best and most reputable in Canada?
I'm so sorry for the lengthy questions. It's really difficult to find international
optometry students.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
 

EyeBaller

SUNY-O Class of 2008
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Jul 25, 2006
184
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Hey guys.. sorry for the delay in response.. here comes the monster reply!

Hi Eyeballer
I'm an optometry student in New Zealand and want to obtain an OD from the States as I believe you are doing/ have done. How did you get into SUNY? What were the steps? Did you have to have work experience as an optom in the UK? Did you take the OAT exam? Is there an accelerated program at SUNY? or anywhere else in the States for that matter?
Thanks.
Yes, I have now finished my OD and completed a residency.

My main advice to you would be, consider where you are hoping to practice in the future. I'm assuming that by wanting to obtain an OD you plan to stay in the US? If not, then what are the benefits to you in NZ?

Applying is straightforward, contact schools you are interested in and let them know your situation and see what they can do. There is an accelerated program at NECO (I mentioned this in my original post in this thread above). However you need to qualify and complete a minimum of two years work experience before you can be admitted into that program.

I went straight from my undergraduate degree to SUNY, I didn't do a pre-reg year since it would have made no difference into admission into SUNY. There is no accelerated program at SUNY, however you may be able to get exemption from some of the courses, such as the basic optics etc. There of course will be a lot of repeat material, more so in years 1 and 2, however there will also be a lot of new material too (especially basic sciences).

I didn't take the OAT, instead SUNY asked me to take Part 1 of the NBEO (US Optometry board) exam. This was to see my level of understanding in the basic sciences in an effort to see if I could be placed into 2nd year. This is a very individual application process and so this may not apply to you. Also, the NBEO structure has now changed and part 1 is given at a later stage in the OD course now so it may not even be feasible for this to happen. Talk to the admissions office.

I hope that helps.

Hi Eyeballer,

Thanks for sharing your experiences here, it helps especially for other international graduates needing guidance on being able to practice here. if possible can i ask you some other questions as i am needing some guidance in my own journey to being a licensed optometrist? will it be possible tog et your email address?
Anyway, so since you already are a holder of a degree in Optometry, was it necessary for you to go back to school? According to the Boards in CA, a foreign graduate just needs to pass the exams, what is the reason you went back to school..please share...I need some help and guidance myself..would appreciate if i can reach you via your email add..have more questions if possible..Thanks a lot.
I think some of your questions are answered above. By CA do you mean Canada? Canada allows foreign graduates to complete a bridging program at Waterloo and then practice. This program (as far as I know) does not award OD degrees, so you would only be able to practice in Canada. I believe most US states require you to have an OD degree from a "recognised" institution (i.e. a US/Canadian school).

This is why I went "back" to school.

You have to remember, an OD is a graduate degree. Graduate programs require a BS, yours just happens to be in Optometry. So even if you have completed an undergraduate optometry course this is essentially the same as a US student having a BS in Biology. The accelerated programs are the only other way to get the OD degree.

Hi,
I'm currently studying at University of Toronto, and I'm thinking of going to Australia or the U.K. to study Optometry. From my research it appears that these international schools only offer a Bachelor of Optometry (and Masters) instead of O.D.. Would that pose a problem if I wish to come back to Toronto to practice?
Also, I've contacted Waterloo to ask questions about the bridging program. They told me that it doesn't matter which university I attend, they only assess you based on individual knowledge and it's through the assessment will they put you in the correct bridging program. Can you give me any insight as to what is necessary to be accepted into the bridging program? Is it difficult to be accepted? What are potential problems I may face coming back to Canada?
Lastly, does anybody know which international schools are the best and most reputable in Canada?
I'm so sorry for the lengthy questions. It's really difficult to find international
optometry students.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
My suggestion would be to go to either a Canadian or US school and get an OD if you want to practice in Canada. Studying abroad and then coming back to the bridging program seems like a long route.

There are only two schools in Canada, one is French speaking only, so I'm not sure what you mean by international schools in Canada?
 
Jun 17, 2009
22
0
Status
Optometry Student
Hi Gushi,

I decided against the accelerated program at NECO because they require you to complete your degree, then pre-reg, then have TWO years of practice experience before you can apply. Then the program is a full, demanding 2 years. This would have taken me 5 in total. So I decided a straight 4 year OD program was best for me... I have to say it's probably the way to go. When it comes to boards in the US we don't learn half as much stuff as they do here (basic sciences.. histology, anatomy etc etc)

Feel free to PM me with questions.. I'll be happy to help you out where I can.
Hey Eyeballer, I don't understand how the NECO would have taken you 5 years? I'm thinking about doing NECO in a few years. But I'm only aware that they require you to complete your Optom degree, then work two years. I don't know anything about pre-reg. What is pre-reg?

The reason why I'm leaning towards NECO is so that instead of doing potentially 4 year at SUNY, I could work 2 years as an Optom and try to earn enough money to pay for NECO. Isn't the time frame for SUNY and NECO both 4 years from when you graduate with a BOptom?

Thanks mate
 

EyeBaller

SUNY-O Class of 2008
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Jul 25, 2006
184
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Hey Eyeballer, I don't understand how the NECO would have taken you 5 years? I'm thinking about doing NECO in a few years. But I'm only aware that they require you to complete your Optom degree, then work two years. I don't know anything about pre-reg. What is pre-reg?

The reason why I'm leaning towards NECO is so that instead of doing potentially 4 year at SUNY, I could work 2 years as an Optom and try to earn enough money to pay for NECO. Isn't the time frame for SUNY and NECO both 4 years from when you graduate with a BOptom?

Thanks mate
In the UK after you graduate with a BSc Optom you have to do a pre-registration year ("pre-reg"). This is a year in practice somewhere under supervision. After this you can take the qualifying exams and get "licensed" to practice alone.

The pre-reg year does NOT count towards the two years work experience. So I would have needed pre-reg + 2 years (minimum) experience to enter the NECO program.
 
May 18, 2009
17
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
[
I think some of your questions are answered above. By CA do you mean Canada? Canada allows foreign graduates to complete a bridging program at Waterloo and then practice. This program (as far as I know) does not award OD degrees, so you would only be able to practice in Canada. I believe most US states require you to have an OD degree from a "recognised" institution (i.e. a US/Canadian school).

This is why I went "back" to school.

You have to remember, an OD is a graduate degree. Graduate programs require a BS, yours just happens to be in Optometry. So even if you have completed an undergraduate optometry course this is essentially the same as a US student having a BS in Biology. The accelerated programs are the only other way to get the OD degree.



My suggestion would be to go to either a Canadian or US school and get an OD if you want to practice in Canada. Studying abroad and then coming back to the bridging program seems like a long route.

There are only two schools in Canada, one is French speaking only, so I'm not sure what you mean by international schools in Canada?[/QUOTE]




Hello Eyeballer,

Thank you for your response. Sorry I did not made myself clear, by CA I meant California. I contacted the Boards in California to ask them what are the requirements for foreign graduates to get licensed to practice in Califiornia, their response was that one must be only take and pass the NBEO 3 part exams (for foreign graduates only) sponsored by the state or a school to be eligible to take the exams. I asked them if we need to go back to school for training , they mentioned that "you do not need to go back to school", so I applied for sponsorship and they " California" approved me to take the exams. I have only taken one part and have not yet been successful so in my journey to getting licensed, at this time, I believe I need to stop for a while, think and consider the path I am taking and make sure I am not "walking alone in this journey in the dark" or trying to hit a target "in the dark" w/o knowing what is ahead of me.

Now the reason I am asking this is that, knowing the US standards which is very big on "being properly trained" on any profession, I have a feeling that taking the exams alone is not enough. I have searched all over for review classes and found none, there are a few but not in California, so that is why I think that there must be some training class or review class to help foreign graduates pass the exams. What about the part 3 where you must pass practical exams? I beleive reading books alone is enot enough for this, that is why I need to find out if there is any program here for foreign graduates to help them get licensed.

You did mention that you graduated from UK with an Optmetry degree, upon coming to U.S, what information did you obtain to get licensed here, I am sure it depends on the state where you want to practice, but just share based on your experience. Was it a requirement for you to get back to school again? Can't you just take the NBEO? Please share.
 
Sep 5, 2009
1
0
Status
Optometry Student
My girlfriend is from UK and would like to come here. She is ready to go to school to qualify again from accredited university in USA but, she first wants to work in her field here in USA to get first comfortable before starting school. She's ready to do anything at first before she attends school.

Do anyone of you guys know if she can work as an optician here in US or that requires licensing as well? What can she do with her 8 years of UK Optometrist experience without any license in her field? Can she work at all in eye care business based on her UK experience?

Optometry schools are very expensive. How did you all guys paid for it? and how did UK students paid for their school here again? Are there any employers who pays for schooling?

Is Salus University better then NECO?

Which university is considered the best for UK trained optometrist? I know NECO is great because of their conversion degree program. But, are there any other ones that are more reputable then NECO and still offers an advance standing program for the international students?

thanks,

Nick
 

EyeBaller

SUNY-O Class of 2008
10+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2006
184
0
NYC
Status
Optometrist
Hello Eyeballer,

Thank you for your response. Sorry I did not made myself clear, by CA I meant California. I contacted the Boards in California to ask them what are the requirements for foreign graduates to get licensed to practice in Califiornia, their response was that one must be only take and pass the NBEO 3 part exams (for foreign graduates only) sponsored by the state or a school to be eligible to take the exams. I asked them if we need to go back to school for training , they mentioned that "you do not need to go back to school", so I applied for sponsorship and they " California" approved me to take the exams. I have only taken one part and have not yet been successful so in my journey to getting licensed, at this time, I believe I need to stop for a while, think and consider the path I am taking and make sure I am not "walking alone in this journey in the dark" or trying to hit a target "in the dark" w/o knowing what is ahead of me.

Now the reason I am asking this is that, knowing the US standards which is very big on "being properly trained" on any profession, I have a feeling that taking the exams alone is not enough. I have searched all over for review classes and found none, there are a few but not in California, so that is why I think that there must be some training class or review class to help foreign graduates pass the exams. What about the part 3 where you must pass practical exams? I beleive reading books alone is enot enough for this, that is why I need to find out if there is any program here for foreign graduates to help them get licensed.

You did mention that you graduated from UK with an Optmetry degree, upon coming to U.S, what information did you obtain to get licensed here, I am sure it depends on the state where you want to practice, but just share based on your experience. Was it a requirement for you to get back to school again? Can't you just take the NBEO? Please share.

I'm not sure on the requirements for California. As stated before most states require you to graduate from an accredited OD school in the US/Canada in order to be licensed. I'm not sure about just taking part 3 of the NBEO, that doesn't sound like it would be enough to be licensed.


My girlfriend is from UK and would like to come here. She is ready to go to school to qualify again from accredited university in USA but, she first wants to work in her field here in USA to get first comfortable before starting school. She's ready to do anything at first before she attends school.

Do anyone of you guys know if she can work as an optician here in US or that requires licensing as well? What can she do with her 8 years of UK Optometrist experience without any license in her field? Can she work at all in eye care business based on her UK experience?

Optometry schools are very expensive. How did you all guys paid for it? and how did UK students paid for their school here again? Are there any employers who pays for schooling?

Is Salus University better then NECO?

Which university is considered the best for UK trained optometrist? I know NECO is great because of their conversion degree program. But, are there any other ones that are more reputable then NECO and still offers an advance standing program for the international students?

thanks,

Nick
IMO, with 8 years of experience in the UK her best option would be the NECO 2 year program. Other schools may not be able to offer a shortened program for her.

As far as working goes, I would guess the best she would be able to do would be to work as some kind of "tech" for either an OD or OMD. Whatever responsibilities the Dr wants to delegate to her are up to the individual and/or state laws governing the use of techs.

Paying for school.. this is a tough one, it's expensive. As a UK citizen she may be able to get private student loans (nothing from the government). US citizens or permanent residents can apply for full financial aid. The schools may be able to advise here.
 
May 7, 2014
4
0
Status
Optometry Student
Hi Galleria,
I am in the same situation like you were. I am an ophthalmologist from India. I was also of the opinion that, passing the NBEO exams is all that is needed for me to get the optometrist's license in california. So, I got the sponsorship from the CA(California) state board and passed the NBEO part 1 and 2 and now, I am being told that I need to attend an optometry school in North America for 2 at least years' duration. It's devastating! So, wanted to know from you, what was your experience? Did you have to attend the school too? I have around 5 years experience in the field of ophthalmology, is there any way I can avoid going to the school?. Please help me with the information, so I can make my decisions. I don't want to waste my time trying for something I can get. I have already spent 1 and a half years, giving various exams here!
Thank you,
UB
 

hello07

10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2007
389
18
Status
Optometrist
Gushi,
If you're interested in treating eye diseases and performing surgery as your main domain, why don't you go into medicine and get into ophthalmology? Optometry in USA differs greatly than optometry in the UK. We all know this. If you practice in some of the southern and mid west states where optometric legislatures allows you more than fine, be it.

UMAB- who told you to take a NBEO parts 1 and 2 without knowing the ramifications? If you are an ophthalmologist from overseas why would you want to subject yourself to Optometry?
Do a post doctoral fellowship in Ophthalmology anywhere from 1 to 3 years and then apply to Ophthalmology residencies.
take the USMLE and all subsequent parts to continue your path here.
You don't need me an optometrist to be able to tell you this do you? Open your eyes to the spectrum of possibilities to practice medicine/ophth here than optometry.

I wish you much luck in your endeavors!
 
May 7, 2014
4
0
Status
Optometry Student
Ha ha! Thanks hello07! for the reply! and wishes.. Its not that I didn't consider the USMLE option. But that seemed too long a process. So,opted for optometry. All I wanted to know is, " Is attending the optometry school a must to get the optometrist's license here?" Is there any way to forgo attending the school?
Thanks again!
 

hello07

10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2007
389
18
Status
Optometrist
As far as I know, in order to be licensed in the USA you need to be a graduate of an accredited Optometry school in the United States and passed all parts of the NBEO. There is a school that offers a 2 year accelerated OD degree for those with doctorate degrees. It's Newenco.



Good Luck whatever path you choose.
 
Last edited:
May 7, 2014
4
0
Status
Optometry Student
Thanks for yhe info again.
wanted to know another information about what r the chances of a fresh OD getting a job and what is the average money he/she can make?