2022 NSU Fact Book

2022 FACT BOOK 75 of Dental Medicine, founded in 1996, embraces NSU’s Vision 2020 and core values as it strives to achieve its educational, research, and service missions. Over the 22-year history of the CDM, alumni have been realizing their potential, serving as leaders in the dental profession and being recognized for their achievements as outstanding clinicians, dental educators, entrepreneurs, and professional dental association leaders. College of Optometry One of humanity’s most precious gifts is sight, and the optometric physician is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of this gift. The optometric physi- cian, through academic and clinical training, is able to examine, diagnose, treat, and manage disorders and diseases of the visual system and associated structures. The profession of optometry offers many challenges and rewards to those willing to devote themselves to serving others through a lifetime of study and dedication to saving vision. In urban and rural communities throughout the nation, today’s optometric physician serves as the primary eye care practitioner in individual or group practices, hospital settings, public health organizations, educational institutions, and centers for vision research. The College of Optometry offers a fully accredited, full-time, four-year course of study leading to the Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree. The college also has established a five-year, extended program leading to the Doctor of Optometry degree. Students in the extended program take courses with the full-time students, but have a reduced course load. Coursework covered in the first two years of the traditional full-time program is covered in three years in the extended program. The last two years of both programs are identical and are taken concurrently. A unique program in NSU’s College of Optometry is the one-year Preparatory Optometry Program (POP). POP allows motivated postbaccalaureate students to learn side-by-side with other health professional students as they demonstrate their readiness for the rigors of optometry school. Since the profession is constantly evolving, optometric physicians require an educational program that meets the challenges of technological and medical advances and supports patient-oriented clinical research. As primary vision care professionals, students are trained in pathology, diagnostic and therapeutic drug therapy, and modern techniques in imaging, advanced procedures, and lasers. Students also receive instruction in binocular vision, optics, contact lenses, and refraction— fields that have traditionally been the foundation of the profession. The didactic focus of the first two years of study encompasses coursework in medical sciences, optics, and the vision sciences. In preparation for direct patient care, students also study general optometric theory and methods; ocular pathology; pharmacology; advanced ophthalmic and laser procedures; and the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision anomalies and diseases of the eye and associated structures. Some of the medical sciences are taught in classes with other health care disciplines, reflecting the Health Professions Division’s philosophy of interprofessional education. In the third and fourth years, optometry students provide supervised, direct-patient care in four university-operated clinical facilities jointly known as The Eye Care Institute. The fourth year is primarily clinical, with intensive training within The Eye Care Institute, as well as in affiliated primary care, specialty, and medical/surgical care facilities. Students in the fourth year can take advantage of additional opportunities for practical clinical experience by selecting programs from more than 45 external clinic sites affiliated with the College of Optometry. Through The Eye Care Institute, the college provides the highest-quality, patient-centered eye care to the community, while delivering excellent clinical training of student optometric physicians. A full spectrum of primary and specialty eye care services is available, including services that are offered at reduced cost to underserved populations. Specialty services include treatment and management for pediatric and binocular vision, vision therapy, sports vision, traumatic brain