2024 NSU Fact Book

2024 FACT BOOK 83 The college has a strong community service mission and provides dental care to low-income, underserved, and medically complex patients. Dental students participate in U.S. and international mission trips annually with students from other HPD colleges at Nova Southeastern University. The college participates with the Florida Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy (MOM) and Remote Access Medical (RAM). Dental student associations organize numerous community service activities, including an Oral Cancer Walk and the College of Dental Medicine’s signature program, Give Kids A Smile. The College of Dental Medicine, founded in 1996, embraces NSU’s Vision 2025 and core values as it strives to achieve its educational, research, and service missions. Over the 25-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 healthcare 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 NSU Health Eye Care Centers. The fourth year is primarily clinical, with intensive training within the Eye Care Centers, 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