Q: What educational requirements are needed to become an optometrist?
A: Most Optometrists complete a four-year bachelor’s degree before beginning the four-year program leading to the doctor of optometry (O.D.) degree. About 10% complete an additional resident or post-graduate program in a particular area of interest.
Q: Where can I go to optometry school?
A: Missouri is fortunate; the University of Missouri-St. Louis has a College of Optometry.
Q: Can optometry students get involved with MOA?
A: MOA has a student organization, Missouri Optometric Student Association (MOSA). MOSA students are encouraged to participate in MOA events.
Q: Who are paraoptometrics?
A: Paraoptometrics are allied health personnel who extend the optometrist’s capabilities by assuming routine and technical aspects of vision care services. Paraoptometrics are to optometrists what paralegals are to lawyers.
Q: Where do optometrists practice?
A: Optometrists practice in almost all of Missouri’s counties. In a state where there is a shortage of primary health care providers, doctors of optometry are helping fill a need. Thousands of Missourians are able to access their primary eye care locally, saving them needless suffering and the expense and burden of traveling many miles to see a more distant eye care professional. Because optometrists provide excellent primary eye care services and are well-positioned geographically, they should be a part of any eye and vision care plan.
Q: What will the future bring in eye care?
A: Times change. Each day brings new developments, discoveries and responsibilities in the delivery of health care. Medical technology and training are continually developing to meet the expanding needs of the patient and make it possible to administer health care more effectively. New medications, new therapies and new technologies encourage optometrists to keep up with these changes to better serve their patients. Optometrists, like other health professionals are required to obtain continuing education to maintain their license.
Research and development in the eye care field is progressing at a rapid pace. Many exciting breakthroughs are on the horizon. Whatever the future may bring, doctors of optometry will continue to give their patients the highest level of primary eye care using their ever-increasing awareness of new insights and developments. Preserving the health of your eyes and enhancing your vision will always be optometry’s goal.