Modernizing Optometric Education in Australia: Ideas from Medical Education

Harrison S. Weisinger, BScOptom, MScOptom, MBBS, PhD, FAAO
David Prideaux, DipT (Prim), BA(Hons), MEd, PhD


Abstract

Little has changed in the delivery of optometric education in Australia for the past 40 years. In existing programs students undertake study in basic disciplines prior to gaining clinical exposure. This often occurs in university staff-student clinics, which are not necessarily representative of optometric practice in the wider community. Recently two new optometry programs have opened, both located within medical schools and comprehensive health faculties. This has enabled the new programs to benefit from some of the educational reforms in Australian medical education, including outcomes-based design, early and sustained clinical experience and use of student-centered learning models.

Key Words: optometric education, competency-based education, case-based learning (CBL), team-based learning (TBL), outcomes-based education, backward curriculum design, clinical placements

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