Optometric Education in Trinidad and Tobago: Developing a New Program in the West Indies

Sandra Wang-Harris, OD, MPH, FAAO


Abstract

Trinidad and Tobago (TT) is a twin island nation in the Southern Caribbean, just northeast of Venezuela. TT had recently signed the World Health Organization’s Vision 2020: Right to Sight declaration and was working closely with the Pan American Health Organization’s Strategic Framework for Vision 2020-Caribbean Region, when the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus opened its doors in 2009 to the first BSc degree program in optometry in the English-speaking Caribbean. Since then, the university has forged a foundation seeking to produce world-class optometrists recognizable by international standards. This paper summarizes the history of this degree program, the current situation and the multitude of factors shaping the future TT graduates in optometry.

Key Words:  international optometry, Trinidad and Tobago optometry, WHO Vision 2020, optometric education

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