Optometric Education

The Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Feature Archives

Cross-Cultural Communication in Optometry:
a Teaching Case Report

Background Culturally competent care has become a pillar in patient-doctor interaction to reduce healthcare disparities. Cultural competence is defined as the ability to effectively deliver healthcare services that takes into account the social, cultural and linguistic characteristics of the patient.1 To deliver such care, a clinician should exhibit cultural humility, a process of self-reflection and […]
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Use of a Town Hall Focus Group to Assess Mentorship, Sense of Belonging and Self-Efficacy
in Black Students in Optometry School

Background The term under-represented minority (URM) refers specifically to Black, Hispanic/Latino and Native groups that remain under-represented in education attainment and the science and engineering workforce.1 Research has demonstrated that when a critical mass of URM students is present within an education setting, the civic, cultural and intellectual development of all students benefits due to […]
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Training Implicit Bias and Awareness of the Impact of Systemic Racism on Health: a Preliminary Study of Second-Year Optometry Students

Introduction In 2003, an Institute of Medicine report found that racial and ethnic health disparities are associated with worse health outcomes. The report also noted that provider bias, stereotyping, prejudice and clinical uncertainty may contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Thus, it was recommended that future health professionals be educated in cross-cultural […]
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Justice and Disparity – a Defining Cause
for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Optometric Education and Practice

Introduction Vision and eye care continue to be among the greatest unmet public health needs in the country, at a high cost to person and society.1-7 Poor vision and eye health can result in impaired cognitive, social and physical development, low academic performance, employment and economic insecurity, loss of independence, environmental challenges and millions of […]
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Cultural Competence for Serving Veterans: an Overview and Practical Considerations for Optometrists

Background In 1976, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) integrated optometry into its healthcare system to provide important eyecare services to veterans alongside ophthalmology. Since then, the VHA Optometry service has grown significantly and now provides most of the primary eye care and low vision rehabilitation services for the nation’s 22.6 million veterans.1-2 More than 950 […]
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Cultural Competence Case Study Resource
and 2021 Competition Winner

ASCO and its member institutions embrace the concepts of diversity and multiculturalism in optometric education and in the profession. Led by the Diversity and Cultural Competency Committee (DCCC), ASCO has been implementing a multiyear project focusing on cultural competence to assist the schools and colleges of optometry in the preparation of a diverse pool of optometric clinicians […]
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On Diversity in Optometry,
Progress, but More Work to Be Done

This themed edition of Optometric Education focuses on diversity, cultural competence and cultural humility. A diverse and inclusive optometric environment produces many organizational and healthcare benefits. Diversity is associated with improved performance, innovation, creativity, access to care, patient satisfaction, patient health outcomes, student persistence and positive student outcomes.1-3 Ongoing ASCO Initiatives Since the previous similarly […]
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Learning and Teaching about Diversity and Cultural Competence: a Continuum

It is projected that by 2050, the minority population in the United States will increase to the point of representing the majority.1,2 Additionally, a growing number of Americans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transexual, queer/questioning (LGBTQ).3 Along with recognition of these changes, our awareness of disparities in health care and systemic racism has been heightened […]
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