A Backward Glance on Optometric Education: Institutional Profile of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Shilpa J. Register, OD, MS, FAAO


This paper discusses the rich history, current institutional profile and future of optometry schools and colleges in the United States in relation to core competencies. The optometric profession arose from the public’s need for eye care and its unavailability within the United States in the early 1600s. Optometry schools began as informal proprietary colleges and have become formal, structured, accredited four-year programs that offer a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree as well as other degrees in physiological optics and vision science.

Key Words: History, optometric education, optometric demographics, core competency

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