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Doctor of Optometry (MC-DOPTOM) // Attributes, outcomes and skills

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Professional accreditation

Upon completion of the Doctor of Optometry you can submit an application to register and practice as an optometrist in all states and territories of Australia and in New Zealand.

This course prepares students to meet the registration requirements of the Optometry Board of Australia. More information on this official body can be found at the following website - http://www.optometryboard.gov.au/

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge: Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will have:

  • an understanding of the normal human visual system and its physical, chemical and biological foundations
  • an advanced understanding of the mechanisms and associated manifestations of ocular and visual system disease
  • an expert knowledge of current best practice management strategies for the safe and effective use of ocular therapeutic drugs
  • knowledge to be competent in the practice of optometry at a level that enables them to achieve and sustain registration with the appropriate professional bodies
  • knowledge required to manage the establishment, planning, promotion, finances, operations and workforce of an optometric practice
  • have a strongly developed sense of professional and ethical responsibility for patients, colleagues and the community generally, and be aware of the moral and legal responsibilities of professional practice
  • knowledge of ethical research principles and methods applicable to optometry and the vision sciences

Skills: Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will have:

  • skills to quantitatively describe light and its passage through optical systems (including ophthalmic instruments, ophthalmic lenses and the eye), design optical systems to meet required specifications, and quantitatively assess the nature and quality of optical images
  • skills to construct appropriate differential diagnoses, and to acquire additional information to arrive at correct definitive diagnoses
  • expert competency in clinical ocular examination using current best-practice methods, enabling them to fully assess and manage the health and visual performance of their patient
  • interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, that allow them to establish and maintain professional relationships with their patients, professional colleagues and the general community
  • skills in the practice of optometry at a level that enables them to achieve and sustain registration with the appropriate professional bodies
  • skills to take on a leadership role in the advancement of optometry on a global stage, both in clinical and research spheres

Application of knowledge and skills: Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills:

  • by resolving new situations in clinical practice in an effective and innovative way
  • by solving scientific problems in the visual and/or clinical sciences, as well as particular problems presented by patients
  • by developing a sense of intellectual curiosity and a desire for lifelong learning, an ability to adapt to scientific, technological and social change, and a capacity to be creative and innovative

Specific graduate attributes have been carefully defined, developed and mapped to every component of the course, as listed below.

Generic skills

On completion of the Doctor of Optometry students should:

  • be able to plan strategies for improving the management of information in the workplace;
  • be able to work with colleagues to develop best practice in the delivery of eye care;
  • be able to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to new problems;
  • have highly developed written and oral communication skills;
  • have the capacity to articulate your knowledge and understanding in written modes of communication;
  • have enhanced leadership skills;
  • be able to work as part of a team to address a common goal;
  • be able to incorporate evidence-based information into your clinical practice;
  • have an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research;
  • have a capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work;
  • have a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship;
  • have enhanced time management skills, in particular a capacity to manage competing demands on time, and professional focus in clinical practice;
  • be able to independently advance your professional expertise and knowledge in optometry;
  • be able to evaluate scientific literature as a foundation to evidence based practice;
  • be able to articulate the interpretation of data in written form;
  • be able to develop new concepts of how to manage clinical problems based on new knowledge obtained;
  • be able to integrate knowledge from different domains and articulate knowledge and understanding in written and oral forms;
  • value the collection and recording of accurate and complete data;
  • be able to keep up to date with the latest innovations;
  • be able to reflect upon and identify deficiencies in your knowledge, and develop strategies to address those deficiencies.

Graduate attributes

1. Optometric Knowledge & Skills. Students must be able to demonstrate the application of clinical knowledge to patient care. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

a. select, justify, and interpret appropriate clinical tests with attention to benefits, harm and costs.
b. Demonstrate clinical competence through the number of patients seen, techniques performed and feedback provided.
c. demonstrate knowledge of the ethical, moral and legal foundations of optometric care.
d. recognize the social determinants of vision disorders and disease, and the influence of physical, social and cultural environments.

2. Patient Care. Students must be able to provide patient care than is compassionate, appropriate and effective. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

a. perform a targeted, accurate and timely clinical examination based on the patient’s condition.
b. interpret data and use clinical reasoning skills to derive a differential diagnosis and develop a clinical management plan.
c. collaborate with other health professionals to ensure patient safety and to enhance the quality of care.
d. recognise and work within the limits of their competence and scope of practice.

3. Life-long learning and Improvement. Students must be able to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and continuously improve patient care based on critical reflection and life-long learning. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

a. demonstrate an ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and skills, and seek opportunities to address those deficits.
b. demonstrate the ability to give and receive constructive, formative feedback.
c. demonstrate an ability to plan and monitor self-directed learning, taking into account the relative merit of learning activities..
d. critically appraise scientific evidence and translate research findings into practice

4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills. Students must be able to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families and professional associates. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

a. communicate effectively with patients and families across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
b. demonstrate sensitivity in the care of patients by treating them as an individual.
c. communicate perceptively in difficult situations.
d. demonstrate the ability to communicate inter-professionally and intra-professionally

5. Professionalism. Students must demonstrate adherence to ethical principles, and a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities in the best interest of the patient and the community. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

a. apply principles of autonomy, beneficence, and justice, and work to resolve ethical dilemmas as they arise in clinical practice.
b. demonstrate honesty, integrity, respect, reliability, responsibility and confidentiality in all professional interactions.
c. demonstrate empathy, compassion and self-care.
d. show commitment to the prevention of vision disorders, eye injury and eye disease, and the promotion of health and wellbeing within the community.