New England College of Optometry 2014-2015 Catalog
 
 
The College
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Courses

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Disease

(BSD30701) Advanced Ocular Disease I
(BSD30702) Advanced Ocular Disease II
Instructor of Record: William Sleight, OD

The AOD course sequence is a blended-learning course consisting of 100 hours of classroom discussion and 10 hours of online material. The didactic material is taught from a clinical-pathological perspective with the emphasis on diagnosis, treatment, and appropriate referral. Approximately 20 percent of the face-to-face time consists of interactive case discussion using a classroom response system (clickers). All lectures are recorded and all materials are available for review online. Instructional aids include online interactive cases and instructional quizzes for extra credit.

(BSD10320) Anatomy and Physiology I
Instructor of Record: Frances Rucker, PhD

This course provides a solid grounding in the principles of human anatomy as a basis for understanding disease. Head and neck anatomy is covered in extensive detail, as is the detailed anatomy of the orbit and external eye. Laboratory exposure to the material is also provided through human cadaver prosection, anatomical models, and computer-based teaching tools. This course also examines the anatomy and physiology of the eye. The material covered in this course provides essential background for clinical medicine, pharmacology, and ocular disease.

(BSD10321) Anatomy and Physiology II
Instructor of Record: Steven Koevary, PhD

This course examines the anatomy of the major thoracic and abdominal organ systems as well as the physiology of excitable cells (nerve and muscle) and the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, and digestive systems. The material covered in this course provides essential background for clinical medicine, pharmacology, and ocular disease.
(BSD10204) The Etiology of Diabetes and Glaucoma
Instructor of Record: James Mertz, OD, PhD
(BSD10204A) The Etiology of Diabetes and Glaucoma
Instructor of Record: Maureen Hanley, OD

This multidisciplinary course provides a comprehensive discussion of the pathogenesis of diabetes and glaucoma, two of the leading causes of blindness. The course examines the underlying physiology, neuroanatomy, psychophysics, epidemiology, public health
(including screening and compliance issues), examination methods, and treatment options for these conditions and includes an in-depth analysis of the relevant underlying biochemical pathways. Laboratories that teach techniques for diagnosing and managing these two diseases are coordinated with the lectures.

(BSD10300) Cell Biology, Histology, and Ocular Anatomy
(BSD10305A) Cell Biology, Histology, and Ocular Anatomy
Instructor of Record: Debora Nickla, PhD

This course provides an introduction to cell biology and the cellular components that make up tissues and determine their functions. Topics include epithelium, connective tissue, muscle, and neurons. Basic principles of organic molecules, cell biology, development, and tissue organization are covered, with an emphasis on relationships to ocular anatomy. A sub-unit of this course includes a comprehensive consideration of the gross and microscopic anatomy of the normal human eye. Laboratory sessions reinforce this material.

(BSD30901) Clinical Medicine
Instructor of Record: David Shein, MD

This one-semester course addresses a wide range of medical illnesses seen in clinical practice. Systemic diseases with ocular manifestations will receive the most focus, with specific attention given to the systemic findings. The optometry student will gain an understanding of epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical findings, treatment strategies, and referral guidelines. From the optometry perspective, students will learn when systemic diseases should be considered based upon ocular symptoms or findings on eye examination.

(BSD20805) General Pharmacology
Instructor of Record: Brandon Zimmerman, PhD

This course covers selected topics in pharmacology pertaining to the nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, and metabolic systems. Pathologies of the various systems and the mechanisms of pharmacological intervention will be covered. Side effects and contraindications of pharmacological treatments will also be explored. Additionally, basic principles of pharmacology will be explored to allow a better understanding of factors to consider when using or prescribing therapeutic drugs.

(BSD20881A) General and Ocular Pharmacology
Instructor of Record: James Mertz, OD, PhD

The General Pharmacology course covers selected topics in pharmacology of the endocrine, metabolic, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. Pathologies of the various systems and the mechanisms of pharmacological intervention will be covered. Additionally, basic principles of pharmacology will be explored to allow a better understanding of factors to consider when using therapeutic drugs. The Ocular Pharmacology section covers the clinical application, pharmacokinetics, side effects, contraindications, drug interactions, and prescription writing for ophthalmic and selected systemic medications.

(BSD10013A) Human and Ocular Anatomy
Instructor of Record: Frances Rucker, PhD

The Human Anatomy course presents a selective discussion of human gross anatomy as a basis for understanding disease and ocular function. A strong emphasis is placed on head and neck anatomy, including the orbit. This course complements a section of the histology course in which there is intensive consideration of the gross, microscopic and ultrastructural anatomy of the normal human eye. The didactic material in the gross anatomy course is illustrated with online access to Acland’s videos of human anatomy dissection and in the laboratory with dissection of the bovine eye and anatomical models.

(BSD20401) Immunology
Instructor of Record: Steven Koevary, PhD

This course teaches the basic principles of immune system function. The cells and factors which mediate the various types of immune responses, as well as their mechanisms of action in such processes as hypersensitivity reactions, inflammation, and neoplastic transformation, are described. Immunological principles are applied to the understanding of human disease, with emphasis placed on the eye, including the special nature of the intraocular immune response.

(BSD10009) Neuroanatomy
(BSD10011A) Neuroanatomy  
Instructor of Record: Cherie Farkash, OD

This course provides the student with information concerning the structure of the central nervous system as it relates to physical, reflexive, sensory, cognitive, and emotional behavior. All structures are studied in their clinical context. Students learn how to select and prioritize information to solve clinical problems.

(BSD20811) Ocular Pharmacology I
(BSD20812) Ocular Pharmacology II
Instructor of Record: William Sleight, OD

The ocular pharmacology curriculum consists of 9 self- study modules which cover current concepts regarding the management of ocular disease with systemic and topical pharmaceutical agents.  Each module covers a separate aspect of pharmaceutical intervention. The student will learn current indications, off label indications, side effects, and the most common drug interactions of current drugs used in ocular therapy. Moreover, the student will learn the mechanism of action of specific drugs as it relates to the pathophysiology of the condition for which the drug is prescribed. The pros and cons of particular drugs will be discussed so as to aid the clinical decision making process.
 
(BSD10288A) Ocular Physiology
Instructor of Record: Frances Rucker, PhD

The Ocular Physiology course examines the physiology of the tears, cornea, lens, vitreous and retina. A strong emphasis is placed on understanding the normal functioning of these tissues so that the student can understand how dysfunction can lead to ocular disease. This course complements the head and neck section of Human Anatomy and Cell biology relating to the orbital structures. 

(BSD30711) Special Topics I: Ocular Disease and Advanced Clinical Care
Instructor of Record: Anthony Cavallerano, OD

This course represents skill-building in all areas of clinical care, and provides advanced, clinically-relevant education for optometrists-in-training who have completed the second professional year and who have been exposed to patient care. The course is designed to expand clinical knowledge and enhance understanding in the area of secondary and tertiary eye care. The emphasis in Special Topics I is directed toward anterior segment topics, including treatment and management of adnexal and periorbital disorders. Each presentation consists of lecture and case studies, and is designed to be interactive and participatory.

(BSD30712) Special Topics II: Ocular Disease and Advanced Clinical Care
Instructor of Record: Anthony Cavallerano, OD

This course represents skill-building in all areas of clinical care, and provides advanced, clinically-relevant education for optometrists-in-training who have completed the second professional year and who have been exposed to patient care. The course is designed to expand clinical knowledge and enhance understanding in the area of secondary and tertiary eye care. The emphasis in Special Topics II is posterior segment disorders, glaucoma, and ocular manifestation of systemic disorders. Each presentation consists of lecture and case studies, and is designed to be interactive and participatory.

(BSD10286A) Systems Physiology
Instructor of Record: Steven Koevary, PhD

This course examines the anatomy and physiology of excitable cells (nerve and muscle), and the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, and digestive systems, as well as the physiology of receptors and membrane channels. The course uses an integrative approach that includes the examination of biochemical, cellular, histological, and whole-organ mechanisms. The material covered in this course provides essential background material for the clinical medicine, pharmacology, and ocular disease courses.

Department of Primary Care

(PC32001) Advanced Diagnostic Techniques
(PC32002) Advanced Diagnostic Techniques I
(PC32003) Advanced Diagnostic Techniques II
Instructor of Record: TBA

The Advanced Diagnostics Techniques Course (ADT) is a lecture and laboratory course designed to introduce third year optometry students to advanced screening, diagnostic, and therapeutic techniques. Topics covered in this course include: ocular ultrasound (A and B scan), corneal foreign body removal, dilation and irrigation of the lacrimal drainage system, scleral depression, and intramuscular/intravenous injections on a artificial injection arm.

(PC12041) Clinical Reasoning Ia
 Instructor of Record: Aurora Denial, OD

This is a core course for all first-year students. It is mainly lecture-based and provides foundational information for the entire sequence of clinical reasoning courses. The purpose of this course is to develop an appreciation for clinical thought processes, provide an opportunity to integrate the knowledge base into a clinical scenario, and to develop skills in the clinical thought process. The course emphasizes strategies for diagnosis, problem solving, and learning, with specific attention given to problem identification, understanding points of view, and assumptions. This course will be graded honors, pass, or fail. One grade will be issued at the end of the spring semester. A criterion for grading has been established if a student does not complete the two semesters.

(PC12042) Clinical Reasoning Ib
 Instructor of Record: Aurora Denial, OD

This is a core course for all first-year students. The spring course is a small group discussion format highlighting case discussions and “personal patient” presentations by students. This course emphasizes application of strategies learned in the fall. This course will help to develop the cognitive skills needed for patient care. The course is graded honors, pass, or fail.

(PC22041) Clinical Reasoning II
Instructor of Record: Aurora Denial, OD

This is a core course presented to students at the end of their second year of study. The purpose of the course is to develop the clinical thought process and integration of knowledge. This course emphasizes forming a differential diagnosis and an appropriate data base. Skills learned in the first-year course, along with clinical experience, are applied to cases and presentations. The course is graded pass or fail.

(PC32041) Clinical Reasoning III
 Instructor of Record: Aurora Denial, OD

This is a core course for all third-year students. This course emphasizes all aspects of clinical reasoning and patient care, with special attention to diagnosis and management of ocular diseases/conditions. The course is graded pass or fail.

(PC22080A) Introduction to Clinical Care
Instructor of Record: Bina Patel, OD

This intent of this course is to assimilate previously-acquired optometric skills, both educational and via clinical practice, into American-based optometry, including terminology, aspects of public health, visual field and application, and an introduction to billing procedures and standards of care. Credentialing in order to proceed to patient care is achieved upon successful completion of this course.

(PC22701) Ophthalmic Business and Management Policy I
(PC32702) Ophthalmic Business and Management Policy II  
Instructor of Record: David Mills, OD, MBA

These courses endeavor to teach students the knowledge, skill, and background required to manage an ophthalmic business in all eye and health care delivery systems. Topics include goal setting, patient communication, office design, accounting and finance in an optometric setting, fee computation, practice purchase valuation, human resources, relevant business law, professional liability and risk management, and marketing. The development of a formal business plan is required.

(PC12005) Principles and Practice of Optometry Ia  
(PC12006) Principles and Practice of Optometry Ib  
Instructor of Record: Nancy Carlson, OD

This is a two-semester, team-taught course that prepares first-year students to participate in vision screenings and clerkships by teaching the basic principles of clinical science and patient care. In this course, the student acquires the knowledge, technical skills, professional attitudes and ethics needed to participate in patient care. This course includes both lectures and vision screenings, optometry clinical observations, and medical clinical laboratory sessions throughout the year.

(PC22010) Principles and Practice of Optometry
Instructor of Record: Maureen Hanley, OD
(PC22007) Principles and Practice of Optometry IIa  
(PC22008) Principles and Practice of Optometry IIb

Instructors of Record: Bina Patel, OD and Maureen Hanley, OD

Upon completing this course, the student will achieve a moderately-high level of competence with respect to a modest list of patient presentations commonly encountered by primary care optometrists. By the course’s end, the student will be able to conduct a comprehensive, primary-care optometric examination, reach a diagnosis, and outline a management plan for the vast majority of patients seen during the third-year clinical program. The course will cover the general areas of ocular disease, refraction, functional vision analysis, and patient communication.

(PC12081A) Principles and Practice of Optometry A  
Instructor of Record: Nancy Carlson, OD

This is a team-taught course that prepares students to participate in vision screenings and clerkships by teaching the basic principles of clinical science and patient care. In this course, the student will acquire the knowledge, technical skills, professional attitudes and ethics needed to participate in patient care. This course includes both lectures and vision screenings, laboratory sessions, optometry clinical observations, and medical clinical observations throughout the term.

(PC22082A) Principles and Practice of Optometry B  
Instructor of Record: Nancy Carlson, OD

Upon completing this course, the student will achieve a moderately-high level of competence with respect to a modest list of patient presentations commonly encountered by primary care optometrists. By the course’s end, the student will be able to conduct a comprehensive, primary-care optometric examination, reach a diagnosis, and outline a management plan for the vast majority of patients seen during the year. The course will cover the general areas of ocular disease, refraction, functional vision analysis, and patient communication.

(PC22083A) Principles and Practice of Optometry C
Instructor of Record: Bina Patel, OD

This course provides the foundation for the differentiation of normal and abnormal presentations of the anterior and posterior aspects of the eye and ocular adnexae, and is integrated with basic science principles of ocular physiology of the eye. The ocular physiology principles are applied to the normal function of ocular tissues that are commonly compromised in disease, with clinical presentation of signs and symptoms that may result. Laboratory sessions teach the students how to perform diagnostic skills and how to interpret clinical techniques used to assess ocular health status.     

(PC12401) Vision Health Care 1A          
Instructor of Record: Gary Chu, OD, MPH                                                                 

The content of this course is a requisite for all first-year students and requires a passing grade to meet satisfactory completion of the first-year curriculum. The instructors have expertise in public health aspects of clinical care. This course presents social, ethical, and policy issues to optometrists-in-training at the beginning of their first professional year, prior to their being exposed to patient care. The course is designed to provide the underpinnings to practicing the profession of optometry in a caring, competent manner within the current health care environment.

(PC12402) Vision Health Care 1B      
Instructor of Record: Gary Chu, OD, MPH

This one-credit course consists of two graded projects. The first is a community analysis project, in which each student identifies a community’s need for eye care services, based on a demographic, socio-economic analysis of the community’s population. Students assess the supply of eye care services by determining the number of FTE providers who are available to the public at-large, or who are limited in either their scope of practice or their availability to provide services to the community. Each student is required to identify and to conduct two in-depth interviews with optometrists from his or her community.

The second project is a group public health project in which each group, under the guidance of a faculty advisor, identifies a public health issue within the scope of this project. The project can be an assessment that quantifies the magnitude and importance of the problem, or it can identify elements of the problem that are amenable to intervention, or it can include an intervention in which the impact is a measurable outcome.  The group summarizes their project in a standard poster format and presents it in a competitive poster session that is judged by public health experts from the Greater Boston community.

Department of Vision Science

(VS21203) Binocular Vision and Ocular Motility 
Instructor of Record: Glen McCormack, OD, PhD

This course presents elements of binocular vision and ocular motility. Binocular vision topics include oculocentric and egocentric localization, binocular correspondence and the horopter, fusion and Panum’s areas, binocular rivalry and suppression, depth cues and stereopsis, stereoacuity, and the pathophysiological aspects of strabismus, amblyopia, and stereoblindness. The ocular motility material includes principles of saccadic, pursuit, vestibular, optokinetic, vergence, and accommodative movements and addresses the anatomical, kinematic, physiological, cybernetic, and pathophysiological properties of ocular motility. Laboratory sessions support the lecture material with hands-on experiments.

(VS11210) Color Vision
Instructor of Record: TBA

This course presents the theory of the measurement of color and the neurophysiology of color vision. The course includes the theory of the construction of color vision tests and of the differential diagnosis of congenital and acquired color vision defects.

(VS21217A)  Lectures in Binocular Vision
Instructor of Record: Glen McCormack, OD, PhD

This course presents elements of binocular vision. Topics include oculocentric and egocentric localization, binocular correspondence and the horopter, fusion and Panum’s areas, binocular rivalry and suppression, depth cues and stereopsis, stereoacuity, and the pathophysiological aspects of strabismus, amblyopia, and stereoblindness.

(VS21218A)  Lectures in Ocular Motility
Instructor of Record: Glen McCormack, OD, PhD

This course presents elements of ocular motility. Topics include principles of saccadic, pursuit, vestibular, optokinetic, vergence, and accommodative movements and addresses the anatomical, kinematic, physiological, cybernetic, and pathophysiological properties of ocular motility.

(VS21009) Lighting Measurement 
Instructors of Record: Nancy J. Coletta, OD, PhD

This course covers light measurement and light hazards; topics include radiometry and photometry, ambient radiation, glare and lighting design, and photic damage to the eye.

(VS21207) Neural Basis of Vision 
(VS21291A) Neural Basis of Vision 
Instructor of Record: Frank Thorn, OD, PhD

This course shows how the retina and the brain work together to produce human vision.  The course centers on the encoding and transmission of information through single neurons in the visual system, and the relationship between this information and specific aspects of human vision. The central visual system and a variety of higher cerebral cortex areas are examined for their role in vision and visually-guided behavior. Upon completing this course, a student should feel comfortable with his or her understanding of how an image on the retina is translated into visual information and how the brain processes the information.

(VS11001) Optics I 
Instructor of Record: Nancy J. Coletta, OD, PhD

This course provides the student with the basic theory of optics as it relates to optometric refraction, ophthalmic corrective lenses, ophthalmic instruments, and low vision devices. In addition, the course covers the optical properties of the eye and the techniques used for assessing these properties. Topics include vergence, refraction, reflection, ray tracing, prisms, thin and thick lenses, mirrors, optical models of the eye, refractive errors, and optical effects of correcting lenses. Laboratory sessions support the lecture material with hands-on experiments.

(VS11002) Optics II
Instructor of Record: Nancy J. Coletta, OD, PhD

This course emphasizes the application of geometric optics to the properties of ophthalmic lenses, including the imaging properties of sphero-cylindrical lenses, base curves, lens thickness, magnification properties, lens shapes, and prismatic effects of lenses. Additional material covers principles of ophthalmic optical devices for low vision, including the magnification and field properties of telescopes and magnifiers. Lensometry skills, eyewear design, and the production of eyewear are included in the laboratory.

(VS21003) Optics III 
Instructors of Record: Ernest Loewenstein, OD, PhD, and Nancy J. Coletta, OD, PhD

This course covers physical optics, aberrations, and light measurement. Topics include light scatter, polarization, interference, diffraction, and factors that set limitations on the sensitivity and resolving power of optical instruments, including the eye. Additional material covers measurement of light, ambient radiation, lasers, photic damage to the eye, wavefront aberrations and optical quality, and advanced ophthalmic imaging methods.

(VS11081A) Optics A 
Instructor of Record: Guang-Ji Wang, MD, OD

The objectives of the Optics A course are to provide students with the basic science and skills of optics with geometric and physical properties which are necessary for understanding refraction, ophthalmic lenses, ophthalmic instruments and the human eye’s optical system. This course will cover traditional optics including geometric optics, physical optics, and visual optics. The topics will be related to the clinical examination of optical and visual function. Fundamental principles, concepts, and equations will be presented in the lecture sessions, and sample problems will be solved in class. The laboratory sessions support the lecture material with hands-on experiments.

(VS21082A) Optics B 
Instructor of Record: Blair Wong, ABOM

This course emphasizes the application of geometric optics to the properties of ophthalmic lenses including the imaging properties of sphero-cylindrical lenses, base curves, lens thickness, magnification properties, lens shapes, and prismatic effects of lenses. Lensometry skills, eyewear design, and the production of eyewear are included in the laboratory.

(VS31006) Solving Complex Refractive Issues
Instructor of Record: Blair Wong, ABOM

This course presents the optometric approach to optimal patient care through the clinical visualization, analysis, application and ultimate design specific to ophthalmic prescription eyewear and contact lenses. A thorough review of intermediate level optics will be presented in the beginning of the course as a means to prepare students for case analyses involving anisometropia, aniseikonia, post-cataract care and post corneal surgical considerations. Upon completion of this course, students will develop a greater understanding for the delivery of optimal optometric patient care, and analyze patients’ eye care and eyewear needs in regards to refraction, frame selection, and ophthalmic lens selection.

(VS11201) Theory and Methods of Vision Testing 
(VS11202A) Theory and Methods of Vision Testing 
Instructor of Record: TBA

The parameters that affect vision tests are discussed, together with a survey of concepts used in the field of vision testing. Light detection, spectral sensitivity, dark adaptation, visual acuity and spatial vision, and flicker perception are addressed. Psychophysical methodologies are also discussed. The strengths and weaknesses of these techniques for measuring vision are covered, and modern alternative techniques are introduced.

Perceptual processes are addressed, including the effect of eye movements on perception, visual masking, size and distance perception, direction perception and motion perception. Clinical implications of these phenomena are emphasized.

Finally, high-order visual activity and the influence of non-visual factors such as attention and memory upon visual perception are covered. Form perception, recognition, illusions and visual imagery are addressed. Reading, reading problems and dyslexia are also discussed.

(VS21292A) Visual Development 
Instructor of Record:  Frank Thorn, OD, PhD

This course presents the development of normal and abnormal vision, from the basic underlying principles and supporting science to the diagnosis and management of clinical conditions resulting from abnormal development, such as strabismus and amblyopia. Basic topics include: the testing of vision in human infants, the normal and abnormal development of the neural visual system in animals, the effects of monocular eye closure, strabismus, anisometropia and astigmatism on the development of the visual system and visual behavior, and the critical period for neural flexibility. Research on the nature of vision in amblyopia and binocular vision loss in patients is then described and related to the mechanisms revealed in the first parts of the course.

Department of Specialty and Advanced Care

(SAC23005A) Advanced Contact Lenses
Instructor of Record: Ronald Watanabe, OD

Contact lenses are an essential part of optometric practice; not only for practice success, but also in the management of certain ocular conditions that require visual or therapeutic rehabilitation. This course covers advanced contact lens topics for the optometry student who has previous contact lens practice experience. Topics include soft and rigid gas permeable toric lenses, multifocal lenses, specialty lenses for irregular corneas, and contact lens related complications. Self-study is the key to maximizing learning and success in this course.

(SAC33405) Binocular & Accommodative Anomalies
Instructors of Record: Barry Kran, OD; Stacy Lyons, OD; and Glen McCormack, OD, PhD

This lecture and laboratory course provides the student with the ability to diagnose as well as to initiate treatment for patients who present with non-strabismic binocular dysfunctions, accommodative anomalies, and non-pathologic oculomotor dysfunction. From a diagnostic perspective, it will integrate the clinical information gained in the PPO sequence with the theoretical and practical information covered in other courses discussing binocular vision. Treatment options discussed will include the judicious application of lenses and prisms, as well as an introduction to optometric vision therapy.

(SAC23001) Contact Lenses
Instructor of Record: Ronald Watanabe, OD

Contact lenses are an essential part of optometric practice, not only for practice success, but also in the management of certain ocular conditions that require visual and/or therapeutic rehabilitation. This course introduces all aspects of contact lens practice to the optometry student. It begins with spherical soft and rigid gas permeable contact lenses, and continues through toric, multifocal and specialty lenses, as well as contact lens related complications and their management. A hands-on laboratory provides practical experience with the various lens types, and online materials encourage independent learning.

 

(SAC33402) Development, Strabismus, and Amblyopia
(SAC33483A) Strabismus and Amblyopia

Instructor of Record: Erik Weissberg, OD

Normal and abnormal visual development, from the basic underlying principles and supporting science to the diagnosis and management of clinical conditions resulting from abnormal development such as strabismus and amblyopia, are presented. Basic topics include the development of refractive errors; the normal and abnormal development of the neural visual system in animals; the effects of monocular eye closure, strabismus, anisometropia and astigmatism on the development of the visual system and visual behavior; the critical period for neural flexibility; the testing of vision in human infants; and research on the nature of vision in amblyopia and binocular vision loss. The course then takes a more clinical turn, as it provides the student with an organized approach to the clinical evaluation and management of a patient with strabismus and/or amblyopia. Discussions focus on natural history, etiology, signs and symptoms, related characteristics, significance and practical management of amblyopia, esotropia, exotropia, and noncomitant strabismus. There is special emphasis on the clinical decisions and procedures needed to recognize functional versus pathological etiologies with a laboratory component, setting the stage for discussion and hands-on experience with relevant diagnostic and treatment procedures.

(SAC33203) Low Vision Rehabilitation Throughout the Life Span
Instructor of Record: Richard Jamara, OD

This one-semester lecture and laboratory course provides an introduction to low vision rehabilitation and geriatrics. The course teaches the role optometrists perform in treating the level 1 low vision patient who has moderate visual impairment. The course also addresses how to refer the level 2 patient who has advanced visual impairment to comprehensive low vision care. This is taught using the New England Eye Institute Specialty and Advanced Care low vision examination strategy for evaluation, low vision device selection, and patient management. Interactive laboratories provide hands-on experience and practice using the low vision methods of evaluation.

(SAC33605) Pediatric Optometry
Instructor of Record: Nicole Quinn, OD

The Pediatric Optometry course prepares the student to understand, diagnose, and manage vision problems found in children. Topics include examination techniques used for infants and toddlers, diagnosis and management of refractive error and ocular disease in children, child development, learning-related vision problems, evaluation of children with disabilities, and the ocular and systemic manifestations of child abuse. Seminars will provide hands-on opportunities to reinforce techniques and concepts discussed in lectures. At the conclusion of the course, students will have the foundation needed to deliver high-quality eye care to their pediatric patients.

Clinical Education

(PC12125) Patient Care Ia  
Instructor of Record: Beth Harper, OD

A visual screening consists of eight separate examination procedures, seven of which students will learn by November. At mid-November, after passing didactic and practical testing, students will be “privileged” by New England Eye (NEE) to perform screenings under the oversight of a preceptor. Initial encounters will be with toddlers, children, and young adults. On each screening, students are evaluated by the preceptor on examination techniques, record keeping, attitude/professionalism, and maintenance of patient logs.

The second part of this course focuses on proficiency in professional doctor-patient communications. Students learn communication techniques via lectures, readings, observations of health care professionals, and by application and practice during assigned screenings.  The observation program places students in different health care settings to critically observe how communication techniques are utilized.

These two clinical activities (screenings and observations) comprise clinical assignments during the first year. Clinical performance is graded pass, remedial, or fail, based on meeting all of the requirements and on clinical performance at screenings. The requirements include fulfilling immunizations, CPR training, HIPAA training, and submitting clinical observation forms, log forms, and preceptor evaluations. Clinical performance is evaluated by screening preceptors. Both the screening evaluations and the other required items will form the basis of the grade for the course.

(PC12126) Patient Care Ib
Instructor of Record: Beth Harper, OD

In the second term of the first year, observation and screening assignments continue. For the second term, clinical performance is graded similarly to that of the first term. Student requirements include maintaining immunization and other documentation; having proof of attending four observations during the year; and submitting clinical observation forms, log forms, and preceptor evaluations. Clinical performance is evaluated daily by screening preceptors.

(PC12120A) Patient Care I
Instructor of Record: Beth Harper, OD
Students in the Advanced Optometric Degree Program will be assigned observations commensurate with their experience, and all students will be assigned screening assignments. The clinical grade is based on clinical evaluations and on meeting the student requirements, including having documentation completed and submitting patient logs, preceptor evaluations, and clinical observation forms.

(PC22125 and -6, PC22120A) Patient Care IIa, Patient Care IIb,
Patient Care II
Instructor of Record: Beth Harper, OD

The primary goal of the Clerkship Program is to augment the clinical skills learned in the first year. Through assignments to practices in the New England Eye network of clinics and health centers and to affiliated practice locations in the Boston area, students become active members of an eye care delivery team. In addition to applying their current level of knowledge and skills, students are expected to acquire an understanding of patient care, effective patient communication, ancillary office skills, and a beginning understanding of ocular health and disease detection through the use of automated and other diagnostic equipment. As skills are developed during the year, preceptors are encouraged to incorporate those techniques into patient care responsibilities. The clinical grade is honors, pass, remedial, or fail based on a midterm and final preceptor evaluation; on meeting documentation requirements such as maintaining immunization, CPR, and other documentation; and on submitting patient logs, preceptor and site evaluations.

(PC32125, -6, and -7, PC32124A) Patient Care IIIa, Patient Care IIIb, Patient Care IIIc, Patient Care
Instructor of Record: Beth Harper, OD

This sequence of courses gives students direct patient care experience and responsibilities in affiliated health centers, Veterans Affairs hospitals, private practices, or in the New England Eye operated clinical system. Clinical preceptors will evaluate and guide the student through the process of providing eye care. Students are graded on key clinical tools: technical skills, knowledge base, analytical skills, diagnostic skills, management and treatment, communication skills, efficiency, attitude, and professionalism. The clinical grade is honors, pass, remedial, or fail based on a midterm and final preceptor evaluation; on meeting documentation requirements, such as maintaining immunization, CPR, and other documentation; and on submitting patient logs, preceptor and site evaluations.

The Office of Clinical Education monitors the quality and quantity of patient encounters for each student. Through the clinical assignments, students will gain proficiency in full-scope primary care optometry and contact lenses. All students must satisfy a minimum number of contact lens patient encounters during the course of their assignments. Some students may be assigned to contact-lens-specific sites in order to assure a broad clinical experience. Some students may meet the contact lens requirement through affiliations set up on behalf of the students during the summer term with private practitioners who meet the College’s program standards.

Final Year Rotations
Four rotations during the final year complete the clinical requirements, with mandatory assignments in Primary Care, Advanced Care and Specialty Care. Students choose an additional assignment in one of the mandatory categories or from a list of elective sites. The College currently has affiliated clinical sites located in over thirty states, three Canadian provinces, Spain, and China. Student assignments are based on a variety of factors, including student choices and program needs.

The Office of Clinical Education monitors the quality and quantity of patient encounters for each student. All students must satisfy a minimum number of contact lens patient encounters during the course of their final-year assignments. Some students may be assigned to contact-lens-specific sites in order to assure a broad clinical experience. Clinical preceptors evaluate students twice per quarter with the expectation that all levels of performance will progressively increase throughout the year.

(ECP4916,-7,-8, and -9) Primary Care  
Instructor of Record: Beth Harper, OD

Clinical sites that provide comprehensive eye care services for patients of all age brackets are categorized as Primary Care sites. Typically, these sites are health centers or private optometric practices.

(ECP4921,-2,-3, and -4) Advanced Care  
Instructor of Record: Beth Harper, OD

Clinical sites that provide comprehensive eye care services in hospitals or surgical centers and have associated medical staff are categorized as Advanced Care sites. These include Veterans Affairs hospitals, refractive surgery centers, and eye institutes.

(ACC4961,-2,-3, and -4) Specialty Care  
Instructor of Record: Beth Harper, OD

Clinical sites that provide professional specialty care are categorized as Specialty Care clinics. These include clinics specializing in visual therapy/binocular vision, contact lenses, pediatrics, geriatrics, patients with disabilities, or low vision. The College’s Special Populations rotation provides training in all of these specialty areas.

Department of Graduate Research Studies

Biostatistics I: Introduction to Biostatistics and Experimental Design

This course is intended to provide a better understanding of data analysis and statistical issues in design of experiments, as well as the techniques and terminology commonly used to elicit and communicate evidence concerning scientific hypotheses. Students will learn to properly interpret the strength of statistical arguments made by researchers, and how to weigh statistical and clinical evidence in assessing a scientific hypothesis. Emphasis will be placed on conceptual understanding of issues.

Biostatistics II: Introduction to Implementing Statistical Tests and Procedures Using Excel and JMP

This course is intended for students interested in learning how to conduct data analysis and how to interpret the output of statistical software. The implementation of these techniques through Excel and JMP will be illustrated by real datasets taken from clinical and public health studies. Students will learn where to find the relevant information from the statistical output tables generated by the software. Emphasis will be placed on application of statistical methods to real datasets.

Laboratory Research Survey

This course provides an overview of the basic areas of research conducted at the College and potentially available to students in the MS program. In separate lectures, graduate faculty will discuss the details of their research, including the major hypotheses and findings, and representative research designs and procedures. OD students may take the course for additional credits. A short paper is required for credit; the course is graded Pass/Fail.

Research Lecture Series

Colloquia are held throughout the academic year. The series features invited lectures on a wide variety of topics by an international group of researchers. Whenever possible, graduate student participation will include reading and discussion of topical papers in advance of the lecture and meeting with the speaker as coordinated with the Graduate Research Seminars. Additional lectures will be held each year on Research Ethics, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and Institutional Review Board (IRB) functions and procedures. These courses are graded Pass/Fail.

Thesis Proposal Development

Thesis Proposal Development is an independent tutorial conducted by the student’s advisor, and involves a comprehensive literature survey of the chosen research area. Through regular meetings, the student and advisor discuss this literature in detail, and the student writes a paper, reviewed by the advisor, summarizing the literature. This paper should help in the development of the thesis proposal and thesis. The course is graded Pass/Fail.

Thesis Proposal

At the end of the semester in May of the second year (OD/MS program), or at the end of January of the first year for the stand-alone MS program, each student must submit to the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), with the signed approval of the advisor, a thesis proposal defining the thesis project, the methods and design of the experiments needed for completion, the progress to date, and plans for completion. The GSC reviews the thesis proposals. The course is graded Pass/Fail.

Graduate Research Seminars I-IV

These seminars present graduate-level material in each of the three major core content areas (biological science, optics, and visual psychophysics) in which MS students may conduct their research projects. In addition, there is a seminar on selected topics, usually on the development of refractive state and myopia, reflecting a large proportion of the research currently being conducted at the College. Students will be letter-graded on participation in the seminars and the quality of required presentations and/or papers. The general seminar topics are as follows:

Graduate Research Seminar I: Biomedical Research in Vision
This seminar examines selected areas of recent biological research in vision. Current advances in methodology, specifics of research design, and impact of research findings will be emphasized. Selected topics are based on participating faculty expertise and include ocular immunology, diabetic retinopathy, nutrition and the eye, ocular circadian rhythms, anterior segment physiology, regulation of IOP and glaucoma.

Graduate Research Seminar II: Optics in Vision
This seminar discusses current research in visual optics with concentrations on theory and method of non-invasive techniques for measuring the optical characteristics of the eye and the functional characteristics of the eye’s optics. Topics include optical aberrations of the eye and their role in vision, optical characteristics of blur, optical limitations on neural processing, and optical imaging methods.

Graduate Research Seminar III: Special Topics – Eye Growth, Emmetropization, and the Development of Myopia
This seminar surveys and critiques the recent experimental and epidemiological research on the control of eye growth and the development of refractive state. Topics include the visual regulation of eye growth, emmetropization and refractive error development, animal models of myopia, the biochemistry and biomechanics of eye growth, and the genetics of eye growth and refractive error development. Occasionally, other special topics in vision science may be selected.

Graduate Research Seminar IV: Visual Neurophysiology and Development of Vision
This seminar covers a wide range of material examining recent work on the neurophysiology of the visual system in health and disease. Emphasis is placed on the development of visual system functions. Topics include binocular vision, strabismus and amblyopia, control of eye movements and accommodation, color vision and color vision defects, retinal processing and spatial vision.

Laboratory Research I-IV

The MS program at New England College of Optometry emphasizes the development of the technical, analytical, and problem-solving skills necessary for successful research in vision science. Accordingly, actual hypothesis-driven experimental research in the laboratory or clinic is the centerpiece of the program. This research is oriented toward the development, execution, and completion of a Master’s thesis. The courses in the Laboratory Research I-IV sequence are essential for carrying out the planning, data collection and data analysis necessary to complete the thesis research project. Each course is graded Pass/Fail.

Laboratory Research I
Four hours/week minimal lab work is required for Laboratory Research I. FWS and non-FWS funds may be available for additional hours. The student should be working with the advisor in the planning of the thesis research project, including obtaining permission for use of human or animal subjects by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), respectively. By the end of the semester, the student should have a clear understanding of what the laboratory does and the potential research projects available. Plans for the summer research project should be formulated. Any laboratory changes should be requested before the end of the semester.

Laboratory Research II
Four hours/week minimal lab work is required for Laboratory Research II. FWS and non-FWS funds may be available for additional hours. The student should be collecting and analyzing data for the thesis project and be planning for additional data collection with the MS advisor. By the end of the semester, the student should know what needs to be done to collect the remaining data for the project.

Laboratory Research III
Four hours/week minimal lab work is required for Laboratory Research III. FWS and non-FWS funds may be available for additional hours. The student should be collecting and analyzing data for the thesis project and reviewing results with the MS advisor. By the end of the semester, data collection should be complete or near complete. The student should start working on thesis organization.

Laboratory Research IV
Four hours/week minimal lab work is required for Laboratory Research IV. FWS and non-FWS funds may be available for additional hours. The student should be finalizing data analysis for the thesis project and reviewing results with the MS advisor. The student should continue working on thesis organization and begin preliminary thesis writing.

Thesis Preparation I and II

The MS degree in Vision Science from the New England College of Optometry establishes that the holder has undertaken and reported a substantial piece of original research under the supervision and guidance of a graduate faculty advisor. All MS degree candidates are required to submit a written research thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for award of the degree. The thesis must provide evidence that the candidate is capable of independently conceiving, designing and carrying to completion a research program or project.

Thesis Preparation I

This course is an independent study involving preparation of the thesis. The thesis must include a cover and title page, abstract, table of contents, introduction of the thesis topic with a comprehensive review of the literature, appropriately organized methods, results, and discussion sections for the experiments performed, and a final conclusions section summarizing the outcome of the project. The student should submit a draft of the thesis to the advisor by the end of the semester. Plans should be in place for the thesis examination to be held in the spring semester. This course is graded Pass/Fail.

Thesis Preparation II

This course is an independent study involving final preparation of the thesis. A completed thesis, ready for binding, must be submitted to the thesis advisor, thesis committee members and to the Director of Library Services. For the MS student to be recognized at commencement, a thesis examination must be completed by March 31 and the final version of the thesis must be submitted by May 15 during the spring semester of the fourth year for the OD/MS program, or the second year in the stand-alone MS program. This course is graded pass/fail.

 

 

 

Updated April 2013