Clinical Decision Making in Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (ELC67104)
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, the third leading cause of blindness in the United States, and the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Glaucoma is the most common form of preventative blindness that optometrists commonly see. Given these statistics, all NECO graduates will certainly encounter glaucoma patients/suspects in their clinical practice, and in 49 out of the 50 states, they may be responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of this condition. The current NECO curriculum covers POAG in a “spiraling” manner in which they receive an introduction to the disease during first year (ODP I), the condition is then re-visited during second year (ODP II and III), and then again during the third year (Advanced Ocular Disease). While, students obtain a basic glaucoma knowledge base over the course of 3 years, the learning is segmented. Students will benefit from one cohesive setting in which they can assimilate the knowledge they’ve gained thus far, add higher levels of information, apply this knowledge and begin to refine their clinical decision making skills using case-based presentations.
The course will incorporate turning point technology (aka “clicker questions”) in order to enhance learning and retention.
This elective course will utilize case presentations and analysis, overview of advanced technologies used in diagnosing and managing POAG (with an emphasis on analysis and interpretation), and incorporation of evidence based medicine, in order to hone the students’ decision making skills. The concept of structure and function will be explored. Glaucoma medications will be discussed from a clinical perspective. Emphasis is placed in the decision making process for the diagnosis and initiation of treatment. An analysis of risk: benefit ratio will be including in the discussion. This material will be presented in the context of glaucoma suspects, ocular hypertensives, and POAG patients. This course will give students exposure to how practitioners decide what treatment/management plan is best in cases for which there are multiple possibilities. It will prepare the third year student for the more independent decision making of a fourth year student, and teach them how to support their decisions with evidence.