In the ever-changing landscape of healthcare and patient care, many instruments and measurements that have been core to traditional optometric practice are being replaced by technologies that are more objective, less invasive, and ‘smarter’ than those that have required exacting skills and subjective interpretation. While ensuring that NECO students are prepared to practice with both timeless equipment and new innovations, the College also provides a strong foundation and understanding of the optical and biological principles of analysis and diagnosis as well as the clinical skills necessary to pass the National Board of Optometry skills test.
During the past several years, NECO has been creating a single location for all its patient care-related activities to encourage cross-pollination among faculty and a strong educational experience for students. In Fall 2017, the first phase of the new Clinical Campus was unveiled at the New England College of Optometry (NECO) Center for Eye Care, integrating a primary care vision clinic, several specialty clinics, and an optical boutique.
Located on the first floor of NECO's Commonwealth Avenue location, the state-of-the art facility includes our academic vision center, the Janet LaBreck Low Vision Rehabilitation Center and specialty clinic, and a boutique optical center. In addition to services in primary eye care, cornea and contact lens, pediatrics, vision therapy, and low vision rehabilitation, the NECO Center for Eye Care also opened a Myopia Control Clinic, an evidence-based treatment program to slow the progression of myopia.
At the NECO Center for Eye Care, five traditional, full-size eye examination lanes are complemented with an equal number of assessment rooms equipped with only slit lamps and electronic medical records. The small exam rooms (designed for use by multiple primary medical care providers) are linked to an adjacent diagnostic suite, from which all eye/vision findings and images are imported into the EMR system. The majority of the optometrist’s time with the patient is spent analyzing and discussing findings, reviewing diagnoses, and developing treatment strategies. By utilizing the latest technologies and working with skilled clinical faculty, NECO students become experienced in both modalities of patient care.
In Spring 2018, a Student Training Facility will be completed at the Clinical Campus, with 24 new practice and demonstration units adjacent to the NECO Center for Eye Care clinic. These rooms will expand the College’s capacity to grow a strong clinical research program.
Next fall, our final project at the Commonwealth campus will convert a large conference room into a flexible, multifunctional teaching space that will be used for small group discussions and live or remote traditional lecture presentations. This innovative design at the Clinical Campus creates synergies among the three pillars of NECO's mission: patient care, student training, and clinical research. As new technologies and treatment strategies become available, they will be incorporated into patient care and training protocols. NECO’s students, patients, and faculty will all benefit in this cutting-edge facility.