Post-Graduate & Advanced Practice Fellowships

The Advanced Practice Fellowship is a two-year program involving work toward a Master’s degree in Vision Science combined with clinical experience. Its purpose is to provide advanced optometric and research training with particular emphasis on the chosen specialty (cornea and contact lenses, binocular vision and pediatrics, vision rehabilitation, or family practice). If a prospective applicant possesses a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, he or she may be eligible for a one-year residency in one of these specialty areas.

The program consists of course work in Vision Science, statistics, and general issues related to research plus elective courses specific to the student’s areas of interest. A total of 30 credit hours, including independent research credits, must be completed for the Master’s degree. The remaining time is devoted to clinical teaching, serving as a teaching assistant in appropriate laboratories, patient care from the routine to the most complex phases of optometric practice, and completion of a research project and Master’s thesis.

There are specific training and experience aspects to the various specialties as follows:

  • Cornea and Contact Lenses: The first summer semester of the program is typically spent full-time in contact lens clinic and possibly other clinical settings, providing direct patient care to sharpen clinical skills before the academic program formally begins in autumn semester.
  • Binocular Vision and Pediatrics: The first summer semester of the program is typically spent full-time in binocular vision/pediatrics clinic and possibly other clinical settings, providing direct patient care to sharpen clinical skills before the academic program formally begins in autumn semester.
  • Vision Rehabilitation: In addition to examining patients within the Vision Rehabilitation Service at the College of Optometry, the resident will work at a multidisciplinary blind rehabilitation center (Vision Center of Central Ohio), which provides vocational, homemaking, and mobility training. The initial semester in the program will be spent in full-time direct patient care in a variety of clinical settings (Vision Rehabilitation, Primary Vision Care, and Disease Evaluation).
  • Family Practice: The first summer semester of the program is typically spent full-time in primary vision care clinic and possibly other clinical settings, providing direct patient care to sharpen clinical skills before the academic program formally begins in autumn semester.

Graduate Studies : Required course work

A minimum of 30 graduate credit hours is required to earn a Master's degree. No more than 8 credit hours of 8999 coursework may count toward this minimum. The student must complete at least two 8000 level courses in Vision Science, with at least one being one of the five-credit 80X0 core courses. Two other courses are required: Vision Science 7960 (Ethics in Biomedical Research), and Vision Science 7980 (Statistics in Clinical Research). The remaining coursework is selected according to the student's interests, as recommended by the student's advisor.

Required coursework specific to the specialty:

Cornea and Contact Lenses:

  • Vision Science 8040

Binocular Vision and Pediatrics:

  • Vision Science 8020

Vision Rehabilitation:

  • Vision Science 8010

Family Practice:

  • Public Health 7620

Clinical Curriculum

The graduate optometrist will instruct students and/or provide direct patient care in his or her chosen area of specialization, and (in order to maintain scope and skill levels) some additional clinical services, e.g., Primary Vision Care, Binocular Vision and Pediatrics, Vision Rehabilitation, and Contact Lenses.

Individual sequences will be established by consultation among the graduate optometrist, his or her advisor, his or her clinical mentor, the Clinic Director, and the individual Clinic Chief, and may be influenced by thesis project requirements.

The first summer semester of the program is typically spent full-time in clinic, providing direct patient care to sharpen clinical skills before the academic program formally begins in autumn semester.

Teaching Experience

  • General and Specialty Clinic Services : The graduate optometrist has the opportunity to work with fourth year optometry students in providing care to patients seen in The Ohio State University College of Optometry.
  • Optometry and Vision Science Course Laboratories : The graduate optometrist will instruct optometry students in selected laboratories.
  • Lecture Experience : The graduate optometrist will have the opportunity to present lectures in selected courses within the optometry curriculum and at continuing education conferences presented by the College of Optometry.

Research

The thesis is to be an original piece of work, written by the student, and it is to be of publishable scope and quality. The thesis research is on a subject within vision science or on a topic related to clinical vision care. The research project need not be immediately or closely related to the specific residency program and may be supervised by any member of the Graduate Faculty in Vision Science. It may be a stand-alone project, or it may be a piece of a larger research project conducted by others. It may be clinical research on large numbers of patients, or it may be experimental, involving smaller numbers of patients and/or normal subjects. It is expected to be carried out by the student him/herself, with close supervision and consultation by the supervising faculty member.