Improving Diversity of Optometric Careers (I-DOC) 2014

Underrepresented undergraduate students from across the nation participated in the Improving Diversity of Optometric Careers (I-DOC) program June 15-19. Students traveled from as far as Hawaii to attend the program, as well as from New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Oregon, Illinois, Georgia, New York, Michigan, North Carolina, Louisiana, Washington—and even five students from Ohio. The students participated in three days of intense activity to learn more about optometry.


On Monday morning, members of the faculty guided students through a case study of presbyopia (Dr. Jackie Davis), presentation on vision disorders and refractive error correction (Dr. Barbara Fink), introduction to ophthalmic optics (Dr. Tom Raasch), and low vision and vision rehabilitation exercises (Dr. Roanne Flom). In the afternoon, Ms. Peggy Buckman introduced Mr. Charles Ballour from VSP, who informed students about the importance of diversity and cultural competency in optometry. The I-DOC participants then boarded a shuttle bus to VSP Optical Laboratory in Lockbourne, Ohio, where they toured the optic laboratory and mobile eye clinic. That evening, students socialized at dinner at the home of Dr. Jackie Davis and her husband Woodrow.

On Tuesday, students started the day with Ms. Lynn Mitchell going over the results of a survey the students had taken prior to coming to I-DOC concerning the epidemiology of myopia. They also had sessions on the components of the eye exam, a cow eye dissection, and major causes of blinding eye disease worldwide. Following lunch, optometry students gave the I-DOC participants eye examinations, and the students visited five technology stations: vision therapy, visual hallucinations (Dr. Vince Billock), corneal topography (Dr. Barbara Fink), fundus photography (Ms. Emily Grimm), and the Eye Wear Gallery. Students spent the evening at Dave and Buster’s Restaurant and Sports Bar.

On Wednesday, Drs. Yuki Oda, San San Cooley, and Lucille McCauley provided a facilitated panel discussion on careers in optometry. Dr. Davis then provided an interactive presentation on ocular involvement in systemic diseases. Mr. Justin Griest and Ms. LaShanda Coleman brought the students on a tour of the university, with lunch at the Ohio Union. In the afternoon, Ms. Sally Haltom, Mr. Griest, and Dr. Gil Pierce demonstrated a mock interview—both what to do and what not to do in the admissions interview. Mr. Griest also went over the admissions process and how to apply. A research panel of Drs. Stacey Choi, Brad Dougherty, Don Mutti, and Andy Hartwick gave short descriptions of their research and answered questions from the I-DOC students. The I-DOC program concluded with a survey, advisement, and wrap-up.

We hope to see all 20 of these promising, enthusiastic students at The Ohio State University College of Optometry in the next 1-3 years.