2015 Improving Diversity in Optometric Careers (I-DOC) program

Thirty students from thirteen states participated in the 2015 Improving Diversity in Optometric Careers (I-DOC) program. This four-day residential program provided underrepresented minority undergraduate college students with the opportunity to learn more about optometry through hands-on activities, presentations, tours, field trips, examinations, panel discussions, and social activities with faculty, staff, and students from The Ohio State University College of Optometry. These students are rising juniors and seniors who will soon be making decisions about their careers and where they will go to optometry school.

This program is hosted by the Committee for Inclusion and Diversity and sponsored by Vision Service Plan (VSP). Dean Karla Zadnik welcomed the participants and inspired them with the story of her path to optometry. Dr. Jackie Davis hosted all the participants, as well as several members of the faculty, staff, and students, at her house for dinner on the first evening of programming. Dr. Davis also provided presentations on presbyopia and differential diagnosis, and she served as moderator for a panel of optometrists, which consisted of Drs. Yoongie Min, San-San Cooley, LeVelle Jenkins, and Jessica Lybarger.

Dr. Barbara Fink guided students in a cow eye dissection, provided hands-on activities to demonstrate the components of the eye exam and a presentation on eye diseases. Drs. Roanne Flom and Tom Raasch provided presentations and hands-on activities in optics and low vision. Students completed an online survey prior to coming to Ohio State, and Professor Lynn Mitchell presented the results of their survey in a discussion of epidemiology and biostatistics for optometry. All students had eye examinations with upperclassmen and rotated through several vision technology stations that included: corneal topography, fundus photography, vision therapy, ocular imaging, measurement of macular pigments, and perception.

I-DOC participants took a bus to the VSP Ophthalmics Laboratory in Lockbourne, Ohio. They were accompanied by Peggy Buckman, Shawn Gilbert, and Kim OyerJustin Griest, Dr. Michael Earley, and Sally Haltom, who provided students with information on the admissions process and a mock interview. Justin and Shawn also accompanied the students on a tour of Ohio State, with lunch at the Ohio Union. Members of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) planned activities for the evening of day two of programming, which included dinner and Buffalo Wild Wings and volleyball.