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Career Opportunities for ODs in Academia. Teaching & Research Needs. Need More Optometry Faculty Teaching Needs. Profession is growing More schools Expansion of Scope requires greater range of expertise Fewer instructors with ODs are teaching basic science in optometry schools.

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need more optometry faculty teaching needs
Need More Optometry FacultyTeaching Needs
  • Profession is growing
  • More schools
  • Expansion of Scope requires greater range of expertise
  • Fewer instructors with ODs are teaching basic science in optometry schools
need more optometry faculty research needs
Need More Optometry FacultyResearch Needs
  • Current production of OD, PhDs or OD, MS is just a trickle
  • There are many topics in “Traditional” Optometry that need research
  • Biomedical topics, i.e. within the expanded scope, have only a handful of OD researchers
why bother with science
Why Bother with Science?
  • Every instrument, every procedure, every treatment you use in clinic has a background in science
  • Smart clinicians ask why?
  • Leads to basic, translational & clinical studies that improve patient care
  • Optometry’s authenticity & legitimacy is enhanced because ODs do research
  • Optometry must not simply be a consumer of knowledge, it must contribute as well.
academic entry points
Academic Entry Points
  • Traditional: MS and PhD programs
  • Residency: Many provide teaching responsibilities; often needed for faculty positions
  • NEW: K12 Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Program– Training in Clinical/Translational research--Is not necessarily a degree program
k12 nei mentored clinical scientist development program nei website lists six programs
K12 NEI Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Program (NEI website lists six programs)
  • UC Berkeley Optometry
  • Wilmer
  • Univ. of Penn
  • Duke
  • Harvard-Mass Eye & Ear
  • Univ. of Illinois
k12 http www nei nih gov funding neifm asp
  • Three to five years of training
  • Purpose: support career development of clinical scientists
  • Translate basic science advances to clinic
  • Berkeley program offers your current faculty salary
  • Possible to get release & return to current institution
graduate programs at schools and colleges of optometry
Graduate Programs at Schools and Colleges of Optometry
  • Indiana University: MS, PhD
  • NECO: MS, PhD with Boston Univ.
  • Nova Southeastern: MS
  • Ohio State University: MS, PhD
  • Pacific University: MS, MEd
  • PCO at Salus: MS, PhD
  • SCCO: MS
  • SUNY: MS, PhD
  • UAB: MS, PhD
  • UCB: MS, PhD
  • University of Houston: MS, PhD

major sources of financial support
Major Sources of Financial Support
  • Fee remissions, stipends, teaching & research assistantships, & training grants from the institutional graduate program
  • NIH- Loan Repayment Program, up to $70,000
  • AOF Ezell Fellowships
  • Individual NIH K23 (clinician scientist) or KO8 (research training) grants
  • Little or no tuition/fees: $0 out
  • Receive a modest stipend for living expenses: some $ in
  • Potential to increase salary through KO8 or K23 (e.g.$60-80K/year) grants: a lot of $ in
  • Potential to have a substantial portion of Optometry school loans repaid: reduce debt
  • Very competitive for teaching or research jobs
how to get started
How to get started?
  • If you like to ask why, enjoy the discovery process, or want to advance the state of patient care, then a post-OD degree may be for you
  • Talk to the research director at your school
  • To see if research is appealing, some optometry schools have NEI supported summer research programs that will pay you a stipend, including: IU, NECO, OSU, UCB, UH