This website was developed and is maintained by the North Central Wisconsin Area Health Education Center.

Optometrists, known as doctors of optometry (O.D.ís), examine and test eyes to detect vision problems, abnormalities and diseases. They prescribe corrective lenses and/or procedures to fix or improve vision problems.

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Geriatric optometry Pediatric optometry Primary care optometry Low-vision rehabilitation Vision therapy Contact lenses Hospital-based optometry

Work Activities/Environment
Optometrists typically work as a salaried employee in a private practice, health maintenance organization (HMO), retail store, as a consultant, or in public health. They may work for an ophthalmologist, as a college instructor or in research. Optometrists examine eyes to detect vision problems and prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses or other procedures. They also may prescribe medications to treat diseases of the eye. In some cases, optometrists consult with and refer patients to ophthalmologists or other health care practitioner. Optometric assistants or technicians assist in preparing patients for examination, performing vision tests, cleaning instruments, repairing frames and modifying contact lenses.

Academic/Special Requirements
High school students should study mathematics, chemistry and biology. A bachelorís degree with 2-3 years of pre-optometric study is recommended at an accredited college or university. It is recommended that students take the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) during their sophomore or junior year to gain admission into a 4-year program at an accredited optometry school*. Courses will include pharmacology, optics, vision science, biochemistry, laboratory and clinical training. Upon completion of the 4-year program, students receive their Doctor of Optometry Degree. They also must pass written and clinical state board examinations to become licensed. Optometrists wishing to specialize (see listing) must complete postgraduate residency programs. *Optometry Schools--There are no Schools of Optometry in Wisconsin.

Educational Institutions

Pre-Professional Programs
Beloit College
Cardinal Stritch
Lawrence University
Marquette University
Ripon College
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
University of Wisconsin - Parkside
University of Wisconsin - Platteville
University of Wisconsin - River Falls
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
University of Wisconsin - Superior
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

Average $93,050

Professional Organizations
American Optometric Association
243 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO, 63141-7881
314/991-4100 or 800/365-2219

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
6110 Executive Blvd., Suite 420
Rockville, MD, 20852

Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
PO Box 592
Canton, NY, 13617

Contact Lens Society of America
441 Carlisle Dr.
Herndon, VA, 20170
800/296-9776 or 703/437-5100

National Board of Examiners in Optometry
200 S. College St., #2010
Charlotte, NC, 28202
704/332-9565 or 800/969-EXAM

Optical Laboratories Association
11096 Lee Highway, Suite A-101
Fairfax, VA, 22030-5039
703/359-2830 or 800/477-5652

Opticians Association of America
3740 Canada Rd.
Lakeland , TN, 38002

Wisconsin Optometric Association
6510 Grand Teton Plaza, Suite 312
Madison, WI, 53719
608/824-2200 or 800/678-5357

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