Course Descriptions


Basic and Health Science Courses

These courses are concentrated in the first two years of the program and cover optics, ocular anatomy and physiology, visual perception, neuroanatomy, sensory aspects of vision, color vision, as well as human anatomy, immunology, and pharmacology.

BHS 106: Microscopic Anatomy

3 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory/demonstration per week
The fundamental tissue types of the body will be discussed at the microscopic (cellular and subcellular) level. The location of these tissue types in the eye will be discussed, where applicable. Various organ systems formed by these tissues will then be discussed in detail. In the laboratories, students will review the tissues and organs discussed in lecture using computer images, photographs, textbooks, and light microscopic slides. Clinical applications will be presented throughout the course, where applicable. (4 credits)

BHS 107: Applied Ocular Anatomy

5 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This course describes the gross and microscopic anatomy of the eye, its accessory organs and the extraocular muscles and their attachments. Emphasis is placed on the laminar structure of the globe and its constituent elements including the cornea-sclera, uveal tract, retina and lens and upon the functional anatomy of the vitreous, anterior angle, and blood supply. The course is concluded with a description of the embryological development of these components. The laboratory is devoted to the use of the biomicroscope to observe elements of ocular anatomy as they are seen in clinical perspectives; it also includes illustrative demonstrations and models. (6 credits)

BHS 111 : Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology

3 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This course develops an appreciation for the basic principles of structure, function, and organization of the human nervous system. Topics include organization of the central nervous system, cerebral spinal fluid and meninges, histology of neurons and glia, neural development, degeneration, and regeneration, and basic principles of neurophysiology such as ionic mechanisms of membrane potential and action potential as well as synaptic transmission. This course also presents functional neuroanatomy. Structure and function of sensory systems and motor systems are included. Analyses of the visual system are emphasized. Case histories of representative neurological disorders are also presented. Laboratory examines the internal anatomy of the brain stem. (4 credits)

BHS 114: Human Anatomy

4 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This course presents a detailed study of the head and neck region along with a review of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis of the human body. The clinical relevance of gross anatomical relationships is emphasized throughout the course. Laboratory sessions are designed to reinforce the anatomical relationships presented in lecture visually in three dimensions and include examination of human skeletons, human skulls, brain and its blood supply models, dural structures on paper models and demonstrated on sheep brains and other models. (5 credits)

BHS 116.1: Human Physiology and Pathology I

3 hours of lecture per week
This is a comprehensive course in general and systemic human physiology and pathology. Topics are presented in order to promote the understanding of physiologic principles that form the basis for normal bodily functions. The interaction between organ systems and their relationship to health and disease are also presented. This integration of normal physiology and pathologic processes will form the knowledge base for further study of pharmacology, clinical medicine and ocular disease. (3 credits)

BHS 116.2: Human Physiology and Pathology II

3 hours of lecture per week
This course is the second in the BHS 116 sequence. (3 credits)

BHS 116.3: Human Physiology and Pathology III

4 hours of lecture per week
This course is the third in the BHS 116 sequence. (4 credits)

BHS 120.1: Geometric and Theoretical Optics I

4 hours of lecture, 1 hour of recitation per week
This course addresses all facets of refraction and thick prism. The course is presented during four lecture hours per week along with optional problem review sessions. The course will concern itself with the basic study of refraction at plane and curved surfaces, thin lenses, prisms, single refraction surfaces, and single refracting surface systems. The course requires elementary knowledge of algebra, trigonometry and a judgmental mathematical background. Individuals with weak background in these areas are strongly recommended to review deficient areas. (4.5 credits)

BHS 120.2: Geometric and Theoretical Optics II

3 hours of lecture, 1 hour of recitation per week
This course is the second in the BHS 120 sequence. (3.5 credits)

BHS 140.1: Vision Science I

4 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This course is designed to serve as an introduction to a series of courses in physiological optics. As such, it will introduce a number of different topics that are connected together by the theme of light. Hence we will discuss: the relationship between light intensity and visual sensation (Psychophysics), the history of light, the production of artificial light, light measurement (Radiometry/Photometry), the optical control of light (Optical Systems), the formation of a retinal image, imperfections in the retinal image (Aberrations), measuring the imperfections in the retinal image (PSF,LSF,MTF), and correcting the imperfections in the retinal image (LASIK). We will discuss these topics from both a scientific as well as a clinical point of view. (4 credits)

BHS 140.2: Vision Science II

4 hours of lecture, 1 hours of laboratory per week
This course is the continuation of Sensory Aspects of Vision I. It discusses visual sensitivity changes in dark and light adaptation; adaptation theories; spatial phenomena and visual acuity; modulation transfer functions; contrast sensitivity; temporal sensitivity and other temporal phenomena. (4.5 credits)

BHS 150.1: Biochemistry I

4 hours of lecture
An introduction to biochemistry with particular emphasis on clinical applications. Topics in the first course in this two-course sequence may include nutrition, cellular biology, and biochemistry of tears, conjunctiva, and cornea with special emphasis on the structure and functions of proteins and enzymes as well as metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. Case studies and journal articles will be used to demonstrate the useful applications of these principles to health-related issues. (4 credits)

BHS 150.2: Biochemistry II

4 hours of lecture per week
Topics in the second course in this two-course sequence may include more metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids and molecular biology, all with a special emphasis on ocular importance. Additionally, we will discuss the biochemical importance of the liver and other specialized tissue. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the useful applications of these principles to health-related issues. (4 credits)

BHS 212: Ocular Physiology

3 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This course covers the vegetative physiology of the human eye. Topics include: hypertension, lacrimal apparatus, cornea, lens, ocular fluid dynamics and the regulation of intraocular pressure, pupil dynamics, neuromuscular mechanism of accommodation, physiology of aging, the physiological psychology of vision, and retinal physiology. (4 credits)

BHS 222: Theoretical and Physical Optics

2 hours of lecture per week
This course examines the many facets of physical optics. Unlike geometrical optics, physical optics considers everyday occurrences of light and its interaction with the environment. The course will study general wave theory, electromagnetic waves, interference, diffraction, scattering, polarization, photons, emission, laser and holography. (2 credits)

BHS 243: Binocular Vision

2 hours of lecture, 1 hour of laboratory per week
Studies of binocularity, including discussion of the horopter, stereopsis and fusion, rivalry and aniseikonia are presented. Laboratory sessions will present basic concepts of binocular vision (2.5 credits)

BHS 244: Ocular Motility

2 hours of lecture, 1 hour of laboratory per week
This course examines the physiology of the extraocular muscles and their relationship to strabismus and eye movement disorders. Laboratory sessions will present basic concepts of ocular motility including their clinical evaluation. (2.5 credits)

BHS 245: Developmental Vision and Neurobiology & Color Vision

2 hours of lecture per week
This course discusses the development of vision as it relates to the aging process. Emphasis is placed on the role of normal and abnormal environmental factors for the development of the visual pathway. This course also presents the physiological basis of color vision and discusses color specification systems, color mixing, color deficiencies and color vision testing in the first half. (2 credits)

BHS 254.1: General Pharmacology

4 hours of lecture per week
This is the first course in a three quarter sequence devoted to General and Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. In this course we will present the principles and practice of the science of pharmacology. Quantitative and qualitative aspects of basic pharmacodynamics and drug/patient related variables will be introduced followed by the pharmacology of individual agents in each drug class. Topics include autonomic nervous system agents, central nervous system agents, and cardiovascular drugs (4 credits)

BHS 254.2: General and Ocular Pharmacology

4 hours of lecture per week
In this second quarter of pharmacology we present the pharmacology and toxicology of the individual agents in the remaining major drug class. Topics include; anti-coagulants, anti-hyperlipidemics, central nervous system agents, anesthetics, anti-infective agents, hormones and hormone antagonists, and drugs used in the treatment of pain. During the second half of the quarter we will begin discussing the specifics of ocular pharmacology beginning with the principles of ocular drug administration, and ocular pharmacokinetics and ending with the mydriatics and cycloplegics. (4 credits)

BHS 256: Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics

4 hours of lecture per week
This course is the culmination of your pharmacology series and presents the clinical pharmacology of ocular diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Specific topics include: local anesthetics, control of ocular pain, anti-infective agents, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory agents. Adverse systemic reactions caused by ocular agents and adverse ocular reactions caused by systemic agents will also be presented. Ocular therapeutic principles, sources of drug information, new drug development, drug regulations and prescription writing will finish the course material. (4 credits)

BHS 261: Physical Diagnosis

1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week As primary health care providers, today’s Optometrists are continuously faced with patients who present with systemic illnesses, with or without ocular manifestations. It is necessary for the Optometrist to have a working knowledge of systemic diseases and their presentations, as well as their relationship to ocular pathology. With this in mind, this laboratory course focuses on developing the physical examination techniques and interviewing skills, which are needed to supplement the ocular diagnostic exam in the management of these patients. (2 credits)

BHS 263.1: Ocular Disease I

3 hours of lecture per week
Students will study the multidimensional aspects of ocular disease, such as the anatomical, histological, pathological, and physiological basis of disease processes. Lectures are presented based on specific areas of ocular anatomy, including: the orbit, eyelids, lacrimal apparatus, sclera and episclera, cornea, iris and crystalline lens. The learning experiences will provide an understanding of mechanisms and patho-physiological relationships of ocular disease as well as ocular manifestations of systemic disease. (3 credits)

BHS 263.2: Ocular Disease II

2 hours of lecture per week
This first course covers the pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis and initial treatment aspects of the glaucomas. In addition, the topics of visual fields and automated perimetry are included. This is an introductory course designed to get the student clinician the basic skills required to see patients with this ocular disease as they begin their clinical rotation in the summer of the third year. Content is directed towards primary open angle glaucoma, ocular hypertension and normal tension glaucoma. (Angle closure, secondary and developmental glaucomas will be covered in the second glaucoma course.) Emphasis is also placed on the decision making process for initiation of treatment. Glaucoma medications are reviewed from a clinical perspective only. Advanced treatment and management strategies are also held for the second course. The principles of visual fields and automated perimetry are reviewed with a concentration on the interpretation and analysis of printouts of tests for glaucoma patients. (2 credits)

BHS 266: Microbiology

1 hour of lecture per week
Microbiology is designed to provide a basic introduction to pathogenic microbiology in preparation for clinical practice and national boards. The course reviews the major pathogens of human disease; the processes by which these pathogens grow, reproduce, and cause disease; and how these pathogens are identified. (1 credit)

BHS 360.1: Clinical Medicine

2 hours of lecture per week
This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the more prevalent systemic disorders and their clinical presentations. Nomenclature, pathophysiology, and basic clinical signs and symptoms will be presented along with current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Special attention will be given to the counseling and education of those patients choosing to discuss or solicit advice from the optometric primary care provider. (2 credits)

BHS 360.2: Clinical Medicine II

2 hours of lecture per week
This course is the second in the BHS 360 sequence. (2 credits)

BHS 363.1: Ocular Disease III

4 hours of lecture, 2 hours of recitation per week
This course is a comprehensive overview of the common (and some less common) disorders affecting the posterior segment of the eye that may present in clinical practice. The topics include: ophthalmic ultrasonography, ocular coherence tomography, ocular fluorescein angiography, posterior segment inflammatory disease, diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive disease, venous occlusive disease, proliferative retinopathies, hereditary retinal disease, acquired macular vitreoretinal disorders, peripheral retinal diseases / degenerations, the phakomatoses, developmental vitreoretinal disorders, congenital optic nerve disorders, and ocular oncology. Pathophysiology of these topics will be covered. The clinical presentation, evaluation, and the management of these conditions will be emphasized. (5 credits)

BHS 363.2: Ocular Disease IV

3 hours of lecture per week 
The topics covered in this section of the ocular disease sequence will be pre and post operative cataract care, anterior segment infections, ocular allergic disease, uveitis and other immune disorders. The major emphasis will be upon the clinical presentation, evaluation, and management of these conditions. Pathophysiology of these diseases will also be included. (3 credits)

BHS 363.3: Ocular Disease V

1 hour of lecture per week
This course is a continuation of BHS 263.2. It will emphasize treatment and management concepts for a more advanced approach to patients with open angle glaucoma as well as introducing secondary forms of glaucoma. The concept of structure and function will be further explored. New topics include: angle closure glaucomas, key glaucoma randomized clinical trials, pigmentary, exfoliative, uveitic, traumatic, neovascular and other secondary glaucomas. (1 credit)

BHS 363.4: General and Ocular Emergencies

2 hours of lecture per week
This course presents commonly encountered medical and ocular emergencies. The initial lectures of this course will cover medical emergencies including: sudden death, shock, airway obstruction, syncope, myocardial infarction, pulmonary edema, headache, seizure disorders, dizziness and vertigo, anaphylaxis, asthma and emphysema, hyperventilation, diabetic emergencies and minor trauma. Assessment and management of these disorders will be highlighted. The second half of this course will discuss common ocular emergencies, including: protocol, examination techniques, ocular and orbital injuries, burns, allergies, foreign bodies, sudden vision loss, acute glaucoma and common red eye presentations. Assessment and management of these disorders will be discussed. (1 credit)

BHS 364: Neuro-Ophthalmic Disorders

3 hours of lecture per week
Neuro-ophthalmic Disorders is a comprehensive review of common and compelling neuro-ophthalmic disorders encountered in clinical practice. The goals are: To provide ophthalmic practitioners with the appropriate knowledge and case examples of common neuro-ophthalmic disorders encountered within the clinical practice of optometry and ophthalmology. To provide the ophthalmic practitioner with the appropriate knowledge base so as to assume minimal competency related to patients presenting with neuro-ophthalmic problems. To provide the ophthalmic practitioner with the appropriate training pursuant to the utilization of appropriate diagnostic studies pursuant to the evaluation of patients with neuro-ophthalmic disorders (e.g. neuroimaging (CT, MRI), retino-choroidal angiography, echography, etc.). To establish an understanding of case management strategies related to neuro-ophthalmic disorders. (3 credits)

BHS 366: Injections for the Optometrist

0.5 hours of lecture, 0.5 hours of laboratory per week
Injections for the Optometrist is a comprehensive overview of injection procedures for optometric practice; including injectable medications, side effects, complications and patient education. Additionally, OSHA guidelines are highlighted as well as the necessary instruments and supplies needed to perform injectable procedures. Video presentations will demonstrate basic skills for injections as well as showing individual injection techniques. Covered procedures will include intravenous, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intradermal, subconjunctival and intralesional injections. (1 credit)

BHS 390: Evidenced-Based Health Care

2 hours of lecture per week
This course will build the students’ ability to educate their patients and their communities and to use the literature in evaluating and planning treatment for clinical cases that they will encounter as optometrists. The students will become acquainted with the many aspects of public health, including what public health is and what are the core functions of public health. An overview of how public health is measured and mechanisms to access the information will be covered. In addition, a review of research types will be presented to aid the student in reading some of the scientific literature. One of the objectives of this course for the optometry student is to provide a framework for their professional lives to educate themselves and their patients and the public on health issues. Lastly, it will increase their ability to use the relevant literature in planning research projects, by analyzing research design and the effectiveness of a chosen treatment paradigm. (1 credit)

BHS 401: Independent Research

Enrollment in this elective provides the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year student the opportunity to engage in clinical or basic research. Students may elect to participate in an ongoing research project or initiate an original study. This course may be repeated once for credit. A faculty advisor will assist and supervise the project. Support is available in terms of equipment, experimental design and data analysis. (2 credits)

Clinical Education Courses

ICO’s clinical program is designed to develop clinical and interpersonal skills beginning in the lecture-laboratory setting and progressing to a one-to-one relationship between student and patient. As you advance through the professional program, patient contact increases. During the first two years of study, students receive clinical training designed to acclimate them to the patient care environment. Initial experiences in the Community Screening Program, the Fait Family Eyewear Center and the Patient Advocate Program provide a foundation for direct patient care in primary eye care. The second and third year programs more fully integrate students into direct patient care activities. The fourth year is devoted to patient care as a full-time activity.

Clinical rotations at the Illinois Eye Institute and at more than 150 affiliated clinical sites located throughout the United States provide the volume and variety of patient care experiences needed for the development of a well-rounded clinician. Rotations in Primary Eye Care as well as the optometric specialty services offer students experience in pediatric optometry, binocular vision, low vision rehabilitation, contact lenses, emergency care and ocular disease.

Chicago Vision Outreach, ICO’s community-based education program, augments the clinical experience achieved at the Illinois Eye Institute and, in addition, exposes students to a wide variety of health care delivery systems. At these sites, students may function as part of a multidisciplinary health care delivery team. Experience in these varied settings helps develop a primary care optometrist capable of functioning in all types of clinical environments.

CLE 162.1: Introduction to Optometric Procedures

2 hour of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This one credit hour course introduces the first year optometry student to the comprehensive eye examination with a focus on the important clinical skill of patient interviewing. This course also introduces the student to the concepts of database and problem-related testing. In this regard, the course emphasizes the case history and its relationship to test selection in a problem-oriented optometric exam sequence. Finally, this course includes the topics of professional behavior and medical ethics as they pertain to the case history and test selection. This is the first of a six-course sequence that prepares students for their initial patient care experiences within the Illinois Eye Institute. The course sequence is cumulative, and each course in the series presumes a grasp of the topics and skills presented in the previous courses. The concepts presented here form a foundation or each student’s clinical education, as well as his/her future career in optometry. (3 credits)

CLE 162.2: Optometry 1.2

2 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This three credit hour course introduces the first year student to fundamental clinical techniques used in the optometric examination. Proficiency will be developed in visual acuity measurement, entrance testing, lensometry, retinoscopy, and direct ophthalmoscopy. The student will also develop data analysis and interpretation skills. This course will build upon skills learned in Introduction to Optometric Procedures (CLE 162.1). This is the second of a six-course sequence that prepares students for their initial patient care experiences within the Illinois Eye Institute. The course sequence is cumulative, and each course in the series presumes a grasp of the topics and skills presented in the previous courses. The concepts presented here form a foundation or each student’s clinical education, as well as his/her future career in optometry. (3 credits)

CLE 162.3: Optometry 1.3

2 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
CLE 162.3 (Optometry 1.3) is the third course in a series of six courses during the first two years of the professional program. This course builds upon the clinical skills acquired during the first two quarters of the first professional year. Optometry 1.3 continues to focus attention on the acquisition of new technical skills by introducing the fundamental clinical techniques that are part of a refraction sequence. Lecture topics include: Ophthalmometry (keratometry), manifest refraction (short subjective/monocular subjective refraction), ocular dominance and binocular balance (accommodation balance), duochrome balance (red-green, bichrome balance), refraction analysis, and spectacle prescription guidelines. This course concludes with basic spectacle prescription guidelines for myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. (3 credits)

CLE 170: Physiological Optics

3 hours of lecture per week
This course explores the optics of the human visual system and its relationship to corrective vision devices and procedures. Students will gain an understanding of refractive error, spherical and cylindrical lens correction, prescription writing, prism, lens powers, and magnification. The course will emphasize the human eye as an optical system. (3 credits)

CLE 180: Patient Advocate Program

2 hours of contact per week for 2 quarters
The Patient Advocate Program gives first-year students and opportunity to examine patients in the Illinois Eye Institute’s Primary Eye Care Service. Students often work in pairs with their attending faculty member to provide patient care. First years will put into practice the examination skills they’ve started learning in the didactic curriculum. (1 credit)

CLE 262.1: Optometry 2.1

2 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
CLE 262.1 is the fourth course in the optometry series. The primary purpose of the sequence is to prepare students for their clinical experiences within the Illinois Eye Institute. Optometry 2.1 introduces fundamental clinical techniques that are part of a near visual system analysis. Lecture topics include assessment of the binocular visual system and the accommodative system. The course continues to focus attention on the acquisition of new technical skills but also emphasizes the integration of these skills into an examination sequence. The normative values for database tests will be presented as well as the indications for pursuing problem-related testing. Assessment and diagnosis will be reviewed. (3 credits)

CLE 262.2: Optometry 2.2

2.5 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
The intent of CLE 262.2 is to teach second year optometry students the requisite skills to complete the ocular health portion of a standard eye examination. The skills to be introduced include biomicroscopy, tonometry, binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy, gonioscopy and biomicroscopic indirect ophthalmoscopy. The goal of CLE 262.2 is to prepare students for entry level patient care in primary care, which they will encounter as a third year student. The prerequisite for this course is successful completion of the earlier courses in the optometry series. CLE 262.2 builds off these courses requiring cumulative knowledge and skills. (3.5 credits)

CLE 262.3: Optometry Seminar

2 hour of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This course reviews and enhances the clinical skills of the second year student, emphasizing synthesis of the clinical techniques presented throughout the Optometry courses (CLE162.1-262.2) in order to provide final preparation for entering clinical rotations at the Illinois Eye Institute. This course is cumulative and knowledge learned throughout the Optometry sequence is necessary. The laboratory portion of this course will provide an opportunity for the student to review, synthesize and expand on knowledge and skills with faculty supervision and feedback. (3 credits)

CLE 262.4: Introduction to Binocular Anomalies

1 hour of lecture per week
This course introduces and expands on the common forms of analysis for non-strabismic binocular vision disorders used in an optometric examination. Topics to be covered include Integrative Analysis, Graphical Analysis, Morgan’s and OEP Analysis, Near Point Stress and Control Systems Analysis, and Percival’s and Sheard’s Criteria. Discussion of alternative binocular techniques for the clinical management of refractive errors will be included. Mastery of case analysis will be encouraged with application to commonly encountered clinical scenarios. (1 credit)

CLE 270.1: Ophthalmic Optics I

3 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This course is the first of two which considers the optics of optical equipment, the optics of ophthalmic lenses, and the relationship between ophthalmic lenses and the eye. Mathematical concepts regarding optical equipment, lens thickness, sagitta, prism power, decentration, lens characteristics and attributes, and basic mutifocal powered lenses will be discussed. The common theme will be to take the above topics and relate them to clinical practice, optical quality, ophthalmic lens considerations, and aberrations. Clinical correlations to prescribing for patients will be discussed as to theory and practical use of ophthalmic lenses. The laboratory work consists of ophthalmic lens usage and frame measurements. Ophthalmic lens dispensing skills will be developed in the laboratory as well as frame adjusting and lens insertion and removal from various types of frames. The laboratory is designed as a practical setting for the application of techniques in lens selection, frame selection and the delivery of these materials to a clinical patient with an emphasis on the ophthalmic materials meeting the patient’s visual needs. (4 credits)

CLE 270.2: Ophthalmic Optics II

3 hours of lecture per week
This course is the second of two in the study of the optics of ophthalmic lenses and the application of ophthalmic materials. Mathematical concepts regarding progressive addition lenses, the correction of anisometropia, contact lens optics, and low vision optics, will be demonstrated and discussed. In addition, protection from radiation injury, lens reflection, and specialty lenses will be addressed. (3 credits)

CLE 280: Patient Care Program

2 hours of contact per week for 3 quarters
This clinical program for second-year students is a continuation of the Patient Advocate Program (CLE 180). Students are now able to work more independently with their attending faculty member to examine patients in Illinois Eye Institute’s Primary Eye Care Service. Near the end of second year, students will be able to complete all the steps of a comprehensive eye examination. (1 credit for first quarter, 2 credits for second quarter, 3 credits for third quarter)

CLE 365.1: Contact Lenses I

4 hours of lecture, 4 hours of laboratory per week
About 43 million people use contact lenses as their primary means of vision correction in the United States. This course will teach you how to prescribe the most commonly used types of contact lenses. Entry-level information will be provided via lecture and abbreviated laboratory venues and through independent learning. The goal of the course is to make the student familiar with the prescription and management of soft and rigid contact lenses for the correction of myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia and therapeutics. Practice management techniques related to contact lenses care will be included in this patient orientated course. (6 credits)

CLE 365.2: Contact Lenses II

2 hours of lecture, 2 hour of laboratory per week
This new and unique learning experience deals with advanced topics in the prescription and management of contact lenses. The course is composed of two parts; lecture and demonstration. The lecture portion will present prescribing methodology, expectations of ocular adaptation and complication management relating to complex contact lens designs. The demonstrations will use live patients, case scenarios or videotapes to reinforce the understanding of the more complex lens fitting techniques. The students will be supplied with case history information, corneal data, refractive data and lens design availability. After the case information is presented, students will work in small groups to determine a contact lens design for the patient. They will discuss which lenses are to be placed on the eye. When possible, they will evaluate the lenses on eye via the Adams Center video hook-up. After evaluation and questions, suggested changes may be shown. The opportunity to discuss the patient experiences with the subjects is a significant part of the lab. Discussion of patient management will be an integral part of the demonstrations. (3 credits)

CLE 367: Vision Rehabilitation

2 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This is an entry level course, which presents the fundamental knowledge of clinical low vision care and rehabilitation necessary to perform basic low vision examinations during the fourth year clinical rotation, and in a practice setting after graduation. Clinical examination techniques, optics of low vision devices, applications of low vision devices, low vision training, rehabilitative and psychosocial aspects of low vision care, and low vision treatment associated with specific disease processes will be covered. (3 credits)

CLE 375: Binocular Vision Disorders

2 hours of lecture, 3 hours of laboratory per week
This course covers treatment strategies and patient management for non-strabismic binocular disorders. A problem-oriented approach is used to present treatment procedures for oculomotor, accommodative, sensory, and vergence problems. The laboratory includes clinical techniques for the treatment of these visual efficiency disorders. (3.5 credits)

CLE 376.1: Strabismus and Amblyopia I

3 hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory per week
This course emphasizes the detection, measurement, classification, and etiology of strabismus and amblyopia. An organized approach to a comprehensive evaluation is presented and includes the assessment of associated anomalies such as eccentric fixation, suppression, anomalous correspondence, and nonconcomitancy. The laboratory portion of the course is designed to familiarize students with testing procedures and includes diagnostic examination of patients manifesting such conditions. (4 credits)

CLE 376.2: Strabismus and Amblyopia II

3 hours of lecture per week
This course presents theoretical and clinical considerations in the management of strabismus and amblyopia including the rationale and methods for using lenses, prisms, occlusion, vision therapy, medication, and surgery. Associated anomalies are discussed in terms of their significance and management. Criteria for determining the prognosis and specific strategies for the treatment of these problems are included. Case analysis and therapeutic programs for individual patients are studied. (3 credits)

CLE 379: Infant & Child Development and Management

2 hours of lecture, 3 hours of laboratory per week
This course emphasizes the diagnosis and management of children at risk for developing ocular, visual, vision and learning, and/or visual perceptual abnormalities that adversely affect the individual’s quality of life. This at risk population includes infants, toddlers, pre-school and school-aged populations. Optometric assessment and treatment strategies will be presented using lectures, Internet access and case based learning. (3 credits)

CLE 380: Patient Care

9 hours of contact per week
This course continues the development of Primary Eyecare clinical techniques and skills following the optometry curriculum. Students are enrolled in this course throughout the entire third year. The diagnosis and management of related eye disorders, including refractive, functional and ocular disease within a patient care setting will be emphasized. Rotations in the Eyewear Center and the Community Screening Program are also included. Seminars and clinical laboratories will help to incorporate advanced diagnostic and therapeutic clinical techniques and topics into the student clinician’s experience. This experience is designed to enable students to refine their diagnostic, therapeutic and communication skills, through interaction with a diverse patient population. (6 credits)

CLE 391: The Business of Optometry

2 hours of lecture per week
This course is designed to introduce you to the business side of the practice of Optometry. It is somewhat of a “how to” course to help you plan for the future. Experts from the fields of management, planning, law and finance will join faculty members in presenting information that will help you develop a strategy for your professional future. (2 credits)

CLE 403: Independent Study

This course series is designed to provide an exercise in professional level clinical case study, literature review and research. The student will learn the basics of researching a topic, analyzing the information gained, and writing a summary of the conclusions. CLE 403 is the graded component for the Independent Study. The Independent Study Course is designed to supplement many skills developed in other courses and clinical rotations, such as the critical review or research articles, research design and interpretation, statistics, etc. Conferences in various clinical areas require students to gather information on relevant topics and present this information to their colleagues for discussion and critique. A logical step in the process of personal educational development is the writing of a paper setting forth one’s own ideas on a research topic. (3 credits)

CLE 480/485 series: Primary Eye Care and Specialty Rotations

32-40 hours of contact per week
The fourth year patient care sequence builds upon the previous Primary Eye Care experience by incorporating advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. Students obtain experience in all aspects of optometric care, including advanced ophthalmic care, pediatric optometry and binocular vision, low vision rehabilitation and cornea and contact lenses, during externship rotations at the Illinois Eye Institute and the college’s 150+ affiliated clinical sites located throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Australia, China and the United Arab Emirates. During the fourth year, students must earn a total of 80 credits in clinical rotations, with a distribution of 35 credits in Primary Eye Care, 10 credits in Advanced Ophthalmic Care, 10 credits in Cornea/Contact Lenses, 10 credits in Pediatrics/Binocular Vision and 5 credits in Low Vision Rehabilitation. The remaining 10 hours may be fulfilled in any of these areas. Students are required to complete at least two external rotations, but most elect to fulfill the requirements through three external rotations and one at the IEI. Many of the rotations offer weekly conferences and seminars to supplement the patient care experience. (20 credits)

Elective Courses

ELE 001: Starting a Private Practice

This elective course is designed to take you knowing what your ideal practice is in theory to making it a reality. The course will review practice options, starting a private practice, practice administration, and financial aspects of practice. (1 credit)

ELE 007: Electrophysiology of Vision

This elective course will give the student an understanding of ophthalmic electrophysiology through exposure to electrophysiology equipment and testing. The course will also give the student familiarity with types of testing used to assess the visual system. Through pedigree analysis the student will learn to obtain a pedigree and understand how it relates to disease. (1 credit) 

ELE 009: Planning/Managing Debt and Career Goals

This elective course will help you get your personal financial situation into focus and under control. You will learn to coordinate your current financial practices with your long-term goals. The advantages and disadvantages of paying your student loan debt over a short term vs. long term will be presented by utilizing two real case analyses. This course will also teach you how to minimize personal income taxes; create a positive cash flow and net worth; and initiate your own financial plan to manage student loan debt while working to accomplish short and long term goals (such as buying a private practice, buying a home, saving for children’s education, and early retirement). All students will be provided with a sample business plan that has been created based on real data; this will include all of the necessary elements of the application for a small business loan. In addition, practice problems will be assigned to complement the topics covered in lecture. (2 credits)

ELE 010: Private Practice Clerkship

The Private Practice Clerkship elective course will provide practical practice management education to second year optometry students and expose private practice optometry as a viable option of practice upon completion of the optometric curriculum. This elective will allow students to observe an active private practice for one full day per week for ten weeks during the summer between the first and second professional year. In addition to informal practice management education provided by the practitioner, the course is supplemented by readings from textbooks and journals, a student workbook, online assignments, and a personal journal logbook. In some instances, the student may have the option to work as a part-time employee for the private practice. (2 credits)

 

ELE 018: Basic Spanish for Optometry

This course is designed to provide optometric interns with the basic vocabulary necessary to perform visual examinations on a patient in the Spanish language. The course also covers basic cultural aspects of the Latino/Hispanic population in the United States which are essential to a health care provider. (1 credit)

ELE 021: Introduction to Binocular Vision & Vision Therapy

Students enrolled in this course will begin to put into practice clinical concepts related to binocular vision and vision therapy prior to the fourth professional year. Each participant will be scheduled for one session each week in the Pediatrics/Binocular Vision Service of the Illinois Eye Institute. During this rotation, students will be providing vision therapy to pediatric and adult patients with visual skills and/or visual information processing disorders. Students will experience visual efficiency examinations, vision therapy, and follow up care for patients with ocular disease, binocular vision problems, and amblyopia. Supervision will be provided by experienced pediatric optometrists and residents. Those enrolled should expect to gain experience in the management and treatment of accommodative disorders, oculomotor dysfunctions, binocular vision anomalies, and visual information processing deficiencies. (3 credits)

ELE 022: Introduction to Cornea and Contact Lenses

Students enrolled in this course have the opportunity to provide care to contact lens and anterior segment patients in the Cornea Center for Clinical Excellence within the Illinois Eye Institute prior to the fourth professional year. Each participant will be scheduled for one session each week. Supervision will be provided by the contact lens faculty and resident. When possible, attendings will attempt to steer basic contact lens fits to third year interns. However, it is likely that students will also have experience with such conditions as dry eye and keratoconus. Experiences will include performing corneal topographies, training patients in insertion and removal of contact lens, and verifying and polishing gas permeable contact lenses. (3 credits)

ELE 023: Introduction to Advanced Ophthalmic Care

Students enrolled in this course have the opportunity to provide care to retina or glaucoma patients in the Center for Advanced Ophthalmic Care within the Illinois Eye Institute prior to the fourth professional year. Each participant will be scheduled for one session each week. Supervision will be provided by the Advanced Care optometric faculty and residents. Students should anticipate gaining insight into evaluation (ultrasonography, fluorescein angiography, OCT, HRT), diagnosis and medical/surgical management of complicated or advanced presentations of these diseases. (3 credits)

ELE 024: Introduction to Pediatric Patient Care

Students enrolled in this course will begin to put into practice clinical concepts related to examination of the pediatric patient population prior to the fourth professional year. Each participant will be scheduled for one session each week in the Pediatrics and Binocular Vision department of the Illinois Eye Institute. During this rotation, students will provide pediatric primary care examinations for patients eight years of age and under. Supervision will be provided by experienced pediatric optometrists and residents. Those enrolled should expect to gain experience in implementing strategies used for successful examination and management of this challenging patient population. (3 credits)

ELE 025: Introduction to Health Center-Based Clinical Optometry

Currently an external rotation site for fourth year optometry students, the Sidney Hillman Health Centre is a multidisciplinary clinic serving a wide range of patients including pediatrics, contact lenses and ocular disease. Students enrolled in this course will have the unique opportunity to provide patient care in a fast paced, health center facility prior to the fourth professional year. Testing will include history, entrance testing, Humphrey visual fields, pachymetry, refractions and insertion/removal of contact lenses. Those enrolled should expect to improve efficiency of basic pre-testing skills. Students should anticipate gaining insight into evaluation and management of a variety of ocular disease conditions, interpretation of visual fields and evaluation of contact lenses. Students will also have the opportunity to observe systemic co-management between optometry and other health center physicians (internal medicine, podiatry, physical therapy, dentistry, laboratory and X-Ray). Introduction to basic systemic laboratory testing will also be reviewed. Supervision will be provided by the Sidney Hillman eye clinic faculty. (3 credits)

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