I-DOC: Improving Diversity in Optometric Careers

2024 Dates Coming Soon!

Improving Diversity in Optometric Careers (I-DOC) is an award-winning summer program to help underrepresented students explore optometry as a career. This year, I-DOC will be held in person, June 4 – 8, 2023 and feature nationally known optometrists.

This intensive, four-day residential program at The Ohio State University College of Optometry introduces underrepresented undergraduate college students to the profession of optometry. Travel, room and board and most meals will be provided to successful applicants. This program is competitive with a limited number of spaces.

The Purpose of the I-DOC program is to improve and promote diversity in Optometry by cultivating a diverse student body. The program has been designed to:

  1.  Help students understand the role of diversity in Optometry in overcoming health disparities and in promoting health equity.
  2. Expose students to educational opportunities and careers in Optometry.
  3.  Help students navigate the Optometry school application process (including having access to test prep materials) to develop into competitive and successful applicants.


  • An undergraduate student or college graduate
  • A U.S. citizen (or Permanent Resident or DACA recipient)
  • Have a strong academic aptitude that demonstrates the potential to succeed in professional school (cumulative GPA greater than 2.9)
  • Completed Application

Application Information

Applications are now closed – please check back for the 2024 application.

Please read the directions below carefully. The following items will need to be uploaded in a pdf, jpeg or doc format with your application. Please have them collected and prepared before you begin the application because you will need to complete the application in one sitting.

  1. Application with the following:
  2. Unofficial Transcript
    • When you create this document for upload, please name it: LastName_FirstName_Transcript
  3. Short Essay (250 Words Maximum)
      • Please describe a time in which you or someone you know were impacted by inequitable treatment in a healthcare setting, and how improving cultural humility/respect in healthcare providers might have impacted the situation.
        • When you create this document for upload, please name it: LastName_FirstName_Essay

All applications will be given full and equal consideration.

Questions about the application can be directed to Jen Bennett at

Example Schedule

Sunday – Arrive in Columbus.
Monday – Welcome/Overview. Meet with Ohio State Optometry faculty members who are interested in health disparities. Learn about how vision problems impact people. Spend time exploring Columbus with the group.
Tuesday – Learn about the different ways that Optometry can be practiced and residency opportunities. Tour Ohio State’s campus. Spend time with our students and learn about their experiences at the college.
Wednesday – Tour our clinics and get hands-on experience working with our faculty in clinical settings. Learn tips about how to be a successful student. Spend the evening with faculty at an outing.
Thursday – Learn about our admissions processes and create your individualized schedule to prepare to apply. Depart from campus.

National Recognition for the I-DOC Program

2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from Insight Magazine

Corporate Sponsorship

We are grateful to VSP®, for their generous support of our I-DOC program.

Website updated – October 24, 2024