On March 7th, Dr. Nicole Patterson OD, MS, FAAO visited us from Nova Southeastern University, or NSU, in Florida. She talked to us all about NSU and what kinds of opportunities they offer as well as discussed the profession of Optometry. Thank you Dr. Patterson for braving the cold Ohio weather and coming to speak with us!
Dr. Patterson talked about some general advice for optometry school. One of these was to get involved! Being involved will provide students with many opportunities to meet people which is very helpful in the future. One aspect of Optometry is what will happen after graduation. Some examples of post-graduation opportunities include private practice, group practice, research, academia, and being a Nursing home OD. She also explained that Optometry is so much more than, “Which is better, 1 or 2?”. Dr. Patterson gave lots of examples of interesting cases she or her colleagues have worked on which really show how Optometry is made up of many different aspects.
At NSU, they have lots of different clinics including a sports vision clinic that helps with the Miami Dolphins practice facilities being on on NSU’s campus! This allows students to have lots of work with high level athletes. NSU also has an Autism clinic, an infant/pediatric vision clinic and many others such as low vision, primary care, and even more! The Number 1 eye hospital in the world is right down the street in Miami which translates to lots of referrals to NSU.
As for their student body, 42 states are represented with 50% from Florida, and 12% from Canada. They do not have a state quota and they would love to have applicants from other states (they even have 5 OSU students in current first year class). At NSU, they have an average science gpa of 3.30, AA OAT 317, TS OAT 313, and an average gpa of 3.46. They also have about 100 students per class. Their curriculum includes years 1 and 2 as basic and clinical science, year 3 is optometric specialty courses, and year 4 is internships/externships. For externships, NSU has over 45 sites and have two three-month rotations with many in South Florida, but there are also lots of other places. As a student at NSU you would have access to many student resources including the Counseling Center where students receive 10 free sessions each year. They also have an open door policy for professors/faculty as well as offering student tutors. There is an Optics study hall offered which is free for students and gives them more opportunities to ask questions.
At NSU, there are 5 clinic locations. These are the Davie Health Center (main clinic), Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, North Miami Beach, Broward Lighthouse (low vision clinic), and Kids in Distress. As they offer other programs at NSU, there is also the opportunity of receiving an interdisciplinary education in which students take classes with dental and other professional students. They also have many mission trips including SVOSH, FCO, mega yacht with an exam lane that can travel to remote islands, and lots of other mission trip opportunities such as in Ecuador, India, Africa, Jamaica, and Bimini. There are lots of clubs and organizations in campus as well, in fact over 18 of them! Dalton, an Ohio State alumni and first year at NSU, started Spectrum this year, this shows how if you want to do something, such as starting a club, NSU will support you. NSU also encourages attendance at optometry meetings around the country. Another great perk is free parking for students that is very close to the health professions building, and they are building a new hospital on campus.
So what makes NSUCO unique? Dr. Patterson said that it has a safe, suburban campus with state-of-the-art equipment. NSUCO also offers Master program opportunities as well as a great program, faculty, patients – and also VERY close to the beach! NSUCO offers many scholarship opportunities to students. During the summer they have Pre-Optometry Day on June 29th where they have a scholarship drawing. This would be a great opportunity if you would want to travel and learn more about the College of Optometry at Nova Southeastern University. Thank you again Dr. Patterson for coming to speak with us!