Meeting Minutes 11/16/2021

Location: Zoom

Meeting Called by: Pre-Optometry Club

Duration: 1 hour

Guest Speaker: Melissa Cinciruk and Rebecca Heinz, Pennsylvania College of Optometry – Salus University (PCO) 


  • Salus means health and well-being in Latin
  • PCO mission: innovation and leadership in development of Optometrists 
  • PCO founded in 1919, many “firsts”in the college’s history. 
  • Program and Curriculum:
    • Interdisciplinary approach
    • Integrative primary eye care and early patient exposure
    • Advanced studies options (anterior segment, contact lens, binocular vision and vision therapy, neuro-ophthalmic disease)
    • Dual degree options (low vision rehab and biomedicine)
  • Small group learning settings, visual system and eye introduced immediately, increased focus on neuro and traumatic brain injury patients, etc 
  • Early clinical training: begins in the first week in the first year, includes a Clinical Program Solving Module (CPS) in the second year, and a total 70 hour clerkship during summer between first and second years.
  • Externship Program: one and a half years of full time clinical experience. Approx. 3000 patient encounters by graduation. Includes one rotation during 3rd year and 4 rotations during fourth year. TEI (eye institute) deals with ocular disease, contact lens, etc.
    Selection is collaborative with an externship director, not chosen based on a lottery system. 
  • The Eye Institute: approx. 43000 patient visits annually, and 85000 across all three locations (2 satellite locations in area). Composed of a diverse patient population and will provide a comprehensive clinical experience. 
  • Research: many opportunities, found on the research department website (
  • Admissions Process- Averages: 150 entering students from 900 applicants. Average GPA: 3.4, OAT: 304. Additional requirements (course hours, grades for prereqs, tests, etc) on the website. 3 letters of recommendation, at least 10 hours of shadowing/observation are required. Interview: traditional one-on-one (currently virtual)
  •  Accelerated Scholars Program: 3 years of study, same requirements but higher scores are encouraged (OAT, prereq grades, GPA). Also recommended 100 hours of experience in healthcare. Have an interview conducted by faculty instead of the admissions board. 
  • Application Evaluation: a holistic approach is taken: academic, personal and interview index are all considered. 
  • OLE: optometry learning experience, 2-3 day (virtual and on-campus) interactive event to experience campus and see faculty and staff presentations. Tour venues and observe clinical skills labs as well. Application includes a transcript, personal essay and biographical information. Email for more information. 
  • SEP: summer enrichment program, serves to improve rates of underrepresented applicants. 5 weeks long to introduce participants to the rigorous academic program. Classes mirror 1st year 1st semester curriculum, including hands on labs and clinical experiences.

Meeting Minutes 11/09/2021

Location: 33 Fry Hall

Meeting Called by: Pre-Optometry Club

Duration: 30 minutes

Guest Speaker: Dean Zadnik, Dr. Fries and Jen Bennett


Jen Bennett:

  • Director of student services at OSU optometry
  • Works in professional and developmental programing 
  • New advisor!

Dr Fries:

  • Teaches business and practice management curriculum 
  • Owner of private practice, CEO of 9 locations 
  • Graduate of OSU optometry school
  • New advisor!

Dean Zadnik:

  • Has performed research on children’s sightedness; principal investigator on a drug study for an eyedrop of atropine administered at night to slow down the growth of the eye (ie myopia treatment). 
  • Dean Zadnick opened with a theory of “myopia control”. Mypoic eyes have grown too long, resulting in focal point for incoming light as being in the middle of the vitreous, resulting in blurry images. She continues to elaborate on long term problems that can happen due to myopia (retinal detachment, deterioration, etc). Because myopia happens in childhood, myopia treatment and control studies aim to slow abnormal eye growth early in life. 
  • The numbers for myopia treatment have grown exponentially in recent years. This is an area of clinical growth for optometrists because they are exposed to the most patients with myopia.
  • Answers Questions:
    • SocialEYES: 8-9 OSU optometry students are assigned to a faculty member that receives funds to take students on activities and social events. This program allows for all students to spend time with other peers, faculty they may have not met, etc. 
    • Licensure in Optometry: Students take 3 national board examinations in order to receive licensure in optometry. Average passage was 74% in the country in march 2021, OSU optometry passage of that same exam was 94%.

BLOG POST #3: Questions to ask while Shadowing

Questions to Ask While Shadowing:

You did it! After a dizzying number of phone calls and back-and-forths with receptionists, you finally managed to arrange a day of shadowing with the super cool doctor down the block. Congrats, my fellow future O.D. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back, because you just got the hardest part out of the way. 

But oh, not sure what you’ll talk about? Worried that you’ll end up perched on the edge of the chair in the corner of the exam room, hands clasped together, a cold sweat running down your back and a nervous smile plastered under your mask, suffering through the awkward silence as the patient stares at you quizzically? We’ve all been there – well, at least I have. And it sucks, truly. But fear not, my fellow future O.D. We have got you covered. 

What follows is a nice list of questions and topics to get you started. Feel free to modify them as they fit your own style of speech, and don’t be afraid to go wherever the conversation takes you! 

General and personal history: 

  • Why optometry? 
  • Any optometrists in your family?
  • Where did you go to undergrad? 
  • What do you like and dislike about your job? What’s the most rewarding part? What’s not so great about it? (many will say insurance for the latter question)
  • Would you do optometry if you had to choose all over again? 
  • What kind of personality traits do you think an optometrist should have? 
  • How did you choose this mode of practice? 
  • Do you ever feel bored or stressed during the day?
  • Tell me more about the work-life balance.
  • Do you ever take your work home with you? 

Optometry as a profession:

  • Do you think pursuing a residency is a good idea? If you were looking to hire another doctor, would you be looking for someone with residency training?
  • Why is optometry so regulated and affected by politics? 
  • How do Ohio laws compare to the laws in other states? 
  • Where do you see optometry heading in the next 20 years as a profession? 
  • Do you think technology could ever advance to the point where optometrists become obsolete?
  • The female:male ratio in optometry schools today is 70:30. Why do you think so many women are joining the profession? 
  • What are some of the differences between optometry and ophthalmology?
  • Are you involved in any professional associations or volunteer groups? 

Optometry school:

  • What do you think made you stand out to optometry school admissions people? 
  • How did you decide where to go to optometry school? 
  • What is the most important thing you should consider when choosing a school? 
  • What was optometry school like? What was the most challenging part?
  • How was the transition from undergrad to optometry school? 
  • What did you not learn in optometry school that you wish you did?
  • Do you still keep in touch with your former classmates? 
  • How long did it take you to pay off your student loans?/How are you doing on your student loans?
  • What advice do you have for me? Anything you wish you would have known or done differently? 

You can also ask about the patient you are with, about the instruments they use and the tests they do, and the decisions they make, such as why they might choose to prescribe one brand of contacts over another. Go with the flow of the conversation, be genuinely curious, and ask what you actually want to know. Don’t overthink it, just try to get to know the doctor and the profession a little more! It could also be helpful to bring a notebook to write down all the wonderful new information you learn. 

It can be scary at first. I get that. But don’t forget that every optometrist has had to do this at one point, and the fact that they agreed to let you shadow them means they like their job and are happy to help out the youngins. Just remember that you will inevitably get more comfortable with this, and don’t stop putting yourself out there until you get out of this everything that you want. 

Best of luck!! 

Elizabeth Svinkin

Meeting Minutes 11/02/2021

Location: Microsoft Teams 

Meeting Called by: Pre-Optometry Club

Duration: 1 hour

Guest Speaker: Teisha Johnson, Illinois College of Optometry (ICO)



  • Teisha gives an overview of ICO. It is the largest and oldest institution solely dedicated to optometry. There is an on-campus Illinois Eye Institute. 
  • Year 1 overview: 5-6 classes, 20-27 lectures and lab hours. 3 quarters of basic human sciences and lab curriculum. Hands on opportunities: technician and familiarity with instruments.
  • Summer opportunities: Accelerated Clinic Program and Summer Research Program
  • Year 2 overview: 6-7 classes, 19-27 lecture and lab hours. 3 quarters of clinical sciences and lab curriculum. Patient care begins this year in the spring as does work in the eyewear center.
  • Year 3 overview: 4 classes, 20-26 lectures and lab hours. 4 quarters specialty coursework. Weekly patient care in Primary Eyecare Service. Early patient care experiences in Advanced Ophthalmic Care, Cornea/Contact Lens and Pediatrics/Binocular vision. Rotations begin through IEI Princeton.
  • Year 4: 4 externship rotations with one in the IEI and one in a VA setting. Mandatory areas of focus: Advanced Ophthalmic Care, Cornea/ COntact Lens, Low Vision Rehab, Peds/Binocular Vision and Primary Eyecare.
  • Illinois Eye Institute (IEI): diverse patient base, cutting-edge diagnostics and treatment for complex eye diseases/disorders. 4 Primary Care suites simulate group practice settings, and specialty suits including: low vision, peds, contact lens and cornea and advanced care. 
  • ICO Residential Center: shared suites, 1-3 bedroom apartments available.
  • Student Life: ICOlymics, Quiz Bowl, Eyeball, multicultural night, Boo Bash, Blood Drive, Blindspots, etc. 
  • Student Orgs: 25+, private practice club, SVOSH (mission trip), Student association, etc. 
  • Support Services: academic and professional options. Tutoring, note taking services, recorded lectures, counseling, career services, etc. 
  • Admissions overview: typical requirements (can find specifics on website), OAT amd total science score, ways to develop application and interview techniques (develop strong communication skills, enrich knowledge of profession, acquire strong recommendation letters and determine strengths/weaknesses), etc. 
  • Checkout: Annual Fall and Summer Optometry Virtual Fair, Focus on Your Future Summer program, shadowing in clinic, etc.