Meeting Minutes 09/20/2022


Location: Fry Hall 33

Meeting Called By: Pre-Optometry Club 

Duration: 2 Hour

Guest Speaker: Nik Jones

Nik has worked with admissions at IUSO. Associate Director of Recruitment  


  • Showed off the city 
  • Feels like a Big 10 school 
  • IU is beautiful 
  • Not a far drive to get out of the city and to explore


  • Holds everything except for the clinic 
  • There is housing right behind the building which makes it a 5-10 min walk.
  • There is also campus parking as well housing farther down 


  • Best in pediatrics 
  • Work with sports vision 
  • Can work with forming lens for cameras
  • Vision processing 


  • There are tons of alumni everywhere and IU can get you anywhere 
  • They are capable with getting you at a ton of different facilities (VA, private, etc…)


  • OD
  • MS (master of vision science)
  • Ph.D
  • They also partner with the Kelley School of Business to get you better acquainted with the business side of optometry. (Extra cost). (get a certificate) 
    • The credits transfer to Kelly School of Business and can be used to get an MBA
  • They also have an Early Admission program where you can go to their school after your third year.


    • Average GPA: 3.75
  • Letters of Rec (3)
  • Personal Statement 
  • Look at Science and Math GPA 
  • Want: Grit, Determination, Collaboration, and Compassion 
  • Upward grade trend 
  • Competitive level of schools 
  • Class load each semester 
  • Shadowing experiences (20-30 hours) 
  • Want an Extracurricular Involvement 
  • For the class of 2025:
    • 763 Application Received 
    • 85 Enrolled


  • Vary depending on where you live 
  • They do have scholarships 
  • Do they have an MS/OS Full-Tuition Scholarship: opportunity for 2 students to receive full tuition for 4 years
    • Are required to take the GRE 
  • They also have 4 DEI scholarship programs…  

Meeting Minutes 9/14/2022


Location: Zoom

Meeting Called By: Pre-Optometry Club 

Duration: 1 Hour

Guest Speaker: Ardi Samonte and Dr. Mika Moy from Berkeley

The meeting is centered around Berkeley’s Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science. Ardi Samonte is part of the admissions team. 

  • Berkeley is a 4 year lock-step program meaning that individuals will be with that class for the 4 years and cannot skip ahead. 

Time At Berkeley:

  • First year: ¾ of time is taking didactic courses and ¼ of your time is experiencing some pre-clinic experience
  • Second year: ⅓ of time is taking didactic courses and ⅓ of your time is pre-clinic and team care
  • Third year: ¼ Didactic courses and ¾ clinical 
  • Fourth year: ⅞ Clinical, and ⅛ didactic course 


  • Berkeley has multiple clinics all over 


  • Externships in 13 states
  • Some of private practice and some are in a hospital   

Board Pass:

  • In 2022, they had a 17:1% differential than the nat. Avg.
  • The program is rigorous to prepare students for boards and for their professional career 


  • 4:1 Student to faculty ratio  
  • Large research institution 
  • Clinical faculty in private practice 
  • Clinical research center conducts clinical trials 


  • Variety of Undergraduates Degrees
  • Ophthalmic imaging 
  • Entrepreneurs and Career Changers 
  • Some are for U.S. & Canada & other countries 

After Graduation: 

  • 60% respondents completed a residency program
  • 40% respondents accepted positions in a private practice or an OD/MD practice 
  • 7% respondents accepted position in corporate setting 
    • Salaries ranging from 99K-149K 
      • They also do have benefits


  • They are a small school on a large campus

Admissions and Financial Aid:

  • Total Per Semester: $27,685.50 (non CA residents)
    • They do have scholarships 
    • Accept many Loans 
  • Application consist of:
    • 3 Essays
    • 3 letters of Rec.
    • Official transcript
    • Extracurriculars
    • Supplemental Fee
    • Standardized test optional 
    • Rolling Admissions 
    • Interviews are online

Qualitative Considerations:

  • Experience in and Knowledge of Optometry
  • Statement of Purpose/ Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Activities and Achievements
  • Gap Year   
  • Interview
  • Qualities 


Student Demographics 2022-2023: 

  • 322 Applicants → 218 Interview Candidates → 67 Matriculants 

Zoom Meeting Link 09/14/2022

Berkeley Zoom Presentation:;!!KGKeukY!wU_g_DxVw-5ZPJ40c-aBsmpi0h1E-ig9k_P2WaycKttrGXgCyetfslCHT0P2KUPDrcJCtp7n_pvqcIz9cEA$


Meeting Minutes 09/06/2022


Location: Fry Hall 33

Meeting Called By: Pre-Optometry Club 

Duration: 1 Hour

Guest Speaker: Dr Earley: Associate Dean Academic Affairs

At our meeting, we all got to meet the executive board and got to hear Dr. Earley discuss why optometry is a great career. He discussed how the field has great work-life balance, great financially, and always changing and improving. The limitations of the career is that it is legislative based, meaning that policy dictates what optometrist can and cannot do. 

He soon later talked about the admissions process at OSU and how they will look at the applicant holistically and not just based on the GPA and OAT. While there are benefits of having a high GPA/OAT score, optometry schools are going to want to make sure that their students are social and have great social skills due to the fact that the career is based on social interactions. He also mentioned how important shadowing is, that way students know what they are getting themselves into.

Meeting Minutes 03/23/2022

Location: Zoom

Meeting Called by: Pre-Optometry Club

Duration: 1 hour

Guest Speaker: Candace Johnson, OptomCas/Applications 


  • Candace is the director of admissions at OSU Optometry, managing the admissions process and its materials 
  • OptomCAS: similar to CommonApp, all optometry schools utilize the OptomCAS for admissions. Sections include: personal information, academic history, supporting information and program materials. You can add schools from a list, with application deadlines still open, to send your application to (under the Add Program tab) 
    • Personal Information Section: mainly personal information (name, gender, pronouns, birthday), contact information, citizenship, etc. 
    • Academic History: a long section on the application, requires all enrollments in universities (transfers, etc), submit all transcripts and records for courses, manually input all courses, enter in OAT/GRE/other standardized test scores, etc
    • Supporting Information: includes letters of recommendations (optometrist, professor and a choice), experiences section is professional jobs and achievements, extracurriculars, clubs, etc., 
    • Program Materials is a custom section based on each school with questions specific to their program, possibly essay questions, additional scores or academic information, resume, observation hours, etc
  • You can submit your applications and check application status on OptomCAS site
  • Students can create accounts and begin working on their application whenever they chose, but can only submit when the cycle opens (July 1st)
  • Timeline of application process: Schedule to take the OAT in the spring of your third year, to ease testing complications and allow time (90 days) between tests if you need to retake. Applications are submitted the summer between third and fourth year, schools will review applications. Schools will begin evaluations and inviting candidates for interviews, typically a couple weeks after receiving applications. 

Meeting Minutes 3/07/2022

Location: Zoom

Meeting Called by: Pre-Optometry Club

Duration: 1 hour

Guest Speaker: Dr. Nicky Lai

  • Associate professor of clinical optometry
  • Chief, Contact Lens Service
  • OD, MS 2003 OSU Optometry

Dr. Lai is originally from California, and he attended UCLA for his undergraduate degree. He wanted to move out of California to experience new ways of life, so he interviewed for Ohio State Optometry. He felt very welcomed when he came to Ohio State and knew he would have a good support system as he moved across the country. After optometry school, he planned to move back to California, but he began working with a faculty member on a research project focused on eye movement. Although he realized research wasn’t for him, he appreciated his experience in this project, as it gave him insight into the field and was a good segway into academia and teaching. During his undergraduate career, he tutored many students and worked as a teaching assistant. Dr. Lai loved Ohio State’s curriculum because he was able to get a feel for every specialty, but he particularly was fascinated by contact lenses.  Now, he works as the Chief of Contact Lens Services, in which he manages the clinic, helps establish policies, and disseminates information as new technology and advancements come about. Dr. Lai really enjoys being able to not only interact with patients but also teach his students at the same time in the exam room. 

Types of contact lenses

  1. Elective – refractive correction (near- or farsighted .. may just not want to wear glasses, so that’s why they’re referred to as “elective”)
  2. Medically Necessary (patients cannot function visually without these lenses)
  3. Myopia management 
  4. Therapeutic lenses
    • Drug delivery (allergies make it difficult to wear contact lenses)
    • Glaucoma monitoring
    • Amniotic membrane

Contact lens

1. Soft lenses (hydrogel; silicone hydrogel)

  • Water content
  • Silicone is an element that allows more oxygen transmission

2. Gas permeable (“hard” lens; GP lens)

  • 50–60% of people have refractive errors
  • Contact lenses bend light, so the light can focus on the retina
  • Every time you blink, your tears creep under the lens
  • Must account for the power of lens but also the tear lens


Myopia, Hyperopia

  • Nearsighted vs farsighted 
  • Can correct really high prescriptions (i.e. -20,+20)

Astigmatism (Not all of what you see is in focus at the same time)

  • Lenses to correct astigmatism have to sit on the eye and in the exact same spot every time or else it will move around, causing the patient to not be able to see.
  • Don’t want the lens to be glued onto eye (should be floating on eye and moving freely)
  • Some lenses are thicker on the bottom, so every time you blink, lens goes back into place

Presbyopia (Inability to see up close)

  • Multifocal lenses; see far away and up close at the same time (Line going across lens)
  • Bifocal contact lens
  • When patient looks down, lens slides up a little and the patient can see out of bottom part of contact lens

Astigmatism and presbyopia lenses were considered “specialty lenses” for a while

Lens wear compliance is so important

  • Patient abusing lens?
  • Not cleaning/disinfecting?
  • Not using as they should?
  • Smoking?
  • Buying contacts online is a risk factor (habit; if something is wrong with lens fit, no one is catching it; not going to optometrist regularly)
  • Fungal infection if a patient sleeps in contacts?
  • Optometrists like to encourage a daily disposable lens to ensure patients are wearing clean lenses everyday

Medically Necessary contacts may be able to assist in patients with corneal disease 

  • Keratoconus (we don’t really know why it happens; genetics?)
  • Cornea gets thin and bulgy
  • Supposed to refract light, but not consistent (light won’t focus well)
  • May get scarring on cornea
  • Cornea should be clear, but as the tissue deteriorates, cornea may not be clear
  • May need a corneal transplant, but may be able to get medically necessary contact lenses (Tears fill in behind the lens and correct the irregularities)

Meeting Minutes 2/23/2022

Location: Fry 33

Meeting Called by: Pre-Optometry Club

Duration: 1 hour

Guest Speaker: Dr Flom: Low Vision Rehabilitation



  • Why does Dr Flom do this work? Dr Flom puts it into “mastery and meaning”, where mastery is feeling in the zone, feeling important and solving problems, and meaning corresponds to the satisfaction of having the ability to alleviate suffering of patients. 
  • Low vision: a vision deficit that impedes performance of everyday tasks thats permanent and not correctable in typical ways (glasses, contacts, surgery, etc)
  • Causes of low vision include albinism (missing pigmented layer in the retina), macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, etc
  • Prevalence of visual impairment and blindness in US adults over 40: 1.5% of adults are considered visually impaired (< 20/70 visual acuity), 0.5% are legally blind (<20/200 visual acuity), functionally blind is 0.05% which entails mild degrees of visual impairment
  • Risk factors of impairment and blindness include age, socio-economic status, gender (among low vision patients, males > females, among older low vision patients, females > males)
  • Low vision approach: “We can’t give you vision back but help you use the vision that you have to be as active and independent as you would like”
  • Optometric Low Vision Rehabilitation Purpose: help patient with visual impairment to overcome visual disabilities and handicaps by compensating for lost function
  • Assessing nature and severity of visual impairment: 
    • visual acuity testing: for the purpose of assessing a baseline for that person, to classify them for eligibility for something in particular, gives an idea for how string prescriptions need to be , to describe visual capabilities
    • ETDRS: adapted eye chart for getting highly systematic measurements, adapted for the early treatment pf diabetic retinopathy study
    • Low contrast conditions prevent detection of objects, facial recognition, reading facial/emotional cues, walking and avoiding hazards
  • The Low Vision Exam: Preparation, history (medical/ocular, goals), preliminary testing(
    Rx verification, SLE and optos eval), refraction (objective and subjective), reading assessment (initial and re-test), device evaluation, rehabilitation plan, ocular health testing, counseling, coordination of care

    • Options could include magnifiers, using your own phone/technology (seeing AI app)

Meeting Minutes 2/16/2022

Location: Fry 33

Meeting Called by: Pre-Optometry Club

Duration: 45 minutes

Guest Speaker: Dr Fries: Mode of Practice in Optometry 



  • There are many ways to be an optometrist outside of private practice, including group practice, ophthalmology/optometry, public health/military/VA, interdisciplinary care, academic/research, corporate or professional affairs, etc.
  • Most optometrists practice in some form of a private practice, corporate is second and the OD/MD or multidisciplinary is third in popularity. 
  • Private Practice: individual, primary care, specialty (contact lenses, low vision, vision therapy, pediatrics, clinical trials, etc), or group practice. 
    • Advantages : freedom, quality of life, control, contentment 
    • Disadvantages: no freedom (?),  find work life balance, control, requires self discipline 
  • Retail/Corporate Optometry: you don’t work for Walmart/Costco but lease the space within their facilities. The companies do all the marketing for you, but don’t pay you. You make an earning from patients; You are incharge of the exam fees but no investment is necessary within the business (ie. sign a contract for a couple years and then leave). Limited starting salaries and opportunities but easy to find openings due to high turnover.
  • Interdisciplinary: hospital or clinic, FQHC, health clinic, hospital. As an optometrist, you would be a part of a team of providers for a patient, all coordinating care quickly. OSU has ties to an FQHC, Lower Lights Christian Health Center, students care for a diverse population with many conditions and lifestyles. 
  • Military: 3 branches (air force, navy and army) employ optometrists. They offer scholarship opportunities for schooling in return for service as well. No basic training is necessary, opportunities to practice and travel around the world. 
  • OD/MD: when optometrists work with/for opthamologists in a medical setting. Usually very large practices focused on pre/post surgical care or disease specific treatment. Examples: Cincinnati Eye Institute, Columbus Ophthalmology. 
  • VA Medical Center: veterans administration, hospitals run by the federal government treating veterans. Optometrists can practice to the highest level of scope of practice (because it is federally run) , usually requiring a residency, traditionally in a VA, and offers a benefit structure. 
  • Indian Health services: working on reservations, providing health care and eye exams. Unique patient population with unique eye conditions. Usually in rural settings, decent pay and benefits including loan repayment opportunities. 
  • Public Health: combines optometry and the world of population health, community based care (promote eye health, epidemiology and biostatistics). Opportunities may exist within public health departments. Expanded role of a lecturer or educator, educating the general population instead of one person. Work in health policy and research, working in labs for federal agencies (CDC, FDA…)
  • Academia/Research: Teaching at an academic institution (clinical or didactic). Research at an academic institution, government agency (grants, grant writing publishing, presenting). Usually requires advanced degrees beyond OD (ex. T-35 Program at OSU)
  • HMO: doctors employed by insurance companies (such as an HMO) to see their patients. Working as a salaried employee for insurance companies. 
  • Industry: Contact lens company (J&J, Cooper, B&L), Optical lab(Hoya, Shamir), Pharmaceutical companies, surgical companies. Less practicing more human relations. 
  • Consultant: lecturer, practice consultant or key opinion leader. Older optometrists looking for a change/less practicing. Usually comes later in career when some experience and knowledge has been gained about the industry.

Club Fundraiser!!

When: March 1st, 2022 from 5-9pm

Where: North Campus Chipotle- 2130 N High St.

Proceeds of the donations will be given to Fighting Blindness Columbus!

See you there!

Meeting Minutes 2/2/2022

Location: Zoom

Meeting Called by: Pre-Optometry Club

Duration: 1 hour

Guest Speaker: Dr Yuhas, The Retina: An Overview 


  • Dr Yuhas is a professor at the OSU Optometry school, teaching courses in glaucoma and ocular disease. He does research and clinical work with the retina, blue light exposure and traumatic brain injury.
  • If the eye was a camera, the retina would be the film within the camera, light being focused on it via the lens and cornea. The retina transduces light into signals sent into the brain. 
  • The retina is the only place in the body where we can observe the nerves and blood vessels as they are, which is a powerful diagnostic tool. In the cross section, the macula shows a dip in the tissue and all the layers of tissue, 10 layers total within the retina. In the bottom layer are the rods and cones which collect the light information. 
  • Time spent on screens is increasing for all age groups, will it damage our eyes? Blue light is the wavelength of light that is emitted from computers, phones and most/all technology. The danger with blue light has to do with the amount of energy the short wavelength light emits. Blue light lies within 400 nm wavelengths, so among the shortest wavelengths we can register.
  • Sunlight is mostly blue light, similar to electronics. When its absorbed by the retina, free radicals are created within the back of the eye, which can damage cell membranes, proteins and DNA. Studies have shown RPE cells % of survival decrease with longer exposure time to blue light. 
  • Blue light can also cause damage to photoreceptors, causing an overall loss of them within the retina. The rods will shrink down in response to blue light and will become encased within inflammatory material and be destroyed. A study done on genetically modified cells shows that as blue light exposure increased, an increase of calcium intake also occurred into the cell. Too much calcium can cause apoptosis of the cells, showing “that retinal cells can die of an over saturation of calcium in response to blue light.”
  • Most studies show no risk of blue light exposure and retinal disease , even though some suggest eye damage and worsening of existing diseases. In summary, lab studies show its danger, but evidence in humans contradicts this correlation. 
  • Melanin is a protective element pigment that absorbs high energy light in the retina, and as an antioxidant. It “eats” the free radicals and prevents the damage they can cause. Studies show higher levels of melanin can withstand higher blue light exposure in comparison to those with less. MAC pigments also act as antioxidants within the retina. 
  • How can electronics be worse than the sun? Screens we view daily can be as high as 50 lux (units of brightness). A cloudy day is also about 1000 lux, but a sunny day is roughly 100,000 lux. Even under long term viewing conditions, none of the current technology screens can cause serious concern to damage the retina. This also means blue light blocking products don’t do much to protect us or make us more comfortable when using our technology. This does not mean the light cannot affect sleep, only that it is not significantly more dangerous than the sun itself.


  • TBI: an acquired brain injury that occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. Globally about 10 million cases a year, in America, about 2.5 million but TBI is severely underreported. 70-90% of cases are mild, meaning brief or no loss of consciousness and no more than a day loss of memory. 
  • TBIs are often repetitive, 35% of sports related TBIs follow a previous injury. 
  • Diffuse axonal injury: coup countercoup injury, when we initially bang our head nut its movement within the skull damages another area. Causes DAI, axonal deformation and swelling. Damage to the axons causes malfunctions. Enough of these injuries can cause an inflammatory response and an increase of white matter surrounding damaged neurons and tau protein phosphorylation, which disables it to no longer support microtubules within neurons. Changes to neurons within the brain alter cognitive function.
  • This pathology is not able to be detected with MRI or any other imaging systems, it can only be observed postmortem. 
  • There is possible potential for the retina to tell us about these conditions in patients before they die. The retina is like a “brain slice”, showing us neural tissue, and it is susceptible to this pathology change. As the axons that travel from the eye to the brain, they are able to be damaged in a TBI accident. There can also be transsynaptic degeneration, the spreading of neurodegenerative disease to healthy tissues. This begs the option that the disease can spread to the eye even if the eye is not initially affected. 
  • TBI can decrease the amount of retinal ganglion cells due to a blast injury, studies show. It also occurs for repeated TBI injuries. This could allow clinicians to observe evidence of brain damage by using the accessibility of the retina. Some human based studies have come out in support toTBI causing an increased thinning in the retina, but not all studies show significance in this finding. 
  • Dr Yuhas’s research is incorporating microtubule structural damage within the retina and repeated TBIs.