Doctor of Optometry
The Indiana University School of Optometry has instituted a revised curriculum. The first major change is integration of general non-ocular biomedical science topics into a two semester, 9.5-credit-hour Systems Approach to Biomedical Sciences (SABS) course. This course series integrates biochemistry, molecular biology, human anatomy, histology, physiology, microbiology, immunology, and systemic pathology at a level appropriate for optometrists. This is a team-taught course series that involves several optometry faculty and the pathology instructor from the School of Medicine. The systems-based approach, which is common in many dental schools, provides an integrated and much more efficient learning experience as opposed to the older discipline-based approach where each topic had a separate course.
The second major change is the institution of a two semester Integrative Optometry course in the first year. It is called Integrative Optometry because it utilizes clinical vignettes that encompass all aspects of optometry and medicine. Integrative Optometry uses the problem-based learning approach. Each student researches the case and brings his or her findings to a group (10 or fewer) discussion with a faculty facilitator. The students learn about clinical conditions, but the emphasis is to learn about the links between clinical problems and the underlying basic science.
The third major change is a move of the Clinical Sciences course series to the first semester, first year so that learning examination of the eye was done in parallel with the Ocular Biology course, which now integrates ocular anatomy and physiology. Just like SABS, integrating ocular anatomy with the physiology is a better way to learn and is more efficient.