Chicago College of Optometry

Downers Grove, IL Campus

Course Descriptions

Chicago College of Optometry

Prerequisites are listed for those courses with such requirements. When no prerequisite is listed in a course description it is implied that there is no prerequisite.

Abbreviation/Number
Course Name

ANATD 1503

Human Anatomy

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This course provides fundamental knowledge of normal human structure and function in a lecture-based format. The emerging theme will be the interrelationships between structural design and functional capabilities. During this course, basic components including tissues, muscles, nerves, bones, joints, and organs will be covered.

Credits: 1.5

ANATD  1506

Head & Neck Anatomy

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This course provides a detailed study of normal human head and neck anatomy and function using didactic lectures and guided laboratory activities. Three-dimensional relationships among head and neck structures are reinforced by reviewing prosected specimens, images, and models. There is an emphasis on the clinical applications of anatomical structure and function.

Credits: 3

BISCD 1590

Biochemistry for Optometry

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This course focuses on the structure function relationships of the eye in regard to biomolecules, metabolism, and cell biology.

Credits: 1.5

CORED 1599K

Interprofessional Education I

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Changes in our healthcare delivery system are creating a growing demand for health professionals with skills in collaboration and teamwork. This course will describe the roles and responsibilities of the various healthcare disciplines. It will also provide students, from different health professions, the opportunity to interact with one another as well as simulated patients. This collaboration will promote communication using a team-based approach to the maintenance of health and management of disease.

Credits: 1

CORED 1699

Interprofessional Education II

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This course will provide students, working in interprofessional teams, opportunities to learn and provide integrated, patient-centered care in the development of therapeutic care plans using a team-based approach. Active learning techniques, interprofessional learning, and clinical simulation will be used to enhance the education of learners to effectively engage in problem solving and communication activities that address current health related issues in the care of humans, animals, and the environment.

Credits: 1

Prerequisites

CORED 1599 Interprofessional Education I as designated by your program

MICRD 1582

Microbiology

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This course is designed to provide a basic knowledge of clinical microbiology so that students can understand the interaction between the host and pathogenic microorganisms. Emphases include the rational management, prevention, and control of infectious diseases.

Credits: 1.5

MICRD  1590

Immunology

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This course presents basic aspects of the body’s defense mechanisms. Current advances in immunotherapy and immunoprophylaxis are emphasized. The role the immune system plays in rejection of organ transplants, autoimmunity, and hypersensitivity are also discussed.

Credits: 2

OPTOD  1500

IPE: Healthcare Communication

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This course will introduce first year optometry, dental, pharmacy, and medical students to the fundamental principles of effective communication in the health care setting. The course emphasizes the principles and elements of interpersonal, nonverbal, motivational communication, barriers to effective communication, including cultural awareness.

Credits: 1

OPTOD 1510, 1520, 1530

Clinical Optometry I, II, III

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These courses are the first three in the Clinical Optometry sequence introducing the theory and procedures of comprehensive eye examinations. This includes instrumentation, examination methods and protocols, psychophysical techniques, appropriate patient communication, and recording of findings of various examination techniques commonly used in preliminary testing and visual function. Students are introduced to and participate in patient care and community vision screening during this sequence.

Prerequisites
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1510 Clinical Optometry I, 3.5 credits: none
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1520 Clinical Optometry II, 3 credits: OPTOD 1510 Clinical Optometry I
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1530 Clinical Optometry III, 3 credits: OPTOD 1520 Clinical Optometry II

OPTOD 1511

Contemporary Issues in Healthcare & Ethics

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This course introduces students to ethical theories and principles and how to apply them to situations they may encounter in healthcare. Students will learn about ethical issues involving topics such as technology, confidentiality, and professional relationships. Ethical standards expected of them as graduate students and as Optometrists will be discussed.

Credits: 1

OPTOD 1514

Optometry Business Management I

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This course surveys the profession of Optometry up to present day, provides basic planning strategies for personal, professional, and financial goals to prepare for a career in Optometry. Optometric career choices, modes and scope of optometric practice, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the various paths are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the steps that should be initiated to prepare for a career as a professional.

Credits: 1

OPTOD 1521

Visual Neurophysiology

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The course discusses the neurophysiological basis of vision starting with the retina and proceeding to higher areas of the visual cortex. Detailed understanding of the physiology and functionality of the primary visual cortex (V1) and higher cortical areas (e.g., V3) will be provided. Students will learn the role of lower and higher neuronal cortical areas in the processing of visual information, as well as dysfunctions and diseases that affect vision by interfering with the activities of these cells.

Credits: 1.5

OPTOD 1540

Geometrical Optics

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The course provides an introduction to the conceptual and quantitative characterization of the behavior of light by using the geometrical model. In Geometrical Optics, the basics of refraction, reflection, image formation, and magnification will be presented. Applications of these concepts on plane interfaces, spherical and sphero-cylindrical thin lenses, thick lenses, prisms, mirrors, and simple compound optical systems (telescopes and microscopes) will be presented. Also, the ray transfer matrix analysis will be introduced.

Credits: 4

OPTOD 1541

Physiological Optics

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The course applies the concepts learned during Geometrical Optics to study the eye as an optical system, providing a qualitative background for the clinical practice. Schematic eye models, optics of ametropias and their correction, higher order aberrations, prescription writing, accommodation, eye’s magnification, classification of refractive errors, and clinical instruments are discussed. A brief introduction to radiometry and photometry is also part of this course.

Credits: 4

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1540 Geometrical Optics

OPTOD 1542

Visual Optics

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The course expands beyond the geometrical model of light by providing the basics of the electromagnetic and quantum optical models and applies them to the study of vision related phenomena. Visual Optics provides conceptual and quantitative understanding of the characteristics and applications of the electromagnetic theory of light: polarization, diffraction, interference, scattering, and colorimetry. Visual Optics also provides an introduction to the quantum theory of light and applies it to explain fluorescence and laser phenomenology.

Credits: 4

OPTOD 1560

Visual Neuroanatomy

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This course presents an introduction to neuroanatomy from an optometric perspective. The general anatomy and physiology of the spinal column and brain will be discussed with emphasis on the visual pathway, brain stem, and visual cortex. Additional topics will include development, cells of the nervous system, neurotransmission, ventricular system, and blood supply of the brain.

Credits: 2

OPTOD 1561, 1562

Ocular Anatomy & Physiology I, II

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This course sequence enters into detailed discussion of microscopic and gross ocular anatomy. It describes the physiology and pathophysiology of the ocular tissues and units of the eye. Students will gain an understanding of the interrelationships between ocular histology and physiology with pharmacology and pathophysiology.

Prerequisites
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1561 Ocular Anatomy & Physiology I, 3.5 credits: none
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1562 Ocular Anatomy & Physiology II, 2 credits: OPTOD 1561 Ocular Anatomy & Physiology I

OPTOD 1620

Monocular Sensory Processing/Basic Binocular Function

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This course presents the basis of monocular vision and includes light and dark adaptation, spatial and temporal resolution, and color vision. An overview of human visual development will be discussed. Students will learn about gross electrical potentials and photometry. Furthermore, this course will present an overview of basic concepts of binocular vision such as the geometry of the binocular projection, the concepts of fusion, correspondence, the horopter, binocular summation, and stereopsis.

Credits: 4

OPTOD 1621

Ocular Motility

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This course discusses the functional classes of eye movements including, fixational, saccadic, pursuit, vestibular, optokinetic, and vergence. Neural anatomy and physiology of eye movements will be discussed as well as systems governing accommodation and pupillary responses corresponding to eye movements. Students will learn how disruptions in the neural or muscular systems may lead to clinically significant disorders such as nystagmus, strabismus, and other abnormal eye movements.

Credits: 2

OPTOD 1623

Non-Strabismic Disorders of Accommodation, Binocular Vision & Eye Movements

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The diagnosis and management of common non-strabismic disorders of accommodation, binocular vision, and eye movements will be presented in this course. Advanced clinical techniques to assess accommodation, phorias, vergence, and eye movements will be introduced, including graphical analysis and fixation disparity testing. Treatment options for these conditions will be presented, including lenses, prisms, and vision therapy. Optometric therapies for enhancement of sports related visual skills will also be discussed.

Credits: 4

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1621 Ocular Motility

OPTOD  1630, 1631, 1632, 1733, 1734

Ocular Disease I, II, III, IV, V

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This course sequence covers signs and symptoms, pathophysiology, clinical course, differential diagnosis, treatment, and management of ocular diseases of the anterior and posterior segment of the eye and ocular adnexa.

Prerequisites
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1631 Ocular Disease II, 3 credits: OPTOD 1630 Ocular Disease I
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1632 Ocular Disease III, 3 credits: OPTOD 1631 Ocular Disease II
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1733 Ocular Disease IV, 2 credits: OPTOD 1632 Ocular Disease III
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1734 Ocular Disease V, 2 credits: OPTOD 1733 Ocular Disease IV

OPTOD  1633

Surgical Management of the Eyelid & Ocular Adnexa

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This course prepares the optometry student to perform minor surgical procedures of the anterior segment of the eye (biopsy, chalazion injections, incisions, and curettage). Topics will include pertinent medical-legal issues and informed consent, pharmacology of local anesthesia, surgical instruments, emergency surgical procedures, asepsis, infection control, and biohazard disposal. Post-operative wound care and complications will also be discussed.

Credits: 1.5

Prerequisites

OPTOD 1563 Ocular Anatomy & Physiology III and OPTOD 1630 Ocular Disease I

OPTOD 1634

Ocular Pharmacology

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This course focuses on the pharmacology of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Specific topics include pharmacokinetics of the eye, use of autonomic agents, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious agents, and agents used to treat glaucoma. In addition, ocular effects of systemic medications will be presented.

Credits: 3

Prerequisite

PHARD 1642 Pharmacology II

OPTOD  1640, 1650, 1660

Clinical Optometry IV, V, VI

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These courses are the last three in the Clinical Optometry sequence introducing theory and procedures of comprehensive eye examinations. This includes instrumentation, examination methods and protocols, psychophysical techniques, appropriate patient communication, and recording of various examination techniques regarding ocular health. Students participate in patient care and community vision screening during this sequence.

Credits: Each course 4

Prerequisites
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1640 Clinical Optometry IV: OPTOD 1530 Clinical Optometry III
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1650 Clinical Optometry V: OPTOD 1640 Clinical Optometry IV
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1660 Clinical Optometry VI: OPTOD 1650 Clinical Optometry V

OPTOD 1643, 1644

Ophthalmic Optics I, II

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This course sequence covers the study of the physical and optical characteristics of ophthalmic lenses and prisms; the design and application of single vision, multifocal, occupational and progressive lenses; the benefits and applications of ophthalmic lens materials, absorptive lenses, and lens treatments; and the proper measurement and fitting of ophthalmic lenses and frames.

Credits: Each course 4

Prerequisites
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1643 Ophthalmic Optics I: OPTOD 1542 Visual Optics
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1644 Ophthalmic Optics II: OPTOD 1643 Ophthalmic Optics I

OPTOD 1648, 1649, 1750

Contact Lens I, II, III

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This course sequence includes a discussion of the theory and practice of contact lens design and contact lens fitting methodologies. Areas of discussion include corneal topography, design of materials, fabrication and modification of contact lenses, fitting and evaluation methodologies, and procedures. This course sequence will also explore advanced contact lens applications for high and irregular astigmatism, keratoconus, presbyopia, post-surgical and irregular corneas, corneal reshaping, and ocular prosthetics.

Credits: Each course 3

Prerequisites
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1648 Contact Lens I: none
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1649 Contact Lens II: OPTOD 1648 Contact Lens I
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1750 Contact Lens III: OPTOD 1649 Contact Lens II

OPTOD 1661

Clinical Services Proficiency

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The objective of this course is to assess and verify the student’s level of competency in patient care skills. The course is designed to refine clinical procedures and culminates in a comprehensive clinical skills proficiency examination.

Credits: 0.5

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1650 Clinical Optometry V

OPTOD 1680

Research Design, Biostatistics & Literature Search

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This course covers the principles of research design, application of biostatistical methods, and literature search tools. This will prepare students to conduct their Capstone Research Project. Projects may include a series of clinical cases, or a basic/clinical experiment under the mentorship of a faculty member. This course teaches successful planning, conducting, and completing a basic or clinical research study in a scientific manner.

Credits: 1

OPTOD 1700

Clinical Medicine Procedures

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The benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to vision care are emphasized in this course. It involves advanced history taking and aspects of a physical examination. This course introduces the procedures for evaluating the head and neck, while covering various systems of the body (dermatology, pulmonology, rheumatology, and neurology). Suturing, wound maintenance, and injections (ocular, subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous) are also included.

Credits: 2

OPTOD 1701

Behavioral Medicine

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This course provides an introduction to behavioral and psychiatric disorders and behavioral medicine. The course is offered from a holistic perspective with an emphasis on compassionate inter-professional and optometric care. In addition, medical treatment is discussed with a basic overview of potential optometric drug interactions and side effects relevant to optometry and with reference to the One Health Initiative.

Credits: 1

OPTOD 1714

Optometry Business Management II

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This course coincides with the student’s participation in comprehensive patient care experiences in a clinical setting. Emphasis is placed on developing the student’s interpersonal skills and professionalism as part of patient care. Using a lecture format, emphasis is placed on the ethical implications of professional practice. Using the Eye Institute as the “practice model”, doctor/patient communication methods and protocols as well as essential practice management procedures will be developed. Student implementation of these procedures and practices into their clinical experience will be highlighted. Additionally, clinico-legal aspects of patient care, record keeping, coding and billing, and documentation are discussed.

Credits: 2

OPTOD 1715

Optometry Business Management III

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This course is designed to provide the educational information and exercises that facilitate the learning of knowledge and skills necessary to enter a desired mode of practice. The students will be educated on the numerous options available to them and be able to choose the most beneficial to their personal situation. Post-graduation job securing strategies, contract negotiation considerations, and business plan design and creation are covered in this course. The desired outcome is that the student will be able to enter their best practice situation upon graduation.

Credits: 2

OPTOD  1724

Diagnosis of Strabismus & Amblyopia

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This course introduces strabismus and amblyopia, including appropriate testing and diagnosis. Clinical classifications and characteristics of strabismus and amblyopia will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on the clinical interpretation of findings and specialized techniques necessary for proper evaluation.

Credits: 4

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1623 Non-Strabismic Disorders of Accommodation, Binocular Vision & Eye Movements

OPTOD  1725

Treatment & Management of Strabismus & Amblyopia

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This course introduces clinical applications for the prevention, treatment, and management of strabismus and amblyopia. It presents clinical methods to ameliorate deficits in visual development and binocular functions caused by sensory and motor anomalies. Theory and reasoning for treatment and management will be discussed.

Credits: 2

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1724 Diagnosis of Strabismus & Amblyopia

OPTOD 1726

Pediatric Optometry

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This course focuses on the adaptation of eye care for the pediatric and special needs patient including examination techniques, treatment, and management. Normal visual development will be discussed as well as the potential implications of congenital and genetic disorders on the visual system. Ocular pathologies affecting these populations including diagnostic procedures and appropriate treatment strategies will also be addressed.

Credits: 2

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1725 Treatment & Management of Strabismus & Amblyopia

OPTOD 1727

Visual Information Processing & Vision-Related Learning Problems

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This course focuses on visual information processing testing and its use in identifying reading and learning deficits. Application of these findings will be discussed with respect to an academic environment including the Optometrist’s role as part of an interprofessional team and management of learning disorders. Time will be spent introducing the Optometrist’s role in testing brain injuries and the associated visual therapy.

Credits: 3

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1726 Pediatric Optometry

OPTOD 1735

Advanced Specialized Test Interpretation

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This course is designed to augment the basic education on specialty test indications and their results. This course will explore image acquisition, interpretation, clinical correlates, and their application to patient care.

Credits: 1

OPTOD 1736

Ophthalmic Application of Lasers

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This course is a comprehensive introduction to the ophthalmic application of lasers. Indications, perioperative management, complications, and patient education will be reviewed for laser vision correction and therapeutic medical lasers. Physical principles of lasers, mechanisms of damage, and ANSI standards pertaining to laser safety will also be included. Hands-on learning with living and non-living tissues will be incorporated throughout lab exercises.

Credits: 2

OPTOD  1745

Epidemiology, Public Health & the Optometric Profession

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This course is an introduction to the epidemiology of ocular anomalies, public and community health planning and care, and the role of the optometrist in community health promotion.

Credits: 2

OPTOD 1770, 1771, 1772, 1774 1770, 1771, 1772, 1774

Clinical Services I, II, III, IV

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The student will provide primary eye care services in the Primary Care and Specialty Services (cornea and contact lenses, ocular disease, pediatric optometry, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, sports vision, and ocular prosthetics) at the Midwestern University Eye Institute or at selected external clinical sites. This course series focuses on progressive competence in the diagnosis, treatment and management of visual dysfunctions and ocular conditions. Students will participate in case based clinical seminars as well.

Prerequisites
  • Prerequisites for OPTOD 1770 Clinical Services I, 6 credits: OPTOD 1660 Clinical Optometry VI and OPTOD 1661 Clinical Services Proficiency
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1771 Clinical Services II, 7.5 credits: OPTOD 1770 Clinical Services I
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1772 Clinical Services III, 7.5 credits: OPTOD 1771 Clinical Services II
  • Prerequisites for OPTOD 1774 Clinical Services IV, 7.5 credits: OPTOD 1772 Clinical Services III and OPTOD 1773 Specialty Clinical Services Proficiency

OPTOD 1773

Specialty Clinical Services Proficiency

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The objective of this course is to assess and verify the student’s proficiency in specialty services skills required for clinical rotations during the fourth year of professional patient care. It culminates in a clinical skills proficiency examination.

Credits: 0.5

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1771 Clinical Services II

OPTOD 1775

Clinical Grand Rounds

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This course will consist of case presentations involving primary care, treatment and management of ocular disease, and other optometric specialties. It is designed to further student development in the area of case management. One Health initiatives and multidisciplinary approaches to clinical care will also be discussed.

Credits: 1

OPTOD 1780

Capstone Project

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Beginning in the first year, students will develop the skills to design a project and perform statistical analysis of data. The project may be an extensive in depth literature review, or a basic/clinical experiment under the mentorship of a faculty member. Students will devote a year to conduct the necessary literature review and collect data. Finally, students will present their manuscript in a publishable format, and deliver a public presentation of the work during the spring of their third professional year.

Credits: 1

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1580 Research Design, Biostatistics & Literature Search

OPTOD 1785

Low Vision Rehabilitation

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This course will provide an overview of the strategies used in the field of low vision rehabilitation to manage and treat patients with chronic vision impairments. Skills necessary to perform basic low vision examinations will be reviewed. Common optical, non-optical, and assistive/adaptive technologies used to develop rehabilitation plans will be introduced. Special topics including geriatric populations, traumatic brain injury, and psychosocial factors associated with vision loss will be discussed. The laboratory component will provide hands-on experience with low vision devices and treatment strategies.

Credits: 3

OPTOD 1787

Neuro-ophthalmic Disease

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This course presents the ocular, visual, systemic and neurologic manifestations of neuro-ophthalmic disorders and disease. The diagnosis and management is presented and includes but is not limited to components of the neuro-ophthalmic exam, neuroimaging and specialty testing.

Credits: 2.5

Prerequisite

OPTOD 1560 Visual Neuroanatomy

OPTOD  1790

Clinical Case Analysis I/Evidence-Based Medicine

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This course is based on case presentations from the Midwestern University Eye Institute or from optometric literature. Students will be trained in clinical diagnosis and treatment and management of patients using evidence-based clinical protocols.

Credits: 2

OPTOD 1791

Clinical Case Analysis II/Treatment Plans

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This course is based on case presentations from the Midwestern University Eye Institute or from optometric literature. It will present the diagnostic and treatment strategies for ocular and visual conditions within both primary and specialty care.

Credits: 2

OPTOD 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830

Clinical Services V, VI, VII, VIII

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The fourth professional year is designed to promote continued development of the student's emerging clinical problem-solving abilities. This is a series of full-time clinical rotations or externships. Direct patient care in individualized supervised clinical experiences is the focus. Interns will provide eye care services in the Primary Care and Specialty Services (cornea and contact lenses, ocular disease, pediatric optometry, low vision rehabilitation, electro-diagnosis, vision therapy, sports vision and ocular prosthetics) at the Midwestern University Eye Institute or at selected external rotation sites. Clinical decision making will be enhanced through challenging patient care problems that highlight or emphasize differential diagnosis, management decisions, referral decisions and follow-up, and newer techniques and procedures for diagnosis and management. This course comprises patient care experiences and a seminar series presented weekly during each fourth year clinical rotation in the Eye Institute.

Credits: Each course 18

Prerequisites
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1800 Clinical Services V: OPTOD 1774 Clinical Services IV
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1810 Clinical Services VI: OPTOD 1800 Clinical Services V
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1820 Clinical Services VII: OPTOD 1810 Clinical Services VI
  • Prerequisite for OPTOD 1830 Clinical Services VIII: OPTOD 1820 Clinical Services VII

PATHD 1501

Pathology/Histology I

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This course focuses on the basic concepts and principles of pathology by analyzing the basic inherent mechanisms that underlie all disease processes. Students will develop an understanding for the processes of cellular injury and adaptation, inflammation and repair, neoplasia, hemodynamic disorders and basic laboratory values and analysis. This course stresses the cellular, genetic, pathophysiologic and molecular alterations which underlie all disease processes and emphasizes their dynamic nature. The histology of different organ systems will be covered looking at both normal and diseased tissues.

Credits: 2

PATHD  1502

Pathology/Histology II

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This course is a continuum of PATHD 1501. The causes and pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease pertaining to specific organ systems are emphasized along with their anatomic, histologic and physiologic alterations. The relationships between specific organ system diseases and their systemic implications are also emphasized.

Credits: 2

PHARD 1641, 1642

Pharmacology I, II

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This course sequence includes coverage of the pharmacologic actions of the major classes of drugs acting on the autonomic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, immune and central nervous systems. Other topics that are covered include the chemotherapy of microbial, parasitic and neoplastic diseases; drugs acting on blood and blood-forming organs, hormones and hormone antagonists, principles of toxicology, vitamins, and drugs causing birth defects.

Prerequisites
  • Prerequisite for PHARD 1641 Pharmacology I, 3 credits: none
  • Prerequisite for PHARD 1642 Pharmacology II, 2 credits: PHARD 1641 Pharmacology I

PHYSD 1530

Human Physiology I

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This course provides core knowledge of physiology in order to understand normal function and to acquire the ability to analyze and interpret the immediate and long-term compensatory responses to common disease states of excitable cells, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. Basic and applied terminology as well as the basic morphology of systems are discussed, and the relationship between anatomy and function of the systems considered is included.

Credits: 3.5

PHYSD  1531

Human Physiology II

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This course provides core knowledge of physiology in order to understand normal function and to acquire the ability to analyze and interpret the immediate and long-term compensatory responses to common disease states of excitable cells, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. Basic and applied terminology as well as the basic morphology of systems are discussed, and the relationship between anatomy and function of the systems considered is included.

Credits: 3.5