Eye­ing a ca­reer in op­tom­e­try

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - EDUCATION GUIDE -

oP­TOMETRISTS are in high de­mand now in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors.

As the ser­vices of op­tometrists are equal in im­por­tance to med­i­cal doc­tors, the pub­lic view op­tom­e­try as a pres­ti­gious ca­reer.

Op­tom­e­try is de­rived from the Greek word “op­tos”, which means view and “me­tria” (mea­sures) deals with the eyes and its re­lated struc­ture.

The field com­prises four ar­eas of study – vi­sion sci­ence com­pris­ing medicine, mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy, and neu­rol­ogy; op­tics such op­ti­cal aids; op­ti­cal in­stru­ments such as imaging tech­niques; and pro­fes­sional eye care.

It does not only con­cern the need to help peo­ple with phys­i­cal vi­sion prob­lems but also other re­lated as­pects such as surgery, whether us­ing the stan­dard method or laser.

Other roles of op­tometrists in­clude ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic on the im­por­tance of eye care – an area of­ten ne­glected com­pared with other health-re­lated mat­ters.

Stu­dents tak­ing up op­tom­e­try should have a strong foun­da­tion in sci­ence, math­e­mat­ics and English as the course cov­ers other ar­eas such as medicine.

Stu­dents are re­quired to meet the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard set by the Malaysia Op­ti­cal Coun­cil. To gain more ex­pe­ri­ence, prac­ti­tion­ers have to at­tend var­i­ous cour­ses and pro­grammes on a con­tin­u­ous ba­sis.

In tan­dem with the high de­mand and po­ten­tial of op­tom­e­try, the in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised Man­age­ment & Sci­ence Univer­sity (MSU), the best teach­ing and learn­ing univer­sity in Malaysia is of­fer­ing a four-year bach­e­lor de­gree pro­gramme at its Fac­ulty of Health & Life Sciences (FHLS).

Global ex­po­sure through MSU’s In­ter­na­tional Stu­dents Ex­change Pro­gramme (ISEP) unit will fur­ther strengthen grad­u­ates’ pro­fes­sional stand­ing.

Through ISEP, stu­dents have the op­tion of trans­fer­ring their fi­nal year stud­ies to for­eign uni­ver­si­ties, which are part­ners of MSU.

There are over 40 uni­ver­si­ties in the United States, the United King­dom, Aus­tralia, Ja­pan, South Africa, In­dia, East­ern Europe, In­done­sia and New Zealand for se­lec­tion.

This op­por­tu­nity pro­vides valu­able in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure to stu­dents.

In­ter­ested stu­dents with STPM, ma­tric­u­la­tion, or recog­nised diplo­mas are el­i­gi­ble to en­rol for the pro­gramme.

Lessons in the­ory and prac­ti­cal ses­sions will help stu­dents ap­ply the knowl­edge gained at univer­sity ef­fec­tively. An added ad­van­tage is the com­plete in­fra­struc­ture avail­able at MSU, which pro­vides a con­ducive study en­vi­ron­ment while the par­tic­i­pa­tion of in­dus­try play­ers in the course al­lows stu­dents to ex­pe­ri­ence real work­ing life.

Apart from the op­tom­e­try pro­gramme, FHLS cur­rently of­fers diploma and bach­e­lor pro­grammes in a va­ri­ety of fields.

Th­ese in­clude Bio­med­i­cal Sci­ence, Food Ser­vice Tech­nol­ogy, Phar­macy, Bioin­for­mat­ics, Nurs­ing, Nu­tri­tion, Med­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory Tech­nol­ogy, Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health, Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine, Foren­sic Sci­ence and Di­ag­nos­tic Imaging (Ra­di­og­ra­phy).

For de­tails, con­tact its Coun­sel­ing & Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Depart­ment at 03-5521 6868. Type MSUINFO<space>name <space>e-mail and SMS to 019-341 9152, 016-356 8251 or 012-2496551. Check out www.msu.edu.my

The role of the op­tometrist in­cludes ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic on the im­por­tance of eye care.

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