ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Optometric Association (AOA) today announced that it has launched the "See Clearly, America" public education campaign to highlight how Doctors of Optometry possess the education, skills, and training to provide quality eye care and help meet America's rising eye care needs.
The President of the American Optometric Association, Dr. Mitch Munson, said, "We launched the 'See Clearly, America' campaign because we want everyone to know that no matter where they live – rural, suburban or urban setting – that access to world-class quality eye care can be found in the office of their nearest optometrist."
As part of this campaign, the AOA determined that Americans were not aware of the extensive clinical training and education that the approximately 36,000 doctors of optometry have received.
Said Dr. Deanna Alexander, past recipient of the national Optometrist of the Year award, "People are surprised to learn that doctors of optometry have as much professional training in eye care and treatment as dentists have in oral care."
For aspiring optometrists, that means that after graduating from a college or university with a Bachelors' Degree they must attend optometry school for four years, earning their Doctor of Optometry Degree. At their college of optometry, students concentrate on the eye, vision, and associated systemic disease—including courses that focus on a patient's overall medical condition in relation to the eyes.
After graduating with the degree, Doctor of Optometry, individuals must pass a national licensure exam and a comprehensive exam before practicing in a state. Throughout their careers, doctors of optometry participate in extensive, ongoing training in the latest treatments and technological advancements to ensure they are able to deliver the highest quality eye care utilizing the most recent medical and scientific developments possible.
Dr. David Cockrell, AOA President-Elect, said, "Unfortunately, there is a misunderstanding that optometrists don't do much more than evaluate vision and prescribe eyewear. Doctors of Optometry have an advanced education, extensive skills training, and a breadth of experience in diagnosing and treating medical conditions as well."
Added Cockrell, "At a time when our country faces growing eye care and health care demands, we need to change that mindset, and individual state laws, to ensure that all highly trained, skilled and qualified Doctors of Optometry can help Americans see clearly."
The centerpiece of the "See Clearly, America" campaign is a new website, www.AmericasEyeDoctors.com. The website provides information about optometrists, issues of importance and ways to get involved.
SOURCE American Optometric Association