A Calgary optometrist is a doctor who performs eye examinations and is able to diagnose conditions that affect the patient’s vision before prescribing an appropriate treatment. As you may expect, becoming an optometrist requires a certain degree of education, so here are the steps you will need to take if you are interested in entering the field yourself.
Get An Undergraduate Degree
Before you can apply for acceptance into a school of optometry, you must complete a three year undergraduate degree at an accredited university, preferably in a subject related to biology that can be related directly to the field that you intend to enter. As such, it is a good choice to select a science-based undergraduate degree, both to improve your chances of acceptance into an optometry school and to also ensure you have a solid base of knowledge that can be built upon once you have entered the school. In fact, most optometry schools will require you to take an undergraduate degree in biology, microbiology, anatomy, statistics or chemistry in order to gain acceptance.
Pass The Optometry Admission Test
Before you can be considered for entry into a school of optometry you will be required to take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) which will examine your suitability for the course. This exam is conducted by the Association of Schools and College of Optometry and is intended to test your basic academic skills in addition to looking at your scientific knowledge. This is one of the reasons why the previously mentioned undergraduate courses are often chosen by prospective optometrists. You are eligible to take the test after just one year of undergraduate studies and can try it as many times as you like until you achieve a passing grade, though you will have to wait for 90 days before retaking it should you happen to fail.
Complete School and Get A Licence
Once you have successfully passed the OAT, you will be eligible to enter a school of optometry. However, competition for places is extremely competitive, so you will need to have earned a high passing score to be in with a chance. Upon acceptance, you will complete four years of study that examines every aspect of the subject and will usually gain hands-on experience by working as an intern.
Upon completion of your studies, you will also need to gain a licence in order to practice. Every state has a different form of licence application, so make sure that you understand the requirements and take the relevant examinations. With your licence you will now be free to practice.