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Asia enrolments prevalent in world-first myopia program at UNSW

20/02/2019By Myles Hume
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The University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) world-first program for myopia management has attracted 13 students, with a large proportion coming from Asian countries.

The Graduate Certificate in Myopia Management began this week, and is designed to provide advanced knowledge and develop clinical experience that will assist optometrists in prescribing evidence-based treatment for the condition.

The one-year postgraduate course is part time and restricted to Australian and New Zealand optometrists who are registered to practice in Australia. However, overseas practitioners can complete some modules as a part of their Masters of Optometry.

Dr Nayuta Yoshioka, from the UNSW’s School of Optometry and Vision Science, told Insight 13 optometrists had enrolled for the course’s inaugural year, with a number of those coming from South East Asia including China.

Dr Nayuta Yoshioka
Dr Nayuta Yoshioka
“By creating this program, we hope to empower the practitioners to be able to bridge the gap between the latest research and day-to-day delivery of clinical care through evidence-based practice.”
Dr Nayuta Yoshioka, UNSW

“The high level of interest exhibited by students from these countries likely reflect the high prevalence and social burden of myopia in Asia,” he said.

“While we can certainly accommodate more students, we are aiming for these early cohorts be a smaller number to allow us to gauge the effectiveness of the new program.”

Yoshioka said most students appeared to be early career optometrists or those completing a Masters of Optometry course.

“It is encouraging to see that so many students are actively learning and broadening the scope of their practice after completing their undergraduate training,” he said.

Drawing on the knowledge of leading myopia experts, the program will be split into four modules; Introduction to Myopia, Myopia Management, Advanced Contact Lens Studies 1 and Clinical Myopia Management. Lecturers include optometrists and researchers from UNSW, the Brien Holden Vision Institute, the Centre for Eye Health and The State University of New York.

“We’re very excited to be at the forefront of formalised myopia education and training. Myopia control is a rapidly evolving field, and this presents a challenge for practitioners wanting to keep pace with the latest in research and recommendations,” Yoshioka said.

“By creating this program, we hope to empower the practitioners to be able to bridge the gap between the latest research and day-to-day delivery of clinical care through evidence-based practice.”

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Students are expected to complete the program over 12 months, with a maximum enrolment time of 36 months.

 

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World first myopia program at UNSW

 

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