UniMel optometry students to work with opthalmologists at RMH

They are doing so under an historic agreent between the university and the hospital, which provides for a clinic to provide hospital patients faster access to outpatient eye care.
As part of the agreent between the two institutions, The RMH Ophthalmology Clinic has opened a weekly satellite service at University of Melbourne EyeCare, the student training clinic run by the University’s Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences.
“This initiative reduces waiting times for clinic appointments and improves access to the hospital’s outpatient service for patients requiring eye care,” Associate Professor Andrew Symons, the head of ophthalmology at RMH, said.
“Patients on the RMH ophthalmology waiting list who are deed appropriate have the option of undergoing their initial assessments at the satellite service. Depending on the treatment required patients are booked into the appropriate procedures at The RMH.”
The benefit of this collaboration also extends to the next generation of eye-care professionals as it provides UM optometry students with opportunities to gain valuable clinical experience.
Associate Professor Daryl Guest, clinic director of UMeyecare, said it is the first time in Australia that an interdisciplinary clinic of this nature has been established at a university.
“A key benefit of the clinic is optometry students are working with ophthalmologists while still being in familiar surroundings. The students can learn in a clinical setting about the progression of disease from an ophthalmological point of view.
“They will gain insights into when ophthalmological assessment and managent is most appropriate in treating ocular diseases and experience first-hand how to work with ophthalmologists.”
RMH Ophthalmology and the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences are also engaged in conjoint research into adaptive optics in imaging microvascular retinal changes in disease and animal models of retinal disease.
The RMH Ophthalmology@UMeyecare clinic is to operate every Friday.

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