A graduate of the University’s Advanced Placement Doctor of Optometry degree program
(APOD) made history by publishing the first primary eye care and clinical procedures manual in Chinese. The textbook entitled, "Eye Health Management,” includes comprehensive information about how to conduct comprehensive primary care eye exams for both children and adults with a focus on the clinical aspects of optometry.
Zhi Lin (Julia) APOD ’16 noticed a lack of educational materials about primary care optometry in China after she was appointed director of the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Technology & Training Institute, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center of Sun Yat-sen University.
“When I was trying to draft the strategic educational plans for the next five years, I noticed that there is no textbook in China covering the concept of primary eye care in a clinical setting, which is the essential role of optometrists in the U.S.,” she said.
Two Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry
faculty members also contributed to the book – professor Dr. Linda Casser and associate professor Dr. Jingyun Wang. Dr. Casser authored a chapter entitled, “The Training, Education, and Credentials of Doctors of Optometry in the United States.” Dr. Wang served as a reviewer and editor for two chapters on binocular vision and pediatric optometry.
According to Dr. Casser, the book has two specific goals, “It’s an important publication that describes what optometry can be in China. It also has a very strong clinical aspect to it. Not only does it describe primary eye care, but it is also a manual of clinical optometric procedures,” she said.
The scope of practice for optometrists is much different in China, but there are efforts underway to move the profession forward, according to Dr. Lin. Chinese Ophthalmologists act as the general providers of primary eye care services for the public.
“There were no primary eye care services in China until recently for optometrists,” she said. “Most of the optical shops are trying to upgrade themselves into becoming optometry centers where they can provide primary eye care to the general population. This will not only require hardware updates, but people need to be trained to deliver primary eye care to those in need.”
Dr. Lin said her training in the University’s Advanced Placement Doctor of Optometry programnot only influenced her practice as a professional optometrist in her home country , but it also initiated her desire to influence the country’s scope of practice through the creation of this manual.
“With the training received at Salus, I have much more confidence in myself, particularly for the development of the optometry system in China,” she said. “I believe I can use what I learned in the U.S. to influence, to reshape, and to better design its future direction by working closely with my colleagues, not only at Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, but all around the world.”
Dr. Wang believes the manual can be very influential as more optometrists in China strive to deepen and strengthen their clinical skills.
“It’s comprehensive – like a dictionary for optometrists in China,” she said. “I feel in the future many of them [optometrists] can have one on hand to help them in clinical work.”