The Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University has long recognized the importance of early clinical education, the integration of clinical and basic sciences, and the use of innovative technologies in the teaching of optometry. PCO was the first school or college of optometry to ensure this more holistic approach and our graduates have benefited from the curriculum changes that were made in 2001.
Clinical concepts and skills training begin in the first semester of the first year, followed by an expedited entry into patient care experiences and a significantly expanded clinical training program. The Eye Institute is the clinical facility for our optometry students. Located a few miles from the main campus, TEI offers students the opportunity to work with patients ranging from infants to the elderly and who present diverse vision and eye problems. By the middle of their second year, students are integrated into The Eye Institute and its two satellite locations as full participants in the service delivery system, which manages 40,000 annual patient visits.
PCO students are provided with the most expansive clinical experiences in optometric education. As a result of this early exposure, our students also have an expedited entry into PCO’s 18-month extensive externship program. The exceptional clinical education received by our students prepares each of them to assume a leadership role in the delivery of comprehensive eye and vision care in the community.