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 US,” she said.
Two PCO 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.
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.”