In focus: Optical students report lack of clinical training

Latest research by the GOC shows most newly-qualified optical professionals are entering the profession without the necessary clinical experience. Zoe Wickens reports

Honest feedback from student registrants has alerted regulators that optical courses are falling short on clinical training.

According to GOC research released last week, 60% of newly qualified optometrists wanted more clinical training before they qualify. Explanations for these results included optometrists feeling the clinical experience they had during their academic study was limited and often did not reflect real-life practice or typical patients.

Meanwhile, a lower number of 26% of newly qualified dispensing opticians felt as though the clinical experience they received during their studies was insufficient. This percentage difference was thought to be due to many dispensing optician students working while they study, so they can apply their learning in a practical way.

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