Bill Harvey: Listen without prejudice
Author: Bill Harvey
A regular theme in this column is the changing nature of current education of GOC registrants.
The constant drive for increasing undergraduate places for future optometrists has already caused some consternation among many – see the excellent views of Harper and Lawrenson in the last issue of OPO for a well-balanced article highlighting how we risk a dumbed down and saturated profession.
The current three or four-year traditional graduate approach has for some years been questioned as to it being able to ready students for life in practice and the lack of clinical experience along with some isolationism from allied professions puts all too great a burden on pre-registration qualification. The new courses springing up seem to vary in their approaches, both in addressing these concerns and in the standard of teaching involved.
If, as Jo Mullin of the College of Optometrists suggests, there is too little mention of optometry in future NHS planning, then surely there is no better time to show how training and continuing education reflects the dynamic and contemporary usefulness of eye care professions.
So, it might be worth mentioning that the clock is ticking on the consultation period for the GOC Education Strategic Review, the current timeline implying implementation before the end of 2021. Changed course structures, one register for all, incorporation of higher diploma status within the graduate courses? The deadline for putting forward your views on the GOC consultation hub (https://consultation.optical.org) is the end of this coming February. Make your views known while you can.
And on a completely different note, I noticed the other day that this year sees the 150th anniversary of the first publication of a periodic table of elements as proposed by Dmitri Mendeleev. Celebrations will be neatly categorised according to the likely reactions of the public.