Tasmania’s supply of optometrists will be bolstered thanks to a new collaboration that will allow students to begin their studies at the University of Tasmania for the first time.
Under the new course, which opens in 2018, five Tasmanian students will access the optometry pathway by studying the first year of a general health science undergraduate degree at the University of Tasmania.
They will then be able to transfer to Flinders University in Adelaide for second-year optometry studies and apply to be admitted to the Bachelor of Medical Science (Vision Science)/Master of Optometry course.
Professor Dominic Geraghty, from the University of Tasmania’s School of Health Sciences, said that such partnerships had been highly successful in the past in providing allied professionals to Tasmania.
“Collaborative courses such as these have great benefits for all those involved,” Professor Geraghty said.
“This new course will enable students who in the past had to travel interstate to begin their studies, to study the first year of their course in Tasmania. The students involved will then return to the State for at least part of their work placements, during which time many will secure employment and may choose to stay and practice here.”
Professor Geraghty said the new course would help ensure the supply of optometrists to the State well into the future. “With the ageing population, it is good to have a steady supply of professionals across all allied health areas.”