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AOA, AFOS ensuring optometry well represented in formation of national practice standards by VA

July 29, 2021

With the Department of Veterans Affairs decision to modernize its electronic health record (EHR) system and its desire to standardize processes, procedures, data and coding, formation of new practice standards is being proposed for all non-MD/DO specialties—including doctors of optometry. Read More >

Testing for certification? Paraoptometric exam handbook, PRC resources necessities

July 29, 2021

An updated paraoptometric examination candidate handbook is available for reference as staff prepare for their certification exams. Read More >

Ultimate goal

July 26, 2021

Children’s vision was already a public health concern for the AOA. But then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and doctors of optometry are increasingly alarmed by the growing prevalence of eye conditions exacerbated by remote learning due to the crisis. The AOA is lending its voice as a leader in eye health and vision care through a yearlong conversation on children’s eye health at a critical juncture. Read More >

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The MSO is the acknowledged leader and recognized authority for eye and vision care in the world. The MSO is the ONLY organization that works to protect and promote your profession in Massachusetts and in Washington. Find out the benefits of membership with AOA, your affiliate and your Commonwealth colleagues.

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE

On April 21, 2021 the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists (MSO) received determinations from the Department of Public Licensure (DPL) and State Board of Registration in Optometry (State Board)on most issues involved in the new law.

Here is the information we have to date:

  1. The MSO, in conjunction with the two Massachusetts optometry colleges, NECO and MCPHS, will be presenting the authorized course and testing to obtain certification for the ability to treat glaucoma and prescribe oral medications.
  2. This course is the ONLY course that is mandated by Massachusetts State law and approved by the DPL and State Board of Optometry for the new license certification.
  3. It is not mandatory that you get certified to this new level of licensure. If you choose not to treat glaucoma and prescribe oral medications there is no further action needed by you beyond your yearly CE and renewal requirements.
  4. There will be a reciprocity option that will allow you to bypass the course to become certified. The Board will be looking at these on a case by case basis. The Board is not ready to accept applications. Most likely you will have to hold a current license in another state and currently be treating glaucoma and prescribing orals. The Board will decide if you qualify.
  5. There will be a residency option that will allow you to bypass the course to become certified. The Board will be looking at these on a case by case basis. The Board is not ready to accept applications. Most likely you will have to have successfully completed an ocular disease residency within the past 10 years. The Board will decide if you qualify.
  6. The MSO had requested of the DPL and State Board of Optometry that graduates from May 2016 and later be automatically certified.
  7. The DPL and State Board responded that the law does not allow for recent graduates to be certified automatically. Anyone holding a current Massachusetts Optometry license will need to take the course and pass the test if they wish to be certified to treat glaucoma and prescribe oral medications.
  8. The DPL and State Board of Optometry are currently making determinations on whether there will be any additional requirements of future (2021 and beyond) optometry college graduates.

About the Didactic Course:

  1. The course will be 40 hours of didactic learning
  2. It will be presented both synchronously and asynchronously. You will therefore have the option of watching it in live webinar format or watching it on your own time, or both.
  3. The 40 hours of didactic are broken down into ten (10) four hour modules.
  4. There will be a quiz after each module. You will get feedback on all quiz questions that you answer incorrectly.
  5. There will be a final examination which will be an open resource, timed test. The date of the final exam will be determined prior to the beginning of the course.
  6. The quiz grades will count for 1/3 and the final exam will count as 2/3 of your final score.
  7. You will need a grade of 70% or higher to pass and gain certification.
  8. Should you not pass or should you miss the exam date, you will be able to retake the final exam one time (at a date to be determined) at no additional cost.
  9. Whereas the State Board of Optometry only recently approved the course outline on 04/21/21, we now will be able to finalize the course dates and secure commitments from the lecturers.
  10. The course and examination is designed to be completed within ninety (90) days.
  11. We expect this course to begin on or around July 31.
  12. We will be planning a town hall meeting in the next week or so, to answer questions.

Pre-registration is currently open. If you pre-register it guarantees a spot in the course. Visit our website: massachusetts.aoa.org if you wish to pre-register. Click the large banner on the top of the page. Completion of the registration process will begin in the near future.

About the Clinical Course:

  1. The Clinical course will be 20 hours set up in five (5) four hour sessions.
  2. The clinical work will be live webinar format. You will study the clinical cases on your own time, then confer together virtually to discuss the cases.
  3. There will be no testing in the clinical portion.
  4. ADDITIONALLY: You have the option to perform the 20 hours of clinical work on your own. You will need to coordinate this with the State Board of Optometry for more specific instructions. You will need a supervisor (most likely an ophthalmologist) to sign off on your work and your cases. Should you choose not to participate in the MSO clinical course, the MSO will not be able to monitor the clinical process. The MSO will only be able to report your didactic grade to the State Board of Optometry but you will be responsible for sending your clinical information directly to the State Board.

Choosing this option will not decrease the cost of the course.


About the Cost:

On the open market a course of this caliber, 60 hours with testing and reporting, would cost over $2600. The cost of this course is as follows:

  • MSO Members: $999
  • Non-MSO Members: $1999
  • MSO Member Recent Graduates 2016-2020: $199 Course fees are non-refundable

Do You Know Your Legislator?

As you know Optometry is a legislated profession and it's very important to know who your legislator is, and to help educate them on the issues. We will be asking members to contact their legislators as we get our legislative platform ready for 2021.

So in the meantime, use this link below to find out who all your representatives are both at the state and federal level. It's important to your, your business and your profession!  Find your Legistator

MSO Keyperson Network
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MASS Vision Foundation

Calendar of Events

Glaucoma and Orals Certification Course

July 31, 2021 - October 17, 2021

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