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Pursuing Education in Glaucoma

Australian and New Zealand optometrists are well placed to pursue full-scope clinical practice in the area of glaucoma. By entering into co-management partnerships, they can enhance the management and visual outcomes of patients with this disease.

Australian College of Optometry

This month (March) the Australian College of Optometry commences its Advanced Certificate in Glaucoma course. This six month online course, curated by clinical leaders in the field, will equip clinicians with the latest knowledge in glaucoma diagnosis and management advances.

Additionally, they will acquire strategies for communicating and counselling patients; learn how to co-manage patients with ophthalmologists and develop evidence-based research and clinical appraisal skills.

The self-paced course comprises online lectures, demonstration videos and reading material, as well as local supervised clinical placements. It offers 68T accredited CPD points related to endorsement for scheduled medicines and 30CD points for New Zealand.

By entering into co-management partnerships, they can enhance the management and visual outcomes of patients with this disease

The course commences on 19th March. Email: [email protected] for details.

Glaucoma Self-assessment Program

The ACO also offers an online Glaucoma Self-assessment Program (GAP) enabling optometrists to self-assess their glaucoma diagnostic skills online within a simulated and timed patient consultation, and using real life patient case studies.

The program assists registered, overseas, and return to work optometrists, as well as employers, assess diagnostic knowledge and select appropriate further education to improve any learning gaps.

Nine clinical skills are assessed by using real and practical case studies, re?ecting critical thinking and decision making processes that occur in clinical practice. A time limit on each test presents an additional level of real-time challenge.

The program provides colour coded results, benchmarking against peers, specific tailored feedback and ACO further education options.

The ACO-GAP course was developed using the NHMRC 2010 guidelines on glaucoma diagnosis and management as well as the recommended guidelines from White and Goldberg (2014) on collaborative care of glaucoma patients and suspects by ophthalmologists and optometrists in Australia.

Email: [email protected]

Centre for Eye Health

An underlying principle of CFEH is an evidence based approach to research and clinical care (centreforeyehealth.com.au/publishedpapers/) including postgraduate education that informs clinical practice. The Centre’s ‘Learning for Vision’ education series (www.learningforvision.com.au) is based on published clinical care guidelines and peer-reviewed literature.

Glaucoma Training Course

A series of lectures on glaucoma diagnosis and management, followed by 30 case studies (22 CPD points). The case studies incorporate a full explanation of all imaging and diagnostic conclusions, providing a practical application to the theoretical component presented. On completion, optometrists can enhance the practical component by attending theCentre’s GMC (16.5 CPD points).


Monthly live online lectures on topics relating to ocular disease. The June 2018 collaborative ophthalmology/optometry lecture is – Where are we up to with understanding the cause of glaucoma and the future of glaucoma treatment. (three face-to-face CPD points).

Video lectures

Almost 60 video lectures on various topics relating to ocular disease, including many glaucoma specific talks (two CPD points).

Interactive cases

These glaucoma specific modules lead clinicians through the history and advanced imaging results of selected patients, including interpretation of the results, diagnosis and management (two CPD points).

Post-graduate Programs – The Advanced Diagnosis of Ocular Disease 1 & 2

Run through UNSW Sydney’s post-graduate program, this course may be undertaken as part of a Masters program. Each of the subjects has a glaucoma-specific module, allowing glaucoma to be explored in great depth.

Visit: centreforeyehealth.com.au/teaching

University of Melbourne

The Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne has a strong history of providing ongoing education to optometrists in practice. In the context of glaucoma, this is underpinned by active research and clinical engagement by leading academic staff with recognised, international glaucoma research reputations (including: Prof. Algis Vingrys, A/Prof. Bang Bui, A/Prof. Andrew Anderson, and Prof. Allison McKendrick).

In 2018, the department is offering, for the first time a new, an online postgraduate course – the Specialist Certificate in Glaucoma and Retinal Disease. The course is designed to allow optometrists to advance their capabilities in the day-to-day management of glaucoma (and other posterior eye disease). Through discussion and activities supported by the resident experts and other collaborators, the course aims to provide the opportunity to review the most current ideas on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, in the context of evidence-based patient-centred care.

This certificate is an award course from the university, and therefore can contribute towards the Masters of Clinical Optometry. Although the course began on 26 February, there is still time to participate if you register immediately.

Visit: commercial.unimelb.edu.au/custom-education/search-courses/optometry/glaucomaretinaldisease

Glaucoma New Zealand

Each year Glaucoma NZ launches a Glaucoma Professional Education Programme for New Zealand optometrists, nurses, orthoptists, ophthalmic technicians and other eye health professionals interested in furthering their understanding of glaucoma and its clinical management. Registered optometrists can earn credits as part of their ongoing professional registration requirements. The professional education programme is approved by the NZAO CPD Accreditation Committee for a maximum of 14 Clinical Diagnostic (CD) Credits for 2018.

The programme is online and is largely case-based, comprising a series of seminars based on clinical case studies. The seminars cover a planned programme of topics, which will link academic knowledge with practice. As well as questions and answers to accompany each case, there is an academic discussion of the important features of the case described.

The programme consists of seven new cases each year, each with a case history, questions and answers for self-directed learning, followed by an associated web-based examination. The examination associated with each case is made up of 25 multi-choice and true/false questions.

The cases for 2018 are:

Case 1. Normal tension glaucoma; Case 2. Unilateral optic disc drusen; Case 3. Non classical symptoms of glaucoma; Case 4. Plateau iris; Case 5. Glaucoma versus pituitary tumour; Case 6. Dysthyroid optic neuropathy; and Case 7. Retinopathy mimicking glaucoma.

All cases have been produced by qualified glaucoma specialists and overseen by internationally recognised glaucoma specialist Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer.

Visit: www.glaucoma.org.nz