Online Resources for Optometry Students

There are many optometry-related online resources that I have used throughout optometry school.  A few of the ones that I have found most helpful and have used the most are below.

AOA Compass

AOA Compass_Fotor

AOA Compass is a resource available to AOA/AOSA members.  It provides a step-by-step guide for optometry students and new practitioners to help them complete necessary steps before practicing optometry.  It also provides information on different resources available to help optometry students and new practitioners transition from school to practice, including career resources and student loan repayment options.

The current listed steps are:

  1. Join the AOA/AOSA
  2. Explore Advocacy
  3. Register for NBEO Part I
  4. Prepare for NBEO Part I
  5. Register for NBEO Part II
  6. Prepare for NBEO Part II
  7. Explore Career Opportunities
  8. Consider a Residency
  9. Determine Practice Modality
  10. Find a Practice Opportunity
  11. Determine/Change Your Legal Name
  12. Register for NBEO Part III
  13. Pass NBEO Part III
  14. Planning Student Loan Repayment
  15. Apply for State Licensure
  16. Transition AOA Membership
  17. Become an InfantSEE and VISION USA Provider
  18. Obtain an NPI Number
  19. Prepare for Practice
  20. Obtain Professional Liability Insurance
  21. Register with the DEA
  22. Explore Continuing Education & Stay Up-To-Date with AOA Publications
  23. Consider Board Certification
  24. Join Allied Organizations

Each step has detailed information and useful links to help with completion of the step.  Members are able to update the status of each step to reflect the progress of completion using four different statuses:  To Do, In Progress, Finished!, or NA.  There is also a Total Progress status bar that shows the percentage of completion of all steps and an option to add typed notes to each step.  Members can access the site by using their AOA login information.


About:  “ is your #1 resource for optometry student life!  The website hosts top notch articles, news, videos and clinical pearls which are all created by optometry student journalists from each optometry school. allows students to become more involved in optometry and to help move the profession forward.”

Mission:  “Using relevant content, will keep current optometry students at the top of their game and attract the most motivated and determined pre-optometry students to enter the profession.  It will create more competitive applicants and, ultimately, better students.  Better students = better O.D’s = a better optometric profession.”

I have visited the website to read articles on clinical pearls and tips for studying for board exams, among other things.  Some articles on the website related to UIWRSO include:



About:  “ is the leading online clinical reference for eye care professionals, featuring a searchable contact lens and ocular pharmaceuticals database, an ICD-9 lookup, and clinical calculators to streamline contact lens prescribing.  Founded in 2003 by two optometrists in clinical practice, has about 3,000 subscribers.

A subscription to is less expensive than the leading printed contact lens reference, yet is updated more frequently, and offers more features like advanced search functions and a companion application for the iPhone.”

EyeDock is my most used iPhone app in clinic to look up medications and contact lenses and for vertex conversion.  EyeDock generously provides coupon codes for complimentary subscriptions to optometry students and faculty members.

Residency Day

Dr. Richard Trevino, OD, FAAO, the Director of Residency Programs invites students to Residency Day every year!

He puts on this program so that students can see what other options are available besides working after graduation. The purpose of this program is to provide students with some general information about optometric residency education. We also learned about residency programs available here in San Antonio, and heard from faculty that have recently completed residency training about their experiences.

I really liked how the school grouped our Residency info session with the Career Fair, because both events were optometry specific and were put on by the school to help us network. Let me explain–

Residency day: began at 10:30 in Room 327 and 328. Dr. Trevino, Director of the UIWRSO Residency Programs, was the emcee who introduced us to the WHAT, WHEN, HOW, WHERE, WHY! He then invited guest speakers to tell us about the application process, personal experiences, and ended the event with a diverse panel of past residents. Below is the program:


10:30 AM  Welcome. What is a Residency?

Richard Trevino

10:50 AM  The Benefits of Residency Education

Jenny Terrell

11:10 AM  The UIW Primary Care Residency

Randall Collins

11:20 AM  The San Antonio VA Residency

Gregg Wentworth

11:30 AM  Faculty & Resident Panel

Coates, Kasraie, Mickles, Racoma, Sandberg, Odoemenem

Lunch was served at 12pm-1pm in the student lounge. Italian aroma filled the room with pizza, pasta, salad, and fresh bread aiding the deliciousness.

UIWRSO Student Affairs office set up the Career Pathways program, this career fair was from 12:30pm-4:30pm in the Special Events rooms 301-304. Outside these rooms, the Student Affairs team prepared a Career packet for every attendee. Once inside, we were greeted with smiling faces  of the employers/vendors attending our Career Fair. I was drawn in to each booth because they had candy, freebies, and cool swag.

Not to mention, they were offices looking for students to work for them! Student Affairs printed a booklet of the CV/resume of the graduation class and presented it to the vendors! They are always helping out our students!


Scholarship Awarded to UIWRSO Student

Intern Linh Phan has been selected for the 2013 Transitions Students of Vision Scholarship.  This scholarship was open to optometry and opticianry students.  In order to apply, students had to submit an entry to the “Share Your Impact” contest.

An entry could be a video, short story, photograph, poster, drawing, or illustration that demonstrated how the student will use (or have used) his/her professional expertise to impact the lives of others.

Finalists were selected based on their answers to two questions:

(1) How did, or will you, use your professional expertise to make a difference in the lives of others?

(2) What impact did, or will, it have in their lives?

Entries were judged based on creativity and their ability to communicate answers to the two questions above.  Intern Phan submitted a short story about volunteering for optometric services, and was one of ten grand prize winners, from more than forty-five applicants.  As a grand prize winner, she will receive a $500 scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to Transitions Optical headquarters near Tampa, Florida​.

Low Vision Expo


This is my second year volunteering at the Low Vision Expo.

The volunteers consist of high school students, RSO Low Vision Club members and San Antonio Lighthouse of the Blind members. I really enjoy the Low Vision Expo because you can find the latest in low vision aids magnifiers, closed circuit TV’s, computers and other items. I had a lot of fun learning how to use these gadgets.

Also there are community agency representatives who will answer questions concerning their services and products. When I had some free time, I found myself talking to the representatives; it was a great learning experience because I learned more about the needs of low vision patients outside the exam room. For example, there are companies that can come into your home and make it low vision friendly. There was also a free booklet compiled with Low Vision resources. Flipping through the pages, I’m glad to know that San Antonio is a Low Vision friendly place.

There were many vendors including our school: San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, Christal Vision, DARS (Division for Blind Services), Guide Dogs of Texas, HIMS Inc., San Antonio Eye Bank, Santa Rosa Low Vision Clinic, Texas Talking Book Program, Lions Low Vision Center, UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry, Via Metropolitan Transit with Buster their mascot, Low Vision Resource Center (Low Vision Club) and (Owl Radio) with Owl mascot and more community agencies.


For more information about Low Vision: 

SECO and Vision Expo

There are two big conferences that typically occur in March:  SECO and Vision Expo East.




The South Eastern Congress of Optometrists 2014 (SECO 2014) takes place from March 12 to March 16, 2014 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.  According to their official brochure, SECO 2014 offers innovative education, compelling exhibits, and exciting social events for all levels of eyecare professionals.

Some of the benefits for optometry students include complimentary admission to the premier continuing education and Symposium Series within SECO’s OD continuing education program, Student Success Forum, Future Professionals Forum, access to the Student & Alumni Resource Center, and free networking events.  Student attendees can receive a $100 cash stipend to help offset attendance costs.

I have always wanted to attend SECO but have not been able to yet, and I have only heard great things about the conference from students who have previously attended.



The International Vision Expo & Conference in New York (Vision Expo East) takes place from March 26 to March 30, 2014 at the Javits Center.  In addition, the International Vision Expo & Conference in Las Vegas (Vision Expo West) takes place this year from September 17 to September 20, 2014 at Sands Expo & Convention Center.

According to the Vision Expo East website, Vision Expo is a weeklong celebration to introduce the world’s most fashionable eyewear and advanced equipment and technology.  Some of the benefits for optometry students include free exhibit hall registration, free continuing education, student courses and lunch, and free networking events.  International Vision Expo offers two students from each of the 23 official American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) schools of optometry a $500 travel grant to attend either Vision Expo East or Vision Expo West.

I was able to attend Vision Expo West last year in Las Vegas with a student travel grant, and I really enjoyed the experience.  It was fun getting to meet new students from other optometry schools and colleges, to test out new equipment, and to try on the latest eyewear.

I definitely recommend that all students take advantage of student travel grant opportunities.  They are a great way to attend different conferences and conventions for free or at a reduced cost.