Study In Malaysia: Optometry Courses
by StudyMalaysia.com on January 26, 2015 | Top Stories
If you are interested in eye care and are considering a career as an eye care professional, you should first understand the difference between ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians
What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, optometrist, and optician?
Ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians have different levels of training and areas of expertise. Here's a quick look at the three types of eye care providers:
- Ophthalmologists are medical doctors trained to specialise in eye and vision care, and are licensed to practice medicine and surgery. They diagnose and treat eye diseases, perform eye surgery and prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems.
- Optometrists provide primary vision care that includes sight testing and correction. They also diagnose, treat and manage vision changes. This includes prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, detecting certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases. However, an optometrist is not the same as a medical doctor.
- The role of opticians is primarily to design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight. Opticians don't perform vision tests nor write prescriptions for visual correction.
Studying Optometry in Malaysia
There are many optometry courses in Malaysia. Most courses cost between RM80,000 and 92,000 at private colleges and universities. Here's an overview of some optometry providers:
|Institution||Name of course||Intake and Duration||Admission requirements|
|SEGi University, Kota Damansara||Bachelor of Optometry (Hons)||January and September; 4 years||
|UCSI University,Kuala Lumpur Campus||Bachelor of Optometry (Hons)||February and July; 4 years||
|Management & Science University||Bachelor of Optometry (Hons)||4 years||
|International University College of Technology Twintech (IUCTT),Sri Damansara Campus||Bachelor of Optometry (Hons)||4 years||
|The National Institute of Ophthalmic Sciences (NIOS)||Bachelor of Science in Optometry (BSc. Optometry) 4+0 in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India||August; 4 years||
|Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)||Bac. of Optometry (Hons)Master of Health Science (Optometry) – By ResearchPhD (Optometry) – By Research||September; 4 years||For more information about this programme, click here.|
|International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)||Bac. of OptometryMasters of Health Sciences – Optometry (By Research)PhD in Health Science (Optometry)||September; 4 years||A pass in the IIUM Matriculation Centre's final examination with a CGPA of not less than 2.0 and fulfillment of all other requirements for promotion to the first year of undergraduate studyOR Three principal passes, or 'C' grades in the STPM examination,OR Three principal passes in the GCE 'A' level examination,OR Any other certificate that is recognised by the Senate as equivalent to one of the above.|
|Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)||Bac. of Optometry (Hons)Master of Health Science (Optometry) (By Research)Doctor of Philosophy Specializing in Optometry (By Research)||4 years|
Practising as an Optometrist in Malaysia
According to the Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO), for a person to practise as an optometrist in Malaysia, one must be registered with the Malaysian Optical Council (MOC). It is also important to ensure that your qualification is recognised by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia. For more information on how to register with MOC, click here.
Is Optometry for You?
Optometrists perform vision tests and analyze results. They also diagnose vision problems, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness and eye diseases, such as glaucoma. In addition, they prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, and medications and provide treatments such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation. Optometrists also promote eye health through counselling.
It is important for optometrists to have good decision-making skills. They need to evaluate the results of a variety of diagnostic tests and decide on the best course of treatment for a patient.
Optometrists spend a lot of time dealing with patients. As such, they need good interpersonal skills to help make their patients feel comfortable. They must also be able to explain instructions clearly and answer patients' questions.
Think you may be interested in opticianry instead? Click here to find out more about the opticianry courses.
- American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
- Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook