Why Study Here?

Why study Clinical Vision Science at Dalhousie?

The Clinical Vision Science Program has been created to provide integrated vision science education at the Masters level. We are the largest orthoptic education centre in Canada and the only program to provide graduates the opportunity to gain certification in both orthoptics and ophthalmic medical technology. Graduates may enter clinical, educational, and/or research-oriented careers to participate in the interdisciplinary model of eye-care. 

Our program attracts students from all regions of the country and abroad. We offer a learning environment that is optimal for both academic achievement and excellence in patient care. With its research component, the program prepares students to become evidence-based practitioners. Students are exposed to a variety of clinical experiences to prepare them for the independent nature of professional practice. They gain skills vital for the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of ocular disorders, and learn to analyze and relate research findings to clinical experience.

You may read about our program in the feature article titled 'Seeing is believing' of the recent edition of IWK's Izaak Magazine.

What are Orthoptics and OMT?

Orthoptics has been a health profession since 1919 and was established on this continent seventy years ago.  Orthoptists and ophthalmic medical technologists are professionals considered integral to eye care. They perform diagnostic and highly technical procedures and, in consultation with an ophthalmologist, plan, implement and monitor treatment of a wide variety of ocular disorders, including disorders of binocular vision and ocular motility.  They are particularly trained in the assessment of pediatric, geriatric and neurological impaired patients.

They may be engaged in a range of activities including:

  • research into ocular motility,
  • education of other eye care professionals (including ophthalmology residents),
  • patient education and vision screening. 

Many orthoptists are dually certified as ophthalmic medical technologists who are additionally skilled in:

  • refraction,
  • contact lens evaluation,
  • assessments of visual fields and low vision,
  • electro-physiology

Career opportunities

There is a shortage in Canada and worldwide of orthoptic professionals, especially in the pediatric field. Our graduates are also highly needed in ophthalmic clinics and in a variety of research establishments. The consistent 100% employability rate in the profession shows that graduates of the program enter the work force with excellent job prospects.

Further study options for outstanding graduates of the Master's program who wish to continue their education include entering medical school or pursuing their research agenda in the frame of a PhD program and seeking eventually an academic position.