Joan Parkinson

BA, MSc, CO, COMT; Associate Professor

Joan Picture 2016

Phone: (902) 470-8957
Mailing Address: 
IWK Health Centre
5850 University Avenue, 6th Floor
P.O.Box 9700, Halifax, NS
B3K 6R8

Clinical Appointments

  • Orthoptist/Ophthalmic Medical Technologist, IWK Health Centre, Halifax NS


  • BA, Psychology, State University of New York at Potsdam USA 1977
  • Orthoptic-Ophthalmic Technology Program, Emory University USA 1980
  • Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist, Joint Commission of Allied Health in Ophthalmology USA 1980
  • Certified Orthoptist, American Orthoptic Council /Canadian Orthoptic Council USA 1980
  • MSc Clinical Vision Science, Dalhousie University, 2016

Current Teaching

VISC 5310.03 - Ocular Manifestations of Systemic Disease

The eye is a window through which manifestations of neurological, vascular infectious, inflammatory, and general systemic disease can be evaluated. This class will explore the signs and symptoms of ocular dysfunction as precursors, indicators and consequences of systemic disease that must be evaluated for optimal healthcare.

FORMAT: Lecture
PREREQUISITE: VISC 5011.03 or permission of instructor.

Research Interests & Activities

As an orthoptist/ophthalmic technologist for over 25 years with a subspecialty in ocular electrophysiology, Joan's research interests are extensive but generally fall in the domain of pediatric ophthalmology and ocular electrophysiology. As an adjunct assistant professor in the Master of Clinical Vision Science program, Joan has been very active in both teaching and mentoring student research. She has also been the principle investigator for several projects and has co-investigated in grant approved research projects. She has presented lectures, posters and courses at many local, national, and international professional meetings. Her major topics of interest include:

  • Pediatric ophthalmology-
  • Dynamics of accommodation
  • Genetic disorders- Stargardt disease, autosomal dominant optic atrophy
    • Amblyopia- acuity/contrast sensitivity/evoked potential
  • Ocular electrophysiology
    • Multifocal and pattern electroretinogram
    • Ganzfeld electroretinogram- methodology and results in ocular pathology
  • Eye movement recording- results in ocular pathology