Candidates to the Orthoptic programs must have completed an undergraduate degree at a recognized university. Applicants will possess excellent written and oral communication skills, and be able to relate well to children and adults.
Orthoptic teaching in Canada is a minimum of 24 months. The Halifax training center at Dalhousie University offers a third thesis year in order to complete a Masters degree.
Orthoptic training involves both lecture and extensive clinical experiences. The core of orthoptic learning includes:
Ocular Anatomy and Physiology
Diagnostic Testing and Measurement
Child Development Visual Development
Systemic Diseases and Ocular Motility Disorders
Basic Ophthalmologic Examination Techniques
Treatment of Motility Disorders
Treatment of Visual Disorders
Clinical Research Skills
Medical Writing Skills
Clinical experience takes place within the training center, or in certified preceptor sites. Each student will be exposed to clinical experience in a supervised capacity, practicing skills learned in lecture, and building on those as the program proceeds.
Training culminates in a three-part national examination, set by the Canadian Orthoptic Council. In the final year, the student is eligible to apply to write a multiple choice examination in May. Upon successful completion of the written, the candidate is invited to sit the practical and oral portions of the examination. These are held in June of each year in conjunction with the Canadian Ophthalmological Society Annual Meeting. The location of the meeting rotates between Western, Central and Eastern Canada.
Each training program has information specific to its site, please see below for contact instructions.
BC Children's Hospital
Program Director: Christy Giligson
Orthoptic Clinic, BC Children's Hospital
4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4 Cgiligson@cw.bc.ca website
Halifax Teaching Program
Program Director: Karen McMain
Clinical Vision Science Program
IWK Health Centre, 5850 University Ave.
PO BOX 9700, Halifax, NS B3K 6R8 www.cvs.healthprofessions.dal.ca
Saskatoon Teaching Program
Program Director: Jocelyn Zurevinsky
Orthoptic Clinic, Eye Care Center, Saskatoon City Hospital
701 Queen St., Saskatoon, SK S7K 0M7
Phone: (306) 655-8094
Fax: (306) 655-8119 www.orthoptics.ca