Optometry Internship

Subject OPTO90028 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 100
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Year Long, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 18-Jan-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 29-Jan-2016
Census Date 31-May-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 27 hours of clinical practice per week; 22 x 1-hr tutorial / debate sessions (organised across the year). Plus attendance at the Doctor of Optometry Student Conference
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment - 1100 hours over a 40 week clinical year.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements for this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc Prof Daryl Guest, Prof Algis Vingrys


Assoc Prof Daryl Guest

Prof Algis Vingrys

Subject Overview:

Note: This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Doctor of Optometry.

The main aim of the Doctor of Optometry internship year is to integrate the optometric knowledge gained by the students during their first three years of study with clinical work in a variety of clinical settings (including a capstone experience), in a way that will consolidate what they have learned and help them develop and improve the clinical skills necessary to practice optometry and serve patients in a safe and satisfactory way. Students will undertake clinical rotations based in the central University of Melbourne teaching clinics, and metropolitan Melbourne hospital and practice placements. They will also undertake a rotation at an overseas placement site, and a further rotation at rural or specialist practices. Students will gain experience in the areas of contact lenses, paediatrics, ocular disease, clinical therapeutic management of disease, low vision and binocular vision clinical specialities during their placements.

Learning Outcomes:

Patient Care: Students must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

  • use appropriate interviewing skills to elicit an accurate and thorough history addressing the onset and persistence of the condition in the context of the patient’s life.
  • perform a detailed and accurate examination in a timely manner.
  • choose diagnostic, management, and therapeutic interventions based on sound reasoning using all the tools of evidence-based practice.
  • communicate effectively with GPs, other health professionals, and health-related agencies to coordinate care and improve patient safety and quality of care.
  • recognise limits of expertise and seek help appropriately.

Optometric Knowledge: Students must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving basic and clinical science, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

  • use clinical reasoning processes to interpret data to derive a differential diagnosis and develop a clinical management plan, including in the areas of paediatrics, binocular vision, contact lenses, anterior eye, glaucoma, medical retina, and low vision.
  • select, justify, and interpret appropriate clinical tests and diagnostic procedures with attention to benefits, harm and cost.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the ethical, moral and legal foundations of optometric care.
  • recognise the social determinants of vision disorders and disease, and the influence of physical, social and cultural environments.

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Students must be able to investigate and evaluate their approach to patient care, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and continuously improve patient care based on self-evaluation and life-long learning. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

  • demonstrate an ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and skills, and seek opportunities to strengthen those deficits.
  • demonstrate the ability to give and receive constructive, formative feedback to enhance patient care.
  • utilise established patient pathways to provide care to patients and to help develop pathways to improve safe, quality patient care.
  • utilise information technology in the practice of life-long learning and to support patient care decisions and promote patient education decisions.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Students must be able to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, and professional associates. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

  • communicate effectively with patients and families across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, and demonstrate sensitivity in the care of patients by treating them as an individual with consideration of age, culture, disability, education, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background.
  • communicate perceptively in difficult situations including: giving bad news, disclosing errors, and working with distressed patients and their family members.
  • articulate an accurate clinical question when needed to support collaborative care.

Professionalism: Students must demonstrate adherence to ethical principles, and a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities in the best interest of the patient and the community. At the end of the internship year they should be able to:

  • apply principles of autonomy, beneficence, and justice, and work to resolve ethical dilemmas as they arise in clinical practice.
  • demonstrate honesty, integrity, respect, reliability, responsibility, and confidentiality in all interactions with patients, families, colleagues, and other professional contacts.
  • show commitment to lifelong cultivation of empathy, compassion, self-compassion, and self-care.
  • show commitment to the prevention of vision disorders and eye disease and injury and the promotion of health and wellbeing within the community.

Assessment is in the form of a learning portfolio, which is reviewed throughout the year and submitted at the end of semester 2. The learning portfolio must include:

- A personal reflective essay that demonstrates evidence of clinical practice experience, and of clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes at a level appropriate to a newly graduated optometrist, as outlined in the subject objectives (4,000 words).

- Evidence compiled throughout the year (expected to be based on over 1,000 hours of clinical practice, and to comprise over 10,000 words of documentation), such as:

  • Clinical case reports
  • Results from clinical assessments from local and external sites
  • Results from clinical examinations (e.g. mini-CEXs)
  • Results from an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)
  • Results from computer-assisted learning tasks

Hurdle Requirement: 100% attendance at clinical placements

This subject is assessed as Pass/Fail

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Upon completion of this subject students should:

  • have highly developed written and oral communication skills;
  • have enhanced time management skills;
  • be able to develop new concepts of how to solve problems based on new knowledge obtained;
  • be able to independently advance their expertise and knowledge;
  • be able to plan strategies for improving the management of information in the workplace;
  • be able to work with colleagues to produce the desired outcome;
  • have developed a sound ethical and social framework so as to contribute to the wider society and the profession; and
  • have developed leadership skills.
Related Course(s): Doctor of Optometry

Download PDF version.