We commenced 2022 with an intense summer clinical session for our 2021 cohort stage 4 students to complement their previous years’ experience. They spent time at the clinic and the Centre for Eye Health greatly enhancing their practical skills and building on other clinical skills developed with online teaching. After a very short break, they moved into the final year program and have been attending placements at the clinic as well as externally, uninterrupted throughout the year. 

While there has been some impact of each COVID wave this year our more flexible timetabling and strict infection control protocols kept the clinic operational with no days lost and the clinical teaching year finishing on time.  

Our 2022 stage 4 students joined the clinic in May. High staff-to-student ratios, targeted practice sessions and direct patient experience have seen them grow in their clinical skills. More time on campus compared to their previous years has helped to develop a strong, collegiate learning community. 

A huge thanks to our Alumni who have hosted students as part of our Private Practice Placements in Greater Sydney and rural preceptorships across Australia. The feedback from students is overwhelmingly positive and they are grateful for your generosity and that of your practice staff in hosting and mentoring them. The experience they gain from you ensures UNSW maintains its reputation of producing high-quality optometry graduates.   

International preceptorships did not return in 2022, however, we again held Grand Round sessions with our colleagues from Makerere University, Uganda, University of Alabama, USA and Hong Kong Polytechnic, Hong Kong. The sessions allowed our students to hear about the various ways optometry is practised around the world and some ideas of the challenges each country faces in delivering quality eye care. 

The purchase of new equipment last year has led to enhanced diagnostic capabilities and improved student experience. Upgraded teaching spaces have enabled students to have greater access to tutorial sessions with hybrid teaching. 

David Pye with the Haag-Streit BQ slit lamp biomicroscope generously donated by VisionCare NSW

Our UNSW Optometry Clinic continues to be generously supported by the industry for our instrumentation, contact lens and dispensing presentations and mentoring programs. A huge thanks to the community that creates our future profession: Alcon, BOC, Capricornia, Coopervision, Designs for Vision, Device Technologies, Eyetalk, European Eyewear, Essilor, Gelflex, Humanwear, Hoya, Innovative Contacts, Johnson and Johnson, Medmont, Menicon, Opticare, Optimed, Optos, Rodenstock, Shamir, SUNIX, VisionCare NSW, and Zeiss for their continued support.

Dr Kathleen Watt 

UNSW Optometry Clinic Director