A group of very talented professionals opened computers on a warm, sunny mountain morning and began the longest educational journey of their young lives. Well beyond the stage of their student lives they have earned a position as adult learners in the premier health care profession. This will be repeated 21 additional times over the next weeks as our Optometry College Colleagues across the country come on line for a new semester.
Everyone, faculty, administrators, staff and upper class turn their focus toward these vision care providers of the future. This year’s first year classes represent a much different calling than the years that have gone before them.
Here at The University of Pikeville, Kentucky College of Optometry this new assembly of men and women faces a new program, in a new building, with a new mission. The new mission is born in a place of unmatched and untouched natural beauty. A place where the blindness and poverty of Central Appalachia stands as a formidable foe for these young warriors.
The students in the other Schools and Colleges are equally challenged. Challenged to change the scope of practice for the profession nationally. We now have three states where primary care surgical procedures are the venue of Optometric care. The first classes of Optometry Students in all schools this year herald a new standard in Optometric Education. They will forge the new scope of Optometric practice in all of our states in the decades to come.
Our school has been labeled the Vision of Hope by our local media. This salutation can be applied to every 1st year student in this dawn of a new optometry.