Arab American University is surprised by the statement of the Palestinian Optometric Syndicate about the Doctor of Optometry program, as AAUP had many meetings with the syndicate to talk about the program, and the syndicate representative understood the importance of this program and how the country needs it. The syndicate also was in our meeting with the Ophthalmological Society and participated in the discussion and stood for the right of the Optometrists to develop their skills in providing service to the community. This program is taught in different countries of the developed world, the USA, Australia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other countries, and the duration of this program is 6 academic years that graduates gain knowledge and skills and they will be able to diagnose eye related diseases, prevention processes and primary eye care. Optometrists also have the chance to join this program by bridging and studying courses in the medical sciences filed in addition to the practical training.
This program is new in Palestine but it is not new in other places and countries in the world, and it reflected great success in the communities and countries that the program is available in.
About the program’s name, it cannot be changed because this is the international name of this scientific degree. Anyone can look it up, it is just like the degree name of Doctor Of Pharmacy (Pharm D).
About the powers, it is the responsibility of the syndicate to try to have the accreditation for the program from the Ministry of Health to be just like the other countries, knowing that a discussion is currently happening with the Ministry of Health to adopt appropriate joint powers with the related syndicates.
AAUP’s goal is to benefit the country and its citizens, and to improve the medical services that are provided to the eye-related diseases patients in Palestine.