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Studying Optometry In The Uk

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Hello, I'm currently in the process for applying for Optometry school. I'm writing my OAT in about 2 months, but in the mean time I also applied for Optometry school in the UK. So far I have received offers from Cardiff University and Manchester University.

 

I am wondering if anyone has any experience,

or know of somebody who has gone through optometry school in the UK and come back to Canada to practice..

 

Is it harder to find work if you have a UK optometry degree? Is it easy to come back through IOBP and FORAC? Is the salary different than north American graduates?

 

Any information is helpful!

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If you are Canadian and would like to practice optometry in Canada I would not recommend going to Optometry School in the UK:

1) Overall cost of tuition will be high

2) You would need to apply to the IOBP afterwards

3) Board exam pass rates for students trained outside of North America are much poorer compared to those who attended North American schools (if you don't pass you can't work and you would need to wait to retake it)

 

I feel like it wouldn't be more difficult to find work assuming you are licensed. IOBP takes money and time. I don't think the salary would be much different because once licensed you would be able to work at any optometrist office anyone else would.

 

I would highly recommend that you try to go to Optometry School in Canada before you try other options. If Waterloo or Montreal are unrealistic for you due to grades or OAT score then I would look into US schools. US schools would obviously be expensive as well but you wouldn't have to go through IOBP and you would be better prepared to pass boards. 

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On 2017-05-16 at 9:36 PM, idoctor21 said:

If you are Canadian and would like to practice optometry in Canada I would not recommend going to Optometry School in the UK:

1) Overall cost of tuition will be high

2) You would need to apply to the IOBP afterwards

3) Board exam pass rates for students trained outside of North America are much poorer compared to those who attended North American schools (if you don't pass you can't work and you would need to wait to retake it)

 

I feel like it wouldn't be more difficult to find work assuming you are licensed. IOBP takes money and time. I don't think the salary would be much different because once licensed you would be able to work at any optometrist office anyone else would.

 

I would highly recommend that you try to go to Optometry School in Canada before you try other options. If Waterloo or Montreal are unrealistic for you due to grades or OAT score then I would look into US schools. US schools would obviously be expensive as well but you wouldn't have to go through IOBP and you would be better prepared to pass boards. 

I have just researched Aston University's MOptom programme in the UK. This program makes it sound it is possible to come back to Canada easily, and it seems like many Canadians apply. http://www.aston.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/lhs/bsc-optometry/faqs-for-canadian-applicants/

This program is 3 years long with 1 year of studying and working as an optometrist for their pre-reg year. This would allow Canadiansto continue using their study visa, instead of applying for another work visa. I believe Waterloo requires a year of work experience in the country you are applying from for the IOBP, so this sounds like good news. You would then need to pass the UK boards and become registered before applying to IOBP, as well. 

Aston's University also states that their curricullum provides you with enough knowledge to pass the evaluating exam so you only need to the Bridging I (2 months). How likely do you guys think this is? And even if I were to complete Bridging I, are the Canadian board exams a whole other obstable for a UK trained optometrist? 

 

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Aston doesn't promise that you will get into Bridging I (*4 months NOT 2 months). Entry into Bridging I (4 m) or Bridging II (1y) is based on your performance on the entry exam when applying to IOBP and offers of admission are based on your rank. https://uwaterloo.ca/international-optometric-bridging-program/program-information/admissions It would not be possible to say how likely it is to get admitted to I or II because it depends on your performance as an individual.

Yes, I would say that the board exams are more of an obstacle for internationally trained optometrists. You can find the 2015-2016 summary report of the board exam results here: http://www.oebc.ca/clientuploads/Annual Report/CACO Report 2016_Final.pdf

"Likewise, we saw 241 first attempt candidates challenging the CACO this year. The first attempt pass rate was comparable at 82.2% versus 77.4% last year. Pass rates for first attempt candidates increased for the Canadian subgroup by almost 1% to 89.7% and remained comparable for the U.S. subgroup with a slight decrease of .5% to 79.5%. At the same time, first attempt pass rates for internationally-educated candidates increased by 15% to 62.2% up from 47.2%."

 

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On 10/2/2017 at 2:15 AM, JohnGrisham said:

Go to a US optom school. There are plenty and theyre much easier to get into that waterloo.

Thanks for sharing the helpful information about the Optom school.

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