University of Michigan: Kellogg Eye Center Orthoptic Program
Location: The University of Michigan Orthoptic Program is housed in the Kellogg Eye Center 1000 Wall Street, Ann Arbor,
Michigan. Ann Arbor is a Big Ten university city with a population of 50,000 residents. When students are here in the fall and
spring the population swells to 100,000. Ann Arbor is 50 miles west of Detroit, 40 miles north of Toledo and 240 miles east of
Chicago. Aside from the rich and varied traditions of the U of M, Ann Arbor offers cultural events, parks and abundant shopping.
Amtrak rail service passes through the city within walking distance of the clinic. A full service airport is 45 minutes away in
1) Complete the enclosed application and return in the provided envelope.
2) An official copy of all university (university, college, and/or community college) transcripts should be sent by the appropriate
registrar directly to our address. Care of:
Bruce A. Furr, CO, PhD, Program Director
University of Michigan Orthoptic Program, Pediatric Ophthalmology
1000 Wall Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
*********ADMISSION INTO THE ORTHOPTIC TRAINING PROGRAM REQUIRES A BACHELORS DEGREE*********
A background in the sciences is recommended but certainly not required.
3) Have three professional letters of recommendation written on your behalf and sent directly to the program director.
4) A personal onsite interview of suitable candidates is done at the Kellogg Eye Center. The onsite interview is done at the
applicant’s expense. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Students are selected in April and the training begins in July
of the same year. We accept one student at a time.
Pediatric Ophthalmology Staff
Monte Del Monte, M.D.
Steven Archer, M.D.
Christopher Gappy, M.D.
Brenda Bohnsack, MD, PhD
Shreya Prabhu, MD
Grace Wang, MD
Pediatric Optometry Staff
Carlton Foster, O.D.
Courtney Dewey, O.D.
Ida Iacobucci, CO, Associate Clinical Professor
Elizabeth C.Gayeski, CO
Manu Kadar, DBO, OC(C), CO
Lindsay Horan, CO
Katie Patterson, CO
Bruce A. Furr, MPH, CO, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor, Director of the Orthoptic Program
Registration: Orthoptic students do not register through the university and do not receive university credit. Because you do not
have U of M student status, there is no tuition assistance or scholarships available through the University. Partial scholarships
are available for orthoptic training through the Joint Commission for Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). To
apply, complete the application enclosed and return to:
JCAHPO Education and Research Foundation
2025 Woodlane Drive
St. Paul, MN 55125-2995
Course Schedule: entrance date is July 1st and runs 24 months through to June 30. (for example July 1st 1998June 30th
2000). The course is at least twelve months in length if the student is accepted with advanced standing. Advance standing is
available for individuals holding a COA, COT or COMT certificate. (See below for further explanation of advanced standing). The
orthoptic program runs year round.
Hours: basically 8:00AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday, occasionally orthoptic lectures will run past 5:00pm, Grand Rounds
meet every Thursday morning (at 7:45), students attend rounds, Pediatric Ophthalmology will present rounds about every two
months, students are encouraged to participate. You will attend some Resident lectures after clinic hours during the week (5:30
6:30) and some on Saturdays (10:00am to 12:00 noon). Attendance will be determined by the subject of the lecture. Some clinic
days may require traveling to a satellite office and may entail leaving earlier than 8:00 am to account for travel time. You may
return after 5:00 pm as well on those days.
Vacation time: Two weeks of approved vacation time will be allowed in the first year of training. In addition the week between
Christmas and New Year’s day you may go home as time off. During the second year of training two weeks of approved
vacation days will be allowed. Recognized holidays are New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving day and the
following day, Labor Day, Christmas. These days are off time as well. Travel for job interviews occurring during the second year
will be done on your own time.
Sick Days: If you are too sick to come to the clinic call email or text Dr. Furr.
Cost of program: A $2000.00 tuition is collected payable $1000.00 on the opening day of the program, the remaining $1000.00
on the first anniversary of the date (beginning of year two). A $1000.00 tuition is collected for a student entering with advanced
standing and only one year of study. The fee provides all materials, didactic training and clinical experience. A stipend from
tuitions collected, in the amount of $500.00 annually, will be provided to partially cover expenses for one meeting per year.
Living Expenses and Employment: Living expenses; rent, food and transportation to and from the clinic are the responsibility
of the student. Since you are not registered as a student, dormitory living is not available. Several apartment finder services are
located in Ann Arbor. They can help you find living space and those of us in the department will aid you in your search as well.
Employment outside the clinic is discouraged. You will be too busy with studies after clinic hours to have any meaningful
Books: There are no required textbooks. You will be given a list of suggested reading. This list will contain articles and some
books as well. You may find a reference text to which you refer many times and you may decide that you would benefit greatly
from owning the book. Within the department we will house a small library of textbooks which you may borrow. Other reference
material is available through the Henderson library on the seventh floor.
Advanced Standing: Individuals with a certification level of COT (Certified Ophthalmic Technician) or COMT (Certified
Ophthalmic Medical Technologist) may apply for the CO program with advanced standing. The application procedure remains
the same, however, written and oral placement examinations are given during the site visitation to determine the needed length
of training. The program will not be less than one year.
Evaluations: Students frequently ask, What should I be doing after two months, six months or one year of training? Generally
speaking during the first two months you are learning terminology, observing patients being examined and performing some of
the basic tests we do. Months three, four, five and six you are getting more involved with motility exams and arriving at
diagnoses and treatment plans. After six months you are examining new patients and taking the historical information. Your
comfort level will fluctuate. At times you will really glide through an exam and at other times you will struggle. You are here for
two years. It is a learning process. An initial three month probation period will occur, at the conclusion of which the student will
be evaluated, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. A student may be asked to leave the program if it is felt that their progress
has not matched expectations. A dismissal will not occur unless clearly defined reasons are given. We will do this on an ongoing
basis over that first three months. There will be no surprises. At all times our doors are open for students to raise any
questions or concerns. We are here to help you.
Certification: Weekly exams, written and/or oral will be done, on a formal or informal basis, to evaluate progress and
understanding of materials presented. A written midterm orthoptic exam will be mailed to our training program for first year
students to take. This exam will on a formal basis evaluate the comprehensive understanding of materials presented. As the
two year term of orthoptic training draws to an end more oral exams will occur to prepare for oral and practical board exams.
The American Orthoptic Council is responsible for maintaining the high standard of orthoptic training in this country. Upon
completion of a course of study, from an accredited program, a student is eligible to “sit” boards. The written portion is given in
June of the second year at your training site. Those passing the written exam will be invited to take the oral and practical
portions in the fall at a single site to be determined by the Council. Students passing all portions of the national exam will be
entitled to use the designation C.O. after their names. Graduates are also invited to join our professional organization the
American Association of Certified Orthoptists.
Dress Code and Etiquette: We may be called upon at any time to see a patient. Even though no clinic is scheduled, we must
maintain a professional appearance. Good judgement and modesty will dictate what is appropriate. No tshirts with slogans,
jeans or overtly casual clothing should be worn. We are in front of the public; patients, parents and family members, all day long.
Loud, flamboyant actions and speech will detract from our professional status and patient confidence in us.
Telephone Use: No personal phone calls should be made or received during clinic hours. (Unless it is an emergency).
Employment: Certified Orthoptists are in demand. Employment prospects are excellent, though it may require you to relocate.
Most Orthoptists are employed full time, though some work part time. Workweeks are usually Monday through Friday, 8:00 to
5:00, though some Orthoptists work evenings and Saturdays. Employers usually provide paid vacations, holidays and medical
insurance. Other benefits vary from private practices to university medical centers.
ORTHOPTIC TRAINING AT KELLOGG EYE CENTER
Training at this center for orthoptics will include various activities:
1. Lectures: given by Orthoptists, Pediatric Ophthalmolgists, Staff Ophthalmolgists Lectures cover a variety of topics
from amblyopia to paralytic strabismus. These will be given at arranged times during each week of your training. You will
receive a calendar, we will try to adhere to the schedule
2. Clinical experience: at first under the direct supervision of a staff Orthoptist. Later you will examine patients on your
own, reporting findings to an Orthoptist.
You will keep a log of your exams, specific to patient diagnosis, Orthoptic students are required by the AOC to see a specific
number of patients during their training. You will frequently be recruited by staff in other clinics to make measurements or
document measurements, referrals are not scheduled visits, we generally accommodate the individual at the time of the request.
3. Research: You will be encouraged to pursue one research project yearly during training. You will gather patient data
pertinent to a topic with the goal of publishing the results. You will prepare a “patient presentation” once weekly. This is a unique
or thought provoking patient or one who is a classic depiction of an entity we see regularly. You may need to do extra research
to supplement your own observations. The “presentation” will be done among the orthoptic staff on an informal basis.
4. Journal Club: you will read articles which pertain to subjects included in recent lectures or relate to eye problems you
see in the clinic. The club will meet weekly, where you will review an article of your choice from the article list or of your choice.
5. Grand Rounds: attend rounds on Thursday mornings, help with rounds when it is Pediatrics turn.
ORTHOPTICS AS A CAREER
Orthoptists work as support personnel in the ophthalmic field. Their work pertains specifically to the evaluation, diagnosis and
treatment of conditions, which effect binocular function in patients of all ages. Support position because orthoptists work with
Pediatric Ophthalmologists, Neuro-ophthalmologists or even General Ophthalmologists in various types of office settings. Some
orthoptists work in private practices, while others work in hospitals or teaching medical centers.
Most often orthoptists examine children because the majority of eye conditions, which effect binocularity, occur in the childhood
years. Some orthoptists will care for adults in neuro-ophthalmology or adult eye muscle disorder clinics.
Being an orthoptist involves you in an exciting and rewarding career, which requires initiative, responsibility and leadership.
Orthoptists may serve as directors or advisors of state and local vision screening programs. As an Orthoptist, you are part of a
team approach to eye care, examining, diagnosing and treating eye conditions, which affect the quality of life for the patient. In
fact, on a daily basis you will touch the lives of your patients and make them better. As stated above, orthoptists lead rewarding
The American Association of Certified Orthoptists is the membership organization for orthoptists. The AACO promotes the
professional goals and educational competence of orthoptists. Member orthoptists governs the AACO. The American Orthoptic
Council is the policy making group which grants accreditation to training programs and certifies orthoptists following national
board exams. This council is comprised of seven orthoptists and twelve ophthalmologists.
For general questions concerning orthoptics or educational opportunities, please contact:
American Orthoptic Council
3914 Nakoma Road
Madison, WI 53711
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