The International Optometric Bridging Program (IOBP) is available to meet the needs of International Optometric Graduates. The program receives funding from the Governments of Canada and Ontario.  Canadian citizenship, permanent resident status or convention refugee status must be established prior to participating in either bridging program. Please refer to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for more information.

The IOBP is approximately 48 weeks long and encompasses approximately 28 weeks of lectures and clinical instruction and 20 weeks of practical experience as a clinical clerk.  During the clerkships, students in the Bridging Two program are involved in providing direct patient care under the supervision of an optometrist. They will be assigned to clerkships based on the availability of sites.  Students should expect to be assigned to a practice anywhere in Canada.  Accordingly, arranging for travel to and accommodations at distant locations may be necessary.  

The following is an outline of the Bridging Two program:

  • English language program (if required):
    • integrated profession specific language skills
    • disease description
    • written documentation
    • collegial consultation
    • academic reading strategies
  • Lectures and clinical instruction in the following areas:
    • ocular therapeutics and pharmacology
    • ophthalmic and geometric optics
    • ocular pathology/disease
    • binocular vision
    • problem-based case analysis and case management
    • communication skills for optometric practice
    • ethics
    • optometric clinical procedures
    • anatomy and physiology
    • neurophysiology
    • systemic disease
    • contact lenses
    • practice management
    • low vision
    • pediatrics
  • Review and examinations are scheduled throughout the program
  • Clinical experience in the School of Optometry Clinic:
    • observation and patient care in the UW clinics including:  primary care, pediatrics, low vision, contact lenses, binocular vision, and ocular health.
  • Clerkships
    • students participate in 2 - 10 week clerkship placements with licensed optometrists, providing students with exposure to private optometric practice in Canada.