From the beginning of their third year, students receive clinical training in public clinics, including those operated by and within Hadassah College. Within this framework, students examine and care for approximately 300 patients during their training. The staff and supervisors are among Israel's top specialists in optometry and ophthalmology from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Hospitals at Mount Scopus and Ein Kerem. Students learn hands-on skills related to an optometrist's three main areas of practice:
Including the identification and treatment of vision problems. Various tests enable the optometrist to prescribe a specific treatment for each individual patient. Treatment is typically in the form of glasses, contact lenses, or a special accessory for low-vision patients.
Involving identification and treatment of abnormal functioning of the eyes. Conditions include binocular vision, cross-eye, focusing problems, eye movement problems, and learning disabilities related to vision. The optometrist establishes the source of the problem and corrects it by prescribing special glasses, eye exercises using optical devices and special computer programs, or both.
Optometrists are primary care providers treating abnormalities and illness of the eyes. In the scope of this practice, they may also recognize potential general health concerns such as diabetes or neurologic conditions. In addition to eye-specific diseases, other diseases can also be diagnosed by testing vision or field of vision. Therefore, the optometrist must have a wide range of knowledge in the anatomy and pathology of the human body. Optometrists at Hadassah College gain the skills needed to recognize potential medical concerns and refer patients for follow up care with appropriate medical doctors, including ophthalmologists, neurologists, family practitioners, or others.