How to Get More Contact Lens Experience in Optometry School

Are you concerned that you may not be getting the extensive experience you need with contact lenses in clinic?

Fitting a patient with a comfortable pair of contact lenses can change their lives! This is also a huge part of a successful, profitable practice that you should be well-versed in before heading out into the real world. The CooperVision Adopt-a-Patient™ program is here to fill the void!

Optometry Students Adopt a Patient infographic

Welcome to the CooperVision Adopt-a-Patient™ program! The program provides a free year’s supply of contact lenses for a patient who otherwise couldn’t afford it, while you get the experience of fitting and providing care for that patient for a full year!

One of the hardest things for me in optometry school was getting enough contact lens experience. I could never follow a patient for long enough, from initial fitting to yearly follow up. With that lacking, I missed some really critical learning points. The Adopt-a-Patient™ program will make sure that doesn’t happen to future optometry students! – Matthew Geller O.D.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Identify a patient who would benefit from contact lenses but can’t afford them.
  2. Discuss with your attending if this patient would be a good candidate for the Adopt-a-Patient™ program.
  3. Email all necessary patient information to CooperVision.
  4. CooperVision provides a year’s worth supply of contact lenses, solution, etc. for your patient!
  5. You get the invaluable experience of providing care and follow-ups with your contact lens patient for up to a year!
  6. If the patient has trouble paying for follow-ups or other expenses, VSP has agreed to provide funding for that patient!

A few more important details:

  • The only CL’s excluded are those with opaque or enhancing tints.
  • CooperVision will provide as many year’s worth supplies of CL’s as the number of third-year students enrolled at your school.
  • To order lenses through this CooperVision, the contact is Robin Leccese (
  • For providing additional funding to patients for fitting or follow up costs, the contact at VSP is Dana Beards:, 916-858-5717.
  • For any further information on the Adopt-a-Patient™ program, contact us at, or Mark Andre at CooperVision:, 503-298-3010.

Weekly – $25.00 Visa Gift Card Raffle:

Every week for the next year, CooperVision will raffle off a $25.00 VISA gift card for testimonials and stories related to the Adopt-a-Patient™ program. **Post yours HERE and we will e-mail you if you win!**

How to get your school involved:

First of all, bring this up to your classmates, CL professors, attending clinicians, etc. The more people know about this fantastic opportunity, the better! Want to really get the process of implementing this program at your school’s clinic started?

Here’s a template email you can edit, copy and paste in an email to your school’s Chief of Staff, or whoever you think could get the wheels in motion:

Hi Dr. ________,

I recently became aware of a program that allows optometry schools to provide a year’s worth of free contact lenses to patients in their clinic who otherwise couldn’t afford it! It also gives the opportunity for a student to follow and provide care for that contact lens patient during that year. It’s called the Adopt-a-Patient™ program, sponsored by CooperVision. Other schools have already implemented this program, and I would love the opportunity to be able to not only provide this essential care for a patient who couldn’t normally afford it, but also have the invaluable experience of providing full care for a contact lens patient for an extended period of time.

Here’s a link to an article with more information on this program: article

Please let me know what you think, I’d love to discuss possibly incorporating this into our clinical experience at ____.

Thank you,



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