June 13, 2019 | POSTED BY | Articles, News, Scope of Practice
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Optometric Practice in the Show-Me State

Full of small towns, big cities, mountains, lakes and trails, Missouri has something that appeals to every crowd and every personality. You can catch a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game or cruise on Table Rock Lake. No matter what your desire is, Missouri will always show you a good time.

Within 3 hours you can get to any major Missouri city, each historic and unique in its own fashion. These cities include Saint Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield. Saint Louis is the home of Anheuser-Busch and the Gateway Arch. Kansas City is a destination for world-class barbeque, while Springfield is the heart of Route 66. These major cities put Missouri on the map for what some people consider a “fly-over state”.

Kansas City

Kansas City is constantly growing and a go-to destination for barbeque lovers. Their plaza shopping district is full of life during the holidays with beautiful light displays. Kansas City’s own Chiefs football team and Royals baseball team will leave you with always having a great game to enjoy.

St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri is home of Cardinals baseball, Blues hockey, toasted raviolis and the world famous St. Louis Zoo. St. Louis always has something to do. Whether you’re spending a day at the Anheuser-Bush brewery or taking the afternoon to go walk in a bus that’s dangling off the side of a building at the City Museum, St. Louis will never leave you without weekend plans no matter the season. Furthermore, St. Louis is the location for Optometry’s Meeting 2019!

Colleges and UniversitiesGlasses on top of two hardcover books

Missouri has many amazing universities, but the two with the most attraction are Missouri State and the University of Missouri, also known as “Mizzou.” Adding to these map markers is Missouri’s very own optometry school, University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) College of Optometry.

Missouri State University, home of the Bears, is located in Springfield, MO. Missouri State University has an incredible campus environment. MSU offers a small university feel and large university amenities. You can catch people spending their weekends at a local brewery or walking around Farmer’s Park farmer’s market. Springfield is known for the supportive community and local flare.

The University of Missouri is located in Columbia, MO located right in between Kansas City and St. Louis. Mizzou is full of energy during football season. Whether you’re cheering on the Tigers at a tailgate or exploring downtown and having pizza at Shakespeare’s in Columbia, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

The UMSL College of Optometry is a well-known optometry school with two well sought-after residency programs. Here, future optometrists can specialize in cornea and contact lenses or pediatrics and binocular vision to further their optometric education. Here’s a breakdown of the admissions process from Dr. Dena Colantino, OD, a member of the class of 2019.

Involvement and Legislation

The Missouri Optometric Association (MOA)‘s website states that, “The Missouri Optometric Association promotes the advancement of optometry by advocating and educating its members; and protecting access to the highest quality eye and vision care for the citizens of Missouri.”

The MOA also fights to protect optometrists’ rights in the state of Missouri as well as protecting the access to vision care for Missouri citizens. The MOA has many meetings throughout the year and holds regional meetings throughout the state. These events are great for networking and for staying on the cutting edge of ever-evolving optometry advancements. The MOA membership is free to students and is a great way to get involved early in your academic career.

Missouri Scope of Practice

In Missouri, optometrists CAN:

  • Perform minor surgical procedures to correct ocular abnormalities such as removal of “lumps and bumps” around the eye including scalpel usage, suturing, and injectable local anesthetic usage
  • Prescribe oral medications including Schedules II (hydrocodone-combination products), III, IV, and V drugs
  • Prescribe oral steroids
  • Diagnose and treat glaucoma with topical and oral drugs
  • Co-manage post-operative care
  • Perform procedures such as foreign body removal, dilation and irrigation, punctal occlusion, and eyelash epilation
  • Provide and aid in care of ocular prosthetics
  • Order laboratory tests required for the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of a disease or condition related to the human eye
  • Prescribe or administer orthoptic therapy (vision therapy)

In Missouri, optometrists CANNOT:

  • Perform cataract extractions, retinal surgery, or refractive surgery (such as LASIK)
  • Perform laser or non-laser injections
  • Perform anterior segment laser procedures including YAG, SLT, and LPIs
  • Administer general anesthesia
  • Administer IV medication

No matter what state you practice in, remember that optometry is a legislated profession. Our scope of practice depends on our involvement and advocacy on the AOA, state, and local levels. Here is the list of scope of practice state-by-state.