Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP)

The Georgetown University Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP) is designed to prepare students for a career assisting ophthalmologists (medical eye doctors), and to enhance the knowledge and skills of those already employed in the field of ophthalmic medical assisting.

Georgetown's OMPTP Certificate prepares students to enter the Ophthalmic Technician and Technologist fields (SOC code 29-2057 and O*Net code 29-2099.03)

Upon graduation from the program, students are immediately eligible for employment with individual or group private offices, hospital ophthalmology practices. Dependent upon the student’s background prior to entering our course they may be eligible for employment with ophthalmic research opportunities, pharmaceutical companies or ophthalmic diagnostic instrumentation.

Description of OMPTP

The Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP) has three training options.

Two-Year Full-Time

Academic and Clinical Program

The most comprehensive option is the two-year, full-time, certificate program under the sponsorship of the Georgetown University School of Medicine. No college credit is awarded.

The two-year program combines classroom instruction with clinical rotations at ophthalmology clinics in and around Washington, D.C.

Students in the program receive instruction and training in the anatomy and physiology of the eye, diseases of the eye, medical and surgical treatments of the eye as well as tests and measurements of ocular and visual functions.

The two-year program begins in July of each year and has a limited class size. Applications should be submitted by December 1, March 1 or May 1 of the academic year prior to enrollment. Since applications received early in the admissions cycle will be given priority consideration, it is in the best interest of prospective students to complete their applications early. After May 1, please contact the Program Director. Applications may be considered on a space available basis.

Nine-Month Tuesday Evenings Only

Academic and Workshop Program (September through June)

A modular course is available for students who are already employed and who wish to increase their knowledge about ophthalmic assisting. This program currently meets once a week, for four hours each Tuesday (5:30 to 9 p.m.) from September through early June. Future scheduling of this course is subject to change. No college credit is awarded. Applications should be submitted by July 15.

Six-Week, 40 Hours a Week

Intensive Academic Course (Each August)

A six-week intensive classroom program is held each August. Students who are enrolled in the two-year, full-time program begin with this six-week course. Students may choose to register for ONLY the six-week course. No college credit is awarded. Applications should be submitted by June 1.

Schedule of OMPTP

The two-year Georgetown University Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP) begins each summer with the six-week, intensive classroom course. In September, students begin clinical rotations (3 days a week) and attend classes (2 days a week) for approximately 40 hours each week for two years. They graduate in June of their second year. There are no summer breaks, but the program does follow the holidays and vacation breaks of Georgetown University.

Admission Requirements for OMPTP

No previous experience or training in ophthalmology is required for admission to the Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP). For future eligibility to the ophthalmic technologist exams and certification a minimum of two years of college will be required, including at least one course in psychology. This will not be needed for the ophthalmic technician level. Students must be able to speak, understand, read and write English.

Interested applicants may call the program director’s office at 202-444-4862 to request an application packet.

After Graduation from OMPTP

Upon graduation from the Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP), students are immediately eligible for employment with individual and group ophthalmology practices.

Additionally, depending on their individual academic credits, students who graduate from the two-year program are immediately qualified to apply for the highest or the intermediate level of certification from the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, Inc. (JCAHPO). Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, JCAHPO uses written exams and skill assessments to certify ophthalmic medical personnel at one of three levels.

JCAHPO’s three core levels of certification offer a progressive career ladder for ophthalmic medical personnel who seek growth in their profession:

  1. Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA®) (Entry Level) 
  2. Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT®) (Intermediate Level) 
  3. Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT®) (Advanced Level)

The amount of money one can expect after graduation depends on the level of certification and geographic area of employment. In the D.C. area, most OMP earn between $35,000 and $50,000 after their first 6 to 12 months on the job. Also, most students have had job interviews before graduating.

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