Definitions and Explanations

Optometric Physician:
An Optometic Physician, or Optometrist, is a Doctor of Optometry who diagnoses and treats disorders of the eye and visual system. In Washington State, Optometric Physicians provide eye exams for glasses and contact lenses, use medications to treat eye disease such as glaucoma and ocular infections, treat visual problems with visual therapy, and provide low vision services for individuals with visual disabilities. Optometrists also co-manage patients with other health care providers for ocular conditions related to diabetes, AIDS, hypertension, cataracts and refractive surgery.

After recieving an undergraduate degree, four years of optometry school are required to recieve a Doctor of Optometry, or OD, degree. Many graduates are now also continuing their post-graduate education with one or two year residency programs in areas such as Primary Care, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Hospital based Optometry, Low Vision or Visual Therapy.

University Place:
University Place is located west of Tacoma, Washington along the shores of Puget Sound. It was incorporated as a city in 1995 when the residents decided to take a more active part in their own future as a community. With a population of approximately 30,000, University Place became the third largest city in Pierce County when it was incorporated.

The name University Place often causes some confursion since there is no University within its borders. In the late 1800's, the methodist church acquired the land to use as a site for a University that they planned to build near Tacoma. The area was platted and building sites were sold with the idea that this would be a university community. When the depression struck the Northwest before the turn of the century, the plans for the university were put on hold. By the time the church was again ready to build the university, they chose a site closer in to Tacoma where it became the University of Puget Sound. The name University Place stuck however, and those of us who grew up here resist all suggestions by newcomers to change it.

Optometric Physicians of Washington:
The OPW is a professional association dedicated to the visual welfare of the public through the profession of optometry. Through both public and professoinal education, public service and legislative efforts, the OPW members work to ensure that the citizens of Washington receive the best eye and vision care available. To contact the OPW referral line for the names of OPW doctors near you call, 1-800-562-1487, or check out the OPW web site.

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David S. Hays, O.D.,