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, 62 (12), 904-13

The Unification of European Optometry: How the Profession Will Change After 1992

  • PMID: 1814983

The Unification of European Optometry: How the Profession Will Change After 1992

D S Hamakiotes et al. J Am Optom Assoc.


The economic integration of the European Community (EC) targeted for 1992 has the potential to change the course of the development of the optometric profession in Europe. One of the goals of this integration is to create within Europe an environment free of professional barriers, such that European professionals will be able to practice their skill anywhere within the Community. Because optometry is practiced so differently among the 12 EC countries, the development of a system of reciprocity for optometric credentials in Europe will be a difficult task. Currently, there exists a strong movement, headed by the Association of European Schools and Colleges of Optometry (AESCO), to unify the profession by creating a European-wide examination for optometry. The implications of such an examination are tremendous in that it will establish a standard for the delivery of optometric care not only for the 320 million people within the EC, but also world-wide. The purpose of this paper is to examine the current status of optometry in Europe, to review efforts by both the EC and AESCO to unify the profession, and to discuss the impact of recent developments on the future of optometry not only in Europe, but throughout the world.

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