Optometrist Dr Konrad Pesudovs [pictured] has been appointed Foundation Chair in Optometry and Vision Science at Flinders University from a strong international field of candidates.
Professor Pesudovs’ appointment, effective immediately, heralds a new and exciting era at Flinders, with the first intake of 40 students into the new five-year optometry course – the only one in South Australia – due in March.
A former Clinical Research Fellow in Flinders Department of Ophthalmology, Professor Pesudovs said his was a rare opportunity to shape a course from the ground up.
“Increasing access to therapeutic drugs for the management of eye disease, advances in ocular imaging and contact lens practices over the past 20 years have transformed the way optometrists manage patients today,” Professor Pesudovs said.
“The new Flinders optometry course is an exciting opportunity to incorporate all of these advances as an integral part of the curriculum,” he said.
“It’s also an opportunity to train the next generation of optometrists who will face new challenges in coming decades from a growing and ageing population. Change will continue so our goal is to equip students with the competencies in optometry that will carry them through the 21st century.”
Dean of Flinders School of Medicine, Professor Paul Worley congratulated Professor Pesudovs on his appointment.
“Professor Pesudovs brings to this new role an outstanding record of research into ophthamological outcomes conducted here, in the UK and the US, as well as years of experience as a clinician working in private practice,” Professor Worley said.
“He has an exciting vision for the Flinders course becoming known as the new international benchmark for optometry in terms of social accountability, educational approach, and research and workforce outcomes,” he said.
“One of the aims of the new optometry course is to address the shortage of optometrists in rural and remote areas of Australia, and this offers a potential boost for the treatment of serious eye problems in indigenous communities.”
Flinders optometry course is a specialisation in Vision Science within a three-year Bachelor of Medical Science, to be followed by a two-year Master of Optometry.