Department of Optometry and Biology of Visual System
Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poland

Department of Optometry and Biology of Visual System (DOBVS) was appointed in 1983 on the initiative of professor Bolesław Kędzia – the pioneer of optometry education in Poland, the first chairman (since 1999 professor Bogdan Miśkowiak has been head of this Department).

DOBVS conducts the following activities:

Teaching for medical, dental, public health and nursing students (prevention and prophylaxis in visual organ, screening tests,contact lenses).
Moreover DOBVS arranged a few workshops in problems of contact lenses for ophthalmologists and optometrists with participation of outstanding lecturers from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, France and Australia.
In the last 10 years DOBVS has conducted 5 series of 4-semester postgraduate studies in optometry for opticians (over 100 students graduated – they became the first optometrists educated in Poland). Also for the last 8 years DOBVS has been collaborating with the Faculty of Physics of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań in educating students in dispensing optics and in master program in optometry.

Research on selected problems in optometry (physiological optics, contact lenses, biology of visual system, screening tests of visual organ in children and students). Effects of the work were published in J Am Optom Assoc, Ophthalmic Physiol Opt, Med. News.

Organizational activity tied to introducing suitable standards of education in optometry and introduction of optometric profession in Poland. DOBVS is collaborating with Polish Association of Optometry and Optics, KRIOO, ECOO and WCO (member of Refractive Study Error in Children – Poland Working Group). In realization of these tasks the staff of DOBVS participated in symposia and international conferences.


Postgraduate program in optometry at DOBVS – 2-year program from optician to optometrist:

Curriculum - 600 hours of course is held on weekends for two years.
The curriculum is presented in ten modules. The modules are:

  1. Biological courses – anatomy, histology, physiology, biochemistry and general pathology (70 hours).
  2. Optics courses – nature of light/environmental vision, geometrical and physical optics, and physiological optics (120 hours).
  3. Biology of visual system – ocular anatomy, histology, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology and diagnostic biochemistry (120 hours).
  4. Visual perception – physiological visual perception, electrophysiology and anomalies of vision perception (20 hours).
  5. Optometric exam procedures – didactic and practice of patient interactions and optometric testing, refractions and medical ethics (110 hours).
  6. Binocular vision – normal binocular responses, anomalies of binocular vision and treatment of binocular vision problems (30 hours).
  7. Ocular health – ophthalmoscopy, biomicroscopy, tonometry plus pathology and diagnostic changes (40 hours).
  8. Optical dispensing – practical optics about lenses and frames, quality assurance, new technology and materials (30 hours).
  9. Contact lenses – corneal physiology, lens design, fitting, care and follow-up (35 hours).
  10. Clinical care is practiced in the laboratory room, at screenings and in independent study (ca 100 hours).

A requirement for completion of the program is an independent research project.

The chairman of the Postgraduate program in optometry at DOBVS is Prof. Bogdan Miśkowiak


International activities of DOBVS:

  • Cooperation with ECOO
  • Cooperation with WCO in introducing the optometric profession in Poland and in introducing suitable standards in optometric education.
  • Participation in WCO Working Group “Refractive Study Error in Children – Poland”,Poznań, 2003
  • Participation in international conferences on optometric education, Atlanta (2002), Barcelona (2003), Orlando (2004), (Brno 2004, 2006)

DOBVS has joined the global program initiated by World Health Organization and World Council of Optometry “Vision 2020: The Right to Sight” by:

  • Including theses issues in lectures for medical, dental,public health and nursing students
  • Training over 100 nurses from Poznań in the technique of visual screenings
  • Having the staff of DOBVS administer visual screenings to over 5,000 children 6-15 years of age (the results were published and made available to the offices responsible for health policy – see the last publication of DOBVS.

Optometric education in Poland:

The profession of optometry was introduced into Poland by professor Bolesław Kędzia, former chair of the Department of Optometry and Biology of Visual System at Poznań University of Medical Sciences.The program was created after review of the European, British and American optometric education systems.
At the present time there are two tracts by which one can became an optometrist in Poland. The university based degree in physics with specialization in optometry at Adam Mickiewicz University in cooperationwith Poznań University of Medical Sciences and a postgraduate 2-year program in optometry at Poznań University of Medical Sciences. In 2002 The National Educational Board recommended to the Minister of Health to accept the postgraduate educational program but not the newly created 5-year undergraduate program in optometry.
Most of the candidates to 2-year postgraduate program in optometry are university trained opticians.


Selected research publications of DOBVS:

  1. Kędzia B., Twardowski P. Control of the myopic shift in the modified Badal optometer. Ophthalmic Physiol. Opt. 1998, 18,57-62.
  2. Mańczak H. Indications and contraindications in the use of rigid contact lenses. Okulistyka 1998, 4, 53-57 .
  3. Kędzia B., Pieczyrak D., Tondel G., Maples W.C. Factors affecting the clinical testing of accomodative facility. Ophthalmic Physiol.Opt. 1999, 19, 12-21.
  4. Kędzia B., Pieczyrak D., Tondel G., Maples W.C. Accomodative facility test results and academic success in Polish second graders. J. Am.Optom. Assoc. 1999, 70, 110-116.
  5. Pieczyrak D., Miśkowiak B. Visual screening in children starting the school education in urban and village environments of Great Poland.1st International Congress for Development of Visual Health, 6-8 Jun2003, Barcelona, p. 68.
  6. Miśkowiak B. Visual screening test in children and university students.Fam. Med. 2005, 7, 939-944
  7. Knapik J., Miśkowiak B. Visual screening in the students of the University of Medical Sciences in Poznań. Med. News 2005, 74, 142-148.
  8. Miśkowiak B. Metody oceny procesu widzenia u dzieci i młodzieży.Zarys Pediatrii – B. Pawlaczyk, PZWL 2005, p. 600-605