Allied Ophthalmic Personnel Training

Ophthalmic Assistant, Technician, and Technologist training options



The Georgetown University Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP) is designed to prepare students for a career assisting ophthalmologists (medical eye doctors and surgeons), 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 (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics 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.

For more information on the training programs, please contact:
Phone: 202-444-4862     Fax: 202-444-1417

Medical Director: Jay Lustbader, M.D.

Program Director: Anna B. Kiss, BS, COMT                 

Associate Director: Teresa E. Narayan, OD, MS  

Contact the program by email:

Description of OMPTP

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

1) Two-Year:  Full-Time, 21 months 

Academic and Clinical Program for Ophthalmic Technicians and Technologists

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 15 (by May 1 if an International Applicant) 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 15, please contact the Program Director. Applications may be considered on a space available basis for an additional late fee.

2) Modular: Nine-Month Tuesday Evenings Only

Academic and Workshop Program (September through May) for Ophthalmic Assistants

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, each Tuesday (5:30 to 9 p.m.) from September through end of May. Future scheduling of this course is subject to change. No college credit is awarded. Applications should be submitted by July 15.

3) Summer: Six-Week, 40 Hours a Week

Intensive Academic Course (Each August) for Ophthalmic Assistants

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 Two-Year, full-time program

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 36 hours each week for two years. They graduate in early May 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

Official documentation of all prior educational experience is required.  Applicants must have completed highschool or passed high school equivalency test.  Preference will be shown (for the Two-Year Program) for applicants completing 60+ college level courses and/or for some eye care-related work experience.  

Students must be able to speak, understand, read and write English. English language requirements contact . 

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

Two-Year (21 months,full-time), Application and Information Packet, Class of 2018 - 2020

Summer (Six weeks, full-time) 2018, Application and Information Packet

Modular (Nine months, part-time Tuesday evenings) 2018 - 2019, Application and Information 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.

Students who graduate from our formal accredited training programs (Two-Year) are qualified to apply for the highest (COMT) or the intermediate level of certification (COT).  Students who graduate from our non-clinical assistant accredited training programs (must meet the Clinical requirements for work experience)  before applying for the entry level certification (COA). Certification is governed by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, Inc. (JCAHPO). 

JCAHPO uses written exams and skill assessments to certify ophthalmic medical personnel at one of three levels. For current certification  information and requirements contact JCAHPO at 1-800-482-4858 and their website: .

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 (entry level)  and $50,000 (advance level) after their first 6 to 12 months on the job. Also, most students have had job interviews before graduating.