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University of Pikeville to open 22nd optometry school in US


Admitting 60 students in its first class in 2016, the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry becomes the 22nd optometry school in the US.


Pikeville, KY-The University of Pikeville (UPIKE) announced it will open Kentucky’s first college of optometry, accepting the first class in 2016.  

The school will admit 60 students per class, for a total of 240 students. The university said it has already begun a national search for a dean. The University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry will be the 22nd optometry school in the country. In its announcement, the university cited a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which says the need for optometrists by 33% through 2020, adding more than 11,000 new positions, likely affected by health care reform and an aging population.

“As more people access health care through Medicaid and other programs and as our population ages, the need for medical professionals, including quality optometrists, is expected to increase,” says Gov. Steve Beshear. “With this new challenge and this new college, UPIKE will help meet that need.”

Pikeville is approximately 140 miles southeast of Lexington in Eastern Kentucky. 

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