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Division of
Professional Regulation

Therapeutic Optometrist Intern



When to Apply

To be licensed as a Therapeutic Optometrist, you must qualify either by internship or by reciprocity. Whether you are required to complete a six-month internship depends on whether you hold a current optometry license in another jurisdiction, how long you have practiced in that jurisdiction, and whether that jurisdiction has licensure standards that are equal to Delaware’s standards.

You must complete a six-month internship if:

  • You do not hold a current license in another jurisdiction OR
  • You hold a current license but have not practiced at least five years in a single jurisdiction where you hold a license OR
  • The jurisdiction where you are currently licensed does not have equal basic and therapeutic licensure standards as Delaware’s. The Board must determine this by examining your jurisdiction’s Laws and Rules and Regulations.

If you do not meet any of the criteria above, you may apply for a Therapeutic Optometrist license by reciprocity. Since Delaware issues only Therapeutic Optometrist licenses, the Board will evaluate both the basic licensure standards and standards of therapeutic practice of the jurisdiction where you are licensed. It is possible that the basic licensure standards are equivalent to those of Delaware, but the standards of therapeutic practice are not. If the Board determines that you do not meet the requirements for reciprocity, you will have to complete a six-month internship under the supervision of a Delaware-license doctor before getting licensed as a Therapeutic Optometrist. If it is determined that you must do the 6-month internship, you will follow the directions on this page and apply in DELPROS, the online portal.


Information about Internship and Supervision

The internship period starts the day after the Board approves it. The period must consist of at least 35 hours per week for at least six months. One or more doctors approved by the Board must supervise you throughout the period. It is your responsibility to select a supervising doctor. In making your selection, note the following:

  • If you select a therapeutically-certified optometrist not licensed in Delaware, he or she must be licensed in a jurisdiction where the standards of therapeutic practice are comparable to those in Delaware.
  • If the supervisor is neither an ophthalmologist nor therapeutically-certified optometrist, you must complete 100 additional hours of clinical internship with a therapeutically-certified optometrist, medical doctor or osteopathic physician.

If more than one doctor will be supervising you, the Board must approve all of them. A supervising doctor:

  • must supervise you “one-on-one”
  • can supervise only one intern at a time
  • must be on the same premises and immediately available for supervision at all times
  • must review the patient evaluations before the patient leaves the office.
EXAMPLES
These are examples of situations that are not acceptable direct supervision:

  • The supervising doctor has two offices. He/she works in office 1, and the intern works in office 2.
  • Three doctors work in the supervising doctor’s office. The intern’s Board-approved supervisor leaves and assigns a doctor whom the Board has not approved to supervise the intern.


Information on How to Apply for a License in DELPROS

Applications are processed in DELPROS (Delaware Professional Regulation Online Services). The online license application process is simple and provides you with clear instructions throughout each stage of the application process. We strongly recommend that you understand what the requirements are for the license you are pursuing. Then, request and gather the documents you need before you begin the application process. Most of the information and forms are on this website. For further clarification of requirements, refer to your profession’s License Law and the Rules and Regulations.

In order to apply for a license or service request, you must have a DELPROS account. To create a new account or log into an existing DELPROS account, follow the instructions at the beginning of the application process. As part of the final steps of the application process, DELPROS instructs you to either “attach” or “upload” the required documents directly to your application and/or to “acknowledge” that you will either send them in yourself or make arrangements for “third-party” documents/forms to be sent to the Board office. Examples of “third-party forms” are transcripts from schools, employment verifications from a supervisor, and license verifications from another state. These forms usually require a signature, seal, or notary, therefore, must be mailed into the Board office directly. All documents received by mail are scanned and attached to the appropriate license records.

In DELPROS, you have the ability to save your application and return to it to edit/update information or upload documents for up to six months. However, if you do not submit your application within six months, you will have to restart your online application process. The Board office begins processing applications shortly after submission in the portal. You may check the status of your application in the DELPROS system throughout the whole process and we will correspond with you by email. The requirements for this license type are provided in the following section(s).


Requirements for Internship

The following requirements are required in order to be approved for your six-month internship and for your full Therapeutic Optometrist licensure, with the exception of the documents needed from your supervising doctor(s) proving you have completed your internship hours.

In addition to submitting the application and fee in DELPROS, you must submit:

  • An official transcript from the college(s) of optometry where you received a degree, sent directly from the college to the Board office. The transcript must show that you have received a degree of “Doctor of Optometry” from a legally incorporated and accredited optometric college or school accredited by the American Optometric Association.
  • A State of Delaware and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background check (CBC). Follow the instructions on the Criminal History Record Check Authorization form to arrange to be fingerprinted. Submit both the form and payment to the State Bureau of Identification (SBI). Do not send these forms to the Board office.
    • Allow at least four weeks for the SBI to send criminal history records to the Board office.
    • A new criminal background check is required even if the person recently had a criminal background check done for some other reason.
  • A copy of front and back of your current cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for adults and children.
  • State/Jurisdiction Licensure Verification sent directly to the Board office from each state or jurisdiction in which you currently hold or have ever held a license.
  • A self-query from the National Practitioner Protection Data Bank (NPDB) website at npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov. NPDB will mail the self-query report to your address. When you receive the report, upload the original report into DELPROS.
  • A notarized Statement of Supervising Doctor form completed and signed by each doctor who will supervise you during your internship and sent directly to the Board office. If more than one doctor will supervise you, each must submit a separate statement.

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