Improving the Identification and Care of Patients With Diabetic Retinopathy – A Clinical Exchange Program for Optometrists (CE Monograph)

Activity Description and Purpose

By 2030, approximately half of all Americans will have diabetes (55 million) or prediabetes (108 million), and approximately half of those will have some form of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Early recognition of DR by optometrists often precedes a diagnosis of diabetes and is critical for the preservation of sight in affected patients. Recognition of risk factors for diabetes can enable early identification of patients at high risk for DR. Staging criteria for DR have been developed to inform a decision on when to refer patients to a retina specialist vs when patients can be safely managed in the optometry practice. Recently completed clinical trials have led to a US Food and Drug Administration–approved treatment specifically for DR, and informed discussion of treatment options among optometrists, patients, and retina specialists enhances the quality of care. The purpose of this activity is to provide optometrists with current strategies needed to recognize patients at risk for diabetes and DR, identify patients at early stages of disease, and confidently make referral for possible treatment; and to discuss evidence-based treatment options with both retina specialists and patients.

Target Audience

This educational activity is intended for optometrists.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize the risk factors for diabetes in patients presenting for routine eye examinations
  • Discuss the importance of early diagnosis of DR in patients with diabetes
  • Identify when to refer patients to a retina specialist for further evaluation
  • Describe current and emerging treatments for DR to patients with diabetes
  • Discuss evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies for DR with retina specialists
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 COPE
Course opens: 
Course expires: 


Steven Ferrucci, OD
Chief, Optometry Section
Sepulveda VA Medical Center
Southern California College of Optometry
Coordinator, Primary Eye Care
Department of Veterans Affairs Residency
Sepulveda, California 

Victor Gonzalez, MD
Medical Director and Founder
Valley Retina Institute, PA
McAllen, Texas
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Houston, Texas


Steven Ferrucci, OD, had a financial agreement or affiliation during the past year with the following commercial interests in the form of Consultant/Advisory Board: Annidis Corporation; Bausch & Lomb Incorporated; CenterVue SpA; MacuLogix, Inc; and Shire; Honoraria from promotional, advertising or non-CME services received directly from commercial interests or their Agents (eg, Speakers Bureaus): Alcon; and Optovue, Incorporated.

Victor Gonzalez, MD, had a financial agreement or affiliation during the past year with the following commercial interests in the form of Consultant/Advisory Board: Alcon; Alimera Sciences; Allergan; Bausch & Lomb Incorporated; Bayer AG; Genentech, Inc; PanOptica; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc; ThromboGenics NV; and Valeant; Contracted Research: Alcon; Alimera Sciences; Allegro Ophthalmics, LLC; Allergan; Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd; Clearside Biomedical, Inc; EyeGate; Genentech, Inc; Iconic Therapeutics, Inc; Merck & Co., Inc; Ohr Pharmaceutical; Ophthotec Corporation; PanOptica; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc; Santen Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd; ThromboGenics NV; and Valeant; Ownership Interest (Stock options, or other holdings, excluding diversified mutual funds): Alimera Sciences; and PanOptica.

Editorial Support Disclosures

The planners and staff of MedEdicus LLC have no relevant commercial relationships to disclose.

Disclosure Attestation

The contributing physicians listed above have attested to the following:

  1. that the relationships/affiliations noted will not bias or otherwise influence their involvement in this activity;
  2. that practice recommendations given relevant to the companies with whom they have relationships/affiliations will be supported by the best available evidence or, absent evidence, will be consistent with generally accepted medical practice; and
  3. that all reasonable clinical alternatives will be discussed when making practice recommendations.

Accreditation Statement

COPE approved for 1.0 CE credit for optometrists.
COPE Course ID: 58710-PS
COPE Course Category: Treatment & Management of Ocular Disease: Posterior Segment (PS)


Product Usage in Accordance With Labeling

Please refer to the official prescribing information for each drug and/or device discussed in this activity for approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

Grantor Statement

This continuing education activity is supported through unrestricted educational grants from Genentech, Inc.

Sponsored by


The views and opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of MedEdicus LLC; Genentech, Inc; or Review of Optometry

This CE activity is copyrighted to MedEdicus LLC ©2018. All rights reserved. 152

Available Credit

  • 1.00 COPE
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Learning Method and Medium

This educational activity consists of a supplement and ten (10) study questions. The participant should, in order, read the learning objectives contained at the beginning of this supplement, read the supplement, answer all questions in the post test, and complete the Activity Evaluation/Credit Request form. To receive credit for this activity, please follow the instructions provided on the post test and Activity Evaluation/Credit Request form. This educational activity should take a maximum of 1.0 hour to complete.