RANCHO CORDOVA, Cailf.—VSP Vision and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) announced the recipients of this year’s Practice Excellence Scholarship, which has been recognizing the very best in what optometry has to offer in patient care and practice management for nearly 40 years. The long-standing Practice Excellence Scholarship is awarded to optometry students who demonstrate excellence in both clinical and academic performance, as well as a commitment to enter the independent practice of optometry. Funded by VSP Vision and administered through the AAOF, $188,000 was awarded to 49 top-performing, fourth-year optometry students in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.

“For almost 40 years, VSP Vision has been proud to support top-performing students of optometry as they prepare to begin their careers in helping patients see,” said VSP Vision board chair Mary Anne Murphy, OD. “The Practice Excellence Scholarship is yet another way VSP Vision is helping create opportunities for the next generation of optometrists to thrive. On behalf of VSP, we congratulate all of this year’s recipients on this hard-earned and well-deserved award.”

In 2023 alone, VSP Vision has funded scholarships for 71 optometry students, totaling $300,000. Over the past 10 years, VSP Vision has provided nearly $4 million in scholarship support to optometry students.

“We are pleased to partner with VSP Vision on such an important and long-standing scholarship that supports the optometrists of tomorrow,” said Rachel A. “Stacey” Coulter, OD, AAOF, president of the American Academy of Optometry Foundation board and associate dean of clinical affairs at NSU Florida. “The clinical and academic excellence demonstrated by each recipient is a testament to the quality care and commitment that these future optometrists will bring to their patients, as well as the optometric profession.”

As part of its commitment to the future generation of the optometric industry, VSP also recently launched a Student Loan Repayment Program for optometry students, recent graduates and practicing optometrists burdened with student debt. To learn more, click here.

Recipients of the 2023 Practice Excellence scholarship award can be found here.