View Full Version : refracting
11-13-2001, 09:54 AM
i have been trying to learn more about optometry because i am/was pre-med but i don't want to go to med school, so i'm looking at other options... anyway, i've been reading the message boards here and at future optometrist and one term i hear over and over again is refracting. what i've learned of it is that a) it's really boring, and b) it's something you do all day long at retail chain stores. but, what is it really? i know this is a basic question, but then again, my knowledge of optometry is less than basic.
thanks in advance for enlightening me! :)
You go to the eye doctor, and s/he puts that scary black thing in front of your face and says over and over again "is it better like this or better like this" as you look at some letters on a screen or card. This is refracting.
"Refracting" is simply the term for putting various lenses in front of the eye to see which ones make the pt. see correctly. ODs spend a lot of time "refracting" or "bending" the light that enters the eye to make it focus on the retina. This is one of the ways they derive your eyeglass Rx.
Many do find it boring, but as a current opt. student, I dont think it will be boring at all for me. If you take the time as an OD to understand what is actually happening in the eye when you are "refracting" a pt. it is TRULY fascinating!! The eye is pretty incredible I must say. Not all ODs take the time to think about it, though, Id imagine.
Also in my experience, you get some crazy people getting their eyes checked which always livens things up. And there are plenty of other tests that must be performed in a "routine" eye exam. You do get to look in the back of the eye, which is very cool. The eye is the only place on the exterior body that gives you a glimpse of the condition of arteries and veins, so it's pretty fascinating, for me anyways. And the slit lamp is cool also, very cool. Lots of good gadgets in opt.!!
Basically Id say that if you are the type of person that NEEDS and ENJOYS something different every day then opt. may not be for you? But if you dont mind doing the same thing everyday, or if, like me, you would actually LIKE doing the same thing every day *shudder!*, then certainly opt is a GREAT field!!
And I might add that I have talked to many MDs and am told that refractive surgery, cataract surgery, general surgery, etc can get very boring as well. Thats right, even surgery gets boring! My point is that no matter what you do, if you lose sight of why it interested you in the first place youll get extremely bored! ;) :D
11-13-2001, 06:36 PM
[quote]Originally posted by mpp:
<strong>You go to the eye doctor, and s/he puts that scary black thing in front of your face and says over and over again "is it better like this or better like this" as you look at some letters on a screen or card. This is refracting.</strong><hr></blockquote>
ahhh yes... i've gone through that countless times in my life.
abs1, thanks for your lengthy reply.
routine is fine for me, as long as i can pursue other interests, such as music. (what i didn't like about medicine is the hectic and time consuming lifestyle.) from what i understand about optometry, it's a fairly relaxed lifestyle that will afford me enough free time to live a [relatively] normal life... right???
i'm going to talk to my optometrist about the job next time i go. he works in retail outfit, but he's the only OD there, so hopefully he'll give me a somewhat accurate view of the field... no pun intended!
11-14-2001, 07:57 PM
I said this many times but incase you haven't read any of my post, my father is and OD. As far as only chain docs only doing refractions all day...all OD's do it many times a day. But in between every refraction you do many other things.
I've asked my dad on more than one occation if he ever gets bored doing the OD stuff. He sayed that he really doesn't. You get to talk to lots of different people every day. Every eye is different so you see different things all day. Plus, at least once a day someone comes in with something really weird.
So to sum it up, yes you will refract alot, but there is plenty of varitey to keep your interest, heck, my dad is going on his 30th year of practice and still LOVES it.
That's great to hear. That's what I've heard from all the doctors I work for to. They say that yes, there is some monotony.. but that every couple of days you see something really cool that makes up for it. Or, you get to meet someone really special.
11-15-2001, 08:58 AM
is your dad a private OD or does he work for a chain?
11-15-2001, 02:54 PM
My dad is a private OD. In all honesty, and I hope I don't offend anyone, most chain OD's don't practice in the entire scope of OD abilities and I have little respect for them. I know that some chain docs are good, but I have seen way to many records from the chain stores that had much to desire. We have had to correct patients Rx's many many times. Also, the vast mafority of our patients that go to a chain once come back to us and say, "There is NO comparison between the level of care and person contact." That is the main difference between them, private docs can be more complete and since they own the place, they take more pride in their job.
With that said, I truly urge all of those future OD's to try with all their power to avoid chain practice. It is hard to resist it when they wave that $70,000+ salary at you but a private OD can make much more than that after a few years. The chain eye shops are the main reason why many MD's have such little resepect for OD's.
I hope I haven't offended anyone. If I have, I'm sorry.
12-04-2001, 06:03 PM
You are my hero. I have been saying the same things over "at that other site" for a while now.