View Full Version : why chose optometry?
10-23-2001, 07:24 PM
for those of you who are current opt/ pre-opt students, what made you interested in the profession? i'm a pre-med junior, but i've been rethinking my goals lately. i have a gut feeling that the md lifestyle is not for me. it's too intense, and will probably get in the way of my "family orientedness." i have most of the science prereqs done, so i've been thinking about other options in the health care field. i'm not sure that optometry is for me, since i have such limited knowledge of the field. i was just curious how other people ended up pursuing it and why.
I'll bite. I got into optometry after I got out of college and worked for awhile. I hated the research job I got right out of school.. the people were great, but the pay was lousy and I wasn't really enjoying the work itself. My eyes have always been bad, so going to the eye doctor was part of my yearly routine like it was for a lot of people. A few years ago I started asking my OD questions about her job. She loved her job! (how many people can say that!) The hours are good, the pay is good, you get to use your science, help people see and feel better, get out of the dreary lab setting (which I hated). I started to talk to more and more OD's (I even worked for three) and they all LOVE their jobs! The more I talked to them, the more i realized how cool this profession was. So, I enrolled in night classes to finish pre-reqs while working full time.. took the OAT and applied. I got in to two schools and now I'm a first year at UHCO and I LOVE what I'm doing. yes, it's very hard, the hours are long (but so is med school) but I can see where I'm headed and I'm finally excited about what I'm doing.
If you want to see wha it's like in OD school check out my OD student journal at:
CPW's OD Student Journal (http://www.livejournal.com/users/ODgirl/)
Hope this helps and definitley feel free to post if you have any more questions about curriculum, jobs, admissions, OD schools.. etc. Good luck with your decision! :)
10-23-2001, 09:07 PM
The following board will help answer some questions.
10-27-2001, 12:20 AM
Just in my first 5 weeks in the OD program at OSU, I've been exposed to many health conditions that can be detected by an OD in just a general eye exam. For example, if the internal carotid artery that runs along the body of the sphenoid bone has an aneurysm in it, it will compress the optic nerve at the optic chiasm & it will manifest itself in a visual field test. Also, the optic nerve can also be compressed by a pituitary gland tumor & will also result in visual field abnormalities. There are many more conditions such as diabetes that can be detected by an OD by a routine exam. I also learned that an OD can actually kill someone during an eye exam (kind of scary actually since I never heard of this until now) if he or she uses dilating drops that act on the sympathetic nervous system on a patient who has a heart condition. Basically, the point I want to get across to you is that an OD is definately a doctor of the visual system & is the primary eye care provider who provides an important role in healthcare. They are much more than refractionists who just learn a few cool things about the eye. Thus, you will be able to reap many of the rewarding aspects that an MD will provide, but you will have much better hours & a chance to have a good family life. I hope this helps some- good luck with what ever you chose.
10-27-2001, 12:20 PM
thank you so much for your replies.
i need to get new contact lenses so this time around i'll have a chat with the optometrist.
now what do optometry schools expect from the applicant in terms of volunteer/clinical experience and shadowing? and what's the oat like-- harder than/easier than/comparable to the mcat?
the more i learn about optometry, the more i feel that it is a good career for me, so i might be bugging y'all with a lot of questions real soon :)
Definitely chat with your OD when you go in.. he/she will usually be happy to answer any questions you have about their profession. If you want to get experience set up a time to volunteer or shadow an OD or two for a few weekends (or after school hours if they're closed weekends) It's also a good idea to get a letter of rec for your application from an OD who can state that you know what you're getting yourself into and what kind of person you are.
The OAT is very different from the MCAT. Review books are almost never stocked in bookstores. I ordered mine off barnes and noble.com. (just type in OAT off the search feature and you'll get books listed) I didn't like the science review in the OAT books so I did buy an MCAT book to review classes like organic that I hadn't had in six years. The topics on the OAT are: reading comprehension, physics, organic chemistry, general chemistry, quantitative analysis (speed math is what it should be called), and biology. You don't get penalized for guessing. The test is given twice a year in October and February.
I didn't take the MCAT, but it's a much more straight forward test from what I can tell than the MCAT. The MCAT is much more subjective. The OAT is pretty much just what you know now how to apply it.
Let me know if you have more questions! Back to studying for block exams.
10-27-2001, 02:21 PM
ops, here you go CPW answered all you Q's :)
hey CPW what is your first name if you don't mind ;)
10-27-2001, 02:32 PM
One more Q CPW , Do you guys take Human anatomy II(head & neck )anatomy I(the rest of body ) I mean is it the same as medical school ?
It varies from school to school. At UHCO I take one semster of Human Anatomy and Histology and the second semster is Ocular Anatomy and Physiology.
Human Anatomy for us includes: Head, Neck, Skull, Mediastinum,Skull (did I mention the skull?) , Cranial Nerves (followed closely by all the info we hit in Neuro), and I'm not sure what comes next.. that's just all we've hit in the first half of the semester.
But, I'd rather not give out my first name. :) Some of the moderators know me...you might see how much you can bribe them to tell you. ;)