Optometry belongs in the commercial sector. We can learn all about disease, vision therapy, lasik etc etc. But at the end of the day optometry has a very very limited scope. Almost every patient an OD sees just wants to get their prescription and shop around for glasses or contacts to find the cheapest deal possible. And can you honestly blame them?
As soon as ODs try to do anything beside refraction they are slapped on the wrist by the medical community. This profession was build on doing refractions and selling glasses. The selling part is gone and what left is only refractions. What an OD does 90% of the time is perfect fit for retail setting. Patient (I mean customer) gets a free 5 min exam with cheap glasses so they are happy, Walmart is happy as long as exam lasts 4-5 min and nobody cares about the OD.
This profession was a gold mine in the 80s and early 90s, the OD that I shadowed practiced during these times and she cleaned up well, very well. Likelihood of me repeating that is a big fat zero. If you want to know Optometry's future just look at Pharmacy, oversupply and commercial.