There could be many different reasons for this.
- There are some places where there are more ODs than are needed. Now is that everywhere as you would be lead to believe from this site? No. But there are areas of saturation. That coupled with the recession can cause people to feel doom and gloom.
- Some people here consider places like walmart and AB to be terrible and not even possible for consideration. Many of the 90K+ jobs would be in these places so they use their hatred of these places to discount that avg. salary completely. The thing that these people don't realize is not every OD feels that these places are that bad. No it's not like traditional optometry but shockingly enough some people actually don't feel like it's terrible to work in these environments. It's all about perspective. Some people just can't stomach it and others have no problem with it at all. To those that don't have a problem with it, they are still satisfied with their profession either way. As an example, I know of someone who makes about $250K working at a Walmart. She's perfectly happy with her position and would prefer it to a private practice. She doesn't have any of the risk or overhead of a PP. The techs, equipment, and products are all paid for and provided by Walmart. She has to pay rent and obviously the more days she takes off the more money she stands to lose so she doesn't take many days off. She is fully aware though that her situation is not the norm because the Walmart she is in happens to be one that is currently in a high growth area. If you go to one a few towns over, then you might not have the amount of traffic that this walmart drives. This also happens to be in a suburb of what many here would consider to be a saturated area. I know of someone else that works at an AB and they are perfectly fine with it. They see a lot of people but to them it's low stress and pays well. What that means is that although people like to give the impression here that everyone that isn't in a PP is miserable, that is not the case. Different people have different tolerances for work. Also there are many who don't want the risk and devotion required to be successful in a PP. Not everyone is the same. People perceive stress differently. Some would say that PP is more stressful and others would say the opposite.
- Some people here have certain expectations for what optometry should be. Some aren't able to accept change and want optometry to be like it was 20-30 years ago. Other people can flow with change easier and still be successful. It's all relative.
- Some people went into Optometry as a secondary profession. They wanted to go into MD or Dentistry but had some reason why they didn't or couldn't. Many of these people are easy to pick out because they openly talk down about their own profession in an attempt to run people off so that perhaps things will become more to their liking in the place where they feel they are forced to stay. These are the ones that encourage people to go into other professions based purely off of their GPA without giving a thought that perhaps that person just doesn't want to be an MD or doesn't want to work inside of peoples mouths for a living.
- This next one is a bit odd and I'm hesitant to mention it, but it's come up on these forums several times so I guess it is what it is. I've noticed that there are some males here who have a near misogynistic view of women in this profession. They often insinuate (or flat out say) that women are one of the causes of the decline in pay for ODs because they are more flexible on hours and optometry offers a good work/life balance. This small contingent of males seem to have some serious personal ego problems and make one wonder if perhaps they actually feel a bit emasculated by this profession. They're usually the ones that are looking for any excuse they can find to explain why they haven't been able to be as successful as they felt they should be entitled to.
Overall, You have to take what ever you read here with a grain of salt. It represents a part of the profession but it doesn't represent everything. There's some things with truths in them and there's other things that have been distorted with near Tea Party like logic. It's up to you to be smart enough to sift through what you believe to be true and what you believe to be exaggeration.
Originally Posted by itsallgood19
Honestly, what is the deal with all of these people bashing the profession of optometry for its future? I have looked at so many different websites for careers and all of them project that the profession is likely to grow faster than average compared to other professions, and that the median income is around $90,000...but why do we all see people telling us there's no future for this business and that the pay is not good?
This quite frankly doesn't make any sense to me...like educated people dealing with stats and careers are saying its a growing profession while only a few people on here are saying it's completely dying. If optometry was such a joke then why do you need 4 years of optometry school to become an OD - I don't feel that Walmart, Lenscrafters, etc. could replace ODs that can actually diagnose and treat complications/diseases of the eye.
I'm sorry to be ranting, but honestly I think it is so difficult to get a consensus of this profession. I am going to be a junior in undergrad and have been going back and forth trying to decide on what I want to do with my career (in terms of opt, PA, DO, etc) and this lack of certainty of the profession is just frustrating me...