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Optometry in Canada

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by Opt2011, 06.24.12.

  1. Opt2011

    Opt2011

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    Hi All,

    Another question for you. What is the field of optometry like in Canada. I hear about the decline here in the US, but what about in Canada? I have a lot of Canadian classmates and I never thought to ask them. I'm not opposed to moving and taking Canadian boards! lol
     
  2. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    I know the scope of practice there is more limited and they don't hold their ground against opticians as well as US optometrists do (opticians can refract in BC). But I can tell you their governmental system is better. Also their currency along with their economy will keep improving while America will decline in the following decades. That's my opinion.
     
  3. q1we3

    q1we3

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    I will be heading back to Canada. At one point I wanted to settle in US since it does have the biggest scope compared to any other country in the world. But in last few years they have opened way too many schools and flooded the market. Whereas in Canada there is only one English speaking optometry school which is quite competitive to get into and don't see any new schools opening up in the foreseeable future.

    Obviously there will be Canadians graduates from US schools which will add to the supply but I see that number declining as US optometry school tuition keep going up. Also, Canadian govt. don't hand out loans like the US, in BC maximum loan you can get is 15k/year even if you are paying out of state tuition at a US school. Rest must come through bank loans and they require rich co-signers some banks like TD Canada trust won't give you anything if you are going to a US optometry school.

    In regards to the scope it is getting better, Ontario ODs can now treat glaucoma so they actually have a better scope than some of the states. Only major problem I see that everyone wants to practice in Ontario (Toronto) and British Columbia (Vancouver) due to the weather, economy and popularity so major cities there are saturated. Other provinces could actually use few ODs but many fear their brutal winters. But overall it will be much easier to start a practice in Canada than US. And a major benefit of practicing in Canada is that billing to much easier, children and seniors are covered by govt. rest pay out of pocket very few have private insurances.
     
  4. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    ODs in America can treat glaucoma in 49 out of the 50 states. In what ways is Canada's scope of practice better than America other than as compared to Massachusetts? Can Canadian ODs prescribe oral medications? Narcotics? Perform minor surgical procedures? I'm curious actually because I had a Canadian student say that in one province ODs can now prescribe orals. I'm not sure if I believe her.
     
  5. q1we3

    q1we3

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    I said " US since it does have the biggest scope compared to any other country in the world" Did you not read that part? US has the biggest scope of optometry end of story.
    Canada is not there yet.

    I was making a point that it is getting better in Canada with Ontario example. I thought there were more than 1 state were they couldn't treat glaucoma but I am glad was wrong hopefully massachusetts will catch up soon.

    Here is article that will answer you orals question.

    "Ontario is one of the last provinces to allow optometrists to prescribe medications. However, optometrists here are the only ones so far with the authority to prescribe oral drugs as well as topical ones".

    Again, I don't want to start a debate about the scope since it is quite obvious US has better scope but optometry in Canada does have its own advantages.
     
  6. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    No need to be so defensive. I asked with genuine curiosity. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

    Its funny how they don't refer to optometrists as doctors in that article. Shows that public perception is worse there as well for ODs. O well, hopefully things will change.
     
  7. q1we3

    q1we3

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    When media reports news about dentists they call them dentists instead doctors of dental medicine but that doesn't mean they are not doctors. Plus, optometrist is what we are.

    Commercial optometry severely damaged the perception of what an Optometrist really is. Public perception all depends on how they see ODs practice. When they see ODs working in Costco and Walmart obviously they will consider them not equal to other doctors. General public associates doctors working in private clinics and hospitals but never Walmart. We can't blame the public or the media for our perception but the leadership of this profession. Hopefully that will change. Heard somewhere that law schools are cutting back on number of seats maybe we will be next.
     
  8. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    Sucks that we got NECO having students see a live broadcast of their professor in the auditorium because there are not enough seats in the lecture hall. Not enough seats or too many students? Jason K is right. The lawyers are taking actions to stop oversupply while Dr. Carlson just daddles about the AOS fight and does nothing to stem the 34% increase in OD graduates in the past 10 years.
     
  9. itek2OD

    itek2OD

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  10. itek2OD

    itek2OD

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    +1
     
  11. swtster

    swtster ICO, Class of 2016

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    From what I understand, optometry in Canada is still a growing field. The scope of practice is not as developed as in the US but it's slowly getting better. Ontario has the larger scope of practice atm. Other provinces like Alberta are trying to follow suit, pushing to allow optometrists to prescribe medications.

    Optometry is regulated in all of the provinces and territories, except for Nunavut. Comprehensive exams are not covered for anyone in Saskatchewan and the Maritime provinces, while only those between 19-64 years of age need to pay out of pocket in Ontario and Quebec. The rest of the country does things a little differently but all diabetics and those with medical reasons are covered.

    There is (supposedly) an oversupply of optometrists in Quebec, and optometrists are having a harder time in British Columbia because of the legislation that passed, allowing opticians to do "refractions".

    Optometrists looking to serve are only contracted by the Canadian Forces as opposed to being in uniform, like those in the US.

    Hospital based optometry is not as prevelant either, with only four or five optometrists in the country who actually work in a hospital setting on a regular basis, but they do so in a research capacity and not so much patient care.

    Regardless, from what I've seen and learned, optometry in Canada is doing relatively well, with lots of room to grow.
     
  12. Jibslider

    Jibslider

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    Actually, Ontario historically has one of the most limited scope laws in Canada. OD's in Ontario just recently got approval for topicals. Most of the other provinces, especially Alberta and Saskatchewan have had the ability to Rx topicals for quite a while now, BUT OD's in those provinces can not use orals or treat glaucoma.

    In Saskatchewan, the provincial health care will cover eye exams for those under 18 years of age. Also, commercial locations are less prevalent in Saskatchewan than in the US. In my experience, OD's in Saskatchewan have a great income level.
     
  13. q1we3

    q1we3

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    Are you practicing in Saskatchewan ? Any guess on when they might be able to treat glaucoma or get orals.
     
  14. swtster

    swtster ICO, Class of 2016

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    Thanks for the clarification. My information was apparently outdated.
     

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