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optometry is great!!! read this!

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by luckyfeet, 05.27.12.


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  1. luckyfeet

    luckyfeet

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    Hi everyone:

    I am so tired of people on SDN bashing optometry and saying alllll sorts of things. I am shadowing a optometrist at a location near costco who is doing great, 100k+ salary a year, seeing about 10-11 patients a day. He referred me to a private practitioner who graduated opt school in 2002. He worked for lenscrafters from 2002-2006 and opened his own practice in 2006. IT IS DOING GREAT, THE BUILDING IS BRAND NEW AND HE HAS 5-6 STAFF and sees around 22 patientsa day!!! He said if you run it the right way you will make 160k+, please everyone dont listen to people on here and be discouraged. This private practice is on the same road as lenscrafters, pearl vision, and a walmart center, and he is still doing great. No one change your dreams just because of people on this website who have nothing better to do!
  2. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Are you on something? There are so many things wrong with this post, I don't even know where to begin. When you form your opinion of optometry and then force that view into your own reality, you're setting yourself up for regret. What matters is where YOU, as a new grad, will end up, not where some guy who graduated 10 years ago is. He has nothing to do with your prospects - he graduated 15 years before many preops on this site will finish school. If you choose to ignore what many ODs are saying, and instead focus on what you want to be true, just be prepared to accept the consequences.
  3. luckyfeet

    luckyfeet

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    I know you would be the first one to post!


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN Mobile app
  4. jcpwn2004

    jcpwn2004

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    Lol, lets be realistic here, the days of setting up a private practice a few years after graduating and making 150k are long gone.

    If you actually talk to people graduating right now, they are accepting multiple part time gigs that have no benefits and are usually making around 75-90k out of school. Maybe after 10 years in the field and a good amount of your debt paid off you can start a practice and make some decent money.
  5. luckyfeet

    luckyfeet

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    Honestly it depends on your expectations. I'll be happy making $100,000. If your not happy w that, don't do optometry period.


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  6. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    '
  7. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Don't expect to make 100K. That's about average right now. It will be far less than that in the future. Like I've said many times, you guys just don't know what you're getting yourselves into.
  8. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    And I know a guy that started a locksmithing business 20 years ago. He employees 7 people and makes $1.4 million per year.

    Then I talked to another locksmith that used to work for him and now went out on his own. In his first year, he made $300,000 net.

    How do I know all of this? Well they told me. And I saw them open up 2 car doorlocks and a house lock.

    So it has to be all true, right.

    Locksmithing = H.S. diploma + apprenticeship +some cool tools.

    See how silly this all sounds.
    Ahhhh.....to be young and innocent again. The memories :zip:
  9. SupGem

    SupGem

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    With the population aging and the baby boomers retiring (aka obviously less people to spend money out there), the income level can continue to drop further. I guess this affects everyone from all walks of lives.
  10. Jason K

    Jason K

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    The income drop for ODs has little to do with anything other than problems within the profession. It is not immune to the effects of the recession, but overall, the income drop is a result of the fact that there are too many ODs in practice. An excess of ODs means lower salaries, decreased reimbursements, lowered quality of work available, fewer private offices (in part, due to the fact that so few students are able to start/buy offices to replace retiring ODs), and a lowered public impression of our services.

    Optometry is going down hill. It's not a result of the aging population or simply along for the ride with the rest of the economy. It's its own worst enemy. Optometry will ultimately be responsible for its own demise. Unfortunately, thousands of hopeful, blissfully unaware future ODs will pay the price for the mistakes of those who went before them. The ones who did the damage, will retire with plenty of money. You guys won't.
  11. thecgrblue

    thecgrblue Enjoyin' the journey

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    After 8 years post-high school and a LARGE financial investment I want to make much more than $100k.

    Greedy? No. I want to be compensated for my time, effort, and skill set.
  12. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    Have fun making 40-50k kissing people's asses for 4-6 years residency after graduating. I will be perfectly content with making 70-80k right after graduation.
  13. thecgrblue

    thecgrblue Enjoyin' the journey

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    Dr. Jekyll response: I had that same thought ~2 years ago. It will be hard getting paid so poorly for the hours you put in, especially with a spouse and children, but I knew that going into it. Shoot, it will be more money than I was making during med school. I'm lucky to get paid anything at that point since I'm still barely contributing. I'm just glad some gracious institution will be putting their trust and resources into helping me become an effective physician w/in my specialty.

    Mr Hyde response (b/c you asked for it): As a military resident I will be starting at $70k during PGY-1 and will eventually approach $90k-100k by end of my 3-7 year "ass kissing". By the time I entire repayment I will undoubtedly have a salary which will be the lowest of my entire career. Laughably, it will be higher, if not right on par with what you (not all ODs, just you) will be making at the apex of your career. I'd be perfectly content making $70k after graduating from undergrad debt free, but after earning the title of "Dr." and being in your mid to late 20's...geez...have some damn pride in yourself and what you're worth.

    Spare me the snarky comments and just be a good whatever you choose to be.

    To everyone else: Whatever hat you put on make sure you do it as well as you can. Know what you're worth and put yourself in a position to be compensated fairly. The world needs good ODs, just don't bury yourself financially before you even graduate.
  14. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    Ya I could go into the military too after I graduate and be making 100k and getting my loans repaid, but I hate the military and want no part of it. At least my loans won't be raking up interest for 4-6 years of residency. Don't think you're so high because you're in medicine, your profession is declining as well, but you're all too deluded to realize it. At least the Optometry profession knows what's up with the decline of ALL medical professions in our country.
  15. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    You hate the military! Damn, I hope you were joking.

    As an aside from that ignorant statement, that $75,000 you will be making working 6 days/week at Walmart is going to end up being about $32,000 after all is said and done. You will have the same take home income (or worse) as a teacher, cop or local factory worker with far fewer benefits (no retirement, no medical insurance, no paid holidays, etc...).

    You really should shoot a little higher.

    And also you should get on your knees and thank GOD every single night there are military men and women, WHO VOLUNTEER SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO, standing point in places around the world you have no clue about. Protecting you and me (I used to be one of them) from people that would take over this country in a second if given the chance. They are the reason we and much of the world is free. THE ONLY reason. Don't forget that in your sugar coated little Barbie doll world.
  16. Blondiechick919

    Blondiechick919

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    :clap: Thank you for saying this (and for your service, especially) Especially right after memorial day, it's insanely ignorant for ANYONE to say "I hate the military", and in my circles you would get a) slapped and b) instantly shunned for saying the above statement.

    I come from a long line of Navy vets and have done a little research into the HPSP program but I'm still not sure it's for me yet. I'm going to wait until I get to school to get more information on it before I make a huge commitment like that, but I would be HONORED to wear blue for America.
  17. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Not all residencies last that long. Aside from that, I'm sure he'll have the last laugh. The extra 100K you might make while he's in residency will be more than compensated for in his first year as a specialist - while your 70-80K will slowly decline in the future. Also, if you think you can avoid kissing ass as an OD, you're out of luck. Pretty much all of us are having to kiss some budunkadunks now days. You don't see too many MD/DO/DMD specialists driving around in Carollas - not so for ODs.
  18. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    Okay that was worded badly, I apologise to anyone I offended, I don't hate the troops serving our country...but I would never become involved based on my personal beliefs. My point was that MDs need to stop bashing on ODs and realize their field is declining as well.
  19. thecgrblue

    thecgrblue Enjoyin' the journey

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    There was zero OD bashing. I respect ODs and have a decent grasp on the role they can play in healthcare. What I don't respect is the system. Thus my comments advising against burying yourself in debt.

    In case you didn't read my entire previous post...

    Back to the main topic. I find it interesting that all of these new schools have identical levels of tuition to those that are already established. They see YOU as a marketplace...they want to change AS MUCH as they can without losing you to a more competitively priced institution. For the most part I don't believe they give a darn about the type of professional you become. Just as long as they get $ out of it.

    I won't view medicine as declining until I'm set up next to the H&R Block kiosk down the aisle from the bodice-rippers, but Iam open to other evidences that would steer me away from medicine as they did from optometry.
  20. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    You should read this link:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/tzcpa/iama_recent_us_medical_school_graduate_who_has/

    I think after putting in 8 years instead of 4 to be disappointed is much worst. Honestly, PA and NP jobs are where it's at right now. I don't think MDs are much better off than ODs...
  21. thecgrblue

    thecgrblue Enjoyin' the journey

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    Then why aren't you going to PA school?

    Either way, best wishes on your career. I sincerely hope you find a positive situation where you are compensated well and enjoy your work.

    In the end if we were all in it for the $ we wouldn't be here. If I could stand it I would've taken over the family accounting firm and have been pretty stinkin' loaded. I tried...so hard...so so hard to enjoy accounting, but alas I failed.

    The end.
  22. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    I'd only be interested in Stanford's program. And they only want people that have actually worked in the medical field.

    Clinical Prerequisite

    A minimum of 3,000 hours of direct patient care experience must be completed by the application deadline. Hours accrued as a student in a training program or idle time cannot be used towards this total. This requirement can be met with 18 months of full-time work experience or equivalent part-time hours. This requirement is meant to help the applicant achieve a knowledge base and skill set needed for the successful completion of our program; not all health care positions can or will provide the appropriate experience. Both paid and volunteer hours are acceptable.
    Examples of Acceptable Medical Backgrounds

    Clinical experiences involving direct patient care are evaluated on an individual basis. Students have entered training from a variety of clinical backgrounds, including, but not limited to:

    • Medical Assistant (Back Office)
    • Military Medic or Corpsman
    • Nurse (LVN or RN)
    • Paramedic / EMT
    • Radiology Technician
    • Physical Therapist
    • Respiratory Therapist
    Other clinical experiences involving direct patient care are evaluated on an individual basis.
    Due to the accelerated nature of the program, competitive applicants generally have many years of experience working in clinical settings which involve various levels of patient responsibility and involve a high level of critical thinking. Additionally, some or all of their clinical experience has been in the US where they have interacted with a PA or NP and gained insight to the US medical system.

    **Clinical experiences which are not acceptable would consist mainly of, but not limited to the following duties: administrative, massage therapy, home care and "shadowing a doctor". Although valuable to the practice of medicine, clinical experiences which lack direct patient care responsibilities are not competitive and do not prepare students for successful completion of our accelerated program.
  23. calvnandhobbs68

    calvnandhobbs68 I KNOW NOTHING Bronze Donor

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  24. Jrab38

    Jrab38

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    If you need instant gratification, I agree with the pessimism flooding this forum because Optometry is not for you. If you are passionate about eye care and are willing to work hard to make a good living however, you should disregard all the negative comments because you will be just fine. No, you should not expect to make 100k out of school anymore, but 75k working retail (worst case scenario) if you don't already have a family, is a very comfortable living. Save up and network and as the baby boomer generation, which dominates private practice at this point, retires, much better opportunity will come to serve the community will arise. Loans are the most legitimate claim. Recent changes negating subsidized loans to grad students means that you better be sure this is what you want to do and you can do it well before you are on the hook for a quarter million dollars at 6% interest, but that goes for any profession now. Health care (insurance) reform is a gloomy future for all practitioners, but Optometry has already taken its big hit and therefore is not the same cushy job it once was in many ways, but it a respectable, rewarding and relationship building career choice. Anyone who bashes it, in my opinion, is either bitter because they worked in the field during the time insurance companies began dictating their income or they are just plain lazy.
  25. Jason K

    Jason K

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    There is some truth to what you've stated here, but you're missing one very important point. No one on this forum, except for one out-spoken supposed "MD/PhD" student (who almost certainly was not studying medicine or anything else, based on the fact that he could not spell even basic medical terms correctly), has been bashing optometry. That's the problem with many of you guys. You come on here and read negativity and instantly interpret it as "optometry bashing." It is not. I can only speak for myself, but I do not hate optometry. I hate what has been allowed to happen to it. Am I lazy? Hardly. Am I bitter? Yeah, I am. I wasted many years of study, a massive sum of money, and I invested it all into a career that's going down the tubes. It's not pleasant for you guys to read it - I get that, but I'm not here for OD students. It's too late for you guys. You're already on the boat. But there are hundreds of optometric hopefuls on here who have the chance to save themselves from making a huge, irreversible mistake.

    Is optometry a mistake for absolutely everyone hoping to go into it right now? No - I've never claimed it was. What I have claimed, and always will claim, is that for the vast majority of hopefuls, optometry is nothing like what they imagine it to be. They see it as it once was. They see it as it is in many high-momentum private offices that exist today, started at a much different time in history. Those are the people I'd like to get through to. The ones who are choosing optometry for the same reasons that I chose it - reasons that don't exist anymore.

    You're absolutely right. If you're single, have no responsibilities, and are careful with how much is borrowed, you can do ok with 75K at a Lenscrafters or WM or whatever you want. Here's the problem - there's a TON of ODs leaving school right now who would give their refracting arm for any FT job, LC, Pearle, or anything else. That wasn't the case 10 years ago. It won't be long before even the garbage jobs in optometry are highly sought after. That's what I'm warning against. The impending disaster that is looming because of the massive overproduction of ODs is not going to miss many of tomorrow's ODs.

    With regard to aging baby-boomer ODs providing opportunity for the future generation? Not likely to happen. The cost of running an OD office has been increasing along with inflation while the reimbursements for doing the work have declined, and declined, and declined. They're not done yet. They're going to keep declining. At some point, the value of the average OD office will be far less than its price. Combine that with the enormous debt load carried by most exiting OD grads and you have a situation in which few grads can afford, or are willing to risk the prospects of purchasing an office. That's reality. We can't change the fact that optometry is not full of Donald Trumps. Those personality types don't go into optometry very often. They go into business. We're stuck with what we have, and what we have is a population of emerging ODs that will see the private side of the profession die off over the next couple of decades, while the commercial and retail sides swallow it up completely.

    Am I wrong? I really hope so, but I don't see how it could possibly end any other way. The numbers are right there if you look at them.
  26. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    MDs are better off than ODs in almost every way except length of training. The only real advantage I see to an OD is that we have a more direct and specialized educational path to doing what ODs do. MDs get more respect, get paid more and get to do more. So its a matter of dismantling your ego and accepting that you may be happy as an OD. If you cannot lose your ego then you will not be happy as an OD. Not saying for you specifically but with people in the field in general. Or if you have an ego you can help make ODs on par with MDs or even superior to them as our training costs less and is becoming more and more equivalent to the MD counter-parts.

    The system sucks for everybody in some way. Healthcare is this huge inefficient hole that antagonizes doctors of all types. My friend's brother is an ER physician and he loves practicing medicine but he absolutely hates the system. Its kind of a love/hate relationship that you have to learn how to deal with otherwise you may leave your profession out of depression. That is why fields like dermatology and plastic surgery are so dam competitive because they get straight cash from their patients a lot of the time and they do not usually have to deal with insurance company headaches, and stupid regulations. Its somewhat scary how the best and the brightest doctors train themselves to pop pimples or give women breast implants rather than saving lives because the system is so screwed up. (I know they do more than this like diagnose melanoma and repair deformed body parts)

    I am going into it as I suspect many other people are is because I love science and I love learning about the human eye. I basically want to help people see and the administrative/political headaches are just part of the job that we have to learn how to deal with or help overcome. Like the dentists that sued their dental insurance companies and got them to reimburse more and to have less restrictions on dentists.
    Last edited: 06.02.12
  27. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    And you know this how? You read a book? You talked to a few ODs? You crosss your fingers and want it to be true?

    What the hell does "being passionate about eye care" and "willing to work hard" have to do with anything? This sounds good and used to be true. Used to be true about selling typewriters and encylopedias too.

    I can be passionate about collecting trash in my neighborhood and work at it 24/7......................but it still won't make me successful or able to pay back $200,000 in loans..

    The PROOF that optometry has hit the all-time low is the opening of another (the 5th-6th, I lost count) new OD school in the rural mountains of VA. the Appliachian School of Optometry that is opening soon in Grundy, VA. The freaking population of Grundy, VA in the middle VA rural mountains is 1,105! (That's One Thousand, one hundred and 5 people!).

    The entire county, Buchanan County has a population was 24,098. As of 2009, it was the poorest county in the state of Virginia and one of the 100 poorest counties in the United States, when ranked by median household income.

    They expect to have 48 students at first. Here's an article about Dr. Looney ( Real name!!). Sounds like he just decided to make his two little rural optometry practices into an OD school!! Absolutely crazy!!

    http://www.timesnews.net/article/9045071/looney-named-president-of-appalachian-college-of-optometry

    I'm betting I could handle that entire county population with my one solo optometry practice and still take Fridays off!!

    I'm telling you. All hell has broken loose in Optometry. THERE ARE NO PATIENTS THERE FOR A NEW OD SCHOOL. THE STUDENTS WILL BE LUCKY TO SEE 10 PATIENTS in the entire 4 years BEFORE THEY GRADUATE. 0.0001% WILL STAY IN THE AREA TO OPEN AN OD PRACTICE BECAUSE, WAIT FOR IT...................there are NO patients there. That's why there are not already ODs there. Every one of them will move back to where they are from or to a nicer place.

    Which makes more sense? Spend MILLIONS to open a school there OR have the gov't subsidize one or two ODs $100,000 to move to that rural area to see patients?

    All these schools are doing now is taking the gov't money via funneling it through you. They don't care about you. You (basically any OD graduating from here on out) are screwed. Your going into a nursing assistant level job now. You are all going to envy your neighbor mechanics and teachers and plumbers for their financial freedom and benefits while you are stuck in a small closet without windows refracting idiots for 10 hours per day.

    An experiment to see if future Optometry is really for you:

    - Find an 8 x 8 dark room with no windows and stand in their for 8 hours each day this weekend saying to yourself, "which is better, one or two"; three or four; five or six". Do that for 8 minutes each simulating a patient. Do it over and over and over.

    - Once per hour say, "You have dry eyes. Use these tear drops".

    - Do that all day. Give yourself one bathroom break and a 30 minute lunch.

    -- This will give you an idea if this is what you want to do for the next 40 years of your life. This is the future of optometry no matter how bad you don't want it to be true.
    Last edited: 06.02.12
  28. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    Might as well have made it 23 miles northwest of Grundy, VA and have the new Kentucky optometry laws to take advantage of.
  29. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    Doesn't matter. I'm in a very progressive OD state. I can do everything short of lasers. The few Augmention Rxs I write for Pre-septal cellulitis and the few kenolog chalazion injections I do per month do little more than pay the phone bill ($450 per month in private practice for just 4 phone lines, just in case anyone is wondering).

    Routine stuff pays the bills. Never forget that. No matter where you go (even in the rural moutains of Grundy :rolleyes:, there's not going to be an epidemic of glaucoma or conjunctivitis or styes to treat. Maybe a few more than working in the big city, but your still going to be "one or two'ing" 95% of your time. Bet on it!

    Most of those mountain people don't even bath. They could care less about getting eye exams or treating a little red eye that will heal on it's on in week anyway.

    I'l like to tell everyone the future is bright for optometry. But I'd be lying. I've lived the good, the okay and now see us coming into the bad. You guy's timing is all wrong. Should have been born 20-30 years earlier.
    Last edited: 06.02.12
  30. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    $450 for 4 lines? Have you looked into using VOIP (voice over IP)? Such as Skype or other systems? http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/business Oh ya and you can save on medical/vision insurance billing by not having a worker present at your office. They can be off-site and you can send everything to them digitally.
  31. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Shnurek, you should hire yourself out as an optometric practice management consultant.

    You have novel ideas that no one has ever thought of before.
  32. q1we3

    q1we3

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    Every optometry student know this since we all shadowed ODs before applying. All jobs get boring and mundane over time. I am happy doing what you described 8 hrs a day for rest of my life.
  33. Chip Chipperson

    Chip Chipperson

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    [​IMG]

    But... we only get one life (and there's very likely no afterlife).
  34. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    23 actually. And sorry I don't have a whole portfolio of statistics to back up my claim, but it seems MDs are just as miserable as ODs (at least the ones I've talked to), but they're just not as whiny about it on internet forums (because they actually have real **** to do). Plus it is a BIG DEAL that they're putting in EIGHT years of their life after undergrad, and they don't even know if they'll get the specialty they want, or even be able to specialize. I personally could never do 4-6 years of residency at low wages being treated horribly. I've heard the show "Scrubs" mirrors this well. At least it's not 100% determined I will be a scrub after I graduate, there's always hope I might stumble upon some opportunity in a Vision company or private practice that's hiring. /rant
  35. Jason K

    Jason K

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    MDs complain just like us, they just do it from inside their much larger, much newer, much nicer homes, and far more expensive cars. They also complain from within a profession with far more long-term diversity and stability. Is medicine like it was 20 years ago? Nope - just like optometry, it's taking some hits, but it's like comparing a military issue Hummer to a old Datsun station wagon. There's no question as to which one will still be running in another 50 years. You guys just don't see that optometry is on its way out. It doesn't have the built-in strength to withstand the forces acting against it. No one will pay the price but the people entering the profession now. The people that caused the damage, that let things happen, will be long gone by the time you realize what mess they left you with.

    If what you're after is shorter training, as it seems to be since you compare 4 years for an OD to 7 years for an MD/residency, then by your reasoning, you should be considering PA or nursing. Those professions can get you the same pay as an OD, with far less training and responsibility. Just something to consider. For that matter, if you're not stuck on a health profession, you can get a BS in accounting, require no grad school, and start out making close to what an OD starts at.

    Also, medical residencies are not all 4-6 years so I'm not sure where you're getting that figure from. And finally, with an OD, you most definitely WILL be a "scrub" after you graduate, and long beyond that date. You'll have a degree that is held by tens of thousands of others, trying to find a position in the shrinking pile of opportunity. I feel for you guys that don't see reality.
    Last edited: 06.03.12
  36. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    Say what? That's a big FAIL there good buddy. Unless you have a Delorean with a flux capacitor and spend part of your time as a working OD in addition to your life an an OD student, I'm not sure how you can make that statement.

    I'm assuming you meant to write "I 'will' be happy doing what you described 8 hours a day for the rest of my life". If that's the case, I truely feel sorry for you. I'd recommend some self-esteem books to perhaps show you that there are better professions than being a refracting jockey and referral bunny for the rest of your life.

    But then again, I know a 46 year old guy that seems very happy crawling under houses as a heat/air tech. He takes his $10/hr, lives at home with his mom and drinks his life away. But he's happy. At least he says so. I have no reason to doubt him. No business of mine.
  37. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    Some MDs are unhappy. Mostly primary care types (Family docs, peds, etc,..). They are irritated more than unhappy. Insurance kicks them in the ass just like us (except they don't have to juggle both medical and vision). Paperwork kicks them in the butt. PATIENT DEMAND is a problem for them. They usually have TOO MANY!! -----COMPLETELY OPPOSITE OF US ODs.

    No only do we have to deal with lower insurance payments, we ALSO have too few patients. So while MDs can make it up in volume (if they want to work their ass off), ODs can do nothing, except travel from office to office to try to patch together enough patients to make it.

    Totally different PRIMARY problems really. MD specialists complain because insurance screws them too. Difference is, their pay may be cut from $325,000 to $300,000 while our pay has gone from $150,00 to $120,000 to $85,000 and will continue to go down..

    Sure everyone complains. Sport stars complain. Movie stars complain. And they make plenty of money. It's different when a profession you've but an enormous part of your life and money in is going down the toilet and your national association is not helping and they have young, gullible students still begging to give them more money.
    Last edited: 06.03.12
  38. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    I guess I just feel like there's an oversupply of RNs as well, and PA schools popping up everywhere just like Optometry. Who's to say those careers aren't going in the toilet in a couple years? At least Optometry schools require a bachelor's degree, relatively high OAT score and passing board exams, so that some community college graduate can't get into with their 4.0 GPA.
  39. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    I have a friend that works at Goldman Sachs. What does he do all day? Look at excel spreadsheets and collects data in a cubicle for 10 hours every weekday. He makes no decisions whatsoever. You can dumb down every profession if you have a negative attitude. Which you seem to embody.
  40. q1we3

    q1we3

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    Tippytoe, you still don't get it. As I said all jobs get repetitive and boring eventually, that is why its called work. That is why people go out on weekends, have hobbies like music, reading, video games, have families etc etc. To keep things balanced. Doesn't matter if you do refractions all day, surgeries all day, clean teeth all day, fill prescriptions all day. It all gets boring eventually. Also why do you care about my happiness? It seems like you been off your anti-depressants. I suggest taking those and spending more time with your family.
  41. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    Tippytoe was obviously recruited by Jason K to get on here and "scare" pre-op students. The 2 of them should really get a hobby, maybe go become tennis budies?? lol.
  42. Jason K

    Jason K

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    It seems like many pre-ops on this site are hell-bent on making optometry fit into their mold of what it should be. You can convince yourself all day long that you'll be happy in a refraction mill, doing dozens of "1 or 2s" all day long, but the reality is, I know of not one OD who works in that setting and is "happy." Why? Is it because the pay is low? Nope - there are plenty of low-paying jobs out there. That's not it. Is it because the work is monotonous? Nope. There's no shortage of boring professions out there. So what is it then?

    It's because there is a gross disparity between what you will be trained to do and what you will actually be doing. That is the difference. You guys see the fancy equipment in the schools and think "Ooooooo, that'll be so cool to be able to use that in practice!" I don't know of too many commercial offices that have anything other than a slit lamp (for show, mostly), a phoropter (gotta have that to write those Rxs for glasses and CLs), and an auto-refractor. That's it. Maybe you'll be lucky and get to ride the Optos camera if you're in a particularly awesome office.

    The problem is not that optometry is a low paying profession or a boring profession, or one lacking in a solid future, it's that you have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a profession that will be all three of those things.
    Last edited: 06.03.12
  43. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Go talk to some PAs and see what they have to say about it. PAs are part of the medical system, ODs, no matter how much you might like to think otherwise, are not. The more commercialized we become as a profession, the more ousted we are from medicine.

    The requirement of a bachelor's degree for an OD program does absolutely nothing to protect the integrity of the profession. You guys are set to buy a home that has just been flooded with 4 inches of water. The mold, wood damage, and total destruction of the home hasn't quite hit yet, but it is inevitable since no one is willing to clean up the mess. It will sit there and rot away the floor, the walls, and everything else. That's what's happening to optometry. We're flooding the profession with thousands and thousands of new graduates that can't be supported by the profession we're in. So what happens? Well, the profession we're in dies away and a new one takes it's place. It's called commercial optometry. Historically, the vast majority of ODs have been in solo private practice. 15 years from now, private ODs will make up a tiny portion of those in practice. Everyone else will be at the local CVS, just like pharmacy. If you choose to ignore that, it's your future.
  44. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    I still think there's too many community college students that are doing the PA and NP route. My friend is a pharmacist and she's really happy. I don't think that you can predict which career paths are going to be better than others in the future because we're not psychics.
  45. Jason K

    Jason K

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    You're ignoring the more important issue, which is the trends that are going on within the various professions. Relying on what you think, as someone who hasn't experienced any time within the profession, will eventually get you. When you try to cram your vision of what a profession is into the mold that you want it to fit into, you're setting yourself up for disaster. I'm not on here telling anyone to PA school, nursing school, or anything else. What I can tell you from personal experience is that optometry is not what you're hoping it will be. It's something very different.
  46. layogurt

    layogurt

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    Jason thank you for your insightful advice. It's quite funny how things don't change. I came to this board nearly 3 years ago to do some research on this profession and a lot of negativity detracted me from pursuing optometry. I'm actually quite happy with my choice because I picked dental school and I know my future is fiscally guaranteed. I think the problem with the profession is the amount of education involved (4 yrs ugrad + 4 prof school) for such a low salary. A few years ago IT grads were making equivalent salaries of 75k to 90k after a regular bachelors degree. I think optomchick is upset because she knows that fiscally the OD route isn't the best option. Even pharma is going down due to oversaturation in their profession. I think that PA is the best route out there at the time, its the cheapest and provides salaries over 100K with the least amount of time put in. Overall I'm happy with my choice because I want to be my own boss. But I think you're doing the right thing about educating pre-optom's to steer clear of the field. I did the same for my friends that went to Law school and those that didn't listen are now sitting in a pile of debt with no way out. Students should learn to listen to professionals and understand where they are coming from. Most professionals dont see students as competition or a threat, they just prefer to educate them and offer real world advice that you'd never hear in school.
  47. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    I'm not upset, but you are right, I have realized that Optometry isn't the best "fiscal" option, but I could never see myself cleaning people's teeth (gross!) or drawing blood from them (as a PA).
    Life isn't ALL about $$$, you should do what you think will make you happy.
  48. layogurt

    layogurt

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    Well you'll essentially be doing the same thing as majority of your clientele will be old people who will directly or indirectly breathe in your face as your as checking their vision. Plus you'll have to deal with them and their annoying, never ending line of questioning. Remember the grass is always greener on the other side, therefore its best to invest your time and energy wisely. Job satisfaction doesn't come from the actual work, but from the people around you, the salary, and the general office environment. That being said I'd rather go to professional school knowing that I'll earn more than 100K. Why would I spend a total of 8 years just to earn a 75k starting salary? And I'm sure you can also be happy doing a myriad of other things that earn the same income. It's not like you only love eyes and nothing else LOL. The point is unfortunately like other professionals professions i.e. pharma and law; the ship has sailed for optometry and everyone else is left scrambling.
  49. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    Very true. The majority of new grads want to work in big cities and for somebody else. This is not what optometry does best. People need to do their research re-evaluate what they are looking for in this profession.
  50. NYCBlues

    NYCBlues Member

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    I have been following this thread and I am most annoyed at your posts. I have been a long-time of SDN so go back and read some of my old posts from 2003-2004. I was once a naive pre-opt student like you, except I was not that clueless about optometry, and I regret my decision of becoming an OD. Seriously, you should be thankful and grateful to have Jason K and Tippytoe and other ODs to spend their precious time on here to tell you the reality of optometry. Trust me, they are giving you FREE and VALUABLE advice.

    You know what, just let you guys be. You will find out when you get your OD degree. I don't think I have the patience like these ODs on here to tell you guys over and over again about the real issues facing optometry right now.
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