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Optometry not a good investment if you have more than $50,000 in federal loans

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by Shnurek, May 11, 2012.

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  1. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    Not true at all. The only people who need to have their eyes checked every year are diabetics (and I believe they need an MD for their exams).

    Everyone else just waits until their vision gets worse. I've been using the same contact prescription for at least 5 years.
  2. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    I have to agree. Its really not worth more than $100,000 or so to get this degree. Many patients keep their rx and just re-order glasses/contacts online. And I don't know what the hell optomchick is on but nobody has to come in for a CL Rx every year. Optomchick you are going to be in a world of hurt in a few years.

    As a new student you should embrace the disease part of the profession as this is where the profession is heading.
  3. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    Na a lot of ODs actually do diabetic retinopathy screening/monitoring. The ophthos are more about doing procedures.
  4. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    Thank you for your unhelpful trolling. Now please go back from where you came.
  5. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    I think that this thread is by far and away the most delusional that I have ever seen on SDN. The amount of misinformation, misconception and just flat out wrongness is absolutely staggering.
  6. layogurt

    layogurt

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    I'm glad we agree on the finance aspect of schooling. I don't see the merit in arguing which one of the professions is more interesting because careers are very subjective and one size does not fit all.
  7. layogurt

    layogurt

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    :confused: What's the point of a comment that has no merit?
  8. Blondiechick919

    Blondiechick919

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    YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS ARGUING THAT BEING A DENTAL HYGIENIST IS BETTER THAN BEING AN OPTOMETRIST!!
    ...yes those caps were deliberate. There is a reason some of us chose not to go to dental school. Some people are terrified of the dentist, other people might not want people to bite them. If you are a high and mighty dental student, quit hanging out on OD forums lecturing us on our future and go floss. Can't you agree to disagree and let it go?
  9. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    I do not think Optometry is heading toward "disease"...if anything it's heading away from it. I don't know where everyone is getting all these contacts without prescriptions, but myself and everyone I know needs a valid prescription to buy contacts (even if it is at Costco or Walmart). The girl at Costco didn't even let me buy 2 boxes because she said my prescription was expiring next month 0_0

    (I also just tried coastalcontacts.com and they wouldn't let me order without a verifying a doctor's prescription.)
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  10. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    This is a perfect example of how ridiculous these forums are....someone who hasn't even spent a single day in optometry school is making these statements. It's ridiculous.

    What are you basing that on? What POSSIBLE frame of reference could you have where you could make a statement like that?

    That's refreshing to hear but VIRTUALLY ALL commercial entities and VIRTUALLY EVERY WEBSITE will allow you to order as many boxes as you want whether your prescription is expired or not. In 13 years in this business I have witnessed hundreds of patients simply say that they order from www.insertchinesecontactlenscompanyhere.com as much as they want.

    Did you actually order something? Coastal is one of the WORST offenders.

    Guess what? Here's a list of things I can EASILY got off the internet

    1) Cialis
    2) Viagara
    3) Lipitor
    4) Oxycontin
    5) Pornography
    6) Hard core barely legal pornography
    7) A child
    8) A bride
    9) A child bride

    You think it's hard to get contact lenses? Bwaaaaaa ha ha ha ha. :laugh:
  11. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    Yes I do think it's hard, I just tried ordering from Coastal and they make you put in your doctor's phone number and actually call the doctor to verify. I haven't heard of any other websites. Maybe everyone on here spends a lot of time on the internet, but I've never heard of people ordering contacts online. I don't think the average person wants to risk their credit card number on some janky website.

    I guess a lot of Optometrists do care about eye health, but when I worked at Lenscrafters, it seemed like the doctor only cared about writing prescriptions, and they don't even dilate people's eyes anymore.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  12. thecgrblue

    thecgrblue Enjoyin' the journey

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    :laugh:

    Coastal.com...$187 million in revenue last year

    1800 Contacts...$237 million in revenue last year. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Just google "contact lenses". For nearly everything these days if you aren't buying it through some online retailer you're overpaying.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  13. Optomchick

    Optomchick

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    I just tried it and they make you put in your doctor's phone number as well. They won't ship them until they get the doctor's confirmation.

    I'm not saying people don't buy contacts from online sites, I'm saying that even online sites make you have a prescription. And I don't think most people would trust their credit card info on a site that doesn't...if there's even a trust-worthy site out there like that.
  14. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    LMAO!

    Yes, you have to put in your doctors name but you can put in ANY DOCTORS NAME! And they will SHIP THE LENSES ANYWAYS. They just ask to you enter that information so that they can pretend to be compliant with federal law but I can guarantee you that they will not call and verify. Probably about 10% of the time they will send a fax asking the doctor and/or his staff to take time away from his day to verify the Rx but whether we respond or not, the lenses still get shipped.

    A common tactic.....since federal law technically says that a doctor has 8 business hours to respond to a verification request (HAHAHA) they will send faxes at 10:00pm and then when you don't respond by 6:00am, lenses are shippedl

    Cmon optomchick....you can't seriously be THIS clueless, can you?
  15. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    You need a prescription for the first order. They let you order more without any additional verification.

    Seriously, if you're planning your career assuming you'll make money with contact prescriptions alone, good luck.
  16. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    You don't even need it for that.
  17. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    Well, legally you are supposed to get refit/re-evaluated yearly for a CLs Rx. Some states specify 2 years max. CLs are classifed as a medical device by the FDA and they can cause blindness. I've seen it happen and can't help but chuckle a little inside because these people are so freaking stupid abusing their contacts. They are like guns. Guns don't kill people-- people kill people. Same with CLs. Contact lenses don't blind people. The people do it themselves playing eye doctor.

    If you are buying them on-line without an Rx (or from a flea market, beauty shop or pawn shop), it is illegal and you are breaking the law. Even if they are plano (no power lenses). But no worries-- no one enforces it. They can't stop crack dealers and mexicans jumping across the border so they aren't much concerned with contact lens law breakers.

    Frankly there is so little money in contact lenses nowadays I wouldn't care if they went OTC. I'd enjoy treating the red eyes/infiltrates/ulcers more than fitting the CLs.

    I think this thread should be renamed, "Lets everyone come talk about optometry even though we don't have the slighest clue."

    I think I'll start a new thread and discuss everything I know about engineering. I know absolutely nothing about it so I'll just make up random crap and state it with great confidence because I met an engineer once and I go into buildings designed by them so I probably know enough to tell them how to do their job. :smack:
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  18. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    Optomchick you might be a cool girl but honestly you know so very little about optometry. I also don't know too much but I just shake my head at you. The problem is a lot of people don't really know what its like to be an OD until they finally become one and realize if they like it or not but by then it is too late. If I was in your position I'd drop my seat at that diploma mill WesternU and really re-evaluate my career goals. Possibly re-apply next year after extensive OD shadowing or something like that.
  19. dinkus

    dinkus

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    You've seen patients become blind due to contacts and you chuckle at it? That's shameful, to say the least.
  20. Jibslider

    Jibslider

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    I thought this thread was ridiculous and full of so much BS... and then I read this. Sorry, bro. Your information is the most incorrect posted on this thread as of now.
  21. Jibslider

    Jibslider

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    Could you explain why you feel this way? I would say the complete opposite based on personal experience, expanding scope of practice laws, and the economics of online eyewear/contact lens sales.
  22. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    Whatever you say.

    *reorders contacts online with 6 year old prescription*
  23. Jason K

    Jason K

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    When you see a patient with ulcerative keratitis secondary to egregious contact lens abuse (overwear, keeping the same case for 5 years, topping off solution, etc) and you've told that patient, over and over, that they're going to end up with a sight-threatening infection if they don't change their way, you'll be feeling the same way. There's no way not to feel a little bit of internal "I told you so" when you have that patient call you at 5pm on a Friday with a painful red eye.

    Similarly, when you tell a patient, repeatedly, of the dangers of buying contacts without an Rx and that same patient shows up in your chair with edematous, infiltrated corneas after wearing tinted lenses that she bought at the beauty shop/online that bolted themselves to the eyes, you'll also have a little voice in your head that says "God, what an idiot."

    Just wait until you're in practice - you'll come around.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  24. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    Darwinism in action. They are too stupid to take care of their eyes or contacts and when they don't listen to their doctor, they deserve to lose sight.

    There is a reason the law requires a doctor to fit and routinely evaluate contact lenses.

    It's no different than a glaucoma patient not taking care of their eyes. They go blind due to ignorance and inaction and I say, 'good luck. You should have used the drops I Rx'd you and showed up for your follow-ups appointments".

    Some people deserve to be blind. Some deserve to be dead. They are useless to society.
  25. dinkus

    dinkus

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    Pretty cold-hearted way to look at it. I understand sentiments such as, "I told you so" and "God, what an idiot." However, once you start chuckling at a patient's misfortune, whether brought on by idiocy or not, I think you cross a line into a territory of extreme insensitivity. However, I guess your urge to chuckle in those situations is just as natural to you as my distaste for it is to me. As long as you're providing the best advice and care for these patients, I can't have much of a gripe with what I deem insensitive and dehumanizing.
  26. Jibslider

    Jibslider

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    THIS statement my friend, is completely untrue.
  27. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    It was hyperbole. My main point was the other statement.
  28. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    Hey guys all M.D.s are a-holes and don't really care about patients but just went into it for the money.

    P.S. - That was hyperbole.
  29. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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  30. NYCBlues

    NYCBlues Member

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    Couldn't agree more. Go to a state school with cheaper tuition if you can't imagine yourself doing anything else but optometry. Otherwise, optometry school IS a debt trap. If only I had warnings from practicing ODs way back when I was applying to opt school...
  31. layogurt

    layogurt

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    If you're mad that your profession is a debt trap and I'm shedding light on it then that's your problem. This discussion isn't about what you like, its about how much it costs. If you plan to respond with a "It's not all about the money" then think again when you'll owe north of 200K and earn 75K a year and be forced to live in your mom's basement. A career is an investment, one way or another. Even a starving artist hopes to make it big with one or two paintings. That said most careers aren't a passion for students, you don't love eyes anymore than I love teeth. What you enjoy is a rewarding career and that's what drives you towards it. In my personal case, I assessed the risk of an OD education vs. a DDS education. And I chose the later based on a myriad of options. But this thread isn't about me, its about the debt. If you want to close your eyes and be delusional of your income, loans, etc. then you should think twice about what you're getting yourself into.
  32. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    Hmm,

    [​IMG]

    Now that we got that out of the way. When I see threads like this:
    It makes me realize that dental school tuition is on average around DOUBLE that of optometry school tuition. So if anything is a debt trap its Medicine/Dentistry because if you give up along the way you are screwed...big time.
  33. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    And to give you an idea of how tax brackets work, the more you make the more you pay a lot more. Let's say an OD makes $94,990 a year and I will use real federal income tax numbers to illustrate my points. And a dentist makes $146,920 a year. Those are median salaries for the two professions according to bls.gov, an objective government website.

    If you calculate the federal tax liability using this site: http://www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_brackets.htm

    OD after federal income tax assuming single: $74,932
    DDS/DMD after federal income tax assuming single: $112,322
    The pay gap decreases from $51,930 to $37,390 after just federal taxes. Now this is not counting FICA, Social Security, State and local income taxes. The gap might narrow even more to $32,000 or so. Now that is still a significantly higher amount of money. The physical toll of dentistry is greater than that of optometry and many dentists retire earlier either because they accrued more wealth or their backs/dexterity give out. The tuition payments are about double or extended over a two-fold longer time period.

    And anyway this is just the money issue. The Optometric profession is growing every year in scope of practice. Is dentistry growing this way? Nope.(maybe some minor victories in maxillo-facial surgery) And I highly disagree. I think I love eyes more than you love teeth :) But hey that is all subjective is it not.

    I think optometry and dentistry are two completely different professions so its like comparing apples to oranges in a lot of ways. And its more like what KHE and I always say. Its not about if the profession is a good fit for everyone, its about if the profession is the right fit for YOU.

    PS - Are you trolling the opto boards now b/c I was trolling the dental boards before lol
  34. Jason K

    Jason K

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    The optometric profession is growing - and you think this is a good thing? Shnurek, you need to disconnect yourself from all of your wild assumptions long enough to actually take in what you're saying. A cancerous tumor grows each day/month/year - does that translate to a good thing? Optometry is growing, by adding thousands of practitioners who can't be supported by the field, and you think that's good? Oh, I forgot, it's the scope of practice that gets you all steamy under the collar. Scope of practice will not translate to anything other than satisfying the whims of a few clueless academics at the AOA. There's nothing wrong with trying to maintain/expand scope, but that's the LAST thing the profession needs to worry about right now. You'll understand that in a few short years when you're a slightly overpaid refracting technician.
  35. layogurt

    layogurt

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    Most dental students don't have 420K in loans, the average debt load is around 240K which is equivalent to an OD education, so you're point is moot, I will now address your other bogus claims.
  36. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    It's best to ignore him. He's really delusional.
  37. layogurt

    layogurt

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    Your math is as shoddy as your logic, see the following site: http://www.tax-brackets.org/federaltaxtable

    Using your income figures (which are bogus because you won't earn the median US salary since you're not going to work in every state that has a higher or lower income for the profession) an OD would be taxed at a 28% meanwhile a DDS would be taxed at 33% Therefore

    OD salary of $94,990 is really $68,392 post federal tax
    DDS salary of $146,920 is really $98,436 post federal tax

    - State and local taxes are often in the same bracket after a certain income, so both OD and DDS would probably pay the same.
    - FICA and Social Security taxes would be as such:

    OD
    Your Medicare portion of FICA will be $1,377.50
    Your Social Security portion of FICA will be $3,990.00

    DDS
    Your Medicare portion of FICA will be $2,131.50
    Your Social Security portion of FICA will be $4,485.60

    So let's compare the real #s:
    Income Differential: $30,000 post tax dollars
    State/local Taxes = DDS - OD = Identical so no need to factor this in for most states
    FICA + Social Security = $6,617.10 DDS - $5,367.5 = $1,249 more taxes paid as a DDS vs. OD
    Now remove the $1,249 from the $30,000 extra that DDS earn and you get $28,794 extra a year and do a rough estimation of multiplying that out x 30 years = $864,000 That's ALMOST an EXTRA MILLION DOLLARS!!!! IN CASH!

    Now to address your other illogical comments; Most dentist do not retire early, in fact dentists often work past the retirement age and also participate in local clinics or schools. So that's out of the window, plus if I'm out earning you by another $30K a year why do I need to extend my loan payments? I can pay off my loans faster than an OD AND save on the accrued interest, Also your thoughts on the OD profession growing is only evidenced by your opinion and is shot down multiple times by REAL OD's working in the field like Jason K who doesn't drink from the imaginary cool aid bowl. The point is simply: one should go into a field that they LIKE, however to assume you'll be making 95K out of school as an OD or that you'll outearn a dentist, doctor, etc. is just fluff! The math was done over and over, even a Dental Hygienist will outearn an OD. Go into the field if you love it but dont try to say it pays better than other medical professions, because it doesn't!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  38. layogurt

    layogurt

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  39. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    A lot of state income taxes also have brackets.
  40. layogurt

    layogurt

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    And those state income tax brackets are way lower than NY... what's your point?
  41. ineed2stpsmurfn

    ineed2stpsmurfn

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    holy crap optometry sucks. when you have a 4 page long thread about the varying degrees to which optometry-related student loans can even be paid back on time and how many peanut-butter sandwiches you may or may not have to eat for the next 30 years to pay your monthly loan payment.............. that's when you know anyone getting this degree in 2012 either A) didn't do their homework.. at all (Yes, that means you, person who thinks he did his homework and has decided optometry is a good deal in the face of all common sense), or B) is ignorant.


    p.s. A and B are not mutually exclusive....



    I think optometry in 2012 is proof you can be really smart with intellectual, textbook based material... and still make incredibly bad, far-reaching decisions.
  42. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    I just hate people in the profession that don't do their financial homework and then b*tch that optometry failed them or how they have or will have $200k in loans. No, it is not optometry that failed you. You failed. Don't blame others or the profession for your poor decisions.

    -Student loans are no longer subsidized except for minor loans such as Health professions student loans.
    -Tuition is skyrocketing upwards.
    -Taxes will eat ~30% of your income (its surprising how many people are unaware of this common sense fact).
    -You cannot sell your diploma to anyone else.
    -You cannot claim bankruptcy on your student loans except in extremely rare circumstances that almost nobody gets unlike business loans.
    -Unsubsidized government loans are at 6.8% and 7.9% interest rates. This is extremely high in this economy with bank rates being at around 0.50%.

    If your altruism for the profession is greater than the financial risk then so be it. But do not go into it just for the money because taking all the factors into consideration...there is not much to be found here.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  43. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Wrong again, Shnurek. As usual, you fail to realize that your assumptions are what will eventually bury you. You are again assuming that optometry is fine and that the source of any problems lies within its numerous dissatisfied practitioners. You are climbing the failure ladder, as we speak, by entering this profession, and the best part is.......you don't even know it.
  44. Roffles

    Roffles OSU Class of 2015

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    Since I'm not arguing with anyone, my post will probably get passed over, but since the last pages seen to be DDS vs OD:

    At one of the most expensive schools I'll be graduating around 160,000 in debt. That's with 100% loans and no scholarships. I'll take that, less mouths, less debt and more freedom in my life for less money any day.

    Will I make millions? No. But I'll live a lifestyle that I'm comfortable with viewing a part of the body I like. As long as I'm not broke and I have an enjoyable lifestyle, I'm good. Why can't you all see it's not a competition.

    Some like medicine, others eyes, others teeth. Let that be that. We're all going to end up 6 feet under anyway, so screw it.
  45. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Roffles, Shnurek is rubbing off on you. You're assuming that optometry will provide you with more freedom.....where that idea came from, I truly have no idea. Optometry is the epitome of the profession that does not offer freedom. You're constrained from the day you graduate.


    Are you sure about that? What makes you think you'll live an "enjoyable" lifestyle? What is and enjoyable lifestyle by your measure? You need to make sure that what you think you'll get from optometry will be what you actually can obtain. Maybe your idea of an enjoyable lifestyle involves living in a 2 BR apartment and driving a honda civic for the rest of your days, and that would be fine, but don't assume that optometry will provide you with the possibility for anything. Assumptions can really get you in trouble.

    This attitude is absolutely pathologic when it comes to career choice. You guys decide on what you want to do based purely on your own vision of what the profession is like. Then you simply say "Oh well, everyone has to pick a career and everyone has something to complain about so screw it, optometry sounds perfect."

    The best thing ANY prospective applicant to and OD program could do for him or herself is to write a 10 page paper on the current state of optometry and how the issues we're facing today will impact the profession tomorrow. Research should consist of literature searches along with interviewing recent grads, mid-career docs, and experienced grads. Write that paper objectively, do it well, and you'll have a much better idea why so many ODs are fed up with the profession.
  46. layogurt

    layogurt

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    160K in debt (before capitalization) is a lot when the average starting salary ranges from 75k to 90K. Why not get a regular ugrad degree in IT or Business and start making 50 to 60K without spending an additional 160K. You also forgot to mention if you have any ugrad loans, if you do then you've just spent nearly 200K or more for a 75 to 90K starting salary. Its not worth it at all, why would you spend 8 years of your life just to come out making 75 to 90k? Its ridiculous
  47. Shnurek

    Shnurek

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,335
    Location:
    NYC
    Status:
    Optometry Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    1) Because some people care about more things than money.
    2) That salary is the salary of a private practice OD just starting out that did no residency. A PA's salary rivals this but a PA can never own his/her own practice so a PA's salary is pretty much static throughout their career or moves up with inflation.
    3) Mid career employed private practice optometrists make like 100k.
    4) Starting commercial optometrists make like 100k.
    5) Residency trained optometrists that work for ophthalmologists make like 105-110k.
    6) Once you partner in to an optometry or ophthalmology practice (if the state laws allow) your income pretty much doubles.
    7) Once you make your own practice your income will cap at around double if you setup in a good location and are a good person/doctor.
    8) You can always go back to doing business/other career choices. Nobody is holding a gun to your head.
    9) Its nice to have a degree that you can always fall back on if things get rough.
    10) Not everyone gets into this much debt. In fact most people nowadays try to stay with their parents if they can if they live near an OD school. 160k in debt is actually the medical school average so I think its quite high for an OD. Especially one that wants to go into private practice/partner in/get their own practice a few years after graduating. The best amount of debt to have is no debt but to be realistic I think 50k-100k should be a target for most people. Dental school average student debt is higher than medical and optometry.
  48. Cozell

    Cozell Busy with College

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Cool story Bro.

    Look at psychologist they have to do an internship after PHD school(4years btw) then turn around and do another year or two of training making around 40-60k then they can actually start making 90-110k if they are lucky or work for the VA.

    You guys are not alone and im not a PHD student.

    Petro engineers make 80k first year out of undergrad, that beats PA and Optometry. They go on to make up to 150k I would not want to be one though because I hate Math.
  49. Jason K

    Jason K

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,137
    Location:
    Somewhere other than Chicago
    Status:
    Optometrist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Only when mom and dad pay all your bills. After that, money actually starts to matter in life.

    Once again, you seem to have these pesky little assumptions. Starting salary in PP is not going to creep up to 90K in just about any situation for a new grad. More importantly, a residency does absolutely NOTHING to increase your pay......anywhere. Even if it did, you'd be talking about a handful of positions out of the 1500 new grads being spit out every year now - hardly worth mentioning.

    PA salaries are actually higher than OD salaries if you look at new grads. More importantly, there are actually jobs for PAs since there aren't 5 times more than needed.

    And this is a good thing?

    More assumptions - they don't start at 100K unless you're in a garbage bin. Sorry to burst yet another of your bubbles.

    No they don't. More assumptions, Shnurek. Lay off the bong and start learning about the profession you seem to think you understand.

    Ok, did you younger brother in grade school get hold of your account info? What on earth are you babbling about? Where did you hear this? A partnership in an ophthalmology office? That's hilarious, dude. Keep 'em coming....this is almost getting entertaining.

    Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions.......they're going to sink you, chief.

    And this is a reason to go into optometry?

    I think this one made me laugh more than any of the other clueless statements made in this post. "Fall back on when things get rough?" That's a good one...really.

    50K won't even cover tuition at most OD programs so I'm not sure where you think you can get out spending that amount on a regular basis. Dental and medical degrees might cost a bit more, but you'll be compensated $1M or more dollars over your career (at a minimum) and you will actually have a career with options and a need for you.

    I guess if you want to cram your way into a profession that neither wants or needs you, optometry is a great option.
  50. layogurt

    layogurt

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    114
    Dental students dont earn 75k to 90K when they graduate :) they earn significantly more in a starting salary and through out their lifetime. I'm not gonna argue the merits of an OD degree because it takes too long to catch up to the financial stability of other professions. Its simply NOT worth it from a financial perspective, if you onlyyyyyyyyyyyyyy love eyes then yes. But that's not how the world works and most people like enough various topics / fields that they would rather pursue the most protitable and enjoyable field. Enjoyment alone is not enough to warrant a career choice.

    Like I said before it's foolish to stay in school (ugrad + OD) for 8 years just to come out with 75 to 90K, just like its foolish to go to law school. Same type of product being sold to students that have below average stats for other programs.

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