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Optometry School vs. Dental School

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by JackCM, 09.12.07.


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  1. JackCM

    JackCM

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    Okay so I was originally applying to Dental schools, and then about a year ago I looked into Optometry school as a backup and decided to apply to both. Lately I have been leaning towards Optometry, however I think part of that was because I didn't even think I would get an interview for Dental school. There are other reasons that Optometry is still higher on my list, however I was wondering what your opinions are. Obviously it will be a little biased towards Optometry on this board, but maybe someone else has made this decision and can help me with what their pros and cons were. At this point I have 3 optometry interviews and I just got my first dental interview, so both are still a possibility.
  2. eyestrain

    eyestrain Member

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    Have you read any of the threads around here?
  3. JackCM

    JackCM

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    Yes, but I haven't seen much on this topic and was hoping someone maybe went through the same decision and could help me.
  4. blysssful

    blysssful SUNY c/o 2013

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    my cousin is actually pre-dent, and before I had any inkling of what I wanted to do, she tried to convince me into pre-dental as well. obviously, optometry appealed to me more (but for more personal reasons which aren't relevant here). her and I tend to be confused about this question too.

    here's what I know: there are FAR fewer optometry schools, but also significantly less competition (from what I understand). there are a lot more dental schools, but LOTS of competition.

    as for the schools once you GET there... I really have no idea. have you shadowed both optometrists and dentists? maybe that will help solidify your decision.
  5. richard86

    richard86

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    Hey, I have many friends who are pre-dents and they always -try- to convince me to switch over;). Anyways, I think it all comes down to the type of work you would like to do in the future. Although I think both are great careers, you should try to shadow both(if you haven't yet) and imagine whether or not you could see yourself doing what the dentist or optometrist does.
    Additionally, I think both careers offer a good lifestyle. However, depending on what school you go to, dentistry may be a lot more expensive. I know of people who are trying to go to NYU or Temple dental school and the tuition and fees add up to about 300k for 4 years...However, I believe dentists do make more on average than most optometrists. It's really up to you, I was once in the same position as you..but I don't think I have the manual dexterity required for the job. Plus, I find eyes to be more interesting=). Goodluck!
  6. JackCM

    JackCM

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    Thanks, guys. I have shadowed both and that is what has led me towards optometry more than dentistry. I just couldn't come up with a concrete reason in my head of why I am more interested in optometry - but I suppose I don't have to have a huge reason why, because it is something that I am interested and I feel like I have researched it a lot.
  7. IndianaOD

    IndianaOD

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    Good Lord, You better refer out foreign bodies then. A shaky needle digging into a 500 micron cornea is not comforting. Try holding open an eyelid with one had and focusing a beam of light with a lens through a 2mm pupil.

    To the OP. If optometry is your "backup" you have no business applying. I sure wouldn't welcome you to the profession with open arms.
  8. JackCM

    JackCM

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    I think you misunderstood... I had originally looked into it as a backup, another option to go to school for if I didn't get into dental school, however over time, and after much research, shadowing, etc. it has become something that I would like to do. I'm just trying to make sure that I am making the right decision (the right decision for me). I would, surely, not just go to any type of school that I got accepted to (I wouldn't even apply to a school if I didn't think I would want to be in that profession), and I know that this is a field that I want to be in. I was just hoping some people could weigh in on what the reasons they would do one over the other would be. Am I not allowed to change my mind about what I want to do?
  9. IndianaOD

    IndianaOD

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    You are absolutely allowed to change your mind as long as its not only optometry if you don't get into dental school. If you really want to be a dentist there are quite a few schools with lower admissions averages, just like med and optometry schools.

    I would say you would really have to want to be an OD to go into optometry. You will make less money and usually have a much harder time filling your schedule with patients as an OD. Optometry is in serious trouble if new schools keep opening up.

    Secondly it would depend on where you wanted to live. You can do fine in optometry in some rural areas. Urban/suburban is very crowded.
  10. richard86

    richard86

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    I'm not trying to say that I lack manual dexterity completely, or that I have shaky hands either. All I was trying to say was that many procedures in dentistry seem to require a lot of work with your hands..and I don't see myself doing the job of a dentist. Not that optometrists can work with their hands tied behind their back, but I feel more comfortable with the nature of their work. I apologize if my prior post made it seem as if optometrists don't require manual dexerity, (if that is what you thought I meant).
  11. gochi

    gochi

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    It seems that you were interested in dentistry for many reasons. I would think that if you want to make alot of money, then by all means go into dentistry. Don't make any profession a back-up plan.

    Additionally, I really dont think there is any bias at all. People comment on about what they see. You should seriously read the "archives." Perhaps that will give you a better insight on the profession right now and in the future, when you will most likely graduate. Though there are many pro's in optometry, I think the cons overshadow it relative to other professions, such as dentistry.

    Ultimatley, decide which you prefer. If you dont care, then you may find you dont like going to work after you graduate either den/opto school.

    good-luck

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