Accepted to PCO!!!!

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by r_salis, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    I got accepted to PCO -- YAAAAAAAAY!!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

    Now I get to change my profile signature to say "Pennsylvania College of Optometry - Class of 2007". Hee hee hee hee! :D
     
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  3. Tyra

    Tyra Member
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    Congrats r_salis!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: I'm getting super excited with all the acceptances on this forum eventhough it's not me... is that weird? I'm sooo happy for you! Yippeeee!!!:clap:
     
  4. christie

    christie Senior Member
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    r_salis,

    Congratulations on your acceptance!!!:clap: :clap: Your'e going to love it here, just relax and enjoy the next several months, b/c this time next year, you'll be on a crazy ride!
     
  5. Eyegirl2k7

    Eyegirl2k7 Bridget Jones here
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    Oh r-salis, I'm so so so so happy for you!!!!!
    :) :clap: :) :clap:
     
  6. jlcutie

    jlcutie Junior Member
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    :clap: congratulations!!.. we'll be classmates :D
     
  7. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Thanks everybody!!!

    jlcutie--it's so cool to already know somebody in our class! ;)
     
  8. OD or Not

    OD or Not Junior Member
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    don't start celebrate too early, wait until 4 yrs of tuition and a mall job waiting for you after graduation. the reality sets in really quick after 4 years of hard work. have you see ad for 2 pairs of galsses with free eye exam at www.twopair.com? who is doing the free eye exam? OD does. hehhehehe
     
  9. christie

    christie Senior Member
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    There are many people that don't plan on working in corporate optometry once they gradute, including me. I coudn't be more happy knowing that I am entering into a very rewarding profession:D
     
  10. OD or Not

    OD or Not Junior Member
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    your wonderful private office optometrist will pay you peanuts while promise you the world. coporate optometry is taking over. don't take my word for it. visit www.optometric.com or www.seniordoc.org . read the forum and articles. get some good info before you spend 100k+ and 4 yrs like i did. Wish someone told me before i wasted my 4 yrs.
     
  11. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Sorry you feel that way OD-or-not, sounds like you didn't really understand what you were getting into before you made the investment of time and money in your education. It really pays to know what you want to do and understand what that truly means before you jump into it. What an expensive mistake for you! :(

    I've done my research on the profession and know that it's exactly what I want to do w/my career. Plus I'm really, really, really happy I'll be going to PCO!!!!!! :D :D :clap: :clap:
     
  12. OD or Not

    OD or Not Junior Member
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    it's the feeling that i know what's wrong with the patients but can't treat them b/c the scope of optometry. i am glad we can do way more than just 10 yrs ago.

    pco is a good school for clinical exp. but tuition is a killer.

    still the feeling of wasted 4yrs persists.
     
  13. christie

    christie Senior Member
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    OD or Not,

    May I ask what school you went to? Also, are you practicing Optometry right now? Since your not happy with your chosen career, are you plannig on gong into something else to make you happier?

    Just to let you know, EVERY single job/career has its ups and downs. You put in what you get out of it! Optometry is not as bad as the way you make it seem.

    I worked for an OD for two years, and he absolutley loves his job. He takes many insurance plans, inlcuding vision plans, and gets good reimbursement rates. He's very successful in private practice in NY, and he's only in his mid-30's. He just opened his second office. He's not unhappy like you are, why is that?
     
  14. OD or Not

    OD or Not Junior Member
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    Hi christie ;

    since u already in pco, it's kind late for me to tell u to go to a cheaper school. it does not matter which school u go to, we all graduate with OD degree. but the amount of you loan WILL make a difference in what type of work you will or have to pick.

    also i am not sure how good the reinbursement rate you think is good. it all pretty bad no matter where you go. only medicare actually pay a fair amount for your work.

    there are plans esp. union plans pays about 12 bucks for your service, and some pays 30 bucks for exam+frame+lenses. Chinese takeout cost more than that. of course, there are some plan pays a little better. some of the plans that actually pay well for exam have OD exclusion policy. wonder why!

    as i am still workng? ya, have to pay off the loan and feed myself. when there is nothing to eat, i will work for food!!!! one can live on hot dogs and still live upto 100.

    where was the OD you followed working? nyc ?
     
  15. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    do you feel that once you put a significant dent in your loans you'll be happier. I sense that your lack of joy in the profession right now is still having to eat Ramen noodles, hot dogs, and mac and cheese.

    Sounds like you need a sugar mama !
    ;)
     
  16. OD or Not

    OD or Not Junior Member
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    i will feel a little better once the huge loan is over, but not much. it's partly my fault that i did not research enough before i went to OD school, but i also visited quite a few OD's and called them personally about the future of this profession and pro/con of it. but they all say nothing bad at all even one of them worked at mall and was doing free eye exam.!!! Also internet was not there at the time for me to ask someone for a different view about optometry.

    also i am sick of optician/optometrist/ophthalmologist try to other's stuff. there is just not enough stuff for everyone to be successful in this crowed field. with the cheap lasik and all, things just get more interesting/worse. i am not blaming lasik, it's always good to have more choices in life. lasik is a qutum leap forward vs RK. much safer and stable.

    as to the original question, i won't be happy about the career path optometry lead me.
     
  17. TPMOH

    TPMOH Senior Member
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    What state do you practice in OD or not? You must be an employee of a chain store. I used to think that would be a good thing to be employed by a chain store and have some income security, but with giving away free exams I now see how it's bad for the profession. In Ohio, it is illegal to have optical chains hire OD's as employees. All chain OD's in Ohio are independent contractors who usually pay 20% of their exam fees as rent to the chain. Thus, there is no free exams because the chain has no power to make the OD give them away since the ODs are not employed by the chain. Exam fees for chain ODs in Ohio runs from $40-50, with a higher fee for contact lens exams. Thus, an OD who charges $40 per exam and sees 12 patients/day in a chain makes $40*.8*12*5days/wk*50wks/yr=$96,000.00 salary before taxes. I've heard of some OD's in busy areas (that see 16-25pts/day) make up to $150,000.00+. I think the best situation for you would be to try to get into private practice so you will have more control over your situation and it will be more satisfying.
     
  18. TAL

    TAL Senior Member
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    OD or not,

    Share your situation with us.
     
  19. OD or Not

    OD or Not Junior Member
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    don't be fooled by gross income. it's the net that counts.
    let's do the math:
    96k less 20%rent=76.8k
    front desk/tech/secretary $8/hr*40hr/wk*50wk/yr=16k
    6.5% social security tax of 16k=1.04k
    health ins you and your front desk $200/person-month* 2person*12mon=4.8k
    15% social security tax for yourself since u r self-employed
    state/city/federal tax
    100k student loan at 10-yr- repayment is about 1k/mon*12mon=12k
    payroll service at 60/mon* 12 mon= 0.72k
    phone bill, electricity, office supply, mis.say about 1.5k-2k/yr
    let's see:
    96k less 20%rent=76.8k
    76.8-16k-1.04k-4.8k=54.96k
    54.96 less 15% social security tax =46.716k
    46.716 less city/state/federal tax assume 40% total=28.029k
    28.029-12k student loan=16k
    16k/12 month=1.333k /month.

    btw 16-25 patient/day is not the norm for OD office. there will DAYS no one comes in!!
    also i did not include business license fee, malpractice, life insurance, license fee, worker's comp which is mandated by states... gee, going to McDee is a luxury by now.

    any Qs? counter points? oh, i forgot about 0.72k of payroll service.
     
  20. TPMOH

    TPMOH Senior Member
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    First of all, the 96K figure is AFTER 20% rent ($40/exam * .80 = $32) 32*12*5*50= $96,000.00

    Second of all, Walmart, Sears, Lenscrafters, etc... pay for ALL support employees, thus the OD KEEPS the full 80% of the exam fee. Thus, you make $96,000.00 and pay normal payroll, fed income taxes etc.. on that amount the same as if you worked as an accountant for an acct firm. I realize that you will also need to pay for your own hlth ins and mal practice ins. But still, it's not too bad.

    I have spoken with ODs in Ohio who work at chains and they all told me the same thing- the above is how it works- only overhead is rent which is 20% exam fee.
     
  21. rpames

    rpames Optometrist
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    I don't know were you work, but no patients? My father sees over 20 patients a day. A few days ago I talk to him at noon and 3 emergencies had already come in that morning. I have already posted my fathers income before, so I will not do it again, but if you know what you are doing, you can do really well. Medicine is not an easy way to make money, but if you work hard, you can do very very well. Just look at TomOD. He opened his pratice only 2 years ago and he is expecting to break the 6 figure mark, thats profit baby!
     
  22. OD or Not

    OD or Not Junior Member
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    You don't need to take my word for it. wait until 2006 or whenever your graduation date. You will find out first hand how things are. Until then you can say whatever you want even though you guys has NEVER worked as an OD. there is not much credit to what you are saying.

    I guess the truth is guly, no one forsee 9-11.

    BTW, both of you are already deep in debt, so turning back is also not that easy unless daday OD bails you out.

    I am posting not just for you, but also many potential students.
     
  23. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Hey! This is my "Yay, I'm going to PCO" thread! All naysayers, get off my thread. I mean it! :rolleyes:
     
  24. OD or Not

    OD or Not Junior Member
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    TPMOH:
    it's can't be "I've heard of some OD's in busy areas (that see 16-25pts/day) make up to $150,000.00+".
    I am not picking on you, but did you persoanlly talk to the OD who is making 150K+? "I've heard" won't cut it. Does he/she exist?
    if he/she does, ask how long (s)he is doing it, if (s)he likes the mode of practice.....

    "Second of all, Walmart, Sears, Lenscrafters, etc... pay for ALL support employees"
    Walmart/sears may just take 20%, but they DO give you input/hints as to about your fees. Lenscrafter charges a % based on your total gross. not just a flat fee, and you pay for your own staff. no one covers it except you. also they Do tell you about 7 day coverage at their locations.

    There are too much misinfo, you guys need to obtain a lease from the chains and read carefully. then post on the forum, not "I've heard and they pay for ALL support employees"

    I don't know which OD you spoke to, in which chain? check out www.twopair.com they have 59.99 special, wonder who get 40 for exam. oh ya the exam is free. just look at their web ad.

    I am just here to post my point of view. you don't have to agree with me. but if you think optometry is a great career, think again

    btw, pco cost 23300/yr*4 with living expenses with tuition increase, you will come out with 140+k easy. mmm... good investment while many good dental and med schools cost half as much. I am sure newenco and ico cost as much about 23k/yr.
     
  25. Eyegirl2k7

    Eyegirl2k7 Bridget Jones here
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    OD or not,
    Are you incapable of respecting r-salis? Can you please put your comments on a different thread?

    We are interested in your point of view, there's just a time and place to express it and it's not in some one's congratulations thread.

    Geez.

    Luv,
    Eyegirl
     
  26. TomOD

    TomOD Senior Member
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    You know you guys, OD or Not is obviously a very unhappy and unsatisfied person but you should accept what he says with a touch of reality.

    His comments about the commercial side of Optometry are absolutely correct. You will be told HOW to work and WHEN to work and, indirectly at least, will be told what you will make. You will be told what type of contact lenses to fit and what eyeglasses lenses YOUR patients will be fit in. You will be their refracting machine.

    What he is missing is the other side of Optometry. What I call the professional side. This professional side is tougher, harder to get in to and, as a result, much more rewarding, both financially and professionally. This professional side is called Private practice, away from a mall or super-store.....in a respectable environment.

    The intelligent OD's realize that they cannot compete with Walmart and continue to make 60% of their salary on the sale of eyeglasses and contact lenses. The future of successful Optometry is in the professional service arena.....the examination and treatment of eye conditions including ocular disease.

    OD or Not appears to be the stereotypical burned out, frustrated commercial eye doc. I know many of them. The lure of the easy money with little risk will burn you every time....in Optometry, in multi-level marketing, or in the easy buy/sell real estate programs on late night T.V. There is no such thing as money for nothing. If it is easy.............like what Walmart will tell you when they come to school during your 4th year to wine and dine you, it's probably not a good deal. Just remember, if it was such a great opportunity, they really wouldn't have to come and spend lots of money to get you to "join" them.

    There are 2 distinct groups of OD's. Commercial ones and Professional ones and the distinction is growing larger every year. You WILL regret going the commercial route just like OD or Not....sooner or later. Please don't make that mistake. There is plenty of money to be made on the Professional, Private side,,,but only if your willing to work very hard. MD's may have it easier "out of the gate". But while they are doing 3-4 years of residency, you will have to spend 3-4 years of ass-kicking hard work to get to a comfortable level. $150,000 is an EASY and very realistic goal.
     
  27. Ballew21

    Ballew21 Junior Member
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    I haven't posted in this forum in while, but with the way that this thread has turned, I might as well share my opinions.

    While I understand why people are against corporate optometry, you need to understand that it's something that will not go away anytime soon. It's similar to the growth of HMO's in the medical community. Whether you like it or not, Walmart, Sears, Sam's Club, Costco, etc. are going to hire OD's and contain optical centers as long as it's a lucrative industry. So, instead of complaining about how they're sellouts and the like, accept that they are your competition and move on. Some optometrists want to work in private practice, and it doesn't make them any less of a doctor, nor does it hurt the profession. It's the way the game is played. (I'm not saying that anyone has done that in THIS thread, but in other threads on the board, it has been implied.)

    Managed care is another issue as well. Most optometrists hate managed care because it causes restrictions as to what they can be reimbursed. Most doctors complain about it, but again ... it's here to stay, accept it and find ways to be successful within the system. Add to that the problems with 1-800-CONTACTS, Lensexpress, the growth of LASIK and clear lens extraction, etc., and there are some interesting questions that optometrists will have to answer in the next 10 years.

    For myself, the reason why I'm unsure about optometry school is the huge student loan debt. Most optometry schools are 100K+ and the thought of starting my own practice and accumulating at least another 50K on top of that is not a pleasant picture. Add to that the likely possibility of going further into debt while trying to build your practice and it's something which I'm not sure I want to risk at this stage of my life.

    OD or not, you bring up some valid points, but I think that you're situation is a bit extreme. The head doctor I work with brings in quite a bit of money (he owns three practices), and I know for a fact that all his associates (he has 12 doctors working for him) are making six figures as well. Some corporate optometrists are in better situations than others, but your situation sounds unusually bad. It's understandable that you're not happy with your decision, and some of the newer graduates that I work for have said that things aren't working out as they had planned.

    However, I'm wondering what do the practicing optometrists who you graduated with feel about the field? Are they as frustrated as you are or are you the exception rather than the rule? With every profession, some people are extremely happy with their decision and others are extremely disappointed.

    Nick

    Added to respond to Tom OD's post ... I think that the private practice optometrists, in the long run, have a better situation than a commercial optometrist. In a commercial situation, it is initially easier because you have an established patient base, however, you're somewhat limited to the amount of control that you have over patient care. If an optician wants to put a patient in polycarbonate while you feel that hi-index is the best for them ... there's only so much that you can do. In addition, if you're interested in pathology, you're in the wrong place. While you can treat glaucoma, it's frowned upon because you're there to make money for the corporation and the corporation will not make money if you're bringing in patients to treat disease instead of perscribing glasses.

    In private practice, you have total control, which can bring good and bad things. A doctor has to be extremely motivated to build a patient base and provide services that most optometrists in the area do not. In Tom OD's case, he specializes in pathology, which is a lucrative field that most OD's avoid. You can make more money in private practice, but you could also lose more money because you don't have a safety net. If you need to advertise, it comes out of your pocket, instead of the corporations pocket.

    Topic: Congrats on the acceptances! :clap:
     
  28. TPMOH

    TPMOH Senior Member
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    OD or not- I guess it probably depends on the chain as to how the deals are arranged. What I told you came from ODs in a small town area in northern Ohio where I grew up. The main lease holder at Walmart told me that he made 6 figures only working 3 days/wk. The eye exam fee is $48 there (at Columbus, OH Walmart, it's $40). He said that they always upgrade his equipment- just got all new equipment recently even though the other stuff wasn't that old. He also told me that he doesn't pay any of the optometric help employees salaries- they are Walmart employees. As far as the $150,000+ figure, I got that from talking to the main leaseholder at Sears- he told me personally that the main leaseholder at Sears before him made $160,000/yr working 6 days per week. I realize that the area is probably better than most for commercial practice- they are always booked and sometimes will see over 25 pts in a day- a slow day would be 12-15. I understand that commercial practice is not always this lucrative- I talked with an OD at a Columbus Sears that only made around $55,000- her main problem was patient volume. A busy day for her was 12-13 pts and many times only saw 5-7 on a week day. The Columbus area is very saturated with ODs so that's what her problem was. I guess I just wanted to let people know that good commercial opportunities do exist out there- you may just have to research the demographics of the area that you want to practice in. Most of the ODs in my hometown area grew up in the area, so that is the only reason why they found it, but the Walmart guy said he did the demographic research (he wasn't from the area originally and only moved there for the opportunity) and discovered that the area had one of the best patient base/OD in the country. You may have to move to a small- town area to be more successful. Good luck in improving your situation.
     
  29. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Thank you, Eyegirl! :love: :D
     
  30. rose13

    rose13 Member
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    Congrats! :clap:

    I'm planning to apply to PCO as well, so we may be classmates. :)
     
  31. :laugh: :laugh: SDNers at work;)

    congrats :)
     
  32. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    damn girl, you were up LATE!!
     
  33. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    hehehehehe... (and thanks!)
     

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