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Discussion in 'Optometry' started by andy33, Apr 10, 2001.

  1. andy33

    andy33 Junior Member

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    hi...i have pretty much decided that optometry is what i want to do with my life (i dont want to deal with stress or long hours..i think optometry is ideal). i have a few questions. first, how selective are optometry schools. is admission as competetive as medical and dental schools? second, i only took 9 hours this semester so i could work and shadow a lot of different professions (where i found my love for optometry). is this going to kill my chances? thanks for any help/advice.
    andy
     
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  3. puffy1

    puffy1 Senior Member

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    You need good grades (avg GPA is around 3.3 to 3.4) and a good OAT (avg. 320-340). Optometry, in my opinion, is as competitive as dentistry, but it may be harder for one to get into optometry school because of fewer opportunities (17 schools of opt as opposed to 55 schools of dentistry). Plus, many of these schools have residency requirements and obligations, so it's not as if you can apply to all 17 schools and expect to have a good shot at all of them, no matter how good your stats are.

    Go to this Optometry school website:
    http://www.opted.org/info_profile2.cfm
     
  4. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    Last year there were 2,628 people applying for the 1,390 spots in first year classes at the 17 schools. So, all things being equal, there is a better than 1 in 2 chance of getting in. Check out some other posts discussing this like http://www.studentdoctor.net/bbs/Forum3/HTML/002933.html

    Good luck.
     
  5. Dr. Pedo

    Dr. Pedo Senior Member

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    Not looking to start a fight----yet I have pretty good stats on dentistry and optom. To say competition for admission is equal---is plain wrong.

    Optometry is a great profession and they deserve a doctorate----but the admission's standard is not nearly as competitive as dentistry or medicine. I'm certainly willing to converse on this!!!!!!
     
  6. gower

    gower 1K Member

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    "Competitiveness" is a function of the number and quality of applicants in relation to the total number of first-year seats available.
    When the number of qualified applicants increases but the places available remain constant, then it is more competitive to gain admission. When the number of qualified applicants decrease but the number of places available remain constant, competitiveness decreases.

    Historically, applicant pool size and number of places fluctuates for all the health professions. In times past the medical school applicant pool decreased to the point where a 2.5/2.6 or better GPA was "competitive."
    Students admitted who earned their MDs at that time were just as good physicians as the ones who graduate in more competitive times.
    There was a time a decade or more ago when the dental applicant pool took a nose dive and some applicants were admitted with little more than a low 2.1. Five dental schools closed because of the sharp decline in number and quality of applicants while some others mangaed to weather the storm until there was an uptick in the pool.
     
  7. puffy1

    puffy1 Senior Member

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    Dr2b:

    I did some research of my own, and these are the numbers to back up my claim that optometry school is about as competitive as dental school.

    First, in the six years between 1994 to 1999, there were an average of 3943 graduates from US dental schools. Now, adjusting that to a 5% attrition rate between the first and fourth years, that average is more like 4140 first year seats available in the US.

    In terms of applicants per year, there were an average of 9290 between 1996 and 1999. So, just dividing by the averages, the acceptance rate (4140/9290) is about 45%, which is not that far from optometry schools rate of 52.9% in 2000.

    Also, there has been a downward trend in the number of dental school applicants since it reached its high in 1997 (9,829). This decline correlates with the downtrend of undergraduate applicants to dental school since the high in 1997 (8,602). In 2000, the number of undergrad applicants was at a five year low of 6,735 (this also correlates with the lower numbers of applicants to med school in recent years).

    However, there has been a similarly significant upward trend of non-undergraduate applicants, with the average between 1996 to 1999 being 1,202 and rising. Since there wasn't a total number of applicants given for 2000, I figured it to be around 8,400 (the number of 2000 undergrad applicants plus the average number of non-undergrad applicants between 1996 to 1999, as well as an additional 463 non-undergrad applicants to account for the rising trend).

    This then gives you a (preliminary) 2000 dental school acceptance rate of approximately 49.3%, which again isn't too far off from optometry school's acceptance rate of 52.9% in 2000. The acceptance rate for medical school in 2000 was 44% (16301/37092). If the trend continues as it has been for next year, I would suspect that the acceptance rate for dental school in 2001 will be over the 50% barrier.

    Also, the average GPAs for accepted dental school applicants was 3.35 in 1999; In 2000, the average GPAs for accepted optometry school students was 3.32.


    I think that if you compared the profiles of people applying to optometry school and dental school, they have similar GPAs, majors, ages, etc. Probably more people gravitate to dentistry in the past because of the potential for higher earnings, but the relatively stress-less job profile of the optometrist is beginning to gain favor with those choosing between dentistry and optometry.

    Also, as I said in my previous post, the dental school applicant has more choices to choose from because of the high number of private dental schools without residency requirements available in the United States. Most, if not all of the optometry schools in the United States, have some preference to in-state residents and to those from surrounding (contract) states that do not have optometry schools.

    Here is the ADEA website where I gathered this information:
    http://www.adea.org/ck/DentEd%20Fact%20Sheet.htm

    [This message has been edited by puffy1 (edited April 26, 2001).]
     
  8. puffy1

    puffy1 Senior Member

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    geez, I type all that stuff up and not a single response from anyone! That'll teach me... :rolleyes:
     
  9. Mikado

    Mikado Senior Member

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    Ha Ha. You'd get a better response if you don't write that much. Reading that much stuff makes people nauseus. Personally I didn't read it. I just skipped down to the shorter one.
     
  10. puffy1

    puffy1 Senior Member

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    Actually, I thought Dr.2b wanted to get into an intelligent argument with me on the subject, but I guess he/she doesn't have much to counter with. :cool:
     
  11. MDP

    MDP Member

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    I agree that dental schools and optometry schools are, on average, roughly equivalent in terms of admission standards and competition. I do think that applicants with really low GPA's (like in the 2.5 range!!) have a much better chance of getting into an optometry program than a dental program where GPA's under 2.9-3.0 are rare to say the least. I looked at the statistics published on ASCO's website and they indicate that a number of schools (ICO, SCO, PCO, NECO, Nova etc...) all took students last year with GPA's in the 2.5 (mid C) range. To be honest, I'm not sure how you'd fair with those credentials when applying to an average dental school but I don't think the chances of acceptance are too high! Overall though, I can buy the notion that your AVG optometry applicant and AVG dental applicant are similar in most every way except the type of job description and income level they desire. Any thoughts on this....?

    MDP
     
  12. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    Applicants with a 2.5 GPA aren't very competitive at ANY health professions school. So, this bickering is rather pointless. Optometry schools care more about what kind of doctor you'll be than how well you performed in "into. to underwater basketweaving" and all those classes some people end up taking to pad their GPA's. While SOME people with low GPA's are accepted, it's definintely NOT the average GPA of an optometry student. Optom. gpa's average around 3.2-3.4 (meaning some people score WAY higher).

    Whether or not it's harder to get into dental school vs optometry school is a rather rediculous arguement. It shouldn't matter whether it's harder or not... if you want to be a dentist..go to dental school.. if you want to be an optometrist .. go to optometry school. End of pissing match. Both professions deserve the respect they've garnered.

    And that's all I have to say about that... ;)
     
  13. MDP

    MDP Member

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    I'll second CPW's post any day of the week. What's really the important point is not which program is tougher to get into but the fact that if you wanna be a dentist, go to dental school and if you wanna be an optometrist, go to optometry school. Don't gear yourself at one or the other b/c you think it'll be easier to get into. That's just realy bad logic...nuff' said!
     
  14. MDP

    MDP Member

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    I'll second CPW's post any day of the week. What's really the important point is not which program is tougher to get into but the fact that if you wanna be a dentist, go to dental school and if you wanna be an optometrist, go to optometry school. Don't gear yourself at one or the other b/c you think it'll be easier to get into. That's just realy bad logic...nuff' said!
     
  15. Jubileee

    Jubileee Member

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    Here Here to CPW!!!

    I agree with her as well. This is ridiculous. And GPA is not the only criteria that is taken in consideration for admission to either of these schools. I know for one that I have a low GPA in terms of what most applicants out ther have. But I also have a family and 7 years of experience in the optical industry with recommendation from 8 different doctors in all kinds of settings.

    It really irks me that people can't give this profession the respect it deserves. And it kills me to think so many people out there think GPA is everything. I know several 4.0s who couldn't get jobs cause they had no social skills nor any realy experience. Several had bad attitudes to boot.

    What really matters is the effort you put into things. Yes I want to be an optometrist so I work in the industry, study hard, and perservere if times get tough. I don't dream od being an OD for the respect it gains me. Nor do I have any type of God complex. I want to be an optometrist cause after working in the field, I found out how rewarding it can be. I have worked in all different kinds of environments doing everything from Retail management, to computer design, to being a business administrator. And that is only a partial list of all the things I have done. The funny thing is that even though several of these professions I have been in pay a lot more than being an optician, and in some cases the future income potential is a lot more than an OD, I went back to being an optician. Why? Cause no other job gave me the satisfaction I have had when helping those who truly need your services. I don't mean, want... I mean need.

    I never considered med school, no dentistry. I didn't want the grueling hours of internships and residencies. Working 48 hour shifts. I wanted to be the one who helped that child see his mother for the first time. I wanted to be the one who helped the grandma suffering from ARMD see her grandchild's artwork. I wanted to see the immediate benefits my efforts created for someone else. Isn't that what all the health professions are about? Helping our fellow man. Surely it isn't meant to be a pissing contest about who is smarter and more deserving cause of how many A's we got or where we got our degree from.

    Well it is time to step off my soapbox and let my future inlaws have their computer back...

    Cassandra
     
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  17. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    Future inlaws?? Congrats cassandra!! When's the wedding!?? :D :D :D :) :) :cool:
     

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