approaching optometrists for internship and shadowing opportunities

alliecat415

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Sep 11, 2006
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What is the best way to do this? I'm getting ready to start a pre-optometry post-bacc program and I want to get in some shadowing beforehand to be sure. It would be really helpful if the shadowing turned into a paid opportunity of some kind. I'm wondering if anyone out there who has had some first hand experience with this has any helpful suggestions. Thanks.

A
 

Andy785

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May 17, 2006
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I have had a first-hand experience with what you are trying to do. I go to school at Penn State and over the summer, I emailed an optometrist at this practice called Nittany Eye Associates here in State College. He was very helpful, and arranged a date for me to come down and shadow him. The practice is extremely busy; there are 6 optometrists and they each see about 30 patients a day. While I was there, I didn't have a great amount of time to talk one on one with him since he was so busy but whenever I had a chance, I asked him questions about the profession. As I was leaving, I noticed there were other people working there as technicians and I just casually asked him if they needed any extra help several days a week. My intention was not to get a paid job, but to just get extra experience to put on my application. As it turns out, they were extremely short handed at the time, and he offered me a position as an optometric technician on the spot. I started the job 3 weeks ago, and it has been an excellent experience. I do lots of pre-testing (auto-refraction, peripheral field tests, visual acuities, Non-contact tonometry, Optomap testing, OCT testing, as well as dilations and ordering contact lenses). I would have done all of this for free but getting a small pay each week is definitely an added bonus. My advise to you is to be enthusiastic and seem interested in the field. Maybe you will be as lucky as I was!
 
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alferec

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What is the best way to do this? I'm getting ready to start a pre-optometry post-bacc program and I want to get in some shadowing beforehand to be sure. It would be really helpful if the shadowing turned into a paid opportunity of some kind. I'm wondering if anyone out there who has had some first hand experience with this has any helpful suggestions. Thanks.

A

Check this out: http://www.optstudent.com/ugfocus.html#shadowing

Let me know if you need more help...good luck!
 

JMU07

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Aug 16, 2006
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alliecat,

I went to my own optometrist and asked him if he would mind me shadowing him for a few weeks over the summer. He ended up giving me an actual job, which was great because I got paid. However, I would have been perfectly okay with not getting paid, as long as I was getting some experience. I didn't get to shadow too much since I was mostly working with billing/insurance and working on the front desk, but I'm planning on getting at least SOME experience shadowing when I go back home for Christmas, if not next summer as well.

I've also thought about shadowing here at college, but haven't done anything about it yet. My plan was to call a few private offices here (since I worked adjacent to a Pearle Vision this summer, I want something different) and see what they could do for me.

Good luck! :)
 
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