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Danger Danger Danger

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by KHE, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
    Optometrist SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    I have received a few messages from prospective optometry students and now I see a thread posted in which a poster has made the claim that one of the reasons that they are considering optometry is that they don't want to go into medical school because they don't want to be in school for 8 years.

    Unfortunately, that thread degenerated into a useless debate about whether medical school or optometry school is "more difficult" and that's all beside the point.

    Let me state this as clearly as I possibly can:

    DO NOT GO INTO OPTOMETRY SCHOOL BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE A DOCTOR OF SOME KIND AND YOU DON'T REALLY WANT TO GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL SO BEING AN OPTOMETRIST IS "GOOD ENOUGH."

    I can say with near certainty that that is going to be a recipe for personal and professional suicide!!!

    If you pursue optometry, you must be certain that you are interested in optometry and you want to be an optometrist. Don't do it because it's "close enough" or "good enough." You will regret it. The people that I know who did this are almost universally miserable.

    You must know and understand what you're getting into, and you must be comfortable and CONTENT with that notion. If you are doing optometry because you are "settling" you are going to be miserable.

    BE CAREFUL!
     
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  3. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    I can't agree enough. :thumbup:
     
  4. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    Ken speaks the truth! Classmates who were originally pre-med ended up disgruntled, reapplying to MD school and left, or dropped out.

    "Listen to this man Rufus. He knows what he's talking about"
     
  5. Aznfarmerboi

    Aznfarmerboi Senior Member
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    Khe should be nominated for SDN member of the year :thumbup: if we have one.
     
  6. Oculomotor

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    This is the second major thing I agree with KHE on --the first being no need for more optometry schools) lol.....

    Here are 3 reasons why KHE is right:

    1) Student in my OD class last year who dropped out and reapplied to the DO school (he was accepted to in the first place--but decided that optometry was a shorter route to becoming a doctor of some sort.) He just got re-accepted to the same DO school.:laugh:

    2) Another student who was pre-med in undergrad went to optometry school because she couldn't get into an MD program (she did get accepted to a couple DO schools and decided that if she couldn't get an MD she would settle with "something else." That something else was optometry-----she failed out.:rolleyes:

    3) Another girl who was an honors student in undergrad but liked to party a lot. Did not want the stress of medical school but wants to have a good lifestyle and raise a family----enter optometry. She failed out.:oops:

    Notice a pattern?
     
  7. gochi

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    What about going into optometry not becuase you hate pill-counting, cleaning peoples mouths, doing foot surgery, going to school for more than 4 years or examining the ear, but are genuinely interested in helping people whilst making an above avg. salary ?
     
  8. VA Hopeful Dr

    VA Hopeful Dr Senior Member
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    That seems to go against the single point KHE is making, so my guess would be no.
     
  9. eyestrain

    eyestrain Member
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    Please stop calling pharmacists "pill-counters". It does not reflect well on you.
     
  10. Dr Gump

    Dr Gump SDN Mentor
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    I think this is a valid thought (aside from the pill counting comment). I am a prime example of this.

    My story is probably drastistacally different from most individuals on this forum. Optometry is my second career....I have been practicing for 7 years now. I did Radiation Therapy for 13 years then made the change. I was alternate listed for Medical school three years in a row. Didn't want to be a dentist, podiatrist or pharmacist. The eyes sort of interested me, but I wanted to be an Orthopod. All I really wanted, however, was AUTONOMY. Optometry gave this to me and I have built my practice just the way I want it...lots of pathology. I would hope to think it is a successful practice.

    I come from a different generation and background than many of you, but the thought processes we all go through should be similar. Unfortunately, many get stuck in the "box" and can see no further. Life these days seems to be given to you without effort. The slightest difficulty and "heavy meds" are needed for rehabilitation.

    Anyway, if you are undecided on a path, but want to benefit society by helping people in a healthcare situation, Optometry is a great career. You must first be flexible and open-minded enough to go with the flow. While many will fail, some will succeed. In my experience, those who succeed are better doctors.

    On the other hand...don't pollute Optometry just because you think it is an easy route and you can make some easy cash. This is a terrible way to think and can only lead to "heavy meds" when failure occurs.

    Good luck,

    Dr. Gump

    Life is like a box of chocolates, but don't go mental when you get the carmel flavored one....in 2008, it will lead to "heavy meds".
     
  11. aphistis

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    If you don't like cleaning people's mouths, don't become a dental hygienist. Pretty easy.
     
  12. gochi

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    I have never believed that optometry was an easy way to make cash, but without a doubt, there is great potential to do so. And overcoming those certain obstacles, at the moment, seems quite fun.
     
  13. gochi

    10+ Year Member

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    :cool:

    Nice. More people should respond like this.
     
    #12 gochi, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  14. Oculomotor

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    I decided to do optometry over osteopathic medicine. I scored a 33 on the MCAT (the average DO medical matriculant scores 25) and very successfully completed 2 quarters of medical school level classes (full grad student load) a la carte before coming to optometry school. The getting accepted into a DO med school is about as competitive as optometry but far below MD schools and somewhat below dental.

    2007
    Average Matriculation GPA


    MD - 3.65
    DO - 3.45

    Average Matriculant MCAT

    MD - 30
    DO - 25


    Sources:

    AACOM
    http://www.aacom.org/resources/books...09_CIB_web.pdf
    page 8

    AAMC
    http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2007/2007mcatgpa.htm

    Other Professional school program's matriculant GPA's (2007)

    Dentistry (Doctor of Dental Medcine) - 3.50
    http://www.ada.org/

    Optometry (Doctor of Optometry) - 3.44
    http://www.opted.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1

    Podiatry (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine) -3.3
    http://www.aacpm.org/html/statistics...culant_GPA.pdf

    So in essence I was basically given a green light by two DO schools but I decided that I wanted to do primary eye care. The OD degree (with a residency) requires 5 years (4 yr OD school + 1 yr of residency) is much more appealing to me versus (4 yr DO school + 1 intern year + 3 year residency) to become an ophthalmologist. Another reason I didn't go the DO route was the fact that you have to be in the top 10% of your class and you will have more difficulty as a DO grad securing an allopathic ophthalmology residency!) I would just be miserable as hell being stuck in something like internal medicine, family practice, etc....My choice was logical----go to optometry school and become an eye doctor no matter what. I had scrubbed in on numerous blephropastic surgeries, LASIK, PRK, cataract surgeries, YAG caps, etc..... for over a year and in all honesty it I couldn't justify it in my mind over primary medical eye care. My interest lies in primary medical eye care management of eye disease. I love pharmacology and the "gatekeeper" role of the optometrist. I also have a lot of connections back home in the medical community because of my medical family, I will have no overhead whatsoever--already have a building and capital waiting for me, so I can practice the way I wish in the future.

    My advice to people using optometry as an "alternate route" to medicine.................DONT! If you cannot get into an MD medical school then apply to a DO school---they are much far lenient regarding admissions (my cousin had a 3.01 GPA and a 27 on the MCAT----he is now a DO internist!).

    Only go to optometry school if you want to be a doctor of optometry!
     
  15. hello07

    10+ Year Member

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    Words of wisdom have spoken once again. Oculomotor, as long as you believe in what you are telling us; then that's all that matters. You scored a 33 on the MCAT's, (very good score) and chose OD school over DO and MD-your heart and soul must be into Optometry. Good for you. I hope throughout your distinguished career, you don't develop feelings of regret one way or the other; like many OD's have come to the realization that they could have done better.
    Rrealize, that primary medical eye care is still the domain of MD's -ophthalmologist. Your bread and butter is not going to be medical eye care- even if you think you are practicing as a junior MD.
    I can go on and on with you but I'm wasting my breath.
    Blessings to you on your OD endeavor.
     
  16. Oculomotor

    2+ Year Member

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    Hello 07,

    AGAIN, you make this ridiculous "junior MD" comment. Then I assume that dentists and podiatrists (both limited license practioners just like OD's) are also playing "junior MD" as well? You are off-base. Yes my heart and soul is in optometry but more importantly I am a capitalist and I believe in capitalism. I was in sales/marketing for a number of years and I believe there is NO reason why there should be a monopoly on health care (ergo medications, surgical procedures) by allopathic medicine when there are other industries (optometry, dentistry, podiatry) to provide the consumer (patients) with a good product (safe healthcare). The AMA is anti-competitive a fact witnessed by the world when the Supreme court handed down a verdict AGAINST them in Wilk vs AMA in 1987----stating that they cannot conspire to eliminate competition in the marketplace (in this case being chiropractic). Competition is good for the marketplace and the consumer. Philosophically I cannot side with a profession (Medicine) with their history of attacks and attempts to marginalize and eliminate the competition (other health care fields). Growing up as the son of physicians I saw this medical world and its total arrogance and I was appalled by it. It took me several years after I graduated college to come full circle and satisfy the "doctor tradition" in my blood and come back to school. But this time I am the "first" person in my family (nuclear family) to not follow suite and become an MD. I am very proud of that fact and the privilege I get to help a great profession such as optometry evolve and change. I am a person of principle who loves optometry-----yes I am a "junior OD" right now and I want to become a "senior OD" in the future.
     
  17. hello07

    10+ Year Member

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    It's good to know that you are a capitalist and you believe in free enterprise. Perhaps your daily diet will consist of caviar, lobster and the finest quality of French brandy; while I share a loaf of bread with 10 others and drink hot tea as a commie. Joking! lolol
    I read your point above but I can assure you, your domain of making the big bucks is selling the product- eyeglasses, frames, etc....... You really believe that an optometrists income comes from treating glaucoma or providing medical eye care to patients? Your bread and butter will be primary care- refraction and CL's. Sure, you'll be able to treat and manage ocular disease but that's not what is going to make you wealthy.
    If you believe you can cut into the competition of ophthalmologists by treating the majority of eye diseases and doing minor surgery from them YOU GOT YOURSELF AN UPHILL BATTLE. The rest you talk about AMA and it's arrogance and so forth ........is YOU with the PROBLEM NOT THEM. That's in your mind and your thought process believing that they want to eliminate the competition and so forth...........You are the one with the problem.
     
  18. IndianaOD

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    Depending on what you call "primary" medical eye care I disagree. If its primary it is optometry's domain.
     
  19. hello07

    10+ Year Member

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    oculomotor,
    i've had my differences with you in many other posts. We debated and we disagreed on many things. I went back and read your 5:02 pm post. Having read it twice, and trying to comprehend where you are coming from I can only say I feel sorry for you. Your statement now explains alot to me how you have been portraying yourself not sure if it is an inferiority or superiority complex.
    So Sorry for you............................
     
  20. MaseratiGT

    MaseratiGT Legilimens!
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    Why would you NOT want to do foot surgery??? :confused:

    :D:);):p:oops:

    The pod forum is boring, so I thought i'd stop by to see what y'all were up to.

    Carry on...back to eyes...
     
    #19 MaseratiGT, Jun 24, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  21. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    I have every bit of respect for my podiatrist. He helped me get back to running after 7-8 months in almost constant pain.:thumbup: Great guy. Showed me all his paperless office software since he knew I was getting mine up and running. :D

    I also knew though, that I didn't want to do that for a career.
     
  22. Dr Gump

    Dr Gump SDN Mentor
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    I disagree that an Optometrist cannot compete with Ophthalmologists. For everyone's edification I made notes on my morning to illustrate how my practice functions. Hopefully you will find it enlightening.

    7:30 AM Arrive at office after bicycle ride...shower, eat breakfast.

    8:00 AM Review charts, photos, fields, charges, etc from prior day

    9:00 AM Patients arrive

    9:20 AM Pt #1 - Full eye exam 62 year old patient with glaucoma
    Fields, IOP's, refraction, gonio, DFE, photos
    Follow 3 months

    Pt #2 - Dry eye follow up 80 year old
    Pt doing well with treatment
    Follow 3 months

    Pt #3 - Full eye exam 34 year old patient with amblyopia
    and allergic conjunctivitis
    Spec RX and RX for allergies
    Follow 6 months

    Pt #4 - Contact lens fit - toric
    Pt had keratitis which resolved after one month of TX
    Follow one week

    Pt #5 - Contact lens/full eye exam 27 year old with allergic
    conjunctivitis
    CL trial and RX for allerigies
    Follow one week

    Pt #6 - Dry eye follow up 77 year old
    Mild non-compliance with treatment
    Add new drop to mix
    Follow one month

    Pt #7 - Dry eye follow up 56 year old
    Pt only wants homeopathic therapy, symptoms
    resolved with current therapy
    Educate patient about homeopathic drop options,
    warm compressess/lid scrubs and fishoil.
    Follow one year

    Pt #8 - Red eye 18 year old
    RX for conjunctivitis
    Follow one week

    11:30 Return missed phone calls, go through mail, etc.

    12:00 Lunch

    All full eye exams were dilated.

    One patient purchased spectacles in my optical.

    This is a rather skewed proportion of optical sales to professional fees, but this is typical in my practice.

    I hope this has not bored you to tears, but this is a typical morning in my practice. Oculomotor is correct in his belief that he can practice Optometry with lots of pathology to enhance his bottom line...he just needs to grasp the opportunity that every Optometrist is allowed. I am nothing special, but I have worked hard to create my practice the way I like and I believe I have succeeded.

    Thanks for your attention.

    Dr Gump
     
    #21 Dr Gump, Jun 25, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  23. hello07

    10+ Year Member

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    Dr. Gump,
    No ones disagrees with your statement. I believe in your practice from what you described. My point is the money $$ comes from frames, progressives, AR coatings, transitions, etc........to make big bucks. of course you can practice the medical eye care arena- VF's, ONH photos, OCT, meds, etc.....but reimbursements from Medicaire as ophthalmologists get reimbursed aren't that much. You have to do great volume in what you do to make the money aside from selling the product ie- glasses.
    You really believe an OD in private practice can survive on just pathology and not selling glasses? How many private patienys are going to pay for all medically necessarily tests done by an OD? Don't you think they would rather go to an MD instead? You understand my point well.
     
  24. eyestrain

    eyestrain Member
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    They can, I've seen it. But it was also a guy who managed to convince a large amount of ODs in city of about 400,000 to refer all their pathology to him. It was a great setup, but probably pretty rare.
     
  25. Dr Gump

    Dr Gump SDN Mentor
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    I think your definition of "big bucks" is different than mine. My practice survives quite well on a 3:1 ratio of professional fees to optical fees. You are a typical retail Optometrist. I applaud you for "selling" things. I am not a salesman....one of my many weaknesses. I would rather care for an individual.

    I have a couple of colleagues who only see pathology. They are surviving quite well.

    My point is that there are many "niches" available to us. Get outside your box and find them. They are easily accessible. Don't be a slave to your optical. We must evolve and leave the 1980's mentality behind. That is corporate Optomety's problem. Insulate yourself from "vision plan" reimbursements.

    At the end of the day it is about patient care. That is why I practice.....not to worry about the big bucks.
     
  26. swiftiii

    swiftiii Member
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    This was a wonderful post to read. I too am not a sales person (I loathe the 3d/semester requirement to work in our optical) but when I told one of my guest lectures/lab preceptor I hoped to focus more on pathology, he heckled me to death. Saying it's not profitable doesn't deter me one bit because at the end of the day, I still don't want to have to worry about selling eyeglasses, even if I am missing out on those big bucks. Additionally, I think it is going to be taking care of my patients' health that is going to be more challenging, and more rewarding trying trying to compete with the low cost optical down the street.

    And if I wanted to make easy money, I certainly could've had my pick of fields....
     
  27. hello07

    10+ Year Member

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    Dr.Gump,
    I applaud you as a SDN mentor trying to sell our profession Optometry to those pre-optometry students and to further elevate our field into the real of medical eye care. You are a typical academic clinician who should be practicing in a OD school and precepting OD students. I have worked in private practice, optical retail (corporate stores) and a clinic with ophthalmology during my 15 years of OD. I don't need you to tell me about patient care and to get out of my box.
    I don't know how old you are or where you practice but big bucks is exactly what you said- it has a different meaning for everyone. You might be debt free, might be involved in real estate or other investments that you give a hefty return, or an inheritance that you really don't care about making as much as possible. But try selling your points to these young - 25 year olds who get out with 150-200,000 in debt and tell them to start a practice cold or buy an existing one with medical care modality. It isn't easy. As long as you provide a carrying attitude to everyone patient and address their chief complaint, does it really matter where you practice?
    I'm glad you enjoy how you practice and you feel good about yourself and your patients. But, let the profession speak for itself for those who are interested in it. Remember- bread and butter of the profession. And yes......you are more of a doctor than I will ever be.................NOT!
     
  28. DrRobs

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    Your insite is so rewarding to see...I guess people's view depends on their experiences prior to optometry that give them this attitude...and I suppose a lot has to do with the overall publics lack of knowlege that they CAN go to optometrists if they have a medical problem rather than figuring that out when they go to a good optometrist who can maybe diagnose something they didn't think they had when they thought they were just going to get some new glasses. As a future OD, I hope that my practice can be more medical than optical because commercial optometry has taken over the hopes for new optometrists in many areas to open an optical and succed based off optical sales. Correct me if I'm wrong, but commercial optometrists make their money soley off their eye exams, and sure they may see more patients per hour but in that setting (I know it is like this where I am) you do not see the profits of the optical and the optical is completely seperate from your practice. Sure if you have an optical in an established practice or an area that may be more willing to spend more money on your more quality products than the corporations who can sell to the masses easilly...then maybe your optical will be your bread and butter. I think it is all relative.

    To me my goal will be to serve patients need, but I don't necissarly look at opening an optical ever on my own, nor do I plan on working somewhere that has a huge optical, more importantly I hope to never work in a chain optical where I would have no say on my patients eye wear and people get a bad rap for me because their "glasses aren't right" due to a poor quality lens or bad measurements by the optical sales person, ect.

    If you think people only go to opthamologists for medical issues you should maybe try and find a medical optometrist who is succeding. Even if the public opinion has not fully changed I have been seeing it change working with my optometrist (who makes most her money off medical cases mind you), a lot of people who have a red eye can't just pop into their opthamalogists office and furthermore if they need any primary care they have to book months in advance (for the most part) to be seen because the doctor is too busy with surgeries to schedule these "people who can wait a few months". I also feel with the increased prevelence with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy produce a dire need for more optometrists with medical cases who can take the time to take care of their patients primary needs and only rely on the MD consults as needed (as they make their money off surgeries anyways). Optometry is new, but I feel the overall attitude has been striving and will continue to strive so I hope I'm not just being a hopeful naieve future generation OD...but I personally would rather take care of my patients the best way possible and take the time with them to exhaust any/all options before they would need to see a surgeon...or refer them right away if needed.

    Sorry for the long post.
     
  29. hello07

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    DrRobs, another pre-optometry candidate -optometry student to be speaking words of wisdom. Thank you for your enlightment. You are a great mentor. Thank you, thank you for your explicit knowledge......
     
  30. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    That is a horrible way to approach it. Why allow a large faceless corporation to make all kinds of money off of your labor? Hire a skilled person to run your optical and reap the rewards while providing excellent service and products. You don't have to be a "salesman" at all. You simply tell patients what's best for them. My practice is as "medical" as any in my state and even with that, the majority of my patients seek me out for refractive care. There is nothing different than recommending polarized lenses, or an antireflective coating than there is in recommending Xalatan or Tobradex.

    Again, why allow a large faceless corporation to reap hundreds of thousands of dollars a year off of your labor?

    The majority of your patients are going to need optical services as well. Why would you not want to "serve patient needs" as you point out? You yourself in this paragraph say that you are concerned about having no say in your patients eyewear selection. Without a quality optical in your practice, you are going to have exactly that. No say. Provide quality optical materials as well as quality medical care and reap the rewards of it.

    Your making a mistake here. One of the biggest problems with the "medical model" in optometry (and again, I pursue it as much as anyone) is that you are severely limited in the procedures you can perform. You are basically limited to the following:

    Office Visits
    Internal Photos
    External Photos
    Visual Fields
    Gonioscopy
    Pachymetry
    Extended Ophthalmoscopy
    Foreign Body removals
    Corneal Topography (if any insurance even pays for this)
    Punctal occlusion
    Dilation of the puncta

    There's really nothing else in the medical model.

    If you are desirous of wanting a private practice, don't ignore the optical. You can all disavow yourselves of the notion that you're going to have waiting rooms stuffed full of cool and exciting ocular pathology patients who are just falling all over themselves to avail themselves of your expertise. That's really not want optometry is, despite what the schools may be telling you. Take it from someone who has been around the block a whole bunch of times....pursue the medical but do NOT ignore the optical.
     
  31. hello07

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    Beautifully said KHE. Well said and put!
     
  32. swiftiii

    swiftiii Member
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    Before I pursue any more discussions in these forums, where unfortunately, there seems to be an abundance of negativity and bitterness in a media I believe should be a little more helpful (sorry, had to find someway to get that off my chest), I wanted to be sure I hadn't gotten my "life plan" wrong. I want to work for an HMO. I don't want to go into private practice, and I am not looking to make any more than $100K/yr at any point in my life. My understanding was that I wouldn't be hassled by the optical portion of this mode of practice. Was I wrong? I hope not, because I would rather just ignore all the rants and raves of seemingly disillusioned doctors who always manage to yell louder than anyone else here.

    And seriously, not all optometry students are as stupid as some people here like to make out. Sure, we have less experience than some of you doctors that have been practicing for decades, but this is just one way to do research into the profession.

    Finally, I think it's obvious that there are many types of successful models of practice. The way I want to go is certainly going to be harder, but it certainly isn't going to be impossible and if some of you want to tell me I'm wrong, then you are only making yourself lose credibility.
     
  33. DrRobs

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    My main point was, and sorry for not being clear, that I would like to be in a private practice situation, however I am not going to go out of my way to open an optical if there are other established opticals in the area, in addition to coorporations I don't want to have to rely on that as my soul income. However, I would like to go into a practice that has an established successful private optical because I have seen the benefits of that, however there are still a majority of those who come in and don't care about the fact that they are getting a service along with quality...they would rather pay the minimum if they can. Thats not to say there are people who appreciate the attentiveness of the practice I work in and I would never want to sell my patients something that is not going to benefit them, esp when it comes to the progressive lens patients.

    Personally I would like to make my focus on neuro rehabilitation with stroke and traumatic brain injury patients, and I find myself even leaning towards focusing a lot on this as research/patient care...but I would like to go into a private practice setting and not necissarily on my own unless I buy out a succesful practice and if that does not entail an optical I will not invest in one rather direct my patients to a colleague in the area I trust will give my patients the quality service they deserve...I would never direct them to a commercial optical for that reason. If I am not clear on this again, rip me apart, as thats the focus of these forums all the time.
     
  34. hello07

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    swiftiii, you and others on this forum is what drives me crazy. I made my point loud and clear. If you don't want to be hassled by the optical portion of your mode of practice then you should NOT have gone into OD school but medical school. Try learning first on how to prescribe an accurate spectacle Rx for Distance, intermediate and near and worry less on your soon to be gifted therapeutic modalities of care.
    BTW- working in an HMO you will be providing refractions/ Cl's/ DFE- primary care. if you think people will be coming to see you for laser tx for their atrophic holes in the periphery, or diabetic retinopathy or their late stage glaucoma tx you are clueless. Do you have any idea what services are provided in a HMO by optometrists? Besides interpreting VF's and /or using a retinal camera you will be a refracting OD.
     
  35. DrRobs

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    Thanks for this post, a lot of negativity is expressed on here and when you try to post encouraging words its like you get ripped apart left and right. I also am not looking to this field for the monetary values there are other things I love about optometry and making money is not my primary concern, of course I know I need to make money to live...it is not my ultimate goal to live in a mansion with some fancy car and a horse stable, ect. Personally I would really love to work with patients who are "out of the box" meaning neurorehabilitation, pediatrics with a focus on amblyopia mostly, and things that just incorporate the brain with the eyes. I wanted to be a neurologist for as long as I could remember but I knew I didnt want the demands with it and when i discovered neurooptometry and low vision that was what sold me on the field as something that made me feel fufilled. I like the other aspects for the most part (some routine people tend to be tedious sure), but if i have a neuro-rehab focus in my practice (and low vision and peds, cuz I love those areas too) I will never be bored by my patients.
     
  36. DrRobs

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    I guess I should also add I have had the privlege of working with all of those things, however the doc likes to work with peds mostly and does not do as much with neuro as she could. I know most people do not get to work with a doctor that has such a wide scope of practice so I no I am lucky. Plus it was a start up practice with an optical...so I have done everything from tech work, billing, optical sales of glasses and contacts, contact lens trainings, low vision training with devices, low vision acuities, vision therapy, visual fields, OCT exams, and more. She lets me see interesting things, lets me do new things and even lets me in on writing reports to blindness and visual services and more. She knows I can succeed and thats why she has introduced me to so much and thats why I feel so solid on my focus and I know I will work the hardest I possibly can to achieve my goals because it is what I want to do.

    Again rip me apart...I don't care...tell me I have high hopes for myself and its going to be hard and I'm going to change my mind. Honestly I have never been more focused on something and determined on something in my entire life and I have worked my ass off for the privelege to attend optometry school and not just feeling like its an "easy route out". So there you go.
     
  37. swiftiii

    swiftiii Member
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    Funny, you're the reason I wrote most of what I did. And clearly most of what I said didn't get through.

    All I asked was if I would be required to work with the optical portion of the HMO. Never have I stated that I wanted to do many of those things that you mentioned.

    And thank you for calling me clueless and making MY point.


     
  38. eyestrain

    eyestrain Member
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    I don't think the goal is to rip anyone apart. I think what some of the ODs are trying to say is that students need to be a little realistic here. Like KHE said, there will not be a waiting room filled with pathology every day. It simply won't happen, or will only happen in the rarest of practices. Most people, like it or not, are coming to you for refractive care. This shouldn't be a surprise.
     
  39. DrRobs

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    I understand that and I appreciate your grace with your responses, but it seems like a lot of people are quick to judge when posting responses. Sure I understand a lot of people on here are pretty clueless and its irritating to read some of these posts, but it is also irritating that so many ODs are just so negative about things sometimes. Nothing is going to change if established doctors (MDs and ODs) don't start seeing the need for all areas of medicine...MD, OD, DO, PA, ect. Heathcare needs are increasing in america mostly and advancements in areas that the public does not traditionally know to treat their problems (speaking to ODs), is not going to change if people have a negative attitude, and you aren't going to see more students competing to become optometrists who can still treat medical and spend more time on a refraction and hopefully generally care for all of their patients no matter the ailment. Sure MDs have an advantage with "medical problems", but thats not going to change with so much negativity and its not going to change quickly period. Sure I know that, but why not try to do what you can to change it, every little bit helps...even if its just with your patients that you see I think word of mouth is the strongest advertisement. At least I judge my doctors on how much they care about figuring out whats really wrong, rather than seeing a bunch of people and selling as much as I can.
     
  40. xmattODx

    xmattODx Senior Member
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    In my limited experience with HMO's it will be difficult for you to concentrate on pathology as an employee of an HMO.

    True you will see some red eyes but you will primarily be a refracting optometrist. Think upwards of 30 patients/day most with refractive complaints.

    If you want to ignore the optical and see pathology consider working in rural Alaska (or other IHS clinics). While you're providing refractive care you'll also see a bunch of pathology and you're the only one around to deal with it.
     
  41. swiftiii

    swiftiii Member
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    Well, don't get me wrong. I can be just as malevolent if pushed (it's starting to show, I think.) Maybe we should secede and form the kinder, gentler SDN where bitter doctors don't come to spend their free time in a pathetic attempt to blast optometry students. Which reminds me, I am a student with not much to do. What is everyone else's excuse? Am I going to find myself ten years from now replying to any comment I can? :eek:

    Seriously though, I tried not to read here, but sometimes I have a question or there is something I can answer. This is a wonderful opportunity for discussion and I would really rather not see it constantly evolving into this blistering diatribe.

    BTW DrRobs, it sounds to me like you have a good plan (much better than mine!) I know a doctor down here whose practice sounds much like the one you described, and he absolutely loves his job and he is very successful. (PS brace yourself anyway.... ;) )

     
  42. eyestrain

    eyestrain Member
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    I would bet the vast majority of ODs here are NOT bitter. I'm not. That being said, I think it is useful for ODs to step into this discussions and inject some reality occasionally. Just because you don't want to hear it doesn't mean a lot of this stuff isn't true.
     
  43. DrRobs

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    Hahaha, Thanks for that, I am also someone with free time before august when I can start school again...working full time in an area you deliberately chose to live in due to the experience and not having any friends or family will do that. So yea, thats been my question too...whats everyones excuse to knock everyone else all the time!

    I also have this opinion, I try not to comment on things due to the responses I have gotten in the past when I "try" to give encouraging words, theres always someone with something to criticize about you. So you know what I havent been posting in a while but its just so much negativity and no reinforcement. So thank you for being a kind soul, I wish there were more. Also, you don't have to be involved in things but OPT who refer to an OD right off the bat aren't helping either if esp if there is an OD in the area who can see the patient quicker and do the same testing if surgery is not an ultimate need...exp glaucoma suspects or strab. patients, or u know just peds or other "complicated people" in general
     
  44. hello07

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    Thank you xmattODx. You are more tactful and diplomatic than I am in getting your point across to some of these oblivious optometry students. Switiii -go back and read xmattODx post about your HMO illusions.
    DrRobs, as long as you believe in what you are trying to achieve, then that's all that counts. Go for it. Allthough, you are also a little disillusioned, you know what you want. You sound sincere and good. Some of our colleagues to be - are just out there beyond Pluto- another galaxy. ​
     
  45. swiftiii

    swiftiii Member
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    I was going to thank Matt before anyone told me to. I guess I spoke too fast earlier when I said I wanted to focus on pathology. Yes, I know HMO=lots of focus on refracting. Nonetheless, I have seen the interaction between HMO doctors and their patients, and if anything, I look forward to working in a practice where I can form a repertoire with my patients (yes, yes, there are other modes to do this in as well; I am not discounting them.)

    Also, I don't really think that most ODs here are bitter. Just the louder ones (ruining the credibility of their OD brethren.) Certainly, the forums would not be very beneficial if we didn't have some voices of experience and wisdom. All in all, I just think that there needs to be more tact and thoughtfulness when expressing a different opinion. And certainly all of us should remind ourselves that there is more than one approach to everything optometry.
     
  46. DrRobs

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    Well yea and thats where the lack of experience, even if not being directly involved in a practice as an employee...if you just shadow someone good who is willing to introduce you to all the aspects of the field...meaning struggles and achievements/benefits...a lot of people just see this as an easy route where they can work 9-5 and make a 6 figure income. That is not the attitude people should have at all. I am disgusted by a lot of people who have posted things like that, commented on a few and got bashed for spelling/grammer and it was like okay, sorry if I took the time to post my thread and spell checked and grammar checked it would you be happy then...no theres no need for that lol.

    I just wish there wasn't so much negativity/lack of willing to actually take time and look into what optometry really is.
     
  47. Dr Gump

    Dr Gump SDN Mentor
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    Boy, I make a post, go home and look what happens. My morning activities were posted to illustrate a successful alternative to disgruntled old Optometrists and ambitious student doctors.

    I never said to ignore the optical, just that I am not a salesman. That makes me less of a doctor?? I'm not here to measure members or
    noggins.

    Hello07 Don't get your panties in a wad. You do things your way and I do things my way. I am happy with my practice, unfortunately you are not.

    Many of the student doctors are thinking outside the box, which I find refreshing. The old mode of practice should evolve. Heaven forbid that we forget our roots, just make Optometry better....don't chastise and confuse - educate and nurture.

    Thanks for your attention,

    Dr. Gump
     
  48. Oculomotor

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    Hello 07,

    i have to step in here to defend SWIFTII in with my "oblivious" and clueless" student frame of reference:rolleyes:. I don't have to be miserable for 15 yrs like you to gather information about this field. I read three practice surveys done in scientific journals (peer reviewed) and found that about 65% of interventions were refractive and 35% concerned eye health (medications, etc..) I KNOW that refractive care will be my bread and butter so to speak but after attending many practice management sessions with speakers from different realms of optometry, working in an "ocular disease" based optometry practice (about 60% of interventions involved medical optometric care), and rotating through the VA--a private practice--commercial practices--and hospital affiliated practices, I have a FRAME OF REFERENCE. I AM SICK AND TIRED OF YOUR DISRESPECT TOWARDS STUDENTS AND YOUR NEGATIVE VIEW OF THE PROFESSION. In your mind why do optometry, dentistry, or podiatry---they are all inferior to medicine anyway?:rolleyes: RIGHT? I hate to tell you this but medicine, which you think is a panacea, has many problems of its own. Hell, Hello 07, go back to medical school (this is your Val Halla), do a 3 year family practice residency and then see 50 patients a day for 8 minutes each to make your $150,000.00 salary------AWESOME HUH? Or maybe become an OB/GYN and spend half your salary on malpractice insurance? COOOL! Or maybe General Surgery---9-10 years!!!!!(Med school + residency + fellowship)---I would need a cane by the time I finished.......Do you like seeing nasty stuff ( i.e sputum, bodily fluids, bad odors, etc....)? I DONT. Many of my classmates feel this way too. How about Dentistry and Podiatry------great fields but most of us OD types don't like living in mouths all day or dealing with feet (although a biomechanical marvel.) That leaves one field that offers you the ability to:

    1) be a clinical doctor
    2) complete autonomy
    3) a decent income (not fantastic but good)
    4) ability to prescribe medication and medical devices (contacts, glasses, puntal plugs, etc.)
    5) a respectable position in the community

    I think it is a GREAT deal for 8 yrs of commitment (4 BS + 4 OD) so pleaaaaaaaaaaase stop insulting students and advising them to go to medical school--->many of us had the academic credentials and chose without reservation to pursue becoming optometrists.
     
  49. Oculomotor

    2+ Year Member

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    I vote for Dr Gump as SDN mentor of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1) progressive
    2) forward thinking
    3) positive

    Dr Gump rocks.
     
  50. xmattODx

    xmattODx Senior Member
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    I find the direction this thread has taken fascinating. It seems to have become exactly the opposite of what KHE intended. He said:

    Now please don't read this as an attack or calling any students stupid/ignorant/any other insult.

    I think its important for all optometry/potential optometry students to understand what the outcome of optometry school is - you become an optometrist.

    When I was working in academia I came across so many students who said they "love disease" and "wanted to just do disease" but at the same time the vast majority of optometrists make the vast majority of their income from refractive services.

    I don't believe that this is because practicing optometrists are lazy or "old school" or unimaginative. I think its because they're optometrists. Optometry is a refractive profession. Sure you can extend your practice into disease but very few optometrists are able to move away from the need to do refractions and fitting contact lenses. Some on this board seem to have been able to do that but I urge students not to think that they will be so lucky.

    If you are unprepared to be a refractionist with the odd pathology patient thrown in I wouldn't do optometry. If you want to be a disease treating machine and are willing to do the odd refraction/cl fitting I don't think optometry is a good fit. You might be able to but I think the odds are stacked against you.

    This is how I read KHE's initial post. Perhaps he could clarify as, rightfully, the students respect his opinion.
     
  51. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    Yes, Matt....you have summed up my point brilliantly. That's what I'm trying to get at here.

    Some posters on here carry a more negative tone than others. There's nothing I can do about that. I would suggest however that you not discount their postings simply because you don't like the way their thoughts are being conveyed.

    The "fantasy" of optometry that pre opt and optometry students have is different from the "reality" of optometry 99% of the time. Trust me when I say this. I"m not trying to be negative, or a downer here. It's just the way it is. Take it from someone who has been around the block on this one many times.

    I can't help but chuckle to myself and shake my head slightly when I see some of the postings on here. Virtually every single poster on here has the exact same hopes, dreams, fears and fantasies that I and virtually every single one of my collegues have/had. However, as with most things in life....the fantasy doesn't quite live up to the reality. That doesn't mean that optometry can't be a fun and rewarded career, but I think the thought processes that many students have are flawed, because they are based on a false understanding of what is waiting for them at the end of school. This is the source of a lot of disillusionment for many people. Unfortunately, the gut reaction that many students have is "that won't happen to me" or "I'm going to work extra hard" or "I'm going to have a positive attitude" and I think that it's important to understand that that's not enough.

    I've posted on this forum mostly for one reason....so that students can learn from my mistakes because DAMN I have made a lot of them. But most of them were not so much mistakes of what I did, or didn't do. Most of them were mistakes of what I THOUGHT.
     

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