Bob_Barker27

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I'm currently trying to get into pharmacy school, but I have been rejected by the University of South Carolina. I still have a shot at getting into another school, but I'm not real confident after getting rejected by USC b/c i thought I was a lock to get in to USC. I am probably going to shoot for optometry school next year if I don't get in to pharmacy school this year. My pre-pharmacy GPA was a 3.6 and I was crediting a more advanced calculus, statistics and two physics courses than the pharmacy schools require. I have an undergrad degree in mechanical engineering, and I finished up with a 3.1 GPA in that. Since returning to school last year to finish up the pharmacy prereqs, I have made all A's, including both organic chemistry and both anatomy/physiology courses. I would have to take a few more courses required by optometry schools like microbiology and biochemistry, so I think my pre-optometry GPA will be close to a 3.7 if I keep making A's. I made a 86% on the PCAT and I didn't study much for it....I only reviewed some biology for about 3 hours. I was wondering if anybody here as taken the PCAT and the OAT, and if the PCAT is comparable to the OAT. I know the OAT has physics on it, but the PCAT doesn't. If I do above average on the OAT, do I have a good chance of getting in with a 3.7 pre-optometry GPA and an undergrad degree in mechanical engineering? UAB and SCO both reserve about 3 seats a year for SOuth Carolina residents, and only about 8 students apply to each school a year, so I seem to have a good chance at least statistically, especially compared to pharmacy school where they get 5 applications for every seat. I really need to get into a school next year or I'm just going to have to go back to engineering. Any feedback would be appreciated.
 

polkadot

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Based on your GPA and potential test score, it seems to me that you'd have a good shot, at least to get to the interview. I don't know what kind of acceptance methodology UAB and SCO use, but SCCO uses grades/scores only up to the interview, and acceptance of interviewees is based only on essays/interviews (at least that's how Dr. Voorhees explained it to me).

I can't speak to a PCAT/OAT comparison, but the physics portion will be relatively straightforward for you, considering your ME background. I would consider getting the TopScore CD, it will lowball you for an estimated score, but I thought it was a good prep tool.

The only thing that may hang you up is your pharm to opt switch. Because I'm also a non-trad, I really felt like I had to convince my interviewers that I wanted to be an optometrist and wasn't looking at optometry school just to escape some other fate. At one interview, one panelist even said, "I have no doubt you'll be successful at anything you try, but how do I know that you won't be bored with optometry later?"

I would consider shadowing/working for an optometrist (or several) over the next few months. This might help you get your optometrist LOR later, too, which is a requirement at a lot of the schools.

It really helped me a lot to contact the schools (phone/email) and see what they thought I needed to do to be competitive. It at least gave me a ballpark OAT score to shoot for.

Good luck!
- polkadot.
 
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polkadot said:
Based on your GPA and potential test score, it seems to me that you'd have a good shot, at least to get to the interview. I don't know what kind of acceptance methodology UAB and SCO use, but SCCO uses grades/scores only up to the interview, and acceptance of interviewees is based only on essays/interviews (at least that's how Dr. Voorhees explained it to me).

I can't speak to a PCAT/OAT comparison, but the physics portion will be relatively straightforward for you, considering your ME background. I would consider getting the TopScore CD, it will lowball you for an estimated score, but I thought it was a good prep tool.

The only thing that may hang you up is your pharm to opt switch. Because I'm also a non-trad, I really felt like I had to convince my interviewers that I wanted to be an optometrist and wasn't looking at optometry school just to escape some other fate. At one interview, one panelist even said, "I have no doubt you'll be successful at anything you try, but how do I know that you won't be bored with optometry later?"

I would consider shadowing/working for an optometrist (or several) over the next few months. This might help you get your optometrist LOR later, too, which is a requirement at a lot of the schools.

It really helped me a lot to contact the schools (phone/email) and see what they thought I needed to do to be competitive. It at least gave me a ballpark OAT score to shoot for.

Good luck!
- polkadot.
Thanks for the advice. I definitely plan to do work or shadow with an optometrist if I decide to pursue it. I think the main reason that U. of South Carolina didn't accept me for pharmacy school was I never worked in a pharmacy, so I won't make that mistake again with optometry. I still don't understand how I didn't even make the waiting list there though.
 

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For SCO your 3.1 was a little low, but still OK.(I emailed the Admissions Dean earlier this year, and you are OK with 3.0 or above depending on OATs and experiences) The big improvement is good, especially since it includes O chem etc.

You should be fine with some good OAT scores, but don't stress the fact that you tried pharmacy first. I have found that some professional schools take offense to the fact that they might be a "backup" plan. (Which sucks, I got accepted to medical school I just would prefer to go to get an O.D.)

Good Luck to you!!
 
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Badger150 said:
For SCO your 3.1 was a little low, but still OK.(I emailed the Admissions Dean earlier this year, and you are OK with 3.0 or above depending on OATs and experiences) The big improvement is good, especially since it includes O chem etc.

You should be fine with some good OAT scores, but don't stress the fact that you tried pharmacy first. I have found that some professional schools take offense to the fact that they might be a "backup" plan. (Which sucks, I got accepted to medical school I just would prefer to go to get an O.D.)

Good Luck to you!!
Thanks for the advice, Badger. To me, a 3.1 in mechanical engineering is the equivalent to a 3.8 in biology, chemistry, or pyschology. The science majors are more about just memorizing large volumes of information, whereas the concepts in engineering are more difficult to understand and you are tested on your ability to solve problems. Engineering exams usually just had three questions, four if you were lucky, so if you couldn't figure out one, you are looking at a 67 on the exam. On the other hand, the exams in the pre-pharmacy courses usually had at least 30 questions and most of them were multiple choice, so it was much easier to get A's in those courses. The problem is that I don't think that professional schools share my view about engineering being tougher than undergrad science majors.
I probably won't bring up my efforts to get into pharmacy school if I decide to go for optometry next year. I don't see optometry schools wanting to take a pharmacy school reject. I have been interested in optometry school since my senior year in engineering, and I even bought this Wilkens OAT review book back in 2000. I also visited the UAB optometry school in 2001 and spoke with a student and one of the admission ladies. However, I live in South Carolina, and there are two pharmacy schools here but no optometry schools, so I just decided to do pharmacy because tuition would be alot cheaper and I'm kind of interested in how drugs work in the body to control various diseases. However, I would like to work for myself or with another partner or two, and optometry puts you a better position for that than pharmacy does.
 

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Bob_Barker27 said:
Thanks for the advice, Badger. To me, a 3.1 in mechanical engineering is the equivalent to a 3.8 in biology, chemistry, or pyschology. The science majors are more about just memorizing large volumes of information, whereas the concepts in engineering are more difficult to understand and you are tested on your ability to solve problems. Engineering exams usually just had three questions, four if you were lucky, so if you couldn't figure out one, you are looking at a 67 on the exam. On the other hand, the exams in the pre-pharmacy courses usually had at least 30 questions and most of them were multiple choice, so it was much easier to get A's in those courses. The problem is that I don't think that professional schools share my view about engineering being tougher than undergrad science majors.
:smuggrin:

You cut me deep Bob...you cut me deep... :laugh: :laugh: Much as I'm gonna hate myself in the morning I feel I must defend the honor of those of us in difficult UG science majors :laugh:

As a proud Biochem major here at Wisconsin I don't agree with you about engineering being tougher than UG science majors in general. ;) lol!! :p They are different though.

I would say that engineering can be more difficult than some science majors, and it might be true at your school that the science majors have an easier time, BUT this isn't true everywhere. I have never had a multiple choice exam in any of my required science classes, and just memorizing facts would kill any chance you have at an A here. At least here the stress is on the application of the knowledge, not the memorization.(For the sake of future patients thank goodness, 'cause who wants someone who can list all the uses of a drug from memory, but can't figure out if it's the right treatment for the patient :laugh: )

I would also venture a guess that the concepts in my multidimensional heteronuclear NMR class (for solving the structure of DNA, RNA, and Proteins) are as challenging as those in the ME world.

I will admit that there are some majors in the sciences at every school that would make pulling a great GPA (3.8+) much easier. (General Biology is one example here, (not everywhere) since you can choose to take the lower level bio classes, and can choose from so many electives to fill out your degree that you can avoid the tough classes.)

Not trying to make anybody mad, just trying to stick up for my "peeps" in the Biochem world, and other assorted "difficult" science majors. :clap: Can I get an "Amen"?
 

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I"m in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia, and I certainly WON"T agree that a 3.1 in Mech Eng eqivalent to a 3.8 in other sciences. Not that I think Mech Eng is easy, but then one must not look down on the difficulty of Biology/chemistry. I mean, quantum Mechanics, analytical chem? I 've also wrote finals that was only 2-3 questions long. There is this biology course that's offered in our school that u can use anything kind of material to help u in finals, but the prof always quote "if you need a course to pull up your average, this is not the one to take". 50% of students ended up dropping out of the course.

Hmm... okay..I've done blahhing..

Katalio
 
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Katalio said:
I"m in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia, and I certainly WON"T agree that a 3.1 in Mech Eng eqivalent to a 3.8 in other sciences. Not that I think Mech Eng is easy, but then one must not look down on the difficulty of Biology/chemistry. I mean, quantum Mechanics, analytical chem? I 've also wrote finals that was only 2-3 questions long. There is this biology course that's offered in our school that u can use anything kind of material to help u in finals, but the prof always quote "if you need a course to pull up your average, this is not the one to take". 50% of students ended up dropping out of the course.

Hmm... okay..I've done blahhing..

Katalio
Well, I wasn't trying to say that biology or chemistry are easy. Many people have a hard time memorizing a large volume of scientific information. I probably shouldn't have lumped chemistry in with biology; chemistry is a little more difficult. I could be way off on this, but I just think the majority of exams in a biology or pyschology major are fairly simple if you spend enough time studying for them. I use to study my tail off for an engineering exam and still bomb them on a regular basis. I think that I would have had close to a 4.0 if I had majored in biology, and a 3.6 or so in chemistry.
 

rpames

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anna379

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i completely disagree with a 3.1 in mechanical enginering being considered a 3.8 in science. a 3.1 in electrical or chemical engineering from a competitive school might be considered a 3.5-3.6 in biology from a less competitive school. if your mech engineering degree is from a competitive school than maybe your gpa would be given the same consideration as someone with a 3.2 to 3.3 in biology/sciences.
also, i think it's rather bold of you to claim that your degree is equivalent to a 3.8 in science especially to a forum of mostly science majors.
good luck
 
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anna379 said:
i completely disagree with a 3.1 in mechanical enginering being considered a 3.8 in science. a 3.1 in electrical or chemical engineering from a competitive school might be considered a 3.5-3.6 in biology from a less competitive school. if your mech engineering degree is from a competitive school than maybe your gpa would be given the same consideration as someone with a 3.2 to 3.3 in biology/sciences.
also, i think it's rather bold of you to claim that your degree is equivalent to a 3.8 in science especially to a forum of mostly science majors.
good luck
I'm a rather bold kind of guy. I've have taken enough science courses that I think that I can make a reasonable comparison. You probably haven't taken enough engineering courses where you can say that my comparision is wrong. Take care.
 

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As a pre-pharm turned OD ... you have to find your passion. If you wanted pharm school just cuz it's cheaper you might end up in a world of hurt after getting out. I was a pharmacy tech for three years before I realized pharm school was NOT for me and changed majors. Now, I'm about to graduate with my OD degree and have never once doubted my decision. Go out and talk to some ODs... call some OD schools. I would think there would be others than SCO with SC contract seats (like UAB or NOVA). I'd call them to be sure before applying (or not applying).

Good luck !
 

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hey bobbarker-
i didn't mean to offend you. i am familiar with the engineering curriculum. my degree is in biotechnology, and i took roughly 6 bioengineering courses in college as well as engineering calculus. also, my boyfriend graduated with an electrical engineer degree from cornell. i know the engineering degree is intense and requires 17-20 credit hours per semester and this is why your gpa may be bumped. bio majors do not have to take as many credits per semester, but if they're doing a prehealth profession, they do have intense competition and have to deal with 'weeding out' classes.

i think you have a good chance with a 3.1 in mech eng for optom school. but i think you're discrediting work people on this board have put in their schoolwork by stating that you feel you would have had a 3.8 if you did bio/biochem, etc. taking only one or two bio courses at a time is not the same as taking a full-time courseload as a student (even if you are working part- or full-time.) i've taken grad level courses (1-2 per semester) as well as a bio prereq while working full-time and have gotten As and high Bs (while I struggled to get Bs and high Bs in undergrad). just my thoughts and wish you luck with your applications and interviews.


Bob_Barker27 said:
I'm a rather bold kind of guy. I've have taken enough science courses that I think that I can make a reasonable comparison. You probably haven't taken enough engineering courses where you can say that my comparision is wrong. Take care.
 
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anna379 said:
hey bobbarker-
i didn't mean to offend you. i am familiar with the engineering curriculum. my degree is in biotechnology, and i took roughly 6 bioengineering courses in college as well as engineering calculus. also, my boyfriend graduated with an electrical engineer degree from cornell. i know the engineering degree is intense and requires 17-20 credit hours per semester and this is why your gpa may be bumped. bio majors do not have to take as many credits per semester, but if they're doing a prehealth profession, they do have intense competition and have to deal with 'weeding out' classes.

i think you have a good chance with a 3.1 in mech eng for optom school. but i think you're discrediting work people on this board have put in their schoolwork by stating that you feel you would have had a 3.8 if you did bio/biochem, etc. taking only one or two bio courses at a time is not the same as taking a full-time courseload as a student (even if you are working part- or full-time.) i've taken grad level courses (1-2 per semester) as well as a bio prereq while working full-time and have gotten As and high Bs (while I struggled to get Bs and high Bs in undergrad). just my thoughts and wish you luck with your applications and interviews.
You didn't offend me. Everybody is going to be a little biased about their major and think it's as difficult as anything else. I think an engineering program tests a different type of academic ability than biology major does. They are both challenging in their own ways, but my basic point was that a lower GPA in engineering shouldn't hurt an applicant because it seems to me that potential sucess in optometry school is best indicated by how well you do in biology and biochemistry type of courses, not engineering courses. Engineering is just completely different. I'm not trying to say every engineering student would do much better in biology, chemistry, or other science major than in engineering. I can only speak for me, and I believe that I would have. I took organic chemistry 1, anatomy/physiology 1 & 2, and economics last spring and made A's in all of them. I don't think I ever made A's in any of my engineering courses. I think by nature engineering is more difficult because it involves more math than science majors do.
 
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cpw said:
As a pre-pharm turned OD ... you have to find your passion. If you wanted pharm school just cuz it's cheaper you might end up in a world of hurt after getting out. I was a pharmacy tech for three years before I realized pharm school was NOT for me and changed majors. Now, I'm about to graduate with my OD degree and have never once doubted my decision. Go out and talk to some ODs... call some OD schools. I would think there would be others than SCO with SC contract seats (like UAB or NOVA). I'd call them to be sure before applying (or not applying).

Good luck !
Thanks for the advice, cpw. I am interested in how drugs work in the body, so I didn't decide to shoot for pharmacy school just because the tuition was cheaper, although that was an important factor. I think that I would enjoy pharmacy school, but I might enjoy working as an optometrist better than as a pharmacist, at least a retail pharmacist which seems like it might be like working at Burger King. I was thinking pharmacy might be better to me because I find physiology more interesting than anatomy, and it seems to me optometry school has a lot more anatomy related courses than pharmacy school. Both UAB and SCO offer south carolina residents in-state tuition. I think some other optometry schools offer out of state students in-state tuition after their first year. I talked to a optometrist back in 2001, but he seemed really disgruntled about the profession, so I kind of decided not to pursue it at the time. I probably should talk to some other optometrists to get a more diverse view of the profession. Anyway, I wish you well and congratulations on finishing optometry school and getting your OD, that's awesome.
 

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I think you have a great chance of getting into optometry school at UAB or SCO. I got offered SC contract seats at both schools. I am going to SCO, but they are both great schools. My specs:
GPA 3.42
OAT 340 Academic Avg, 280 Quantitative Reasoning, 340 Reading Comp, 330 Physics, 380 Biology, 370 General Chem, 310 Organic Chem, 360 Total Science

You might want to mention something about improving once you started taking science classes in your essay. Your record might be something you should talk to a school about before applying.

Do plenty of shadowing. Try to get at least a small and large practice in there and a young and older doctor. It might be good to see a commercial practice like Sears, Walmart, etc as well as private. This would show that you are really into optometry and know what you are doing. My dad is an optometrist in Orangeburg, so it might be better to get some advice on the shadowing part from someone else. I'm not sure how much that helped me, and how much other shadowing I would have needed had I not had a dad in optometry. There was a guy I shadowed in Lexington named Jason Lee who had recently graduated from UAB who was real nice. He had moved to Florence last I heard, and the email addy I got for him no longer works. Once you meet one decent optometrist, especially some of the older ones, he/she should know other good people to visit. In fact, they probably have a list somewhere in a booklet.

I graduated from Clemson with a BS in Biological Sciences. It took me 4 and a half years to graduate because I was in engineering for 2 years (general the first year and then chemical). I sympathize with the notion that engineering is harder than science majors. Generally, I have to agree with you from my experience at Clemson, but I think it can vary for some people. Unfortunately, I think that many admissions people at schools don't see at that way. I figure some do; Some don't. I have a perspective from actually being in both majors.

I have to say that when I was in engineering, I came close to losing my scholarships while working my butt off. I remember doing homework till 3am or later multiple times a week one semester in chem e. With class at 8am the next day, I justified giving up on some homework (even though it was graded) because the sleep was more important for dealing with the next barage of homework and exams.

When I switched to Biology, man, I'm telling you, I felt like a genius in those classes. My workload dropped dramatically and my grades shot up. My classes were not all easy, but it was still night and day compared to chemical engineering.

As far as a 3.1 in mech. engr equalling a 3.8 in a science, I have to say that may be a little extreme, but the man has a point. If I had stayed in engineering and continued doing about the same I probably would have ended up with a 3.1 or 3.2. If I could ditch my bad engineering grades that counted into my Biology degree, I'd have about a 3.7 to 3.8, but that's an estimate. It'd be interesting if I actually sat down to figure it out.
 
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Badger150 said:
:smuggrin:

You cut me deep Bob...you cut me deep... :laugh: :laugh: Much as I'm gonna hate myself in the morning I feel I must defend the honor of those of us in difficult UG science majors :laugh:

As a proud Biochem major here at Wisconsin I don't agree with you about engineering being tougher than UG science majors in general. ;) lol!! :p They are different though.

I would say that engineering can be more difficult than some science majors, and it might be true at your school that the science majors have an easier time, BUT this isn't true everywhere. I have never had a multiple choice exam in any of my required science classes, and just memorizing facts would kill any chance you have at an A here. At least here the stress is on the application of the knowledge, not the memorization.(For the sake of future patients thank goodness, 'cause who wants someone who can list all the uses of a drug from memory, but can't figure out if it's the right treatment for the patient :laugh: )

I would also venture a guess that the concepts in my multidimensional heteronuclear NMR class (for solving the structure of DNA, RNA, and Proteins) are as challenging as those in the ME world.

I will admit that there are some majors in the sciences at every school that would make pulling a great GPA (3.8+) much easier. (General Biology is one example here, (not everywhere) since you can choose to take the lower level bio classes, and can choose from so many electives to fill out your degree that you can avoid the tough classes.)

Not trying to make anybody mad, just trying to stick up for my "peeps" in the Biochem world, and other assorted "difficult" science majors. :clap: Can I get an "Amen"?
Well I think biochemistry and chemistry can be difficult, especially if they don't have multiple choice exams. The organic chemistry courses that I took were junior level, and most of the students thought they were incredibly hard, but I thought they were just mostly memorization. I'm also 27 so that might have some role to play in my better grades in science courses now than in my engineering courses back in the day. ;)
 
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stevec said:
I think you have a great chance of getting into optometry school at UAB or SCO. I got offered SC contract seats at both schools. I am going to SCO, but they are both great schools. My specs:
GPA 3.42
OAT 340 Academic Avg, 280 Quantitative Reasoning, 340 Reading Comp, 330 Physics, 380 Biology, 370 General Chem, 310 Organic Chem, 360 Total Science

You might want to mention something about improving once you started taking science classes in your essay. Your record might be something you should talk to a school about before applying.

Do plenty of shadowing. Try to get at least a small and large practice in there and a young and older doctor. It might be good to see a commercial practice like Sears, Walmart, etc as well as private. This would show that you are really into optometry and know what you are doing. My dad is an optometrist in Orangeburg, so it might be better to get some advice on the shadowing part from someone else. I'm not sure how much that helped me, and how much other shadowing I would have needed had I not had a dad in optometry. There was a guy I shadowed in Lexington named Jason Lee who had recently graduated from UAB who was real nice. He had moved to Florence last I heard, and the email addy I got for him no longer works. Once you meet one decent optometrist, especially some of the older ones, he/she should know other good people to visit. In fact, they probably have a list somewhere in a booklet.

I graduated from Clemson with a BS in Biological Sciences. It took me 4 and a half years to graduate because I was in engineering for 2 years (general the first year and then chemical). I sympathize with the notion that engineering is harder than science majors. Generally, I have to agree with you from my experience at Clemson, but I think it can vary for some people. Unfortunately, I think that many admissions people at schools don't see at that way. I figure some do; Some don't. I have a perspective from actually being in both majors.

I have to say that when I was in engineering, I came close to losing my scholarships while working my butt off. I remember doing homework till 3am or later multiple times a week one semester in chem e. With class at 8am the next day, I justified giving up on some homework (even though it was graded) because the sleep was more important for dealing with the next barage of homework and exams.

When I switched to Biology, man, I'm telling you, I felt like a genius in those classes. My workload dropped dramatically and my grades shot up. My classes were not all easy, but it was still night and day compared to chemical engineering.

As far as a 3.1 in mech. engr equalling a 3.8 in a science, I have to say that may be a little extreme, but the man has a point. If I had stayed in engineering and continued doing about the same I probably would have ended up with a 3.1 or 3.2. If I could ditch my bad engineering grades that counted into my Biology degree, I'd have about a 3.7 to 3.8, but that's an estimate. It'd be interesting if I actually sat down to figure it out.
I know a lot of other engineers that dropped out of engineering because they were failing courses, and their grades went up dramatically in their new majors. I think engineering is tough because you have to do so many calculations for each problem on the exam, and I rarely was able to finish the exam before the 50 minutes was up. I could relax more during science exams because I didn't have to do all these calculations in order to arrive at the answer.
Were most of the optometrists you talked to pretty positive about the field? I talked to one optometrist up in Clemson 4 years ago and he seemed really disgruntled about the field and he advised me to just stick with engineering. He worked for himself, and he apparently had a lot of insurance paperwork to deal with which he didn't care for. What do you think about Clemson beating Maryland for the 3rd time? Too bad we can't play them three more times in the ACC tournament and get an automatic bid to the Big Dance :)
 

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Bob_Barker27 said:
I know a lot of other engineers that dropped out of engineering because they were failing courses, and their grades went up dramatically in their new majors. I think engineering is tough because you have to do so many calculations for each problem on the exam, and I rarely was able to finish the exam before the 50 minutes was up. I could relax more during science exams because I didn't have to do all these calculations in order to arrive at the answer.
Were most of the optometrists you talked to pretty positive about the field? I talked to one optometrist up in Clemson 4 years ago and he seemed really disgruntled about the field and he advised me to just stick with engineering. He worked for himself, and he apparently had a lot of insurance paperwork to deal with which he didn't care for. What do you think about Clemson beating Maryland for the 3rd time? Too bad we can't play them three more times in the ACC tournament and get an automatic bid to the Big Dance :)
I agree totally with what you just said about engineering.

For some reason, when I was replying to that last post it didn't register in my brain that you were that Clemson grad. My brother went to Clemson too. He's an electical engineer working at Y-12 in Oakridge, TN. Yeah, all the optometrists I talked to seemed upbeat and positive about their field. I guess it just depends on the guy. Everybody's practice is different. After my co-op job as a chem e major, I thought to myself, "I'd rather be doing what my dad does!" When I went to UAB's open house last year, there was a student there who majored in mechanical engineering working one of the student organization booths. Sorry, but I don't know his life story or anything. There's only one optometrist I know of that has had a really horrible time of it, and that's because he's an idiot. All professions have them. (I'm not going to name any names or give any more details on a public forum.)

The problem with being solo like that guy in Clemson is you have more overhead costs, and you're not just an optometrist. You're a business owner as well, and you've got to take care of that. You are the boss. That can probably be particularly stressful for some people. I have no idea how well he manages his business, and how much help he's got. But its not all bad. Afterall, you're the boss, and you do things the way you want. :D

Insurance has become an increasing burden over the years. 20 or 30 years ago most people just came in and paid for their stuff. Now it means doctors' offices, any kind, have to deal with more paperwork for all that insurance and that means more overhead costs to pay someone to do it or do it yourself.

My dad has a solo practice. He works in Orangeburg Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and works in St. George on Wednesdays. He's got 3 people working for him, all full time (one of them is my mom). Two of them especially have been in the optometry business for a long time and are fantastic employees. When my dad started out there, he had an older partner in the same practice, the founder of the practice. When his partner died, he bought out the rest of the practice. I think the guy before him had started a good, well-run practice and my dad took over from there. I think it was a little rough for him at first when he became the only guy in charge and had to do some hiring and firing, but he was eased into the business a bit from the previous guy, and it is still well run. The ladies do a good job handling most of the insurance stuff and still handle the patients coming in and out. Because its his business, he doesn't work 9 to 5 everyday like the office hours say. He does the bills, financial stuff, and random office things himself, so usually he doesn't get home till 5:30 or 6 and sometimes brings work home.

I bet this situation varies quite a bit between optometrists. Some guys work 9 to 5, do their thing, and that's it. Larger practices tend to be more efficient by nature, the overhead goes down, and the optometrists can make more money. Network! Meet people! Get a good job!

I don't pay much attention to the Clemson basketball team. I'm a bit ashamed that in my 4 and a half years I never got around to going to a basketball game. I really meant to. My brother gets onto me about that.
 

stevec

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As far as upbeat optometrists go. There's this optometrist in Lexington, Dr. Bailey. He's a nice man, and I think he might enjoy his job too much sometimes. When I shadowed this guy, it was like social hour with the patients with optometry in between. He was a bit slow and got behind a lot. :laugh: