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don't get the frequent comparisons to dental school/dentristy on this forum.....

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opto2be

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I really wish the extra 'h' wasn't consistently dropped from opHthalmology.

Ex optom here, in my first year of med school.

Why would you stop practicing as an optometrist and go to medical school? That's hard to believe. It would just add to your loans and be very expensive, in addition to 4 more years of school!
 

syma

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Why would you stop practicing as an optometrist and go to medical school? That's hard to believe. It would just add to your loans and be very expensive, in addition to 4 more years of school!

Actually. It isn't. :naughty: You actually find many other HCPs that leave their careers to go to med school. And those that do aren't in it for the money alone. I have pharmacists, physiologists, and nurses in my cohort.

I want to stop practicing as an optometrist because I'm not happy with the limitations of the field. More money spent on EDUCATION is not a problem for me. I'm not in it to be rich. I want to be comfortable and happy and optometry is not doing that for me. I'm also fortunate to be in a area that is rich of part time work, so money is not an issue for me. :thumbup:
 

vistaril

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Mind sharing how much money you made?

well as a resident base salary is ~50k. As a pgy-3 I probably made about 65k in moonlighting, so that's 115k. This year, it will probably be about 85-90k, so that's 135-140k. And I could do a lot more if I want to...I just like free time as well. As you get more experience with moonlighting in certain areas you can tend to cherry pick the good jobs/contracts. I still have many weekends completely off.

I realize some optoms in years 3 and 4 of their career make more if they jump into a very good situation. And I know a lot of the optoms who have well established private practices do a lot better, but most optoms that early in their career don't have a booming private practice....or at least I would guess most don't.

Again, definately respect anyone who makes a choice to go into optometry. Or any professional health program. But I am a little puzzled when people outside believe all residents are eating raman noodles out of a can in between 100 hr work weeks. That's not the reality for most residents in many specialties.
 

opto2be

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Actually. It isn't. :naughty:

So are you saying you don't have to do 4 years of med school? Are they letting you skip part of the curriculum since you have a doctoral degree?
 

syma

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So are you saying you don't have to do 4 years of med school? Are they letting you skip part of the curriculum since you have a doctoral degree?

No it isn't hard to believe. It is 4 years of school.
 

east

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I made ave. 190k in years 3 and 4...NET. vistaril likes to make a lot of assumptions.
 

east

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280K+ NET years 5,6,7. There is money in optometry.
 

Just Applied

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average step 1 scores arent the whole picture though.....how many radonc spots are there compared to optho? there are more optho spots. That influences competitiveness. The fewer number of spots makes nsurg and radonc more competitive than optho. Same for derm on the medical side of things. Plastics is obviously way up there with a 250 step 1. Uro and ent are more competitive as well(a match rate of 80% seems high for uro...in past years it has been much less. And note that is still below optho by a good bit)......

Optho is probably about as competitive as radiology imo. Many years radiology has a bit higher avg stel 1(although it may pretty close in 2013), but radiology has more spots.....

Also, keep in mind you dont need an AVERAGE step1 score to match optho. By definition, half the people who match have BELOW AVERAGE.

Im not disagreeing that optho is a competitive specialty to match into. But painting it as a long shot for any entering med student is simply ridiculous.

Its cool man, you are going to believe what you want to. I am going based on the numbers. Your argument can be used in the other specialities as well. Meaning, atleast half need to have below the average to be able to match into a specialty. The competitive specialties range from 200 to 1000 spots. Ortho has ~850 positions while Ophtho has 460. The step 1 for these 2 specialties are nearly equal (240 for ortho and 239 for ophtho) and the match rate for ortho is 80% vs ophtho which is 90%. 8/10 vs 9/10 is nearly equivalent. I would say ortho is slightly more competitive than ophtho but according to your logic, it is not as competitive as people make it seem. I think our ortho colleagues would disagree with that assumption. Anyways, I am done beating this horse. You can twist it anyway you want, but numbers say otherwise.

In the end, its about students self selecting themselves out of competitive specialities. I do not want to say specifically what scores for certain specialities out of respect to the rest of medical specialties, but certain Step 1 scores tend to gravitate toward certain specialties given the Step 1 scores. I know there are are exceptions where this is not the case but just an overall observation.

If you go into medical school thinking you can do ophtho with a little hard work. Think Again. I actually just interviewed applicants myself for residency and everything is looked at from the LORs, to step 1, research, electives and deans letter plays a big role as well. A lot of dedication is required to match. Good luck to all who are going to try. PM me with any questions and I will try to answer to the best of my ability.
 

vistaril

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Its cool man, you are going to believe what you want to. I am going based on the numbers. Your argument can be used in the other specialities as well. Meaning, atleast half need to have below the average to be able to match into a specialty. The competitive specialties range from 200 to 1000 spots. Ortho has ~850 positions while Ophtho has 460. The step 1 for these 2 specialties are nearly equal (240 for ortho and 239 for ophtho) and the match rate for ortho is 80% vs ophtho which is 90%. 8/10 vs 9/10 is nearly equivalent. I would say ortho is slightly more competitive than ophtho but according to your logic, it is not as competitive as people make it seem. I think our ortho colleagues would disagree with that assumption. Anyways, I am done beating this horse. You can twist it anyway you want, but numbers say otherwise.

In the end, its about students self selecting themselves out of competitive specialities. I do not want to say specifically what scores for certain specialities out of respect to the rest of medical specialties, but certain Step 1 scores tend to gravitate toward certain specialties given the Step 1 scores. I know there are are exceptions where this is not the case but just an overall observation.

If you go into medical school thinking you can do ophtho with a little hard work. Think Again. I actually just interviewed applicants myself for residency and everything is looked at from the LORs, to step 1, research, electives and deans letter plays a big role as well. A lot of dedication is required to match. Good luck to all who are going to try. PM me with any questions and I will try to answer to the best of my ability.

I never said it was easy or guaranteed. And no, the most competitive specialties(even after self-selection) don't have 89% of US seniors match into them......derm, plastics, and radonc have a MUCH LOWER match rate...sometimes around 50% or even lower for US seniors.

What I did dispute was this idea that you have to score 250 on step 1(which btw if you really hit it hard is becoming a LOT more doable and common with the new study guides out) and be in the top 15% of the class.....you don't have to, and most who match optho don't.
 

vistaril

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I made ave. 190k in years 3 and 4...NET. vistaril likes to make a lot of assumptions.

I think you should look up the definition of assumption.....I never said the 135-140k I will make as a pgy-4 is more than every single optom early in their career. But I do think it is more than most. The fact that you made more than me in your 4th year out of school doesn't refute anything I said.

And Im next year there will be optoms making more than me as well. But I doubt it will be more than 5-8%.....
 

Just Applied

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Again Man, stop making up numbers, the only one that is near impossible to get is Plastics with a 45% match rate. Look at the NRMP site and you will see, Derm is an 80% match rate for american grads (387 spots) and rad onc is 85% match rate with a little over 200 spots.

The numbers you are giving are ones that I agree with. You do not have to have those numbers to get into ophtho or many other competitive specialties as I have pointed out several times. Maybe only for plastics and even then those numbers are not a sure thing.
 

vistaril

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Again Man, stop making up numbers, the only one that is near impossible to get is Plastics with a 45% match rate. Look at the NRMP site and you will see, Derm is an 80% match rate for american grads (387 spots) and rad onc is 85% match rate with a little over 200 spots.

The numbers you are giving are ones that I agree with. You do not have to have those numbers to get into ophtho or many other competitive specialties as I have pointed out several times. Maybe only for plastics and even then those numbers are not a sure thing.

wow....the derm% has really shot up a lot. When I was in med school it was in the mid 40s. I guess because they increased the number of slots a lot(used to be just 245)
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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wow....the derm% has really shot up a lot. When I was in med school it was in the mid 40s. I guess because they increased the number of slots a lot(used to be just 245)

Nope, the competitive fields just self-select applicants.

Ophtho has such a high match rate because students who aren't anywhere near the average don't even bother applying.
 
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Optogal

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Is this the stupidest thread ever or what? I'm not sure if I caught the premise. Is it that (1) would-be optoms should instead choose dentistry cause you make more money as a dentist (?), and that (2) optom students are stuck being optometrists because they can't get into dental school?

I never had any interest in dental school. I would've done almost any job (including law and business) before I even considered dental. I got multiple interviews for med schools so its not like my stats were weak (4 out of the 5 schools I applied to in Canada - this is not a small achievement). I just didn't have any interest in dents and at the time, I couldn't understand why anyone would (although that has changed).

It seems visatril (or whatever his name is) thinks all students are ranked 1st to last and people END UP in professions based on what they are competitive for in a decreasing rank. If that's the case, then by his argument you'd have to assume that EVERYONE in dental school is a "med school reject". Cause there are way more qualified applicants than spots for med school, so those who don't get in, by visatril's logic - would thus be shifted to the next-tier profession of dental school. But I'm pretty sure he says here somewhere that he doesn't consider dent students to be med school rejects and that they're there cause they want to be. Well... if that's the case, and some folks attend the school of their choice BECAUSE THEY WANT TO, then maybe that applies to optometry students as well? Duh.
 

vistaril

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Nope, the competitive fields just self-select applicants.

Ophtho has such a high match rate because students who aren't anywhere near the average don't even bother applying.

yeah but when derm %'s were in the 40s and the total number of spots was in the 240s, by that principle students must have been self selecting to the same degree or an even greater degree.

There is no doubt that if the total number of optho slots were cut by 35% tommorrow, then many of those applicants with scores in the mid 230s who currently have a >80% chance by the numbers would still apply....they would just have a lesser chance due to slots being removed and the optho % would go down.
 

aznboi89x

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yeah but when derm %'s were in the 40s and the total number of spots was in the 240s, by that principle students must have been self selecting to the same degree or an even greater degree.

There is no doubt that if the total number of optho slots were cut by 35% tommorrow, then many of those applicants with scores in the mid 230s who currently have a >80% chance by the numbers would still apply....they would just have a lesser chance due to slots being removed and the optho % would go down.

why r u posting in the first place?
 

Just Applied

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Vistaril, what's your argument regarding the >80% match rate for radonc which has a little over 200 spots?
 

vistaril

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Vistaril, what's your argument regarding the >80% match rate for radonc which has a little over 200 spots?

radonc is something most medical students don't get exposure to and don't understand. Many large academic medical centers don't even have a radonc residency. So really, regardless of how lucrative radonc may be or how cool and intellectual(?) it may be, just not a lot of students know much about it and that's going to keep down numbers to some degree(that and self selection)....

Optho, ortho, uro....they may not be required core rotations, but everyone knows what they do and is exposed to them in some way during med school.

Just a guess.
 

east

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I need to look up definition of assumption...then pulls 5-8% figure out of arse. Brilliant
 

vistaril

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I need to look up definition of assumption...then pulls 5-8% figure out of arse. Brilliant

well the salary data for optometrists nationwide is fairly well established right? what is the 90th percentile optometrist? My guess is it would be 220-230....what would you estimate it to be?
 

east

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Wrong, the salary data for optometry is not well established. Half of all ODs are in true private practice. This number is continuing to fall sadly, nobody in real private practice reports their true salary, hell very few even want to waste their time filling out a stupid survey. Count me as one of them. True, my evidence is anecdotal...but no more so than the crap from BLS or salary.com. Greater than 5-8 % of ODs in years 3,4,5 make more than you in residency. But who gives a crap anyway. I just got sucked in to one of the most meaningless threads on SDN. Later.
 

vistaril

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Wrong, the salary data for optometry is not well established. Half of all ODs are in true private practice. This number is continuing to fall sadly, nobody in real private practice reports their true salary, hell very few even want to waste their time filling out a stupid survey. Count me as one of them. True, my evidence is anecdotal...but no more so than the crap from BLS or salary.com. Greater than 5-8 % of ODs in years 3,4,5 make more than you in residency. But who gives a crap anyway. I just got sucked in to one of the most meaningless threads on SDN. Later.


ummm...you must not read too well. I said probably around 5-8% of optoms make what I will make next year. I'm well aware that greater than 5-8% of optoms make more than I did in residency this year.
 
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east

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what are u gonna make next year? what mode of practice? doing a fellowship? still a resident? what does "next year" mean Dr. vague?
 

vistaril

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what are u gonna make next year? what mode of practice? doing a fellowship? still a resident? what does "next year" mean Dr. vague?

Deciding between a few different offers, but likely doing salaried outpt work with the seriously mentally ill population(4 days/week...34 hrs total) and then the other day of the week will do mostly my own outpt suboxone clinic in addition to a small number of outpatients(with a suboxone license I can only see a maximum of 100 pts a month).....the salaried 34 hr week job pays 185...I would guess the one day a week suboxone clinic + outpt medmgt should net 50k(low) to 80k(high)....so between 235 and 265....of course I could do a lot better if I was willing to work any nights or weekends.

Also when comparing salary to a private optom you have to consider that 250k with health insurance, 401k, benefits is worth more than 250k in private practicve..whether you do medicine, dentristy or optometry.

And again, I already stated that a non-trivial percentage of optoms probably do make more than 250k(270-280k after the above differences are considered)....so not completely sure what your argument was.
 

east

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no argument, just wondering what you were doing next year. Thanks for the reply. FYI when comparing salaried positions to private practice, it is also wise to consider the significant deduction and write off ability of professional corporations. So maybe 250k net in salary + benefits could be less than 250k private practice with all of my deductions, direct write-offs, self directed safe harbour 401k, profit sharing etc. Translation...my AGI last year was 287k. but my corporation net was 411k, and I do not have an aggressive CPA.
 

Ime

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Please go away, post on the dental or resident forums! This is an optometry forum. Enough said!!
 

vistaril

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no argument, just wondering what you were doing next year. Thanks for the reply. FYI when comparing salaried positions to private practice, it is also wise to consider the significant deduction and write off ability of professional corporations. So maybe 250k net in salary + benefits could be less than 250k private practice with all of my deductions, direct write-offs, self directed safe harbour 401k, profit sharing etc. Translation...my AGI last year was 287k. but my corporation net was 411k, and I do not have an aggressive CPA.

excellent points. and good work generating that kind of profit in your field.
 

east

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thank you, i work my ass off, and my savvy ophthalmology friends who are good, have a personality, and know how to work well together are pulling down double my number easy.
 

opto2be

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thank you, i work my ass off, and my savvy ophthalmology friends who are good, have a personality, and know how to work well together are pulling down double my number easy.

Out of curiosity, how long ago did you graduate from optometry school? From what some have been saying, it would be almost impossible (or at the very least, extremely difficult) for recent graduates to ever achieve the type of success you have.
 

east

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9 years ago, and yes it is extremely difficult.
 

thiaeyemd

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I don't know where you think residency income is even close to the same as attending income, but residents get paid around 40K. I don't know any attending who gets paid near there
 

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thank you, i work my ass off, and my savvy ophthalmology friends who are good, have a personality, and know how to work well together are pulling down double my number easy.

Oh hey there buddy, Future Schnurek. Now why didn't you post this on our forum? Did it not support your nonsense you were making on our board so you conveniently left it out? Just curious. :laugh:

Instead you come to our forum to try to pad your fragile ego by saying you'll make more than any of us. Then when ppl logically refute everything you say, you conveniently ignore their comments and call them a douche. What a joke.

Sidenote: I may add that ophthos and optoms actually seem to make the most when they work together. Those LASIK factories I mentioned earlier...the ophthos spend all their time doing LASIK while the optoms do all the screening in clinic. Yes the optoms have to work for the ophthos, but everyone makes bank. :idea:
 

vistaril

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I don't know where you think residency income is even close to the same as attending income, but residents get paid around 40K. I don't know any attending who gets paid near there

residency income is about 50k(47-54k in general) per year.....but in many fields it is fairly easy to find moonlighting work after your(or in some cases during) pgy-2 year for 80-125/hr....in psychiatry weekend inpatient coverage is fairly common, and this typically pays 2500-3000/weekend.

I know a few people who do much better than me(they also work more) as residents.
 
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