Good questions when observing?

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by r_salis, May 28, 2002.

  1. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    I'm going to be doing some "observing" with some optometrists over the summer, and I was wondering if you guys could give me some suggestions of the sorts of things I should ask about. I plan to spend a few hours with optometrists in different types of practices -- commercial, specialty (contact lens or low vision), and clinical -- to get a feel for the work they're involved in. I know just by spending time with them I'll get some idea of what the field is like, but are there specific things I should ask or look for? (I'm assuming "Can I touch that guy's eyeball?" is out? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> )
     
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  3. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    I would watch how OD's in different modes of practice interact with their patients. Ask how many patients they see a day. Probably less patients with speciality practice and more with HMO or commercial practice. Ask them whether or not they like their jobs and whether or not they'd still do that job if they had to go back and be your age again and start over? I always love watching people's faces after I ask them that one. The answers I got to that question from pharmacists made me decide not to be a pharmacist.

    I'm sure you'll think of lots of things once you get into certain situations. Every OD I've met loves to talk shop with anyone who's truly interested in learning more about what they do. I've never had problems getting in to talk to one unless they're extremely busy.

    Ask them how far they go with the scope of practice in their state. Some OD's still don't practice up to their state's allowed limit.. and some try to push the limit. Ask what their personal preferences are? Does your state allow them to work with glaucoma patients? lasers? injections? etc.

    I'm sure you'll think of a lot more once you're in a working situation. I was like a kid in a candy store in front of the Optomap at the office I'm working at this summer. I was staring at it like... mmmmmmmmm digital retinal imager. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> :D <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" /> Yes, I am a true geek now. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  4. TomOD

    TomOD Senior Member
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    This should be a great opportunity for you. I would recommend that you do much more listening (and looking) than talking and asking. That said, you should definately ask the OD about what prompted him/her to go into Optometry (Everybody has a story).

    Ask them what they feel the future of Optometry will be like. I am curious about what type of answers you will get based on modes of practice. You will be able to tell in about 10 minutes which doctors really enjoy what they do and which ones are just going to a job everyday. Make note of that.

    Notice how good (or bad the staff is). How many times the phone rings before someone answers. How knowlegable the staff is. How much delegation goes on. What type of equipment is at each practice.

    Ask them if they would let you look into the slit lamp at a contact lens fit or at a corneal ulcer. A good doctor will be explaining to the patient what he/she is doing during the exam so you should be able to gather alot on information just from that. Follow the techs around for a bit.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes. Graduation always comes very fast (just doesn't seem that way now. :D

    Tom, O.D.
     
  5. christie

    christie Senior Member
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    Ask about the different instruments the doc and techs use (autorefractor, tonometry, visual field test, topography) - ask the doc to give you some basic info about Keratometry, Biomicroscopy, Refraction, etc..

    Have fun observing the OD's - You'll learn many great things!
     
  6. Pi_Guy1

    Pi_Guy1 Member
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    Ask him if he thinks the Cubs will win the World Series this year...
     
  7. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Thanks, everybody. Everyone comes to a situation with his/her own perspective (TomOD's comment to look at the staff -- hmm, who here runs his own practice? :) ), so it's nice to see what other people find important. I've found every optometrist I've met (so far) to be very happy to talk to me. In fact, the enthusiasm I've encountered about the profession is a large part of what attracted me to it in the first place. I'll keep your questions in mind when I stalk... I mean, "observe" <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> ... other optometrists over the summer.
     
  8. christie

    christie Senior Member
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