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eyedesire

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Hi Everyone!
For those who are currently attending ICO, do you think that having a larger class size is beneficial and is student to faculty ratio adequate? My friend that is currently attending ICO says that there aren't enough lanes for practicing sometimes. What are thoughts about this? Does it really make a difference how large the class is?

For those in other schools with smaller class sizes, do you find it helpful?

Thanks!
 

sethuel1

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Hi Everyone!
For those who are currently attending ICO, do you think that having a larger class size is beneficial and is student to faculty ratio adequate? My friend that is currently attending ICO says that there aren't enough lanes for practicing sometimes. What are thoughts about this? Does it really make a difference how large the class is?

For those in other schools with smaller class sizes, do you find it helpful?

Thanks!

the lanes thing is a big problem. Toward the end of the quarter it'll take at least a few hours to get a lane, sometimes more. I sometimes hear rumors about how there are going to be more, but I have no idea if there's truth to that.

That's the only disadvantage I've seen to the class size here, though. The profs are still accessible. i actually enjoy the larger class just for social purposes.
 

IndianaOD

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The main problem is that ICO is an OD mill. Just collecting as much tuition as possible while flooding the market whith hoards of grads. I would suggest going to a research-based school that is more prestigous. ICO's tuition is so high you can go almost anywhere else for less. My recommendations: Indiana U, Ohio State, Berkley.
 
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eyedesire

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Sethuel1: Thats what I heard too from others at ICO right now... do you think its a really big issue, or is it bearable?

IndianaOD:I only applied to ICO, SUNY, NECO and Waterloo =/ none of the schools you listed. I am definitely attracted to the smaller class sizes of SUNY and NECO, and you're right, tuition is going to be about the same in the end, but its the living expenses thats less in ICO (compared to NYC and Boston).

ICO seems like a great school, but that class size is pretty big...
 

sethuel1

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Sethuel1: Thats what I heard too from others at ICO right now... do you think its a really big issue, or is it bearable?

IndianaOD:I only applied to ICO, SUNY, NECO and Waterloo =/ none of the schools you listed. I am definitely attracted to the smaller class sizes of SUNY and NECO, and you're right, tuition is going to be about the same in the end, but its the living expenses thats less in ICO (compared to NYC and Boston).

ICO seems like a great school, but that class size is pretty big...

It's the biggest issue we have, IMO. Waiting hours and hours for a lane right before practicals is exasperating.

What are the other problems you see with a large class size, or is it more a comfort thing?

We've got tons of other Canadians to help ease your worries. Also ketchup chips.
 

still_confused

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The main problem is that ICO is an OD mill. Just collecting as much tuition as possible while flooding the market whith hoards of grads. I would suggest going to a research-based school that is more prestigous. ICO's tuition is so high you can go almost anywhere else for less. My recommendations: Indiana U, Ohio State, Berkley.

what is wrong with an ICO grad? They pass the same boards and are just as competant as a grad from any other school. ICO gives the same quality education as any other school.

Other then berkeley, school are only known by people regionally. There is not such thing as prestige. You dont get a bigger diploma anywhere. Unless you are interested in research you shouldnt worry if the school is reserach oriented or not. If you are interested you should look into a school with a MS/PhD joint program. In berkeley's case they dont offer it, so it wont help you even if you do go there.

ICO's tuition is high but ts a private school. The schools you recommend are states schools some with residency requirements.

and no, i dont go to ICO

TO: eyedesire
most of the problem dealing with long waits for lanes is because people wait until the last minute. You should definetly be practicing throughout the semester. even at small schools, lanes are a problem the night before an assesment. I say when picking a school its all about the tuition and where it is. The education will be good regardless. Just make sure its a place where you will feel comfortable in and not get bored.
 

odforme

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Is this an issue everywhere? I haven't heard about it being one except at ICO but that surprises me as SCO and PCO also has large class sizes. NECO is still pretty big and from what I say had fewer lanes than ICO so maybe they have the same issue. If any current students at the bigger schools could give an opinion, that would be great. Thanks for the reminder that practicing early is important.
 

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what is wrong with an ICO grad? They pass the same boards and are just as competant as a grad from any other school. ICO gives the same quality education as any other school.

Other then berkeley, school are only known by people regionally. There is not such thing as prestige. You dont get a bigger diploma anywhere. Unless you are interested in research you shouldnt worry if the school is reserach oriented or not. If you are interested you should look into a school with a MS/PhD joint program. In berkeley's case they dont offer it, so it wont help you even if you do go there.

ICO's tuition is high but ts a private school. The schools you recommend are states schools some with residency requirements.

and no, i dont go to ICO

Extern sites can tell the difference of where you went to school. I've head it from many sites that deal with students from multiple schools at a time. You have to ask yourself, what is the motivation for the large class sizes? Does your school give back to the profession or just use it? The schools I mentioned have a lot of research going on. They are giving to the profession by increasing knowledge and garnering respect in the scientific community. Just because you pass boards doesn't mean you're a good clinician. I just don't like non-research schools with large class sizes. Once you graduate you'll realize the impact of the OD oversupply.:eek:
 

iiiimonica

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around practical time, it can be a hard to get a room - though we do have a great sign up policy. mainly for us it's space. their are 12 exam rooms, for 120 students (both 1 and 2 years) it really is only an issue around practical time and now that 2nd years are done with practicals it's probably not going to be that bad of an issue for us anymore.

i'm not sure how other schools are set up, but at cal our exam lanes are individaul rooms with all the equipment in them. our labs are broken down into 3 sections so their are 20 students per section with 3 instructors, pretty good ratio:)
 

Tortugabebe

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Extern sites can tell the difference of where you went to school. I've head it from many sites that deal with students from multiple schools at a time. You have to ask yourself, what is the motivation for the large class sizes? Does your school give back to the profession or just use it? The schools I mentioned have a lot of research going on. They are giving to the profession by increasing knowledge and garnering respect in the scientific community. Just because you pass boards doesn't mean you're a good clinician. I just don't like non-research schools with large class sizes. Once you graduate you'll realize the impact of the OD oversupply.:eek:

I agree. OSU and Berkeley are on the top of my list, and they contribute a lot to optometric knowledge. They both also have EXCELLENT clinical programs. In the end, everyone should decide what is best for them though.
 

still_confused

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They are giving to the profession by increasing knowledge and garnering respect in the scientific community. Just because you pass boards doesn't mean you're a good clinician. I just don't like non-research schools with large class sizes. Once you graduate you'll realize the impact of the OD oversupply.:eek:

i already realize there is an oversupply. But while you may like research schools, they impact you very little. Telling students to pick research oriented schools makes no sense. Students need to pick school base on thier preferences. There are way more important factors then whether or not the school is research orietned and i will say they are 1) tuition and 2) location.

You are not going to combat oversupply by telling people to go to small schools or accusing other schools of being OD mills. By putting down others in your own profession, how would you expect us to stand against others or even fix our problems internally?

and finally, just because you went to some "presigiuous" small and reserach oriented school doesnt make you a good clincian neither.
 
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ICU23

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Does prestige really matter that much? I went to UC Berkeley for undergrad and it doesn't make me feel smarter or anymore important than the next guy. All it did was increase the competition in the classroom.

Just a quick question, what gives you guys the right to tell people where to go and what to choose? People work hard to get into optometry school, so what if there's a million other OD in the world. They're not stealing the food off your table. For you established OD complaining, shut up!!! making 80,000-100,000 is not good enough for you, you need to make MD type money before you can shut up. For the newly accepted OD student complaining, shut up and finish your four years first. In my opinion, the more the merrier.

And contributing back to the profession by doing/going to a small research school? Then why bother going to optometry school, go to grad school and stick a PhD after your name.
 

4eyed

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I thought that by being passionate about helping people improve their vision and quality of life, educating and encouraging people how stay healthy(which ultimately can effect their vision), maybe becoming a member of your Optometric Association so that you can stay active in the profession, and working together as professionals (not trying to kill eachother) we are giving back to the profession.

I'm going to ICO in august and I'm proud of all of the hard work I went through to get to this point. It ultimately didn't matter which school I chose(private or research school....), I am still going to work my tail off so that I can become the best optometrist I can possibly be. When people come to see me I want them to leave my office with a smile on thier face knowing they recieved the best possible care. I don't think that because of ICO's larger class size or because it's not a research school that I won't become an awesome optometrist. I owe it to the profession to work hard and learn as much as possible in school so ultimately I will be giving back to the profession.

:)
 

IndianaOD

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Looks like I struck a nerve with a few. That's good, you should be passionate about your education and profession. Though you don't realize it now, research is extremely important. Don't forget those small schools are part of huge research universities. I participate in clinical research. You can go to any school and become a good clinican. I'm just relaying what I hear from the extern sites. When OMDs see research in prestigous journals from ODs or OD, PhDs it makes them realize how well trained we actually are.

Remember, above all, we are a LEGISLATED profession! The more education and experience we have the better off we are. Don't believe me? Ask the ODs in New Mexico who overnight can't bill medicare for simple procedures like epilation and foreign body removal because some jack-ass OMD on a pannel said they shouldn't. Come on, tattoo artists and beauticians can legally do more invasive procedures than 90% of ODs. Luckily in my state legislaters have saw through the faceless attacks!

If you get mad at my posts then I have accomplished what I set out to do, hopefully it gets you students to investigate the real world of Optometry!

Just don't go work Commercial or become a crappy clinician. If so you will deserve my scorn. Cheers.
 

still_confused

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Just don't go work Commercial or become a crappy clinician. If so you will deserve my scorn. Cheers.

are you graduating soon? Have you been getting your loan repayment statements? This is exactly what optometry needs, optometrist "scorning" each other. Isnt it bad enough we have the AMA trying to set us back to the stone age but we have optometrists (or to be) on thier high horse scolding lesser ODs.

Maybe you are like me and are very fortunate to have mom pay for a huge chunk of our education or some other means. But others are not as fortunate. Debt is real, and noone is going to go hungry to avoid your scorn. By leaving those in commercial behind and feeling unwelcome, where do you think they will turn? Start thier own association or worst yet, team up with the OMDs?

OMDs seeing our journals??? How many of them reading our journals??? ODs are actually left off of posters that they contribute to at OMD conferences! No matter what ODs do, OMD are going to fight us. Our battle lies with the winning the public and not with winning the OMD's blessing.

Do i think commercial is bad for the profession? Yes. Is it avoidable? Yes. But it will take a united effort by ODs to sue walmart and challenge anti trust laws to make it happen. Maybe instead of investigating the world of optometry, they need to investigate the real world, its not pretty out there and you will need all the friends you can get.
 

IndianaOD

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I'm out and practicing. No rich mommy to pay for my school. With low interest rates, if you resposibly control your spending you can do just fine without commercial. Would it be so hard to find a good private gig if the wally OD didn't have to see 30 patients a day?

I do a lot to fight for our profession. Once more commercial docs start contributing to the AOA and AOA-PAC and become more involved in THEIR profession or stand up to their commercial puppet masters and charge appropriate fees I'll lay off. After all, they are making all this great money right? I'm sorry but as it stands its mostly the private docs using their hard earned money and time to stand up for OUR profession.

Several local commercial ODs have their after hours message directing people to ERs or OMDs, for crying out loud how about other ODs. ODs not referring to other ODs is also a big problem. You will learn that patients overpay and get terrible care at ERs.
 

xmattODx

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I'm out and practicing.

Are you really? Have you had to make student loan payments yet? Have you left the academic setting yet?

Real-life optometry is not academic optometry.

I've not read this thread that closely but your signature on another forum would indicate to me that you aren't "out and practicing". I hope I'm wrong.
 

DrSpontaneouz83

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Extern sites can tell the difference of where you went to school. I've head it from many sites that deal with students from multiple schools at a time. You have to ask yourself, what is the motivation for the large class sizes? Does your school give back to the profession or just use it? The schools I mentioned have a lot of research going on. They are giving to the profession by increasing knowledge and garnering respect in the scientific community. Just because you pass boards doesn't mean you're a good clinician. I just don't like non-research schools with large class sizes. Once you graduate you'll realize the impact of the OD oversupply.:eek:

I will be attending ICO in the fall and I live in Maryland/D.C. One of my main reasons for chosing this school compared to others I've interviewed at thus far, NOVA and PCO, is because ICO: 1) offered a scholarship 2) beautiful large city (also very diverse city, perfect for encountering a variety of ocular and systemic diseases prevalent in different ethnicities) and 3) heard MANY positve things from MDs and ODs that graduated from other optometric institutions. It shocked me though that where I live (DC), ICO's ODs and interns were well recognized but I did not hear as much about other schools in the midwest/west coast. This is not to say that all other optometry schools produce horrible clinicians, but it did make ICO stand out for me. And yes, the large eye center that I work for, which I've been at for 3 years now, are continually receiving students from other institutions throughout the nation for internships. The last factor that led me to chose ICO is because I felt COMFORTABLE there and the people were very friendly.

ICO does have a large class size, but it sounds like this "OD mill" gets a lot of criticism for it, although there are other schools like PCO who have just as many, if not more ODs in their program. I don't think the class size of a school will determine the outcome of the clinician, however, what does determine that outcome is how persistent the student is to get his/her questions answered. I have yet to hear about professors who are adimant about not helping their debt-bound students in succeeding. Personally, I don't think it's in the best interest of the institution to send out incompetent optometrists to the real world because it will definitely effect future enrollment/funding. Also, I don't feel it is right to place all the responsibility on an institution and how many ODs they produce to determine whether one will become successful or not. All these b*tching optometrists need to take responsibilty for their own actions and blame themselves if they aren't as "successful" as they may have wanted to be. As for this oversupply of ODs, hmm...never heard of a graduating student not finding a job immediately following their first year out. If they aren't driving around in a rolls royce, well..they should have better researched what they were getting into. And MDs do not have it that much better either, this population is living longer and healthier (sort of) so it would make sense that any profession is experiencing these same problems of supposed over-supply. All I can say is put your game face on and wow your interviewers for prospective jobs, as Darwin stated..survival of the FITTEST not survival of the people who attended small institutions.

Finally, for those ODs who want to become primary-care practitioners but have a research background, you're really not going to apply that on a day-to-day basis. Most ODs who "specialize" don't necessarily have that much more studying time than an average OD...sometimes you're just naturally better than others in doing things, such as fitting contact lens for a patient with keratoconus. In my opinion and experience with ODs, you learn a lot more from working with an OMD who is willing to train you and share their knowledge when dealing with patients and their ocular diseases, rather than spending more money and time studying an additional 1-2 years. For those who truly want to do research, really consider that PhD instead of an OD.

P.s. Didn't mean for this post to be this long!! Sorry!
 

JeffChou

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When it comes to public vs private, I think any type of school can be good as long as its teachers are committed to teaching students and not there just because it is a stipulation in their research contracts. I go to a public research university (UCI) so I have plenty of experience with overcrowded classrooms (full 400 person lecture halls). Students can do well in large classes and teachers can still suck in small classrooms. But, with that said, I think I would still prefer a small class size. This kind of brings up the academic rivalry between USC and UCLA (an argument even I would shy away from). I would just go with cost (about 7k a year in tuition for resident undergrads at UCs! [That's also only if the Governator doesn't decide to put education farther back in line again]).

Now, in choosing optometry schools, I have to reconsider all these factors. I'm going with location, perceived school quality (facilities, brochure, rep visits, interview, etc.), and cost as some major factors.


My question for the students IN optometry school:
Do schools with a large class size operate with an alternating schedule or is it just 150 students in the same huge lectures for the first 2-3 years? There's gotta be some sort of lab schedule too, right? The answer to this question would probably be more important than the overall class size. In any case, I guess 150 students would still be smaller than half the classes I've taken here at UCI for the last four years. :laugh:

Thizzanks.
 

sco1styear

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My question for the students IN optometry school:
Do schools with a large class size operate with an alternating schedule or is it just 150 students in the same huge lectures for the first 2-3 years? There's gotta be some sort of lab schedule too, right? The answer to this question would probably be more important than the overall class size. In any case, I guess 150 students would still be smaller than half the classes I've taken here at UCI for the last four years. :laugh:

Thizzanks.

At SCO our class sizes are around 125 students. We all attend lecture together but are broken down into 5 lab groups. And, in lab, we are often broken down into even smaller groups of 4 to 5 students, which helps you get to know students you might otherwise not have had a chance to be around. Coming from a high school where I graduated with less than this, 125 students sounded like a lot. Now (in my third year) it doesn't seem large at all, and the professors seem to know each of us.
 

IndianaOD

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Are you really? Have you had to make student loan payments yet? Have you left the academic setting yet?

Real-life optometry is not academic optometry.

I've not read this thread that closely but your signature on another forum would indicate to me that you aren't "out and practicing". I hope I'm wrong.


Somewhat true. I've made loan payments on less money. I mean practicing in that I am technically out of school. Sorry, didn't mean to be confusing but I am payed far less than almost all ODs, have plenty of debt and didn't sell-out to corporate. I worked in and around private practices for quite some time.
 

IndianaOD

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As for those ICO grads, I'm not saying you are bad clinicians. The statement is more directed at the school itself. I'm just perturbed about the soon to be opening "private" OD schools that we don't need and are already stated as wanting huge class sizes. What else besides money could modivate osteopaths to start and OD school?
 

eyedesire

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Coming from Canada, I'm not sure if there is the oversupply problem or issues with commercial optometrists. There seems to be a shortage of optometrists and corporations like lenscrafters and walmart don't have optometrists, only opticians (please correct me if I'm wrong), but I am guessing that things are different in the US?

As far as class size, my only concern is the school not having the resources to accomodate the students. On the other hand, would the school accept students that they can't accomodate?

If I'll be paying the same tution for all the schools, my preference would be to have a smaller class size just from experience from undergrad. A research based school would be a bonus, just because I enjoy being involved with projects and learning about current advances. the MSc/PhD program is probably not what I'll pursure because I want to work as a primary care OD, but i think its great for those who want to be involved with academics/reserach.
 
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