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Full Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2008
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  1. Optometrist
I love all of the posts of OD's constantly defending the profession, rationalizing their career choice and pointing out all of the faults in other professions. If it was that great, why all of defense?

The funny thing is that the profession ends up in the top 10 each year in some "best jobs" ranking. The reason? MONEY.

So you make a decent living. How's your debt? I bet it's six figures. How's your credit with six figure student loan debt? I bet it's harder to get loans than you expected. All of a sudden, that "great pay" is shrinking pretty fast.

Another reason it's a "top 10" are the hours. Oh yes, the great hours. Working Saturday and Sundays and until 7:30-8 p.m. at night are great hours. Compared to what? Night shift? How about working in the mall, or Lenscrafters, or Wall Mart or CostCo? WALL MART? Are you kidding me!? You work at Wall Mart on a Sunday and call yourself a doctor? Wow.

It's so sad that people constantly defend the profession citing it makes a good living. Other professions make more money with WAY less training, have better benefits and job security. A lot of bright eyed students who can't get into med school or don't think they'd hack it if they got into med school go into optometry thinking they'll get all of the benefits without the headache. WRONG. Well, If you want to be a glorified tech who calls themselves doctor, then fine. Why in god's name would you spend 8 years getting a degree that only allows you to do eye exams when for only a few more years, you could get a degree that allows you to do so much more (research, teach, consult, etc.) The answer? They can't for some reason, no matter what they say. The posts will stream in citing GPA and MCAT scores that are top notch and the person chose optometry?! Bad choice. Trying to convince people that you'd rather work in the mall until 7-8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and be talked down to by $8 / hr retail associates instead of having your own tech staff, work until 4:30 with weekends off and do a wide variety of proceedures and have options, better pay and RESPECT is embarassing. It's just plain embarassing.

Don't give me that crap about "wanting to help people". Most of your patients are only coming to you becuase they have to, because their Rx expired. Half of the time they're really ticked off about it. They are not coming to your for your expertise, they are coming for a refill. I also want to know what we are doctors of? Glasses? Contacts? You can teach a 10 year old how to refract and follow the red dot on a JCC. Oh, so it must be the diagnosis and management of ocular disease. Pretty tough when many OD's don't dilate, don't have hospital privleges, aren't allowed on medical plans and can't treat certain diseases in some states.

Realize that if you are an optometry student or prospective optometry student, the AOA IS LYING TO YOU. The optometric colleges that want your tuition ARE LYING TO YOU. Filling your head with grandiose tales of ocular disease management and a wide variety of procedures such as punctal occlusion, anterior stromal puncture, use of the Algerbrush / FB removal, topical and oral Rx's and the like. It is a complete and total lie to GET YOUR MONEY. The market is so saturated with OD's and what is their solution to protect you? 3 MORE OPTOMETRY SCHOOLS! That's right, crank out more OD's in an already supersaturated and cutthroat industry. How else would they sell it?

Imagine if they told you what it would really be like on the advertisement. " 4 years undergraduate study, 4 years optometric study, optional 1 year residency, huge student loan debt, use very little of what you learn, most likely work weekends at Wall Mart, Costco, Lenscrafters or even tech (yes, I said tech) for an Ophthalmologist! You also will have the option of opening your own practice, get in even more debt and compete with: Lenscrafters, Pearlevision, Wallmart, CostCo, Sears, ForEyes, Eyemasters, America's Best and fail to compete with 13.99 / box CL prices. "

The above is not a lie and anyone who tells you it is not like that is LYING to you. It is the truth and we haven't even begun to talk about your restriction from medical plans, insurance company control and other health professionals.

People will attack me saying I am negative, bitter and in a bad setting. I am in, what is considered to be, a great setting (six figures, great benefits, pension, constant patient stream), and am simply not afraid to say what a sad profession optometry is and THAT I MADE A MISTAKE. I am trying to help others not make the same mistake. 20 eye exams a day every day, 5 days a week, for 25 years sound fun to you? You will not be doing anything else-DO NOT BELIEVE THE PROPAGANDA FROM THE AOA AND OPTOMETRY COLLEGES. It's cold on the outside. You also will not be doing what you were seeing in the optometric college on the outside.

Optometrists have become a necessary tool in order to boost optical chain and HMO profits. The AOA and optometry schools are taking advantage of students who are at the end of a 4 year science program with substandard grades and a worthless degree. They know these students don't have much of a choice than to go on to further education to make any money, but won't get into or like medical school.

If you actually like optometry and aren't lying to your friends, you might also like the following jobs: Cash register operator, ice cream scooper, toll booth operator and any other monotonous, mind numbing repetitive job. you'll just make more money as an OD and be able to call yourself the all important title of "doctor".

I welcome all replies, becuase I have statistics, facts and plenty of unhappy OD collegues on my side.
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