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Hines302

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Thats what I thought... but type on Pharmacist and you get jobs paying 90-100K?? What gives?!
 
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Hines302 said:
maybe those are part time numbers?? Oh man, are they serious? Anybody wanna shed some light on why these salaries suck? Is this what an OD degree is worth, or might be worth in the future? I hope not!
No, they're full-time jobs. Click on the links for specific job descriptions.
 

gsinccom

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Pharmacy is in demand now and Optometry is not! That is one reason why the descrepancy; there aren't shortages of Optometrists! ...Our U.S. healthcare system is in shambles now and Pharmacy is certainly benefiting from the treat but not prevent society we've become. One other thought-I have an aquaintance that took a govt. law job as a jag with the air force. He doesn't make the type of money he could working for a top notch law firm but he has great benefits and works 40 hours a week instead of 70.
 

Hines302

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I love optometry and everything it entails.... but after seeing numbers like those it kind of makes you think if its really worth it... are we crazy for not going to med school? I think most of us would have a pretty good shot at getting into most D.O. schools (avg science gpa of 3.35)!
 

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you probably could of got into dental school and law school and pharmacy school too and maybe even a few MD schools(unless you were below average as an OD school (numberswise) entrant)....yep. life is full of tough decisions and how to earn a living is one of them. unless you are the son of Bill and Melinda Gates, of course.
 

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Well you guys have to look at the geographical location. I mean, living expenses are def lower in states such as AZ as opposed to NY. I think overall, optometrists get paid pretty well.
 

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I had the chance to shadow two different optometrists at the VA in Reno. Both said they were happy that they worked for the VA. Yes, the money is not as good as other modes of practice, but, the stress level is almost none, and they have excellent benefits. The good thing about working for the VA is job security. There will ALWAYS be veterans, and they will almost always go to the VA for treatment. No worry of the commercial giants like Lenscrafters taking away from their patient base. (Even if their patients did leave... they would still have a job.)
 

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everyone needes to relax. optometrist are NOT junior OMDs or on the same level as OMDs in any capacity in terms of the public's (and VA's) eyes. ODs as primary care for vision is still relatively new. At the VA while we do primary care work, we will be paid as a "tech" it will take many more years before ODs even begin to get the respect they deserve

that being said 40k-70k is NOT little. it is enough to live a very comfortable life. too many ppl think when they get thier OD degree that they will be rich. i hope that the VA link will weed out those without the dedication. if you are ready to jump ship and run over to pharmacy, MD, DO, or whatever just when you see the "low " salary then i say you should do it, ODs right now are struggling to establish themselves, and do not need any more disgruntled ODs making things worst.

when i was researching the OD profession, that VA website was one of the first things i came across. i read the description and i loved it, it was exactly what i wanted, the pay is not like how the AOA advertised, but the job was. i plan on working at a VA hosptial upon graduation and if i dont like it, then ill consider a private practice. being able to practice full scope is my number one priority

that being said, optometry as a profession (at least what i think) is still base heavily on optical sales. not saying you need optical sales to make it big, but its a easy way there. VA hospitals do not sell ralph laurens or gucci (at least i dont think they do) and thus the optometrist will obviously make less. Walmart and lenscrafter ODs make ALOT of money (ive personally heard up to 200K but that is up for debate) because of optical sales. Private practice with a succesful optical portion also do very well. its just how it is right now, i am sure it will change in the future, but we are still to early in the "primary care" phase of optometry.
 

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still_confused said:
everyone needes to relax. optometrist are NOT junior OMDs or on the same level as OMDs in any capacity in terms of the public's (and VA's) eyes. ODs as primary care for vision is still relatively new. At the VA while we do primary care work, we will be paid as a "tech" it will take many more years before ODs even begin to get the respect they deserve.
OD's at VA's are not paid as techs, nor are they techs. They are optometrists doing optometry. Don't go into optometry if you require scope expansion to do what you want to do.

still_confused said:
that being said 40k-70k is NOT little. it is enough to live a very comfortable life. too many ppl think when they get thier OD degree that they will be rich. i hope that the VA link will weed out those without the dedication. if you are ready to jump ship and run over to pharmacy, MD, DO, or whatever just when you see the "low " salary then i say you should do it, ODs right now are struggling to establish themselves, and do not need any more disgruntled ODs making things worst.
ODs are not just establishing themselves. Optometry is an old and distinguished profession.

still_confused said:
that being said, optometry as a profession (at least what i think) is still base heavily on optical sales. not saying you need optical sales to make it big, but its a easy way there. VA hospitals do not sell ralph laurens or gucci (at least i dont think they do) and thus the optometrist will obviously make less. Walmart and lenscrafter ODs make ALOT of money (ive personally heard up to 200K but that is up for debate) because of optical sales. Private practice with a succesful optical portion also do very well. its just how it is right now, i am sure it will change in the future, but we are still to early in the "primary care" phase of optometry.
ODs at the chains make NO money from optical sales. VA ODs are paid a low salary because they work in the VA. It is a choice. The VA has no shortage of ODs wanting to work in the VA, they give great benefits, etc. They do not need to pay huge salaries.
 

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I agree with the "relax" still confused quote and with what MattODx says. Also if you listen to Ben Chudner and other ODs they say we need to focus on the medical not the optical if we have aspirations of private practice optometry.
as far as why the VA considers optometrists(the OD degree) of less value than pharmacists(the pharmD degree) I have no explanation other than that could relate to the "need" for pharmacists-supply and demand economics?
 

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xmattODx said:
OD's at VA's are not paid as techs, nor are they techs. They are optometrists doing optometry. Don't go into optometry if you require scope expansion to do what you want to do.



ODs are not just establishing themselves. Optometry is an old and distinguished profession.



ODs at the chains make NO money from optical sales. VA ODs are paid a low salary because they work in the VA. It is a choice. The VA has no shortage of ODs wanting to work in the VA, they give great benefits, etc. They do not need to pay huge salaries.

i meant paid as tech to illustrate to perception difference between an OMD and OD by the general public.

optometry is and old profession, but it started out from refractory roots, it is only in the past few decades that they are given perscription rights and an emphasis on primary care. most older OD practice you go to still mainly perform refractions.

for ODs making NO money from optical sales, what i meant is walmart can afford to pay the ODs more then the VA because they generate money from the glasses they sell.
 

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still_confused said:
i meant paid as tech to illustrate to perception difference between an OMD and OD by the general public.

optometry is and old profession, but it started out from refractory roots, it is only in the past few decades that they are given perscription rights and an emphasis on primary care. most older OD practice you go to still mainly perform refractions.

for ODs making NO money from optical sales, what i meant is walmart can afford to pay the ODs more then the VA because they generate money from the glasses they sell.
Commercial opticals do not pay ODs. ODs collect fees from their exams. If you don't want to do refractions don't become an OD. ODs at the VA refract. They will refract tomorrow and they will refract next year. If they stop refracting it will be the end of optometry in the VA.

It seems that the jobs listed are actually IHS jobs. VA may pay more or less. I'm uncertain.
 

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xmattODx said:
Commercial opticals do not pay ODs. ODs collect fees from their exams. If you don't want to do refractions don't become an OD. ODs at the VA refract. They will refract tomorrow and they will refract next year. If they stop refracting it will be the end of optometry in the VA.
i have absolutely no problem with refracting, i look forward to it. i merely point out that the profession is trying to move into the primary care role which refractions will continue to play a very big part.

yes i know ODs collect fees for exams. i guess i wasnt clear, because of the low prices of walmart glasses, ODs will be able to see more patients just base on the convenience and foot traffic. There are also cases of "consulting" optometrist that are paid by the chain itself, but that is a different story. Bottom line is, there is a reason why corporate ODs make more then VA ODs (your reasons are also very true).

all im trying to do is try to explain why there is a discrepancy between VA salaries and the salaries frequently associated with an OD.
 

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i agree with your comments, still confused. the salaries for VA ODs are indeed skewed, because it is, afterall, a federal job. i do not think an average salary of 100k for private practice or group practice ODs is out of the question. if one is willing to work hard (more than 40 hrs a week), he or she should be making close to or more than 6 figures within 5 or 6 years after graduation. that's my 2 cents! :)
 

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gsinccom said:
Also if you listen to Ben Chudner and other ODs they say we need to focus on the medical not the optical if we have aspirations of private practice optometry.
To clarify, private practice OD's do need to shift focus to a medical model if they want to be successful, but we still need to have optical in our offices. My point has always been we cannot compete in the discount optical market because the chains will win every time. By shifting our focus to the medical side, we don't have to worry as much when that patient buys 3 pairs of glasses for $50 from the local chain. This allows us to sell quality products at fair prices and when someone realizes the benefits of purchasing from our office, it's the icing on the cake. What I see in a lot of private practices is that the optical sale is the whole cake and OD's feel forced to offer lower prices to keep the patient from buying from someone else. That's a losing strategy.

I got into optometry because I wanted to help people see better and protect their vision, not sell glasses. My office does sell glasses and I believe it is an important service to offer, but I provide eye exams. At the end of the day, if I don't sell any glasses, I know my office was still profitable. In all of this, notice that I didn't say anything about refraction. Refraction is an integral part of providing a compete eye exam.
 

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This has little to do with the VA, but since y'all are talking about it anyway....
For all your practicing ODs, how many of you do refractions yourself and how many have trained techs to do it?
 

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VA Hopeful Dr said:
This has little to do with the VA, but since y'all are talking about it anyway....
For all your practicing ODs, how many of you do refractions yourself and how many have trained techs to do it?
I do my own. I will always do my own but that goes to my philosophy as a behavioural OD.
 

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is there going to come a time when optometrists can't afford to do their own cause of low reimbursement from insurance or not being able to get on panels at all?
 

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That's right on... my dad is a cardiologist at the VA in Amarillo, Tx, and in one of our discussions he said that the opts make about 45k.

:( :(
 

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has the OD degree always been undervalued at the VA....anyone know the history there? I mean pharmD is worth $90,000/year and OD is worth $45,000/year. I know that pharmD are in demand now but why such a descrepancy...something doesn't make sense??? (sidenote - does a VA cardiologist make half or less of what a private or hmo cardiologist makes?)
 

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gsinccom said:
has the OD degree always been undervalued at the VA? I mean pharmD is worth $90,000/year and OD is worth $45,000/year. something doesn't make sense???
Do opts get paid for residencies at the VA? Could that be a factor? Otherwise, I don't see how they can afford to pay back their 150k loan. :confused:
 

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All residents are paid, usually $25-30K. And you're right, it would be pretty much impossible to pay off the loans and actually live and eat on $45K/year.
 

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VA Hopeful Dr said:
This has little to do with the VA, but since y'all are talking about it anyway....
For all your practicing ODs, how many of you do refractions yourself and how many have trained techs to do it?
I do my own, but if I thought my patients would accept a tech doing it, I would delegate. When I worked for an OMD, techs did all the refractions, and I looked it over to make sure it made sense. We had very little re-do's. In my current practice, the previous owner did all of the refractions, and patients have come to expect the doctor to do it. I think there would be resistence at first if I suddenly made the switch, so I haven't.
 

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I just got off of an externship at a VA. Trust me they make more than that. The lowest on the payscale is in the 70's, if you have done a residency and are a FAAO then its around 86K or so. With some time and doing some posters and taking some additional testing etc you can get higher. The cap right now is a 113, but it'll take 10 years or so of actively climbing the ranks to get to that. Don't forget that they get every federal holiday off, plus 30 days per year of paid leave, full medical benefits, retirement benefits with up to 5% income matching for retirement, and every journal, CE, or other educational need PAID by the VA.

I think those #s are from military OD's. If you get a Navy, air force, etc scholarship, they pay your tuition & books x 4 years plus a 1100/mo stipend while you are in school, then you are stuck between 45 and 60 k for the first 4 years out of school. Don't forget that after that you are in the reserves for 4-8 years and can be called up if there's a war. Military scholarships can suck pretty bad.

If you do want a VA job, you have to do a residency or have 3 years experience after graduation, and you only have to be licensed in one US state. If that state is Oklahoma, then you can possibly get LASIK privelages (but probably not). And don't forget that noone can sue the federal government, so you don't even need malpractice unless you are going to moonlight. Oh, and some VA OD's only work 4 days a week. At the VA I was at, they worked 5 days, and got off at 4 or 4:30 at the latest. They were considering going to a 4 day workweek with longer hours I think though.
 

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DrGadgetSCO said:
If that state is Oklahoma, then you can possibly get LASIK privelages (but probably not).
Just to clarify, Oklahoma OD's cannot perform LASIK. They are allowed to perform therapeutic anterior laser procedures - ALT's, Yag Cap's, and PI's and only one refractive procedure - PRK. Also, I beleive OD's recently lost all laser privileges in the VA systems thanks to a successful effort by OMD's.
 

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still_confused said:
everyone needes to relax. optometrist are NOT junior OMDs or on the same level as OMDs in any capacity in terms of the public's (and VA's) eyes. ODs as primary care for vision is still relatively new. At the VA while we do primary care work, we will be paid as a "tech" it will take many more years before ODs even begin to get the respect they deserve

that being said 40k-70k is NOT little. it is enough to live a very comfortable life. too many ppl think when they get thier OD degree that they will be rich. i hope that the VA link will weed out those without the dedication. if you are ready to jump ship and run over to pharmacy, MD, DO, or whatever just when you see the "low " salary then i say you should do it, ODs right now are struggling to establish themselves, and do not need any more disgruntled ODs making things worst.

when i was researching the OD profession, that VA website was one of the first things i came across. i read the description and i loved it, it was exactly what i wanted, the pay is not like how the AOA advertised, but the job was. i plan on working at a VA hosptial upon graduation and if i dont like it, then ill consider a private practice. being able to practice full scope is my number one priority

that being said, optometry as a profession (at least what i think) is still base heavily on optical sales. not saying you need optical sales to make it big, but its a easy way there. VA hospitals do not sell ralph laurens or gucci (at least i dont think they do) and thus the optometrist will obviously make less. Walmart and lenscrafter ODs make ALOT of money (ive personally heard up to 200K but that is up for debate) because of optical sales. Private practice with a succesful optical portion also do very well. its just how it is right now, i am sure it will change in the future, but we are still to early in the "primary care" phase of optometry.
dont forget that you have to pay taxes on that money. also dont forget that you invested $100,000 to make 70,000. you guys just dont get it.
 

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gsinccom said:
I agree with the "relax" still confused quote and with what MattODx says. Also if you listen to Ben Chudner and other ODs they say we need to focus on the medical not the optical if we have aspirations of private practice optometry.
as far as why the VA considers optometrists(the OD degree) of less value than pharmacists(the pharmD degree) I have no explanation other than that could relate to the "need" for pharmacists-supply and demand economics?
focus on medical? most ods would starve.
 

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xmattODx said:
Commercial opticals do not pay ODs. ODs collect fees from their exams. If you don't want to do refractions don't become an OD. ODs at the VA refract. They will refract tomorrow and they will refract next year. If they stop refracting it will be the end of optometry in the VA.

It seems that the jobs listed are actually IHS jobs. VA may pay more or less. I'm uncertain.
not true in ny they can work for an optical.
 

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Ben Chudner said:
Just to clarify, Oklahoma OD's cannot perform LASIK. They are allowed to perform therapeutic anterior laser procedures - ALT's, Yag Cap's, and PI's and only one refractive procedure - PRK. Also, I beleive OD's recently lost all laser privileges in the VA systems thanks to a successful effort by OMD's.
Thank God. I know the Michigan Medical Association/Society has been doing a good job at keeping ODs where they belong and not letting practice medicine. If you want to do surgery, go to medical school. Period.
 

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ProZackMI said:
Thank God. I know the Michigan Medical Association/Society has been doing a good job at keeping ODs where they belong and not letting practice medicine. If you want to do surgery, go to medical school. Period.
While I still haven't decided how I, personally, feel about the OK ODs doing all that anterior chamber lasering, there is one thing that kinda gets me.

Why are you going to all the active posts in the OD forum and posting snippy little lines that do absolutely nothing except to degrade optometry as a profession? Why do you also take this cute little agenda of yours into other forums?

You don't like ODs, fine... there are certainly plenty of people who don't. But what purpose are you serving by going out of your way to bash optometry? Nothing I've seen you say has any bearing on the threads you've posted on.

Differing opinions are one thing, useless attacks are another.
 

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VA Hopeful Dr said:
While I still haven't decided how I, personally, feel about the OK ODs doing all that anterior chamber lasering, there is one thing that kinda gets me.

Why are you going to all the active posts in the OD forum and posting snippy little lines that do absolutely nothing except to degrade optometry as a profession? Why do you also take this cute little agenda of yours into other forums?

You don't like ODs, fine... there are certainly plenty of people who don't. But what purpose are you serving by going out of your way to bash optometry? Nothing I've seen you say has any bearing on the threads you've posted on.

Differing opinions are one thing, useless attacks are another.

It's about time someone spoke up! Good job and nicely put!
 
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gaylord said:
That's right on... my dad is a cardiologist at the VA in Amarillo, Tx, and in one of our discussions he said that the opts make about 45k.

:( :(
If you don't mind my asking, how much does your Dad (or physicians in the VA) make annually? According to USAJOBS.COM, it's in the $86-120K range. Is this the base rate? If so, what is the total annual compensation?
 

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VA Hopeful Dr said:
While I still haven't decided how I, personally, feel about the OK ODs doing all that anterior chamber lasering, there is one thing that kinda gets me.

Why are you going to all the active posts in the OD forum and posting snippy little lines that do absolutely nothing except to degrade optometry as a profession? Why do you also take this cute little agenda of yours into other forums?

You don't like ODs, fine... there are certainly plenty of people who don't. But what purpose are you serving by going out of your way to bash optometry? Nothing I've seen you say has any bearing on the threads you've posted on.

Differing opinions are one thing, useless attacks are another.
I have no personal agenda against optometry. Believe it or not, I actually respect optometrists who do what they are trained to do: provide the public with basic eye care through basic eye exams and prescribing the appropriate corrective lenses through refraction.

I have a serious problem with ODs, PAs, and NPs, who think they are physicians and lobby for enhanced scopes of practice in order to become more like physicians without going through medical school, etc. I have seen a plethora of ODs in MI, the last 10 years who pass themselves off as "physicians" of sorts by claiming to be primary care health providers. An optometrist is NOT a physician and is not a primary care health provider. You're eye care professionals who specialize in optic refraction. An OMD or internist can provide for the visual care of patients with medical problems.

So, I read these posts, from time-to-time, to see what's going on in OD land, where serious attempts are being made to encroach upon medicine by seriously undertrained technicians. If you guys stuck to optical refraction, I don't think there would be a problem; however, it seems many newly minted ODs are entering practice with this false notion that they are true health care providers and should be considered equal to physicians and dentists, etc.

A delusion by any other name is alas...still a delusion.
 

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ProZackMI said:
I have no personal agenda against optometry. Believe it or not, I actually respect optometrists who do what they are trained to do: provide the public with basic eye care through basic eye exams and prescribing the appropriate corrective lenses through refraction.

I have a serious problem with ODs, PAs, and NPs, who think they are physicians and lobby for enhanced scopes of practice in order to become more like physicians without going through medical school, etc. I have seen a plethora of ODs in MI, the last 10 years who pass themselves off as "physicians" of sorts by claiming to be primary care health providers. An optometrist is NOT a physician and is not a primary care health provider. You're eye care professionals who specialize in optic refraction. An OMD or internist can provide for the visual care of patients with medical problems.

So, I read these posts, from time-to-time, to see what's going on in OD land, where serious attempts are being made to encroach upon medicine by seriously undertrained technicians. If you guys stuck to optical refraction, I don't think there would be a problem; however, it seems many newly minted ODs are entering practice with this false notion that they are true health care providers and should be considered equal to physicians and dentists, etc.

A delusion by any other name is alas...still a delusion.
What are you talking about? Your post is irrelevant to the topic, unfair, and disrespectful. Optometrists that want to do surgeries should go to medical school. Most if not all optometrists could have gone to medical school or dental school if they wanted to. It would have been easier for me to apply to my state medical or dental schools than to apply for an out of state optometry school, but surgery/medicine is not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

You are talking about a minute population of optometrists. Quit the medical profession hierarchy and you might get some respect from PAs, nurses, NPs, ODs, DOs (cause MDs like you think they're inferior too), etc. Reading from your posts, you sound like the doctor that nurses dread to assist, "Ah crap, I got Dr. ProZack today, I'll need 10 shots of vodka tonight."
 

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VA Hopeful Dr said:
While I still haven't decided how I, personally, feel about the OK ODs doing all that anterior chamber lasering, there is one thing that kinda gets me.

Why are you going to all the active posts in the OD forum and posting snippy little lines that do absolutely nothing except to degrade optometry as a profession? Why do you also take this cute little agenda of yours into other forums?

You don't like ODs, fine... there are certainly plenty of people who don't. But what purpose are you serving by going out of your way to bash optometry? Nothing I've seen you say has any bearing on the threads you've posted on.

Differing opinions are one thing, useless attacks are another.
I'd also like to add that I've not seen anything that substantiates the original poster's phobia of optometry. I find it outrageous that an M.D. can assert that the training an M.D. and a D.O. receives is (in his mind) equivalent, and go on to assert that all an O.D. should do is refract and fit glasses/contact lenses.

Has this person reviewed the curriculum at any of the Optometry schools? Has this person sat for NBEO exams & passed them? Does this person have any idea what an O.D. is and is not qualified to treat?

If you want to come to an Optometry forum and assert that O.D.'s are not qualified to practice ocular medicine, you should have more than hyperbole and a mean-spirited attitude to support your assertions. You should at least back-up your position with facts.

Otherwise, crawl back to your fallacious 1970's era image of Optometry. Optometrists are no less qualified to practice ocular medicine than a D.O. is "equivalent" to an M.D. (as the original poster asserted)...

ProZackMI said:
I have a serious problem with ODs, PAs, and NPs, who think they are physicians and lobby for enhanced scopes of practice in order to become more like physicians without going through medical school, etc.
A clear example where your ignorance is exposed for all to see. An O.D. is a Doctor of Optometry, not a Physician's Assistant, nor a Nurse Practitioner (both of which are masters-level degrees). While it is true that there was a time when an Optometrist was only trained and qualified to evaluate visual acuity and prescribe glasses and contacts, those days are long gone. For example, do you realize that current O.D.'s are required to take more pharmacology than M.D.'s?

ProZackMI said:
So, I read these posts, from time-to-time, to see what's going on in OD land, where serious attempts are being made to encroach upon medicine by seriously undertrained technicians.
Yet another baseless, mean-spirited assertion. Upon what do you base your assertion that O.D.'s are undertrained technicians? Have you reviewed the curriculum at any school, or reviewed the NBEO exams and arrived at this conclusion?
 

sparikh

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MD's have no business on how they can and can't judge our profession. Just because they are MD's doesnt mean that they are superior than us.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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ProZackMI said:
I have no personal agenda against optometry. Believe it or not, I actually respect optometrists who do what they are trained to do: provide the public with basic eye care through basic eye exams and prescribing the appropriate corrective lenses through refraction.
This, actually, is one of the big reasons I still see ODs over MDs for my eyes. Lots of ODs still do their refractions personally, which I think is a great touch. In terms of yearly exams, I think that's the biggest seperation between ODs and MD/DOs: that extra personal touch.
Trick is, ODs actually are trained to treat disease. Go find an OD curriculum on one of the school's websites. There are definitely classes that train them how to treat ocular disease.

ProZackMI said:
I have a serious problem with ODs, PAs, and NPs, who think they are physicians and lobby for enhanced scopes of practice in order to become more like physicians without going through medical school, etc. I have seen a plethora of ODs in MI, the last 10 years who pass themselves off as "physicians" of sorts by claiming to be primary care health providers. An optometrist is NOT a physician and is not a primary care health provider. You're eye care professionals who specialize in optic refraction. An OMD or internist can provide for the visual care of patients with medical problems.
See, trick with that is, most people (general public and MD/DOs alike) actually do see ODs as primary eye care providers. The majority of your ophthalmologists have no interest in seeing allergic conjunctivitis, pink eye, or any other common, easy to treat conditions that every 3rd person gets. And while your local FP/internist can treat those things, there are other conditions that can manifest themselves similarly. So, ophtho guys don't usually want them, general practitioners could potentially screw them up (lacking a slit lamp, among other things)... who else should get see these people? Simply put, there is a nice niche for optometry, and it does include medical treatment.

ProZackMI said:
So, I read these posts, from time-to-time, to see what's going on in OD land, where serious attempts are being made to encroach upon medicine by seriously undertrained technicians. If you guys stuck to optical refraction, I don't think there would be a problem; however, it seems many newly minted ODs are entering practice with this false notion that they are true health care providers and should be considered equal to physicians and dentists, etc.

A delusion by any other name is alas...still a delusion.
Guess it all depends on how you classify a "true health care provider". Here's a neat little story that I've been wanting to share for some time.
If you go over to the ophtho forum and go back about a year, you'll see a grand rounds case from Iowa about a woman who came in complaining that her eyes were tearing up fairly heavily. At the time, she was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. The type of chemo was the same as a patient that was seeing my OD for the same problems. So I looked and jotted down what the MDs at Iowa did to attempt to treat their patient. Then, I went to my OD and asked what he did to attempt to treat his chemo/teary eyed patient. Identical treatments. Exactly the same thing done at both the University of Iowa ophthalmology department (top 10 in the country, I believe, great folks), and my local OD.
Sounds like a health care provider to me.
 

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ProZackMI said:
Thank God. I know the Michigan Medical Association/Society has been doing a good job at keeping ODs where they belong and not letting practice medicine. If you want to do surgery, go to medical school. Period.
Once again, without respect to the fact that not one patient was shown to have been harmed by the OD performing anterior laser procedures. This was a decision based on politics, not safety.
 

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rkl_OD2be said:
I'd also like to add that I've not seen anything that substantiates the original poster's phobia of optometry. I find it outrageous that an M.D. can assert that the training an M.D. and a D.O. receives is (in his mind) equivalent, and go on to assert that all an O.D. should do is refract and fit glasses/contact lenses.

Has this person reviewed the curriculum at any of the Optometry schools? Has this person sat for NBEO exams & passed them? Does this person have any idea what an O.D. is and is not qualified to treat?

If you want to come to an Optometry forum and assert that O.D.'s are not qualified to practice ocular medicine, you should have more than hyperbole and a mean-spirited attitude to support your assertions. You should at least back-up your position with facts.

Otherwise, crawl back to your fallacious 1970's era image of Optometry. Optometrists are no less qualified to practice ocular medicine than a D.O. is "equivalent" to an M.D. (as the original poster asserted)...

A clear example where your ignorance is exposed for all to see. An O.D. is a Doctor of Optometry, not a Physician's Assistant, nor a Nurse Practitioner (both of which are masters-level degrees). While it is true that there was a time when an Optometrist was only trained and qualified to evaluate visual acuity and prescribe glasses and contacts, those days are long gone. For example, do you realize that current O.D.'s are required to take more pharmacology than M.D.'s?


Yet another baseless, mean-spirited assertion. Upon what do you base your assertion that O.D.'s are undertrained technicians? Have you reviewed the curriculum at any school, or reviewed the NBEO exams and arrived at this conclusion?

An OD takes more pharm than an MD? That is utter nonsense. Show me the evidence of this. An MD prescribes medications to treat ALL diseases and has unfettered discretion and unrestricted RxPs. An OD has what, TPA/DPA privis? You do not take more pharm than a physician.

And, in every state of the union, a DO has the exact same privileges as an MD. There is NO legal distinction between the two types of physicians.

- MDs and DOs have full, unrestricted RxPs
- MDs and DOs have full hospital privileges
- MDs and DOs have the same insurance reimbursement
- MDs and DOs can both perform surgeries

An OD does NOT have the same training as a physician. You are a professional eye care technician with an inflated degree. I find it very doubtful that any optometrist, in any state, has taken more pharmacology than a medical doctor. That statement is absurd and was designed to "prove" you have medical training. You don't. Perhaps one or two pharm classes was required in your OD training, but podiatrists and dentists have far more training in pharm than ODs. After all, they, like MDs/DOs, have unlimited RxPs and even have clinical admitting privis at some hospitals.

Quit trying to puff yourself profession to be something it is not. As long as the AMA is around, OD's will never obtain equal status with physicians.
 

rkl_OD2be

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ProZackMI said:
An OD takes more pharm than an MD? That is utter nonsense. Show me the evidence of this. An MD prescribes medications to treat ALL diseases and has unfettered discretion and unrestricted RxPs. An OD has what, TPA/DPA privis? You do not take more pharm than a physician.
Here's the proof: I have looked at the curriculum of a typical MD program (since I live in Kansas, I picked KU Med). According to their curriculum, an MD student takes ONE semester of Pharmacology during the spring semester of the second year. An optometry student at SCO takes a total of three quarters of pharmacology: 2 quarters of general pharmacology, and 1 quarter of "Special topics in Ocular Pharmacology". Three quarters of pharmacology in OD school is "more pharmacology" than one semester at MD school. Perhaps you should look into facts before posting conjecture.

ProZackMI said:
An OD does NOT have the same training as a physician. You are a professional eye care technician with an inflated degree.
I have never asserted that an OD has the same training as a physician. I am merely trying to debunk the assertion that an OD is little more than an "over glorified tech." I have provided facts to support my assertion, and you have not!

ProZackMI said:
Quit trying to puff yourself profession to be something it is not. As long as the AMA is around, OD's will never obtain equal status with physicians.
Once again, I will refer to my comment asking you to move past your 1970's era understanding of what an OD is and is not qualified to do. At one time, your assertions were accurate, but that was at least a generation ago...
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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ProZackMI said:
An OD takes more pharm than an MD? That is utter nonsense. Show me the evidence of this. An MD prescribes medications to treat ALL diseases and has unfettered discretion and unrestricted RxPs. An OD has what, TPA/DPA privis? You do not take more pharm than a physician.

And, in every state of the union, a DO has the exact same privileges as an MD. There is NO legal distinction between the two types of physicians.

- MDs and DOs have full, unrestricted RxPs
- MDs and DOs have full hospital privileges
- MDs and DOs have the same insurance reimbursement
- MDs and DOs can both perform surgeries

An OD does NOT have the same training as a physician. You are a professional eye care technician with an inflated degree. I find it very doubtful that any optometrist, in any state, has taken more pharmacology than a medical doctor. That statement is absurd and was designed to "prove" you have medical training. You don't. Perhaps one or two pharm classes was required in your OD training, but podiatrists and dentists have far more training in pharm than ODs. After all, they, like MDs/DOs, have unlimited RxPs and even have clinical admitting privis at some hospitals.

Quit trying to puff yourself profession to be something it is not. As long as the AMA is around, OD's will never obtain equal status with physicians.
Technically, in some states the MD degree lets you do any and all types of medicine/surgery you want. Does that mean its safe for an FP to be doing a gastric bypass? Just because the law says one thing, you can't always use that to prove anything about training.

I looked up and compared the curriculum at UAB school of optometry and compared it with my med school curriculum. I'll admit I was suprised to see that MD students only take 1 hour of pharm lecture more than the OD students do. Now, granted, their pharm classes were broken up into half general pharm and half pharm of the eye AND our clinic time is more inclusive than theirs; but, the eye is all they need worry about, and they get good clinic time in that. ODs aren't going to be giving out immunosuppresants, hormone analogs, or beta2 agonists. 95% of what ODs Rx is topical. The other 5% are things like antihistamines (zyrtec is some dangerous stuff), occasional narcotics (usually 3-5 day supply for corneal abrasions), or occasional anti-microbial agents (though I've rarely seen those used, topical works well enough). MDs know more pharm than ODs, but we also use more of it. ODs seem to be doing just fine with the training they receive.

Here's something I'm somewhat curious about: where are you getting all your information about how woefully undertrained ODs are to Rx any drugs? Just like the previous poster claimed that OD take more pharm (and was incorrect), how do you know enough about OD training to say conclusively that they have no business treating eye disease?

For what its worth, I always enjoy a polite, well-reasoned debate... here's to hoping this doesn't degenerate as such threads tend to.
 

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rkl_OD2be said:
Here's the proof: I have looked at the curriculum of a typical MD program (since I live in Kansas, I picked KU Med). According to their curriculum, an MD student takes ONE semester of Pharmacology during the spring semester of the second year. An optometry student at SCO takes a total of three quarters of pharmacology: 2 quarters of general pharmacology, and 1 quarter of "Special topics in Ocular Pharmacology". Three quarters of pharmacology in OD school is "more pharmacology" than one semester at MD school. Perhaps you should look into facts before posting conjecture.
Two things: 1. Look at total credit hours... MD programs tend to have 8 hours general pharm, SCO only has 7. We'll ignore the 2 hour special topic since MDs have residencies and it is generally thought that our clinical time is more intense than OD clinic.
 

rkl_OD2be

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VA Hopeful Dr said:
Two things: 1. Look at total credit hours... MD programs tend to have 8 hours general pharm, SCO only has 7. We'll ignore the 2 hour special topic since MDs have residencies and it is generally thought that our clinical time is more intense than OD clinic.
I stand corrected. :oops:

When I started considering optometry, an OD told me this, and I "ran with it" before verifying the facts. Thanks for the clarification.

It is fair, however, to say that an OD is adequately trained to competently Rx drugs for ocular treatment.

I also like a spirited debate, and hope this thread continues as such...