Minimal Optometry-related Experience... will this affect me a lot?


New Member
2+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2016

    I am currently a 4th year student studying in Canada. I've sent in my application to OptomCAS recently and my stats are pretty good. However, I have next to no optometry related experience. I have not volunteered for an optometrist before and do not have much exposure to the field other than my own research and shadowing on a few occasions. Do you think this will hurt my chances a lot?

    I got 400TS and 380AA on the OAT and am applying with a 3.81 GPA. My extracurriculars are good- I've held exec positions in two clubs, am currently co-pres, have research experience, as well as many other volunteering experiences. I've applied to ICO, NECO, and SALUS. What are my chances of getting an interview with my limited optometry background?

    Thanks in advance!


    New Member
    May 24, 2017
    1. Pre-Optometry
      You obviously have great stats so I imagine you will get interviews. I would suggest start shadowing now, so that by the time you have an interview you can speak to why you want to be an optometrist based on your own experience. It is important to have some sort of experience with optometry so that your interviewers know that you know what this career is like and that it's also the career that you want. If you've barely shadowed/worked, it's not easy to convince someone that you love the profession.


      Full Member
      2+ Year Member
      Dec 15, 2016
      1. Optometry Student
        I believe that I got into the schools I applied for almost completely because of my experience. They will want to know why you haven't sought opportunities to see what your future career and life will be like for the next 4 years. My GPA was right around 3.4 and my OAT was just OK. You should at least attempt to get more experience so that if you start going on interviews soon you can at least say you have something set up. It's not uncommon for a student or two to realize optometry is not for them and discontinue the program. That's 30 - 50k less a year for the school because they accepted a student who didn't know what he or she was getting into.


        Full Member
        Dec 7, 2014
        1. Optometry Student
          I offer an alternative opinion - I only shadowed one optometrist two times for a couple hours each and no one at any of the 3 schools I interviewed at questioned me on my lack of experience. Loads of people get accepted not having worked in an optical having minimal optometric experience.
          Just know what you're getting into. Do your research on what the profession entails, have decent grades, be passionate and well spoken. That's about all it takes. People on this site are mostly over-achievers so comparing yourselves to the majority here does not equate to the majority in school.
          Shadowing before going into school is very repetitive and somewhat pointless because you won't know what's going on imo. Just do enough to get a feel for the day-to-day of the profession.

          You have great stats, you'll be fine.
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