Oct 20, 2010
23
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
So here I am...trying to study my butt off for my OATs (will be taking them next week). I'm so nervous because I still haven't reviewed all my orgo and physics notes yet. I figured I should study them last so it will still be fresh in my head right before the exam. I'm just really nervous because my scores have been fluctuating around the same score from the start and end of my Kaplan course. What if I do worse on the actual exam?! :( I thought I would be more prepared...but I don't think so anymore... I SUCK AT ORGO AND PHYSICS!

Anyway...to the main point. I had set my heart to pursue optometry earlier this year after doing my own soul searching the past two years after graduation. I knew I wanted to do something in healthcare, but didn't know what. My friends had told me to go into dental for the good pay, stability, autonomy, etc..but I don't think I can love staring at mouths everyday -_- (still love all my dental friends though!). I told my friends that I wanted patient contact, but not dentistry, even though I love working with my hands. However, I did *seriously* considered pharmacy, since I've worked as a lab scientist at several pharmaceutical companies and as a pharm tech at a retail store. Yet, I didn't think I would be happy doing research or counting pills/verifying prescriptions behind the counter all my life, so I researched more professions. I ended up shadowing an optometrist one day, and everything just CLICKED that day. I came out and was like, wow this is it. Optometry is for me. I LOVED the patient contact factor, the ability to work with hands, stability and autonomy of the job. I kinda laughed at myself afterward thinking why I never looked into optometry earlier. It also helps when I'm not the greatest science student (mostly Bs), yet got an A in Neuroanatomy (one of the very few As I got in undergrad - so yes I am very proud of it)! So hey, why not go for something that I'm good at too?! I shadowed my optometrist more afterwards, and simply loved every single visit. I'm not gonna lie, I was SO HAPPY when I decided to go full-force into optometry. I've been miserable at my workplace because I felt like I could do more...but just felt lost these past few years not knowing WHAT EXACTLY I should do with my life.

Few months later and here I am, about to take my OATs, and I feel like my initial passion for optometry is slowly fading. I am not sure if its just the test-taking jitters...afraid of failing the OAT and ending my optometry dreams or reading how the optometry industry is too oversaturated. Yes, I absolutely love what optometrist do and I want to be the greatest doctor to my patients, but what will that do if I won't be hired or I won't be making money afterward? I didn't think too much about the finances until my parents keep on asking me if this is worth it (they keep telling me I should be more wise and find a job that can pay for classes, so I can work full time and earn a higher education degree and I can have a stable income vs. no income for next 4 years and be $150-200K in debt).

I just find reports like BLS GOV and blog posts so conflicting too. CNN, BLS reports state that optometry is growing and is one of the best jobs in the US...yet the real optometrists here in the forums are saying its horrible. I just want to make sure it will be worthwhile investing this time and money too. I hope this doesn't make it sound like all I want from optometry is money, but I do believe that if I am going to put my next 4 years and money into school, I want to be confident knowing I will successful for the rest of my life as well. ...and not the $60K optometrist that I read somewhere...I can do this if I stay at my job for another year! =/ yes, I know..besides the point because my current job = no patient satisfaction! But am I going in the wrong route?!

However, I must say that I do get motivated when I read the "Acceptance" or some of the OAT threads in these forums. It just shows that there's still a lot of people out there with the same goals and beliefs in making optometry their career. I just hope I can get rid of this confusion about the future. :(

So sorry this is so long. I've had all these thoughts running around, and just wanted to put it out there finally. For the current students who are applying...did these thoughts ever occurred to you? How are you still determined to be an optometrist despite these claims about poor market? Thanks so much for reading.
 

jmonte

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
May 19, 2005
10
0
Status
I think its perfectly normal that you'd be feeling this way. Please see the thread "jobs availability" in the Optometry section for a realistic perspective. In a perfect world without political/corporate influence, Optometry is a great profession. But if your looking a security, a sure thing, you will not find it here.
 
Oct 20, 2010
20
0
Status
Optometry Student
When I see Optometrists posting about a bad job market, I think of two things. 1. It may be bad where they are or bad in areas of people that they spoken with, OR it could be that 2. People with bad experiences tend to voice their opinion more than people with good experiences.

I did have some of the same thoughts as you, but I know that this is something that I want to do. I think it's worth the risk.
 
Aug 22, 2010
16
0
Bowling Green, KY
Status
Pre-Optometry
I'm in the exact same boat.... I'm so afraid that I'm going to invest all of this time into my undergrad and NOT pass the OAT or I'll pass the OAT, get accepted, fiinish Op school, and then be stuck with $250k worth of debt and no job. I have a wife and our first child due in a few weeks, so it's not just me I'm supporting. I have a great job now (I run a tool and die shop) but I have always had higher expectations for myself, and I believe this is an occupation that can offer me everything I want. I'm just glad to see that I'm not the only one with this anxiety and doubt. I think this is why I come to this forum. For support and validation.
 

KHE

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2005
3,336
328
Status
Optometrist
OP:

Don't get ahead of yourself. Just take the test first. Then worry about all the other crap.