OD over MD/DO

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Jun 3, 2001
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Do any of you (Optometry student) have seriously give up medical school(acceptance) for Optometry school? And why? :rolleyes:

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Good topic!!!.... please post up, I'm very curious to know.... Thanx in advance!!!

I never applied to med school. I only applied to optometry school. For me optometry was the best fit of all the health professions for many reasons. So, there was no need to apply to med school. :D

The only way I can answer your question is to say that if I did apply to med school and got accepted, I still would choose optometry school. You may not believe it, but it is sincerely true. :cool:
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I did the opposite. I got accepted to O.D. schools but turned them down and applied to M.D. school. An optometrist I know was accepted at both M.D. and O.D. schools (Ohio State) and chose O.D. over M.D. due to quality of life issues. There are also some O.D./M.D. degree-holders out there. All the ones I know of got their O.D. first.
(OD/MD)=4yrsUNDER+4MD+3Residency=11yrs :eek:
(OD/MD)=4yrsUNDER+4MD+3Residency=11yrs :eek:
ops :p
I really don't see any big difference between OD and OMD(in term of the Job). What makes me attract to the OD schools is their life style. I want to be able practicing medicine at 28(I know OMD make way more money then OD, but that is not the issue for me). :D
Basically, the diff btwn the two professions is that OMD's perform surgery, OD's do not.

Yes, OMD's do earn considerably more $$$. But if thats not your main goal in entering health-care (and it obviously shouldnt be) then optometry may be for you?

You just need to decide if you like primary care, if you like the eyes, and if you will be satisfied looking at the back of eyeballs all day, every day without performing surgery????? Now, personally, I dont see how looking into the back of someone's eyeball can ever get boring, but thats just me! :D

Good luck to you!! And if you want any more info on opt just ask!! :D :D
That was an interesting read about the difference.....

Question: Is it possible for OD's to at least do some minor surgeries?
Yea, but only in Oklahoma.

In the future?...who knows?? :cool:
Yes, od's can do some minor sx like chalazion removal if properly trained. Laser sx is only avaliable too a very small extent but some in office injections may be done. eyeguy :cool:
I personally never even gave MD school a thought. Once I realized OD what was I wanted to do.. I went for it. I only applied to OD schools and am starting in the Fall. Amisoone if you're seriously considering optometry school .. you've come to the right place. We'd be more than willing to help you in any way you need to become an eye doctor if that's your true calling. Good luck! We'll be rooting for you!! :D
I never really considered MD school either. Of course when I first started working optical I was going to school for law :eek:

Quality of life issues are a big factor with me. I would love to have a broader scope of practice, and be able to do more..but I am perfectly happy with the eye biz and really long to have enough time to be a mom too.

Some issues you need to work through before deciding which way to go:

1) Are you interested in only the eye?
2) Are you just disappointed in your mcats and only are hedging your bets so to speak..(ie.. afraid you won't get accepted to med school and therefore trying to convince yourself optometry is better)
3) Do you mind being in the lower end of the health professions?
4) Why are you interested in either profession?
5) What do you expect to get out of it?

OMDs not only are surgeons, but the are disease specialists. While it is becoming more and more popular for ODs to manage diseases, the OMDs have had this field for a long time. The main reason's why are their lack of limitations on therapeutic drugs, and the ability to preform the surgical techniques that might be required. OMDs work with oncologists in various types of retinal cancers. Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinapathy, certain types of tumors, cataracts, and things which are systemic wide or affects the whole body. They can do everything an OD can do and more.

Now, is that worth more to you that being able to practice by the time you are 28? That is something only you can answer.

I am perfectly happy dealing with the eyes. I have been doing so for years now. I enjoy being able to help people maximize their vision and feeling like I am truly providing a service to someone. As I stated before, there is no way I would be willing to go through med school hell and ruin my family life for the extra duties. But that is me...

You need to think about what is right for you, what type of life you seriously want, and which route will make it happen. Because in the end, your happiness and satisfaction is what matters, not our opinions on whether you did the right thing or not...

Aren't OMD's called oriental medicine doctors?

also, does the fact that eyes surgery like lasik, which is becoming more popular scare you?

Fewer people are using corrective lenses in the future.
Originally posted by Gay Focker, RN:
•Aren't OMD's called oriental medicine doctors?•

Most of us in the optical arena use OMD to designate an opthamologist.

•also, does the fact that eyes surgery like lasik, which is becoming more popular scare you?

Fewer people are using corrective lenses in the future.•

The lasik procedure doesn't scare me, just like its predecessors didn't either. The technique is far from perfect and many people are not ideal candidates. There will always be people who need good vision care and corrective measures. Even those with lasik are often left with a need for reading glasses (many much sooner than ave) and often a bit for distance as well.

Lasik has actually opened up many oportunities for optometrists. There is the co-management of patients, and then the niche market for helping those lasik failed.

Optometry is here to stay and the field is opening up more everyday. As technology advances and our understanding of vision, we can incorporate those into better treatments and to gain a broader scope of practice.

sorry, i've been an optician for 8 years and have never seen an ophthalmologist referred to as OMD! my big question for you would be, do you really want to be an Optometrist? As stated previously, you have to love what you do. You will deal daily with some ignorant people who only want to see a "real" doctor (even though most ODs outperform MD/DOs hands down when it comes to refraction and early detection of disease). Will this bother you, or do you even care? Unfortunately, with today's Wal-Mart mentality, Optometry has become a fast-food business with most people wanting a quickie refraction and glasses in about an hour for under $50. Quality care optometric jobs are rare and don't pay as well as the refraction-only outfits. An optometrist friend was recently offered 120K to work part-time for Wal-Mart--120 days per year. that's more than a lot of MD/DOs! However, true comprehensive ODs usually average aroung 75K. However, if you love optometry, that won't matter.
Speaking for myself... I LOVE OPTOMETRY!!!

I too have been an optician for over 7 years now. I have helped in every facet of care available to me now, from lab to dispense, to pretest to office management. In fact the only thing I haven't done is the actual exam itself.

I originally started part time as I went to school for law. The more I worked and learned, the more I loved what I did. Sure there have been a few times that I have been burned out and felt like quitting. Hell I have quit before. But I came back. I went down to casual part time work..but came back full time. Why? Cause I love what I can do. Never have I worked in a field where I felt like I was truly providing a service and making a difference.

The times I witnessed a child seeing his mom clearly for the first time...The woman who was abused and I was able to get a doctor to donate their services and I was able to get her free glasses. The man who finally could read with his bifocals when I found a lab that could put prism in the near to counteract the 7 diopters out he had OU. The numerous people grateful to deal with someone who can help them make the most out of their presciption and keep in mind cosmetic concerns too. The woman who thanked me for insisting she go back to see the doctor and we caught her eye disease early enough to prevent blindness...

I want to be able to be the doctor who can help make a difference in all of these areas. I know all about lens materials, options, lens designs, frames etc. Now I just need the skills to provide a thorough eye exam to boot, and I will have what it takes to have my own sucessful practice.

I don't think that Walmart is going to be the vision leader, and while Luxottica partnered with LensCrafters will probably be the dominating force in the optical industry for sometime to come, I feel that if you create a special niche, either specializing in something like Vision Therapy, Low Vision, post surgical, Occupational or just providing the best service and materials..you can be successful. My goal is not to be the number one optical in the world...my goal is to be the best I can be and to make a decent living while enjoying what I do. To have the ability to give something back to my community. If optometry only paid $40k a year I still would be interested cause I am not in it for the money. If that was the case I would have stuck to either law, or finished my MCSE be done in a few months and make a good living with networking or web design...Instead I wanted to work with people and see the difference I make for them.

Congrats, Cassandra: that's just the kind of ODs we need! I've worked with ODs who care like you do and the more predominant docs who are in it for hours and money. I have always felt the way you do about my time as an Optician, experiencing the same moments of euphoria you have. Even more enjoyable is the feeling you have after giving a refraction that generates a script that helps a person to see better. I, however, didn't realize how much I would miss optics until after I was accepted into medical school. This void I now have may only be filled by specializing in Ophth. This field, too, has its moments of satisfaction, as I will often be able to surgically correct (among many other things) that prism, instead of only using corrective lenses. I look forward to the future of Ophthalmology as our technologies improve!
Great! I am sure you will make a great ophthamologist. Your understanding of the entire process is what we need more docs to know..be they OD or MD.

My biggest frustration sometimes is when doctors don't realize how materials, designs, adjustments, etc affect how the person sees with that rx.

I am glad to see that there are some friendly MDs coming our way and I hope that all three of the O's will come together to provide complete care and a mutually satisfying workplace.