Feb 26, 2012
111
4
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status
Pre-Optometry
So I was thinking about this recently. I dunno which degree should I chose, OD (Optometry) or MD (Medicine). I personally like to diagnose and treat eye and visual problems, but I hate surgery. I also have a general interest in the human body, and wouldn't like to focus my practice on only one part of the body (except when it comes to eyes). I also like to have a general knowledge of the human anatomophysiopathology. This should probably lead me to optometry. However, as an MD, you earn more, you and your education are more respected, you can help people more with physical (but not ocular) problems, you don't need to beg the board of an other profession each time a new procedure comes, you can do all what your competences allow you to do, you can help some people who need to renew their prescription when they can't see their MD, and your profession is not saturated (atleast for FM). However, MD's biggest con for me is that if I want to deal with eyes, I will have to do ophthalmology, which requires me to do surgeries. FPs can't do much with eyes.



What do you think?

PS: I am in Canada, so the OD market here is different.
 
OP
R
Feb 26, 2012
111
4
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hey i don't have an answer to your question but i wanted to ask you being that you're Canadian as well :) How is the job market for optometrists in Canada? I'm assuming they're paid the same here as US (about 70 to 80k). I considered going to the states to do Optometry school but it seems like a difficult proposition paying off 150k loan with that salary.
I will have to ask about it.
 
Jan 26, 2012
152
23
Chicago, IL
Status
Optometry Student
Are you planning to stay in Canada? From what I've heard about the scope of Canadian optometry, I'm really not sure I'd even want to practice up there.

I think, though, that MD is a very broad category. Maybe go exploring different specialties of medicine, and see what you come up with.
 
OP
R
Feb 26, 2012
111
4
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status
Pre-Optometry
Are you planning to stay in Canada? From what I've heard about the scope of Canadian optometry, I'm really not sure I'd even want to practice up there.

I think, though, that MD is a very broad category. Maybe go exploring different specialties of medicine, and see what you come up with.
Yes, I am planning to stay here. Optometric scope of practice is more limited than in the US. I like eyes, but I hate surgery, that's why I don't want to become an OMD. Also, if I get into med school, I will most likely do FM, but I never saw FPs doing much about eyes, least prescribing glasses and giving visual aids.
 

Snakedoctor1

5+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2014
280
174
Status
Optometrist
Who is it that you are looking to gain respect from? MDs? Family? The lay public? This comes up pretty frequently on these forums, and I'm curious to know what pull this has for you.
 
OP
R
Feb 26, 2012
111
4
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status
Pre-Optometry
Who is it that you are looking to gain respect from? MDs? Family? The lay public? This comes up pretty frequently on these forums, and I'm curious to know what pull this has for you.
Mostly from MDs, whom many of view ODs as nothing but some advanced technicians.
 
OP
R
Feb 26, 2012
111
4
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status
Pre-Optometry
Why do you care about what MDs think?
Because when you want to add new procedures to the list of your authorized activities, you need their approval.
 

Snakedoctor1

5+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2014
280
174
Status
Optometrist
For some, it boils down to a self-perception issue. For those individuals, MD may be the more satisfying route. There are members of this forum who fall into that category, and wish they had gone to med school. I would guess that most ODs care very little about what the nearby FP thinks of them.

Respected or not, Optometry has a pretty good track record.
 
OP
R
Feb 26, 2012
111
4
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Status
Pre-Optometry
For some, it boils down to a self-perception issue. For those individuals, MD may be the more satisfying route. There are members of this forum who fall into that category, and wish they had gone to med school. I would guess that most ODs care very little about what the nearby FP thinks of them.

Respected or not, Optometry has a pretty good track record.
It does, and I had a good experience with them. I just hate having some MDs trying to confine my profession to less of what I am competent with (like how in the past, OMDs wanted ODs to be confined to refraction).
BTW, opticians in some jurisdictions want to do refraction...
 

Snakedoctor1

5+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2014
280
174
Status
Optometrist
BTW, opticians in some jurisdictions want to do refraction...
So do PAs. The terf battles are an unfortunate aspect of the eye care world (Although it happens in other professions as well). OMDs will always fight the expansion of Optometry, and may or may not be successful. So far they haven't been. Although I'm not an advocate of pushing Optometry into the surgical world, history says Optometry will keep growing.

In my opinion, the soaring cost of tuition and opening of new schools is a bigger threat.
 
Jun 18, 2014
38
19
GTA
Status
Optometry Student
http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/labourmarket/ojf/pdf/3121_e.pdf

Head over to that link for salary and occupation related information compiled by Canada.

Tuition at the University of Waterloo, it is around $16,000/year for first 3 years and the last year is $20,000. I am sure you can pay back loans in a year or less with a full-time position.

As for myself, I could care less what a MD would think of me. All I really care about is the patient and how well they are being treated. Arrogance isn't needed in the field of public health.