Jun 2, 2016
8
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
I just had my optometry preview at western university and am pretty excited abou persuing a career. However, ive been keeping tabs online for starting pay for optometrists, particularly at the VA, and am pretty dissapointed.

Im a non traditional student, i served in the military for 9 years, combat veteran, and currently work for civil service as an electrician. The starting pay is not much more than what an electrician makes!

However, looking at ophthalmology, at a quick glance (havent had time spend a few hours online researching) the pay is much higher.

But can anyone tell me how different the schooling is? I have a bs in small business and am currently working through the science pre reqs for optometry school.

Is ophthalmology a path i could easily pick up after optometry school or is best to get in from the get go?

Sorry if i sound ignorant, but its because i am. I have no family or friends in the medical field, its all new to me and a bit overwhelming. Right now im trying to just figure out my short and long term goals.

Any help is apreciated, so thank you in advance!
 

Optogal

7+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2010
393
49
Status
Optometrist
Ophthalmology is a specialty after medical school. So you would have to attend 4 years of medical school, match into Ophth, then complete (typically) a 5 year residency in ophthalmology, and that would (if I'm correct) qualify you as a basic general ophthalmologist. If you wanted a specialty in ophthalmology, that would be even more study.

If you are qualified to enter optom/med school already, your minimum investment would be 9 years before you became an ophthalmologist. For optometry, 4 years.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2004
20,369
26,109
Status
Attending Physician
Ophthalmology is a specialty after medical school. So you would have to attend 4 years of medical school, match into Ophth, then complete (typically) a 5 year residency in ophthalmology, and that would (if I'm correct) qualify you as a basic general ophthalmologist. If you wanted a specialty in ophthalmology, that would be even more study.

If you are qualified to enter optom/med school already, your minimum investment would be 9 years before you became an ophthalmologist. For optometry, 4 years.
Incorrect. 1 year internship, 3 year residency for a total of 4 years post-med school.

That said, the biggest difference is this: if you get into optometry school you will come out an optometrist. If you get into med school, you still have to match into ophthalmology (a very competitive field).
 

wetgangrene

5+ Year Member
Oct 3, 2012
31
2
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Incorrect. 1 year internship, 3 year residency for a total of 4 years post-med school.

That said, the biggest difference is this: if you get into optometry school you will come out an optometrist. If you get into med school, you still have to match into ophthalmology (a very competitive field).
Actually, I believe she is probably from Canada. From what I understand, it is 5 years up there. But yes, 4 years in the states for general/comprehensive ophthalmology. Then 1 additional fellowship year for most subspecialties (except vitreoretinal surgery and ASOPRS oculoplastics fellowships, which are 2 years).


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