UOP123321

5+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2014
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Pre-Medical
why Ophthalmology is not part of the optometry school. I mean why should i go to medical school and then apply for residency to be Ophthalmology, isn't Ophthalmology the anatomy, functions, pathology, and treatment of the eye.
 
Jun 3, 2015
37
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Pre-Optometry
Preach! I wish it were a residency program after the 3-4 year Optometry program, at least they'd play a lot nicer with Optometrists then!
 
Jul 21, 2015
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why Ophthalmology is not part of the optometry school. I mean why should i go to medical school and then apply for residency to be Ophthalmology, isn't Ophthalmology the anatomy, functions, pathology, and treatment of the eye.
Because ophthalmology is a separate profession with a different scope of practice and required training. Even if optometry school provided some sort of surgical residency to allow optometrists to function similar to ophthalmologists, you would be looking at 4-5 additional years of schooling after the optometry training.
 
Jun 3, 2015
37
14
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Pre-Optometry
Which makes sense actually: if you want to study the eyes, do Optometry. If you want to do eye surgery, do Optometry plus another 4 years or so of surgical training.
 
Jul 21, 2015
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Which makes sense actually: if you want to study the eyes, do Optometry. If you want to do eye surgery, do Optometry plus another 4 years or so of surgical training.
Yeah it would be interesting if you could bypass medical training and skip to an ophthalmology residency after becoming an OD. Or to be fair, have the option to compete with MD/DO students for residencies (which would be pretty tough). Then again, it's kinda hard for us to say whether that would be viable or not without actually being exposed to curricula.
 
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Jun 3, 2015
37
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Pre-Optometry
Well I can't imagine we need to study exactly the same curricula as medical students to do eye surgeries, but I agree with you that the current OD program may need to be tweaked a bit. As a pre-opt though I have to admit I'm making most of this up since I haven't actually been exposed to the OD curriculum (yet!) :)
 
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Snakedoctor1

5+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2014
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Optometrist
Well I can't imagine we need to study exactly the same curricula as medical students to do eye surgeries, but I agree with you that the current OD program may need to be tweaked a bit. As a pre-opt though I have to admit I'm making most of this up since I haven't actually been exposed to the OD curriculum (yet!) :)
What is it you would like to be different about the Optometry curriculum?

In my opinion, even if it did make logical sense to jump from Optometry school to a medical residency, it will never be anything more than fantasy considering the politics of the whole thing. I don't think it's bad. Optometry has a lot to offer that Ophthalmology doesn't, and vice versa. I'm fine with that, no one can be an expert on everything. Where primary eye care is concerned, Optometrists will probably always be on the front line, but I think more specialization within Optometry would serve the profession, as well as patients.
 
Jun 3, 2015
37
14
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Pre-Optometry
Right now, I don't want anything to be changed. It's just that in the imaginary and highly unlikely scenario that ophthalmology residence were to be offered to optometrists after they finish their optometry degree, then the current optometry degree *may* need to be tweaked a bit so they're more prepared to do surgeries if they do get into residence. But as I mentioned, I have no idea what's the difference between the curricula of med school versus optometry, or even if there is anything different in med school than optometry that better prepares the students to do surgeries.

Being allowed to specialize more is the whole point wanting ophthalmology residence for optometrists. If an optometrist wants to do primary care, they don't have to apply for ophthalmology residence: same thing with need school, if you want to be a primary care physician, you don't do surgery residence.
 

Snakedoctor1

5+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2014
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Optometrist
I'm referring to specialization within Optometry: vision therapy, specialty contact lens fitting, ocular disease, dry eye, etc.

These are things Optometrists already do on a regular basis, but in many cases it is done on the side. The more we can carve out specific niches, the more we can survive on limited populations, instead of competing for the exact same market. Patients would greatly benefit from specialty care.

There are many areas of Optometry that can be delved into, and the more ODs can refer patients back and forth instead of stealing patients and griping about neighboring competition, the better. Minor surgeries are being done in a couple of states by Optometrists, and if they are well trained for it, then great. I'm sure patients will benefit from better access to care, as long as it is quality care. The argument from the OMD side of course, is that it is not quality care. I imagine the argument against bridging Optometry school with a surgical residency would focus on the importance of understanding whole body processes in order to deal with the possible complications of surgery, but the real roadblock will always be political.

I personally don't know why organized Optometry seems so set on gaining more surgical privileges. I'm just an ignorant student, and I realize that there are many different kinds of "surgery" in the eye care world, but it seems to me that there are more pressing matters that need attention. Like trying to curb the surge of new Optometry schools. There is no regulation, and probably won't be, which is another reason I think more OD graduates should consider specializing. I'm not talking about board certification. I mean starting a specialty practice. Dentistry has done this, and there is no reason Optometry shouldn't.

Last year at a large Optometry meeting, I asked the former president of the AOA whether or not we should be worried about oversupply of new ODs. he said "Absolutely not!"

Not comforting.
 
May 24, 2015
61
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Pre-Optometry
What is the atmosphere like currently in optometry school regarding specializing in something? To your knowledge, are optometry schools pushing this idea? Or are they simply preparing the students to be optometrists that can then decide on their own what they want to specialize in? What is the additional education involved if one decides to specialize, if any?

I plan to specialize as I believe it would increase not only the quality of care, but also of my own medical relevance in the community, not to mention the benefit of my business and the financial well being of my family.
 

Snakedoctor1

5+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2014
280
174
Status
Optometrist
I can only speak for one Optometry school, and I wouldn't say the curriculum is pushing students toward specializing. There are faculty members who are "specialists" within the field of Optometry, and they are good resources. Depending on what you want to specialize in, you might consider a residency. This would be helpful if you were interested in ocular disease, because I believe you will need one if you want to work in a VA hospital.

Basically you will learn to be an Optometrist in school, like you mentioned, and then decide what you want to specialize in. Remember that there aren't any "official" specialties like Dentistry and Medicine have, but that doesn't mean you can't choose something to do exclusively.
 
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