PreOptMegs

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I have been trying to get a job as an optician at a local lens crafters for a while now, and things are not looking up.... is not having any experience working at an optometric office going to significantly hurt my chances to get into Optometry school?
 

PLPrincess

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PreOptMegs said:
I have been trying to get a job as an optician at a local lens crafters for a while now, and things are not looking up.... is not having any experience working at an optometric office going to significantly hurt my chances to get into Optometry school?
Not if you're GPA and OAT are good...I think you should try to get at least some experience (like shadowing, internship or whatever) in the field. That lets the schools know that you know what you're getting yourself into.
 

al-majhul

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PreOptMegs said:
I have been trying to get a job as an optician at a local lens crafters for a while now, and things are not looking up.... is not having any experience working at an optometric office going to significantly hurt my chances to get into Optometry school?
Hey there Megs,

Don't know if you had a chance to take a look at this thread...

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=182955

...it'll give you some further insight into the question. Like PLPrincess said, you want to show the schools that you know what the profession is all about, so at least try to shadow a doctor. A lot of questions at the interviews that I had revolved around what the job entails and what experience I've had already. Try doing what I did (this is from my post on that thread...):

ME said:
I'll tell you my story -- because I like telling stories and I'm long-winded (long-fingered, rather, seeing as I'm typing)...

I had a rather difficult time trying to find someone to shadow for some reason (that may have something to do with the fact that I was also looking for a doctor who might consider hiring me for an optician-type position -- and I told them that; albeit I was willing to work for minimum wage). I started by going through the phone-book, one name at a time. When I got through it and found nobody was interested, I decided on an alternate method. Essentially, what I did was get the email addresses of about 30 doctors in my area via the internet. It doesn't really matter who you shadow, so go wild. Make sure to have a resume handy for faxing.

The first doctor to respond wasn't sure if he could give me a position, but he'd let me shadow at his group practice (note: you may want to shadow more than one doctor in a variety of practice settings; ie, group, solo, etc. Schools like to see that you've seen the differences between the modes of practice). I spent a total of about 10 hours with him -- split up into 2-3 hour sessions per day.

After that, I received a response from one doctor who worked at a Target (solo/corporate-setting). She actually told me she was in the process of opening a new office, and she could use an assistant. So I did about 15-20 hours of observation at her Target office (also in 2-3 hour/day sessions) and that landed me a job with her in the new office. (Some schools require that you have 30 or so hours of unpaid observation, so make sure you find out that info. from the school's application requisites pages -- links to all the schools are available on www.opted.org)

So now I work 35 hrs/week -- YAY!! -- often I'm the only one at the office, because the doctor splits her time between the new office and Target -- and I handle basically everything except that actual exams, from insurances, to frame-neutralizing, etc. All this, mind you, is at a brand-new and growing office. Schools were PARTICULARLY impressed by the fact that I've been part of the practice since its birth, because I really have a pretty good insight into what it takes to get a business going -- so that may be something you'll want to consider (finding a doctor with a brand new office I mean).

On a side note, I didn't really have to use this tip, but I hear it's useful. Offer to take the doctor out to lunch to just talk optometry -- their thoughts on the field, their experiences, etc. -- it's a good way to build a relationship with them (which is important come time to ask them for a letter of rec).
Good luck Megs...we're rootin' for ya! :)
 

rpames

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Don't limit your search for experience to chain locations call some private or group ODs. All the ODs I've talked to have no problem letting students come and observe, in fact, most love it.
 

ddown

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I agree, definitely get some hours observing a private/group practice doctor. It's worth the time even if there is no compensation. It will give you something to talk about at your interview but even more importantly, will help you decide if optometry is something you want to do for the rest of your life. Also, ask the docs if they have any fairly recent optometry magazines/journals that you can borrow. Read up on some of the more current issues in the field for more of an edge during your interview.
 
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PreOptMegs

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I am really good friends with a girl I went to high school with and both of her parents are Optometrists. I have shadowed them countless times, and I love it even more each and every time. I just don't have the "job" experience if you will to back me up on this... Thanks for all of your insight.
 

al-majhul

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PreOptMegs said:
I am really good friends with a girl I went to high school with and both of her parents are Optometrists. I have shadowed them countless times, and I love it even more each and every time. I just don't have the "job" experience if you will to back me up on this... Thanks for all of your insight.
Hey again Megs,

Why didn't you say so in the first place? :) I really don't think you have much to worry about. I may be wrong, but I think that what they are looking for is that you've simply had the experience; which is something easily attained by spending enough time in an optometric setting. Getting paid for working as a pseudo-optician is not something every other applicant has had.
 

rpames

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I agree, don't worry about "job experience." When people apply to med school they don't have to have experience as a nurse or medical assistant. Just observing some doctors a number of times is plenty. I know some people at ICO that never touched an optical screw driver before starting here.

You'll be fine without job experience.
 

Eyegirl2k7

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Like me, right Rpames...?

Hope pharm went well today:)
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