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Optometry as I see it...

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by stonegoat, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. stonegoat

    5+ Year Member

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    There have been numerous negative posts on this forum with regards to the profession of optometry. Although I think it's important to point-out the negatives of the profession, I think a more balanced view should be presented to pre-optometry and optometry students.
    I practice in Canada, and have never practiced in the USA, so maybe some of my observations don't apply.

    First off, I really enjoy optometry. I find it very satisfying to help offer solutions to people having eye problems, whatever they may be. Unlike some ODs, I don't mind refracting. I have owned my own private practice for almost 3 years, and so I have the challenges associated with business ownership, in addition to clinic challenges. I am rarely bored.

    As far as day-to-day practice goes, I find I see just about everything. Practicing in a small town has also allowed my to develop great relations with the local MDs, and it is the rare day that I don't get at least one referral from a family Dr. Some days I receive several. Despite what some of the negative contributors to the forum say, I AM a part of the health care team in my community. In fact, in the first town where I practiced as an associate, I, along with the other ODs in the practice shared call at the hospital. I was commonly called at 10 or 11 at night to come into the hospital to evaluate and eye injury, or other condition that had the emergency Drs concerned. I realize it's not that way everywere, but that was my experience.

    With regards to money...it has been great from day one. I am happy with my income, and it increases every year.

    All in all, optometry has met or exceeded most of my expectations.
     
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  3. songaila

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    I am sincerely happy that you are doing well up in Canada. However, there are only a few optometry schools in Canada and the competition is very different. I note that you mention you work in a small town with many MDs. I would assume you would have more competitoin in Toronto or Vancouver.

    If a pre-optometry student sets his eyes on practicing in LA or NYC, they should know all the negative aspects of optometry. If the pre-optometry student insists on working in a private practice, they should know the limited opportunities.

    However, if one doesn't mind working for corp or relocating to middle of nowhere, it can be a great profession. If you know exactly what you are going to get out of optometry, it can be great.
     
  4. stonegoat

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    There are many, many threads in this forum that disect all of the negatives of the profession......I just want to let prosepective ODs know that at least some of us are happy with the profession.

    Your comment "middle of nowhere" is interesting...as I happen to practice somewhere.
     
  5. SaveYourself

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    Doesn't it concern you that there are, as you say, many, many threads that are negative? If something is wonderful, won't there be very few negative replies?
    As far as going in to a hospital at 10 or 11 o'clock at night, you have to understand that you would NEVER be permitted to do that in the US. In the US, optometrists are not permitted to be on staff as an on call in a hospital. They are not even allowed on medical plans. You are in a very special niche, and good for you.
    Hopefully your practice will be successful and you will enjoy refracting and doing eye exams 20 years from now. I thought optometry was ok 3 years in as well. Just realize that many students here will end up refracting all day long in a retail (mall) setting, or even acting as a glorified tech for an ophthalmology department.
     
  6. stonegoat

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    I'm actually in my sixth year of practice...not third. I still like refracting. Anyway, good luck to you....I hope you find a career that's as satisfying as optometry has been for me.
     
  7. Dr Gump

    Dr Gump SDN Mentor
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    I understand your frustration with Optometry, but get the facts straight.

    Optometrists are allowed on most medical panels and some Optometrists are on staff at hospitals in the USA. I believe there are a few Optometrists on this forum that are on staff at a hospital and pull call.

    It is okay to not enjoy your current vocation and want to change, but don't create fiction to make yourself seem above things. Stonegoat has started a very positive thread, and I agree with him on many things. Let's try to keep things on the positive track.

    Good luck,

    Dr. Gump
     
  8. optsuker

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    I've never been denied access to a medical panel in 15 years. Although I have a private practice, I have privileges at the local hospital and see patients there frequently.

    I still love going to work every day.
     
  9. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
    Optometrist SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Unfortunately, (or fortunately) this is a regional thing.

    There are many areas of the country where ODs are routinely denied access to medical plans. There are other areas where ODs are welcomed with open arms. The key to success is finding these areas.

    And no, there is no website that lists them all. (maybe I'll start one) The best advice I can give to people is to find out who the top 6 major MEDICAL plans are in your area, or the area you are interested in practicing in and phone them up and ask if they are accepting credentialling applications from new ODs. If they are, you're golden. If more than 1 or 2 of them are NOT, then you're screwed.
     
  10. VA Hopeful Dr

    VA Hopeful Dr Senior Member
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    The VA employs a goodly number of ODs.
     
  11. Richard_Hom

    Richard_Hom Senior Member
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    I'm on several medical plans and have associate staff privileges at the local county public hospital.
     

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