RadixLuminogen

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I am a third year now in one of the schools on the east coast and I just wanted to say that Optometry is awesome.
I used to be a troll here on the SDN forums I won't say which one lol - but trolling actually taught me a lot because I asked hard questions and made hard arguments that demanded hard and useful answers.

Anyways, observing what an Optometrist does is boring as heck, even when the patients' families are in the room they start yawning sometimes.

Actually doing what an Optometrist does is really fun. I really enjoy doing subjective refractions and being able to get them down to 20/20 or even 20/15 and showing them the difference between their current glasses and what I got and how happy they get. Or fitting an above 40 patient with a monovision contact lens and seeing her reaction to not have to wear glasses anymore is very satisfying.

The other day a patient came in and I got up to the retina exam and saw that the patient's arterioles were attenuated and slightly sclerosed with an area of a possible A:V nicking that could cause a possible future branch vein occlusion. I then proceeded to take the blood pressure (had no idea I'd ever be doing this as an eye doc before I started Optometry school) and it was around 190/140 - then we told the patient to relax, think of the beach, and get the blood pressure through bare skin this time and it was lower but still alarming. We told her to follow up with her primary care doctor ASAP and get her hypertension under control.

Or the patient that came in with foreign body sensation and all they needed was a simple epilation due to an anomalous eyelash due to distichiasis. It made the patient feel better in 5 seconds.

Just being able to make a diagnosis after all these years of learning and treat it by deciding yourself what to do with the patient is the fun part. Observing it is boring so its a completely different world when you actually do it. Also the knowledge that you gain make it much more fun because you actually know what is going on.

In any case don't give up! Optometry is what you make of it and if you have the cojones and are not geographically limited you can go to where ODs are in demand, setup/join a practice and hopefully make it in the pursuit of happiness. Anyways, I'll probably update this thread in a few years to see if I make it or not in a few years.
 

hello07

10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2007
389
18
Status
Optometrist
It is good to hear you are enjoying third year and Optometry is awesome. I would like to point out however one thing you mentioned. Not to sound like a smart ass but when a patient has a bp reading of 190/140 this is what is called STAT. Send them to the emergency room because this is dangerously high. Even if it is slightly less or even higher (over 200 systolic) they are risk of "malignant hypertension" where you will definitely see and I've seen this before few time papallidema (swollen optic nerve) and massive occlusion. "Follow up with primary care doc ASAP " is NOT GOOD. This is an ocular and systemic emergency which can save the patients life (either from stroke or heart attack).
Anyhow, glad you're enjoying it!
 
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RadixLuminogen

RadixLuminogen

Membership Revoked
Removed
Oct 16, 2013
93
13
It is good to hear you are enjoying third year and Optometry is awesome. I would like to point out however one thing you mentioned. Not to sound like a smart ass but when a patient has a bp reading of 190/140 this is what is called STAT. Send them to the emergency room because this is dangerously high. Even if it is slightly less or even higher (over 200 systolic) they are risk of "malignant hypertension" where you will definitely see and I've seen this before few time papallidema (swollen optic nerve) and massive occlusion. "Follow up with primary care doc ASAP " is NOT GOOD. This is an ocular and systemic emergency which can save the patients life (either from stroke or heart attack).
Anyhow, glad you're enjoying it!
Thanks, yea we re-did it through bare skin on the cuff and it was 30-40 mmHg lower, otherwise of course out to the ER they would have gone.
 
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mathcod

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2008
282
44
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Yea, you gain perspective as a third-year and get to apply your knowledge when handling cases. It's like a sudoku every time for me acting as a detective and gathering/analyzing data. I still would love to shadow my colleagues to see how they do things differently or more efficiently. Shadowing as a first year was useless to me, but when I was an upperclassmen I was eager to shadow others to learn and adapt dialogue, mannerisms, efficiency, and flow if I felt it would improve my own exams.

Optometry is fun but your bread and butter is mostly going to be refraction which can be frustrating sometimes when patients are very uncooperative/slow/indecisive, speak foreign languages, have tiny pupils, or malinger, but that's the only annoying part.
 

mclem222

5+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2011
202
3
Status
Optometrist
Give it about 3 years...refractions become a lot less "exciting" then...
 

fjpod

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2006
68
7
Status
Optometrist
Delegation of refraction, although commonly done, is specifically illegal in many states. Be careful.
 
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RadixLuminogen

RadixLuminogen

Membership Revoked
Removed
Oct 16, 2013
93
13
Delegation of refraction, although commonly done, is specifically illegal in many states. Be careful.
Yup, if I'd ever do it I'd make sure to check state law first but currently I enjoy doing it so no biggie