j_hsieh

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i'm about to enter optom school in the fall, but i'm really worried about the job prospects after graduation. it seems that the market has become really saturated w/ optometrists (in areas such as in northern california), making it especially difficult for a recent grad to obtain a full-time position and a decent salary. with rising costs and with the employment outlook as grim as i hear, i'm inclined to think that optometry is not a practical career choice. so, i was wondering if anyone, esp. any recent grads or current fourth years, has any input on the current employment condition for optometrists(salary and job availability) and on whether or not my concerns are warranted. thanks so much!
 

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I have heard from numerous people within the field that your optometric proficiency, business sense and people skills all factor into your success even in a saturated locale like northern california, so I wouldn't be too doubtful just yet. If the supply greatly outweighs the demand, you may want to consider working somewhere else, because its not like that everywhere. Try and talk to some of the recent graduates from berkeley (if thats where you're looking to go) and see what their opinions are on the job prospects in that area. Also, in four years when you graduate, things may change as the baby boomer generation ages and needs more eye care. I read an interesting article just yesterday. http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/conditions/04/12/vision.impairment.ap/index.html
Its kind of sad, yet I think an optometrist's expertise will grow more crucial in the years to come.
 
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acurael said:
well im really getting worried about the future of optometry in the province i live in

check this
http://www.optometrists.bc.ca/news/index.php

i cant believe they are going to allow opticians to write out a prescription....i dont even know what to say :mad:

What do you expect? first, optometrists steal script rights from MDs, and now others are stealing it from you. You made your own bed, now you get to sleep in it.
 

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j_hsieh said:
i'm about to enter optom school in the fall, but i'm really worried about the job prospects after graduation. it seems that the market has become really saturated w/ optometrists (in areas such as in northern california), making it especially difficult for a recent grad to obtain a full-time position and a decent salary. with rising costs and with the employment outlook as grim as i hear, i'm inclined to think that optometry is not a practical career choice. so, i was wondering if anyone, esp. any recent grads or current fourth years, has any input on the current employment condition for optometrists(salary and job availability) and on whether or not my concerns are warranted. thanks so much!
Outlook is good for both optometry and ophthalmology!

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=115417
 

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MacGyver said:
What do you expect? first, optometrists steal script rights from MDs, and now others are stealing it from you. You made your own bed, now you get to sleep in it.

If you knew anything whatsoever about the history of refraction and spectacles, you would know that MDs never really had any part of the whole deal until about the middle of the 20th century. In fact, glasses were not really "prescribed" until the 1800s, and then they were prescribed by people who called themselves refracting opticians, the forerunners to modern day optometrists. MDs who were involved with the eyes at that time were ophthalmologists...and all they did with the eyes was treat pathology and do surgery. Before you make an ignorant comment, make sure you have your facts straight...
 

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I agree that sometimes people tend to think all OD's do are refraction.. people didn't realize that opticians can only check their refraction and not the health of their eye. HOwever, I do know that every person who wants to have a refraction check by an optican must sign a form which clearly indicates that the optican ONLY perform a refraction test and NOTHING about the health of their eye (err..I"m talking about BC in canada btw). If they want to, they'll have to go to Optometrists.

I think this leave the ppl a chance to decide whether they want a refraction test or they want a refraction+eye heath test. As for the case of the "retinal detachment", I would assume the person would consult a doctor if on going discomfort occured in her eye rite?

Anyways...just to clarify, I'm not an optician nor an OD.. but of course.. I do plan on being an OD/Optician.. either way.. or both.. so i can understand both sides' point of view. I do think however, that optician should take perhaps a course on how to spot potential eye problem so that they can immediately refer to OD or OMD if any "symptoms" do arise.
 

acurael

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MacGyver said:
What do you expect? first, optometrists steal script rights from MDs, and now others are stealing it from you. You made your own bed, now you get to sleep in it.

an optician only gets 2 years of training whereas an optometrist goes to school for 8-9 years on avg.....i dont think they are qualified to "steal" :rolleyes: ...as you put it
 

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j_hsieh said:
i'm about to enter optom school in the fall, but i'm really worried about the job prospects after graduation. it seems that the market has become really saturated w/ optometrists (in areas such as in northern california), making it especially difficult for a recent grad to obtain a full-time position and a decent salary. with rising costs and with the employment outlook as grim as i hear, i'm inclined to think that optometry is not a practical career choice. so, i was wondering if anyone, esp. any recent grads or current fourth years, has any input on the current employment condition for optometrists(salary and job availability) and on whether or not my concerns are warranted. thanks so much!

I realized that optometry school wasn't right for me, unfortunately by then I was almost two years into it. I recently decided to drop out and am currently applying to medical school. ONE reason I quit was a result of what I discovered after analyzing the market and the occupational outlook for OD's in different regions of the country. I am from the bay area myself and yes, you are right, it is very saturated. The same is true for southern california. Jobs are scarce and, on top of that, the compensation is below average. However, if you are willing to live somewhere else, there are regions which are far less saturated. I have friends who will be graduating soon who have had no trouble finding jobs with good starting salaries in New York City. But I have to say that most of the desirable places to live in the US are saturated with OD's. You might want to check out a recent issue of review of optometry which had a listing of the best regions for OD's to practice. If you are set on living and practicing in a certain area, do your research. Feel free to pm me if you want.
 
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When do the rotations occur during the 4 year school period? Waht semester? And do you get to go whereever you want to go? IF you go to a school in the states, are you allowed to do rotations in Canada?

Wiggler
 

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Wiggler said:
When do the rotations occur during the 4 year school period? Waht semester? And do you get to go whereever you want to go? IF you go to a school in the states, are you allowed to do rotations in Canada?

Wiggler

i believe it varies from school to school. I start my fourth year rotation May 17th and they go for an entire year. (one semester through each of your three rotations)

You can go where ever your school has established sites. I know our school has not sites in canada, but some of the schools up north might. Usually schools have a published list of site you can look at. (or call them to find out if there are sites established in canada)
 

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acurael said:
an optician only gets 2 years of training whereas an optometrist goes to school for 8-9 years on avg.....i dont think they are qualified to "steal" :rolleyes: ...as you put it

So what about OMD's going to school for 12-13 years on average and OD having 4 less, Does that mean OD's re qualified to "steal" surgery?
 

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Not necessarily, if they are not trained to do surgery then of course we as ODs should not be permitted to do it. If I wanted to do surgery I would have gone to med school and became a surgeon. What most ODs want to do is diagnose and treat eye diseases because this is what we are trained to do. Opticians are not trained to do this.
 

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So what's wrong with opticians doing refractions and writing scripts for glasses? Certainly they have the training for it. If I just wanted eyeglasses and no other examination, I think going to an optician would be great. It would certainly be cheaper than going to an OD. So why not?
 

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GeddyLee said:
So what's wrong with opticians doing refractions and writing scripts for glasses? Certainly they have the training for it. If I just wanted eyeglasses and no other examination, I think going to an optician would be great. It would certainly be cheaper than going to an OD. So why not?

Opticians aren't trained or licensed to perform refractions.
 

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I'm certain they could be easily trained to do so.
 

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mr.pink said:
Opticians aren't trained or licensed to perform refractions.

optometrists aren't licensed or trained to do surgery.
 

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Tokey said:
but to paraphrase geddy lee - they easily could be...

Yes, its called medical school. just like opticians should go to optometry school if they want to refract.
 

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exmike said:
optometrists aren't licensed or trained to do surgery.

i dont think optometrists should be allowed to do surgery
one thing you have to realize though is that an optician only does 2yrs
an optometrist (in most cases) completes 4 yrs undegrad which gives them a strong background in sciences and then an additional 4 yrs....so i feel if they were given some additional training it would be possible for them to do surgeries
opticians on the otherhand do not have much education....2yrs
personally i think refraction is a medical procedure and should only be done by ppl that have gone through yrs of schooling
 

acurael

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GeddyLee said:
So what's wrong with opticians doing refractions and writing scripts for glasses? Certainly they have the training for it. If I just wanted eyeglasses and no other examination, I think going to an optician would be great. It would certainly be cheaper than going to an OD. So why not?

they do not have the training for it....an autorefractor isnt 100% accurate and other factors have to be considered before a final rx is given..only an OD has is qualified to determine the final rx.

check out doinkOD's post: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=118056
 

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exmike said:
optometrists aren't licensed or trained to do surgery.
When did I or anyone else here say they should be? Rest assured that the vast majority of OD's are not pushing to have their scope of practice move into the domain of the OMD which is surgery. Rather, I think the interest of most OD's is to work with OMD's to provide the best patient care possible, not compete with them.
 

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GeddyLee said:
I'm certain they could be easily trained to do so.

I'm pretty sure a monkey of a smarter variety could be trained to work a JCC or perform some medical procedures. Doesn't mean they should.
 

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mr.pink said:
When did I or anyone else here say they should be? Rest assured that the vast majority of OD's are not pushing to have their scope of practice move into the domain of the OMD which is surgery. Rather, I think the interest of most OD's is to work with OMD's to provide the best patient care possible, not compete with them.

I fully hope that is the future of eye care!
 

ATLrepresent

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Don't hate on monkeys. Some of them have those cute red asses. What is the problem here? Can't we all just get along. Monkeys, OD's, Opticians, Opthamologists. We all are fighting for the same cause, be it for tastier bananas or improved vision care. There needs to be more unity. That is all.
 

GeddyLee

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I'm sorry, but perhaps you should all take a few moments to look at the precendents that have been set. PA's and CRNP's once were strictly under the thumb of a supervising physician. Laws have been passed easing these restrictions and allowing them far greater autonomy. The OD's have battled to gain prescription rights and now, in OK, the right to perform ocular surgery. In Louisiana and New Mexico, bills are on tap that will permit psychologists prescription priveleges.

Now, you are all concerned that opticians might be refracting and prescribing eyeglasses. Well, I'll guarantee it will happen....look at the precedents backing their cause! sooner or later, these efforts to change legislation for the benefit of the allied health professions will make practically every field equal. All that has to be done is make the argument that an optician can be more than adequately trained to refract if given a nice little course on the weekends, then voila, why not?
 

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GeddyLee said:
Now, you are all concerned that opticians might be refracting and prescribing eyeglasses. Well, I'll guarantee it will happen....look at the precedents backing their cause! sooner or later, these efforts to change legislation for the benefit of the allied health professions will make practically every field equal. All that has to be done is make the argument that an optician can be more than adequately trained to refract if given a nice little course on the weekends, then voila, why not?
There is currently no jurisdiction in Canada or the U.S. that allows opticians to refract or prescribe. It's possible it may happen in BC, Canada although it's being fought adamantly.
As far as the precedents backing their cause, well what about about the precedents not backing their cause? The overwhelming majority of scope of practice bills in all professions are defeated.
I'd like to think that states in the U.S. understand that eyecare is not a piecemeal process as you suggest. If you want to refract, go to optometry school. If you want to perfrom surgery, go to med school. A nice little course on the weekends won't suffice IMO. Refracting and the prescription of eyeglasses/CL's is a highly developed skill that many OD's and OMD's have yet to master after years of practice.
 
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