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oversupply will be matched by increased demand of eyecare from aging

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by zaizian, Mar 3, 2012.

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  1. zaizian

    zaizian 5+ Year Member

    Jun 30, 2010
    With the opening of two new OD schools in the States, as well as current overcrowding of the optometrists in most cities, many people are worried that optometrists are currently oversupplied.

    But my idea is that even though ODs are currently oversupplied, wouldn't the situation become better in a few years when more ODs retire and the aging population increases?
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  3. Jason K

    Jason K 2+ Year Member

    Sorry, but you're off. Only a few hundred ODs retire each year. Meanwhile, we are adding new ones by the thousands each year. We're set up for a massive glut of ODs, far worse than the glut that's being experienced now. Lower salaries, poorer work quality, and blanket commercialization of the profession are inevitable.
  4. Shnurek

    Shnurek Banned 2+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2010
    2 new schools? More like 5 in the past 5 years or so. This field will be hypercompetitive when we are done and only the best ODs looks wise, personality wise and competency wise will get the good jobs.
  5. Jason K

    Jason K 2+ Year Member

    Shnurek, you're under the mistaken impression that "the best ODs" will have the jobs. There are way too many ODs - period. Good ODs, bad ones, awesome ones, it doesn't matter - there's just far too many of us. I know many, very skilled, residency-trained ODs who could run circles around the "average OD" and they can't find respectable work.

    When you get out of school - EVERYONE is basically ineffective as an efficient OD. You may think you'll come out of school as some OD super-power, but the fact is, you'll be slow, you'll be diagnostically inexperienced, and you'll be far less efficient than an OD who came out 5 or 10 years ago. Unfortunately for you and your bosom-buddies, those more experienced ODs are out hunting for jobs with the rest of you. A friend of mine was a disease-residency-trained clinic director for a TLC and was laid off a year ago. He's been firing out resumes/CVs ever since. Still not FT employed.
  6. Shnurek

    Shnurek Banned 2+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2010
    Is he grounded to one location? I'm delaying getting married until I've established myself.
  7. blazenmadison

    blazenmadison 10+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    LOL no.
  8. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe 7+ Year Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    The 'aging population' baby boom is one of the key talking points of the AOA to sucker new students in.

    Fact is, most all 'baby boomers' are in the system already having become presbyopic at age 40+. So there is not going to magically be a bunch of old people all the sudden running to OD offices.

    (The vast majority just run straight to the ophthalmologist's office since that's where they will be sent by their family MD or they know they have a cataract and figure they will just skip paying the middleman and go right to the surgeon).
  9. Commando303

    Commando303 7+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    I do agree: there's quite a lot of propaganda centered on increasing demand on O.D.s by a growing geriatric population. The eyes, it seems (fortunately), hold up reasonably well with age — the things that fall apart either cannot really be patched up, or cannot be so by optometrists.
  10. ah0315


    Mar 15, 2012
    I have talked to a few upper classmen about this issue, and I have been told that National Board of Examiners of Optometry (NBEO) has changed their testing method to include multiple-response questions to make it more difficult for optometry students to pass their boards (and thus obtain their license). Multiple-response questions are questions that ask you to select every answer choice that is correct; for example, if there are three correct answers out of the seven choices available, you must select all three in order to get any points. Ever since this change, the NBEO passage rates have decreased significantly.
  11. Jason K

    Jason K 2+ Year Member

    There will always be a handful of students who never pass the NBEO, for whatever reason. That said, nearly all students will eventually pass. I have a classmate who failed part 1 on three separate occasions. She just took it until she passed on round 4. The added difficulty will not affect the number of people entering the profession. The solution is not to make the "outgoing" exams harder, it's to limit the number of seats available. That is not going to happen under the current leadership.
  12. Jibslider

    Jibslider 2+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Trust me, OD's never retire. "Their patients like them too much to retire." "I'm going to work until the day I die." etc.
  13. AZOD


    Mar 21, 2012
    There already is a glut of ODs and it's going to get worse with the opening of more new schools. The AOA and the schools have been blowing the aging population/retiring ODs smoke up our rears for decades. Guess what? Hasn't happened.

    If you want a reference as to where the profession is heading, look at what is happening to the law profession.

    Also check odwire.org. Many of these and other topics are addressed by other ODs.

    Bottom line is we DO NOT need more optometry programs and the ones already in existence need to decrease class size. There should be a MUCH higher ratio of applicants to seats than currently exists.
  14. AZOD


    Mar 21, 2012
    Here is a direct quote from a member on the other site on this topic.
    OD Oversupply

    You have to remember, the schools DO NOT care about ODs practices. They only care about the profitability of the schools. The only thing us docs can do out in the real world is tell prospective OD students the truth and hopefully discourage many from going into the field.
    I know I enjoy optometry but would definitely NOT one of my children to go into the profession.
    I know personally I have directed some prospective students away from optometry. ​

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