** Pediatric Ophthalmology vs Pediatric Optometry?? **

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10+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2009
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Hello all!

Any pediatric ophthalmologists out there? If so, what's the difference in your scope of practice vs a pediatric optometrist (besides surgery)?

I was in optometry school a little over a year ago but I took a leave of absence to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I also left because refracting was so boring it made me want to claw my eyes out...and, I discovered I was really interested in ophthalmology. So, I took a break to figure things out.

Anyway, I'm interested in pediatric ophthalmology but I'm wondering if embarking upon the medical school journey is worth it. I'm almost 30 and it's a 9yr journey to be a Peds Ophth. If I decided to go back to optometry school, I'd only have 2-3 more years left. Also, after being in the "real world" for a while, perhaps I can suck up it and learn to enjoy refracting?? We all have to make sacrifices...

So, I'd like to know if anyone can tell me what it's like to be a pediatric ophthalmologist? Is your scope of practice really that different when comparing it to the scope of a pediatric optometrist? I'm trying to figure if pursuing peds ophth is worth it or if I should just suck it up and go back to optometry school. Basically, I need to weigh my pros and cons but I can't seem to find a peds ophth to shadow/ask.

Also, if you're not a peds ophth but you have info about it, please share. Thanks! :D

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im not a peds opthalmologist but I am a ophto resident. The difference is surgery, pay and dealing with the most complicated of diseases related to the eye. Being a surgeon is a HUGE difference. learning how to operate, when to operate and how to manage operative and postoperative complications is a lifetime effort.
if you are interested in being a physician then i would pursue medical school. getting into ophthalmology or the peds fellowhip of your choosing is a long long way off. you have many hurdels in front of you. during that time your likes and dislikes are likely to change many times over.

do some research into medical school and see if its something you would like to do. obstetrics , pediatrics, surgery, medicine, neurology are all things you will have to be comfortable with before take the medical school plunge.

yes..peds is cool!! lot of different surgery, weird syndromes and cute kids

good luck