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question for optemetrist or graduate students

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by chinki, May 8, 2007.

  1. chinki

    chinki 2+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    i was just wonder how you all find a job after you grad or you guys just open your own office? or partner up with walmart, target, costco, lencrafter etc..? How you guys do it..tell us your story. I want to be an optemestrist but scare that I couldn't find a job..thank you all very much
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  3. hfpepperbean47

    hfpepperbean47 You wish you were me 2+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    Why the change from pre-pharmacy to pre-optometry?
  4. rpames

    rpames Optometrist 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Oshkosh, WI
    Finding a job is easy, finding a job you love is harder. You have to be very proactive. I'm lucky enough to have family in the profession so I'm set. But, I also have been offered 4 jobs around my home area. If you can set your 4th year externs up where you want to practice, that is key. I got my last 2 sites within 30 minutes of my house. That has allowed me to meet other ODs and also go to Association meetings. At the last Wisconsin Opt. Assoc. meeting I spoke with a few docs that are looking for associates. I then asked other docs about those docs to see if they are respected by the other ODs or not. My friend actually already signed a very good contract with an OD/MD office. It is actually a position I was offered, but he found out about it by asking a frame sales rep at his extern site if she knew of any openings. ICO sends us weekly job openings from around the country and Canada. I have found practice for sale on ebay even. The jobs are out there, but you need to be aggressive. They will not find you...unless you go to all the meetings in the area.

    In the last month I have been to legislative day in Madison WI and the 2 day WOA meeting in Eau Clare WI. Plus I have gone to some other local meetings. As a 4th year student I already know all the big players in the WOA and they actually know me b/c I have been the only student to go to these events. You need to make yourself stand out. I'm not looking for a job, but I wanted all the ODs in the state to know I'm coming. Getting a good job is all about the appearance you put out there.

    You can very easily get a job a Walmart of LensCrafters, but if your goal is to get into a private practice, that will take work.
  5. KHE

    KHE Senior Member Optometrist SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    I think that there are a couple of points to make about this:

    I think the most important thing is that you alter your mindset from "how do I find a job" to "how do I create a career for myself." Then you have to decide where you want to practice. Do you want to practice in your home town? In a large city? Rural area? Then I think you have to think about what mode of practice you want....Do you want to work in a private practice? Do you want to OWN a private practice? Do you want to work in academia? Do you want to work for an ophthalmologist? Do you want to work in an institutional setting like nursing homes, or the VA hospital? Obviously, all of these things can change as you go through school.

    But since most people entering optometry school envision themselves working in and owning their own practice, I'll try to just point out a couple of things about least from my experience some of which is well documented on these forums.

    When you are looking for a practice to join, you need to find a practice that wants the same things that you do. If your desire is an ownership role someday, you need to find a practice in which there is an opportunity for that. Often times, private practice owning doctors THINK that they want a partner, but what they really want is a young doctor to take over the undesireable hours and work for them ad infinitum while they scale their schedule back. There's nothing wrong with this for either party if that's what both parties want. But if the young doctor wants to be on a path to ownership and the older doctor isn't on the same page as that, you will run into trouble. Obviously, no one is going to offer you an ownership role right out of school, but if someone is SERIOUS about wanting a partner, or is SERIOUS about wanting to sell their practice in a certain time frame, they should have a pretty good idea under what terms and conditions they will allow that happen. Often times these things are done on a handshake type of deal. The young doctor, eager to avoid the mall signs on with a private practice with a promise of partnership "in a few years" and that never materializes for a number of reasons. I'm sad to say I have made this mistake myself. After a few years, when the young doctor has grown the practice and taken over the less desireable hours, one of two things happens. Either the old doctor demands more money for the practice since it has "grown" and the young doctor essentially ends up purchasing themselves or there becomes LESS incentive to sell because now the old doctor is making good money off the work of the young. The young doctor, disillusioned leaves to repeat the process elsewhere.

    That was a bit of a tangent I got off on there.....but its something students should be thinking about. Get it in writing.

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