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Reasons not to choose Optometry

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nooneod

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I've be doing this for 25+ years and here's what I think

#1. if you are going to do 4 years post grad, why not go to med school ? more interesting, more money, more prestige.( there won't be any movies/tv shows where the optometrist is the hero).

#2. alot of optometry students (males esp) were med school rejects (I'm one of them)

#3. alot of your income is derived from selling product. glasses and contacts are generic products that alot of patients are getting online. remember that you can get reading glasses OTC.

#4. competition from big chains is ferocious. I had a place closed business wasn't great and my lease was expiring. I wasn't much of a businessperson, and HATED retail (which is the setting most optometrists work in) True you could be a lackey for an Opthalmologist, if you want to go that route.

#5. even if you can diagnose eye diseases, and treat some you are NOT a "real" doctor. I know this hurts but as Darth Vader said to Luke in "Empire"- "You know it to be true " I don't know how many times I'v have to "explain" my professions ie discussing the diff. between opticians, optometrists, and opthalmologist.

Optometry was a respectable profession in the good old days. Optometrists did not pretend to be doctors, big chains weren't around or haven't made inroads into the profession. Optometry these days really sucks. It's not a "Sexy" profession. You'll make a decent living, but unless you are a savvy business man with multiple stores (yes a store, and NOT a practice, or an OFFICE) all you will do is make a decent living nothing more.
 
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nooneod

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the tv show comment was meant to lighten the overall mood of this thread, but my goal is to tell it like it is. Optometry has allowed me to make a living , and I don't want or lack for anything, and for that I'm grateful. As an OD on the last leg of my working life, I truly look forward to retirement and sincerely want to steer young people away from this career. maybe misery loves company but most OD's I know wished they did something else. I'm sure there are burnt out lawyers, MD's, and wall st types, but at the very least most are getting compensated handsomely for their woes. I don't have much job stress, and my compensation is fair, but it's not a career I have alot of interest/pride in. It's just a living, and a very boring one at that.
 
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generallyspeaking

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"I Almost Forgot About You" (2016) and Slaughterhouse V (Kurt Vonnegut) have optometrists as main characters.

Anyhow, with the times changing, we optometrists are hardly different from the dead...
 
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nooneod

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"I Almost Forgot About You" (2016) and Slaughterhouse V (Kurt Vonnegut) have optometrists as main characters.

Anyhow, with the times changing, we optometrists are hardly different from the dead...[/QUOT

I'm not familiar with the first one, but I do remember the Vonnegut book
 
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nooneod

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geez, even on this forum there's a Zenni banner ad . Rx glasses starting at $ 6.95...
 
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nooneod

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Here's a funny story. Many years ago, I was working for this hi volume optical which took lots of unions and other insurance. the location we were at wasn't generating enough money to please one of the owners (who was not an OD, or optician, just a suit). anyway he "blamed" the sales people and the manager saying that they didn't know how to get people to spend their money on things they need instead of on things they want. As an example, he said that if a woman came into our store and she had $ 200 in her pocketbook she rather spend it on clothes, beauty products, hair , etc instead of something they really need like glasses. when I heard this I wanted to say 'GIVE ME A F#@kING BREAK!!!. It's like buying your mom or wife a new mop for her birthday instead of jewelry or clothes. bottom line: glasses are the LAST thing your average person would buy if they had a couple of extra bucks in their pocket.
 
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jcdo

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I've be doing this for 25+ years and here's what I think

#1. if you are going to do 4 years post grad, why not go to med school ? more interesting, more money, more prestige.( there won't be any movies/tv shows where the optometrist is the hero).

#2. alot of optometry students (males esp) were med school rejects (I'm one of them)


You'll make a decent living, but unless you are a savvy business man with multiple stores (yes a store, and NOT a practice, or an OFFICE) all you will do is make a decent living nothing more.

I just need advice, you say to go to med school instead but then you say optometry students are med school rejects...
how much money did you in particular make and how much does someone in retail make??
 
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jcdo

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the tv show comment was meant to lighten the overall mood of this thread, but my goal is to tell it like it is. Optometry has allowed me to make a living , and I don't want or lack for anything, and for that I'm grateful. As an OD on the last leg of my working life, I truly look forward to retirement and sincerely want to steer young people away from this career. maybe misery loves company but most OD's I know wished they did something else. I'm sure there are burnt out lawyers, MD's, and wall st types, but at the very least most are getting compensated handsomely for their woes. I don't have much job stress, and my compensation is fair, but it's not a career I have alot of interest/pride in. It's just a living, and a very boring one at that.
how much do you make
 
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byhc

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I don't even know where to begin on such a dumb, stupid, idiotic post, but let me say this, I'm glad you look forward to retirement because I also look forward to you retiring from this career. For someone who's been in the business for 25+ years, I can see why you're probably unsatisfied with your own career - because you're dense.

You took a handful of similarities between becoming a physician and optometrist, and used them to suggest that there's no real reason to go with optometry over medicine. Yet, you selectively ignore the HUNDREDS of differences between optometry and medicine, which could be the reasons for why they want to choose optometry. Off the top of my head, competition is lower, stress levels lower, more controlled hours, dislike of blood or other things related with medicine, relatively less rigorous studies, I don't like doctors, etc.

Now, I agree that there are reasons to go to medicine, but they are NOT reasons to "not go" to optometry.

Honestly though, I don't see this as being a real post from a genuine optometrist who has been in the business for 25+ years when they use the word "alot"...just get out of here child.

On a side note, for all newcomers looking for career advice, let me tell you this. If you let yourself get persuaded about what career to choose very easily, you're not ready for a career yet. Yeah, your mom and dad might have landed their career based on what was prestigious (or by luck), you need to consider that their primary concern was GENUINELY a career that's prestigious. If prestige, money, or any other factor to you isn't the most important thing, why would you listen to someone who prioritizes that. There is no rush, the best doctors, lawyers, engineers in the world may have realized their potential in their 30s, 40s...don't let people convince you that you NEED to know what you want to do for the rest of your life now
 
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JLopt2020

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Why even post this? People here aren't looking for reasons why not to pursue the perfesion. Go waste someone else's time.
 
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booger11

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I've be doing this for 25+ years and here's what I think

#1. if you are going to do 4 years post grad, why not go to med school ? more interesting, more money, more prestige.( there won't be any movies/tv shows where the optometrist is the hero).

#2. alot of optometry students (males esp) were med school rejects (I'm one of them)

#3. alot of your income is derived from selling product. glasses and contacts are generic products that alot of patients are getting online. remember that you can get reading glasses OTC.

#4. competition from big chains is ferocious. I had a place closed business wasn't great and my lease was expiring. I wasn't much of a businessperson, and HATED retail (which is the setting most optometrists work in) True you could be a lackey for an Opthalmologist, if you want to go that route.

#5. even if you can diagnose eye diseases, and treat some you are NOT a "real" doctor. I know this hurts but as Darth Vader said to Luke in "Empire"- "You know it to be true " I don't know how many times I'v have to "explain" my professions ie discussing the diff. between opticians, optometrists, and opthalmologist.

Optometry was a respectable profession in the good old days. Optometrists did not pretend to be doctors, big chains weren't around or haven't made inroads into the profession. Optometry these days really sucks. It's not a "Sexy" profession. You'll make a decent living, but unless you are a savvy business man with multiple stores (yes a store, and NOT a practice, or an OFFICE) all you will do is make a decent living nothing more.

Not feeling your pain. I am an old optometrist, age 63. I haven't been called anything but Scott or Doctor. I never have to prove optometry is a "real" Doctor profession to my patients. First I was in an OMD multi practice then I was retail for 16 years, now private practice solo for 14 years which I opened cold with records from the retail place. I am not much of a businessman either, well at first I wasn't. I am now, and it is nothing but common sense. No magic, seriously. My practice is within 2.5 miles of 4 other private practices and 2 retail stores. I love my practice and my work. I am booked all the time. I make very comfortable earnings.
Some of the replies on this site denigrating optometry as a profession are based in fear. Fear of not making it work. But, if I can, you can. I ain't nothing special as a businessman. But, I do know how to treat people well. My staff does also. We all try to make sure the patients remember how we made them feel while in our office. This is most important, that and humor.
 
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20DOC20

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Anytime an older OD tells the truth on this forum, he/she gets slammed or labeled a troll. I agree with everything nooneod said and so would hundreds if not thousands of optometrists. I've been an OD 20 years and I would not recommend this profession unless the graduating debt load is 75K or under. Anything greater, then the debt:income ratio is too high. Right now, the average OD graduates 200 to 250K in debt and that will make you nothing more than a debt slave for most of your adult lives. So, go ahead. Label us a bunch of big meanie hater trolls now, because in ten years when you retreat to the safety of your car during lunch and cry your eyes out, you'll wish you'd have listened to our warnings.
 
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