Dominic

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Hi,
As an OD, who out there will be getting a residency? I'm still on the fence about it, and think it would be great if it will be beneficial - but I've spoken to a handful of OD's about it and they didn't exactly steer me into a good direction. As an OD, will a residency help with anything or is it just a waste of a year since I will be attending the PCO with 1.5yrs of externships? :cool:
 

Tom_Stickel

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Dominic said:
Hi,
As an OD, who out there will be getting a residency? I'm still on the fence about it, and think it would be great if it will be beneficial - but I've spoken to a handful of OD's about it and they didn't exactly steer me into a good direction. As an OD, will a residency help with anything or is it just a waste of a year since I will be attending the PCO with 1.5yrs of externships? :cool:
Dominic,

As a recent grad, I decided not to do a residency and still ended up in a disease intensive job working for an ophthalmologist. It worked for me to not do one, but there are pros and cons either way.

I think about 10-20% of people are doing residencies these days, so by the time you graduate, if you want a competitive job, it could help. Also, you will want a residency if you plan to stay in academic optometry. Ophthalmologists looking to hire new OD grads say they want either a residency or equivalent experience. If you want to specialize in something to set yourself apart, such as vision therapy or hard to fit contacts, it could help.

All in all, though, I don't think it makes sense for most people to do a residency. There are very few vision therapy jobs out there or jobs for people who plan to specialize in contacts or disease. If you're in the majority of ODs who's going to go out and work in a commercial practice or just become an associate of a private OD, the residency is probably a waste of a year at very low pay.

So my impression is to consider a residency only if you have a very specific idea of what you want to do and you're sure it will help you get a particular kind of job. I wouldn't do one just because you think it will make you a better doctor. Getting out in the real world will do a good enough job of that...

Tom Stickel
 

rpames

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As I look in the classifieds of the optometric publications I see the openings for partners or employees and many of them are looking for residancy trained ODs. I think more and more offices will be looking in that direction.
 
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Kristene9

I shadowed an ocular disease specialist who worked for an ophthalmologist and he told me that to get a job like his you really need to do a residency. Just like medicine is becoming more specialized, optometry probably will be too, and residencies will become more important.
 

jchod

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Are you kidding? Definatly do the residency if you can get one. You will be a FAR better trained OD with it. Let me preface that, if you get the right residency. Unfortunatly many residencies out there are simply an extension of your fourth year. That is what you do not want. You need something that pushes you to learn mor than you did in school, to be a faster and better OD than you are now. Assuming that is the type of residency you match with, there will be no comparison to the OD you are now and the one you could be in a year. Absolutely apply!!!
 

HOLLYWOOD

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unless you are going into academia you do not need a residency.
 
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Dominic

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haha I knew this was a hot topic. Well I probably will not be going into academia - I intend to practice, probably open my own optical at that.
 
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Kristene9

jchod said:
Are you kidding? Definatly do the residency if you can get one. You will be a FAR better trained OD with it. Let me preface that, if you get the right residency. Unfortunatly many residencies out there are simply an extension of your fourth year. That is what you do not want. You need something that pushes you to learn mor than you did in school, to be a faster and better OD than you are now. Assuming that is the type of residency you match with, there will be no comparison to the OD you are now and the one you could be in a year. Absolutely apply!!!
Are some schools known for better residences then others?? Also, lets say that I when to Houston but wanted to do a residency at SUNY or Berkley. What would be my changes of getting a residency there as appose to back in Houston?
 

jchod

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Kristene9 said:
Are some schools known for better residences then others?? Also, lets say that I when to Houston but wanted to do a residency at SUNY or Berkley. What would be my changes of getting a residency there as appose to back in Houston?
I think optometry residencies are still very early on, developmentally. The best way for you to really find out if the ones that you are considereing are as good as you'd hope, is to apply,and hopefully get an interview. Then go check-out the program. As far as your chances of getting one where you did not attend school, I think your chances are as good as anyones. Keep in mind that applicants that did attend school there have known and been building relationships with the professers that may be the ones to select the resident(s). But overall, I'd say that where you went to school does not matter much. It's your application and interview that really matter.
 

Tom_Stickel

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jchod said:
I think optometry residencies are still very early on, developmentally. The best way for you to really find out if the ones that you are considereing are as good as you'd hope, is to apply,and hopefully get an interview. Then go check-out the program. As far as your chances of getting one where you did not attend school, I think your chances are as good as anyones. Keep in mind that applicants that did attend school there have known and been building relationships with the professers that may be the ones to select the resident(s). But overall, I'd say that where you went to school does not matter much. It's your application and interview that really matter.

Jchod,

Optometric residencies aren't early on at all. They've been around for at least 3 decades. I know someone who did one 30 years ago in a VA, and it was pretty much the same residency when I did my fourth year in a VA a few years back.

My question to everyone who thinks a residency will help them got a job outside of academia: do you actually know anyone who got a job in private practice based on their residency? Because I know plenty of people who got jobs with ocular disease people like Kristene described, and we didn't do residencies.

Simple economic fact: if you graduate with over 100K in debt, and you want to try to come up with another 100K in loans to open/buy a practice, can you afford to make 35K for a year while your loan interest keeps building? I agree with jch, it will probably make you a better doctor. But unless you're sure it will get you a job that makes it economically worthwhile to do a residency, you should think long and hard before automatically doing one.

Tom Stickel
Indiana U. 2001
 
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Dominic

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That's interesting to hear Tom. Im on my lunch break now and spoke to the O.D. I work for (Dr. Karen Detwiler, O.D. of the ICO) who has been in practice over 20 years. She told me to "definitely" get a residency if I expect to be a "good" doctor. I do however like your point of view, and if it's not necessarry and with the 1.5yrs of externships I'll get at the PCO, why do it?

What is the typical starting salary for a commercial doctor? Lens Crafters etc?
 

jchod

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Tom, let me start off by saying that your friends experienc may well have been very close to your fourth year. Thats too bad. I was hired due in large part to my residency. Let me illustrate. During my year as a resident, me and the other OD resident went to daily morning lectures with the ophthalmology residents. I worked daily in the ophthalmology/optometry clinics consisting of retina, cornea, oculoplastics, neuro, and glaucoma clinics. These are the same clinics that the fellows and ophthalmology residents get their training in. I gave lectures to the entire dept of ophthalmology at their "residents day confrence" as did the ophthalmology residents. I did an average of 15 FA's each week. One day a week we staffed the ophthalmolgy interns. (IV, infusion, photos, etc.) We also worked in the specialty CTL clinic 1-2 day a week. In this particular clinic we saw 5-10 keratoconus patients EACH DAY. Now this was for the entire year. You can see how this would train an OD far beyond the typical training a fourth year student would recieve at the time he entered the work force.
Tom, I realize OD residencies are not "new" they are just recently becomming more plentiful, more interesting to new grads, now the topic of wheather they ought to be manditory, NBEO has just this year issued a board exam for VA residents. That is what I was illuding to when I day they are somewhat a new thing.
 

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jchod said:
During my year as a resident, me and the other OD resident went to daily morning lectures with the ophthalmology residents. I worked daily in the ophthalmology/optometry clinics consisting of retina, cornea, oculoplastics, neuro, and glaucoma clinics. These are the same clinics that the fellows and ophthalmology residents get their training in. I gave lectures to the entire dept of ophthalmology at their "residents day confrence" as did the ophthalmology residents. I did an average of 15 FA's each week. One day a week we staffed the ophthalmolgy interns. (IV, infusion, photos, etc.) We also worked in the specialty CTL clinic 1-2 day a week. In this particular clinic we saw 5-10 keratoconus patients EACH DAY. Now this was for the entire year. You can see how this would train an OD far beyond the typical training a fourth year student would recieve at the time he entered the work force.
It sounds like you did a lot during your residency and that it would be very educational. The question remains as to its necessity. Does it make you a better optometrist to do a disease residency? I would say that for the majority of optometry jobs that exist today it is not necessary to do a residency. As others have said if you want to be an academic or work for a OMD referral center a residency is required but for the day-to-day ODs a residency is just another year of school.
 

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xmattODx said:
It sounds like you did a lot during your residency and that it would be very educational. The question remains as to its necessity. Does it make you a better optometrist to do a disease residency? I would say that for the majority of optometry jobs that exist today it is not necessary to do a residency. As others have said if you want to be an academic or work for a OMD referral center a residency is required but for the day-to-day ODs a residency is just another year of school.
The main benefit of residencies for private practioners is that if you do a residency, you will gain a lot more experience with unusual cases. When you encounter them in your office, you will be less likely to refer them out as you will be more comfortable managing them. This allows you to keep your patients, and make more money for yourself. Also, it keeps options open. If you decide after a few years that private practice or commercial practice is really not what you want to do, you can always move into academia, or the federal system, or whatever.

I recommend residencies, but I recommend that you not do one at the college where you went to school.

Jenny
 
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Kristene9

xmattODx said:
It sounds like you did a lot during your residency and that it would be very educational. The question remains as to its necessity. Does it make you a better optometrist to do a disease residency? I would say that for the majority of optometry jobs that exist today it is not necessary to do a residency. As others have said if you want to be an academic or work for a OMD referral center a residency is required but for the day-to-day ODs a residency is just another year of school.
I would really like to work in a referral center, and have though some about academic but not much. Do you know what the job market is like for these? Are these jobs REALLY REALLY hard to get?
 

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Tom_Stickel said:
Dominic,

As a recent grad, I decided not to do a residency and still ended up in a disease intensive job working for an ophthalmologist. It worked for me to not do one, but there are pros and cons either way
Tom Stickel
Tom,
I am new to optometry, class of 2009, and I am curious about how recent graduates land disease intensive positions without an ocular disease residency. Did you do disease research at school, have OMD connections, fiercely apply to those positions, exceptional credentials, luck, or more than one of the above? What would you recommend to an OD student who would like to pursue this type of work aside from the obvious residency? Thanks for your thoughts!