Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by EC156, Nov 7, 2012.

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  1. EC156


    Aug 20, 2012
    Just curious as to know, for those who choose to shadow other optometrists, how many hours total should suffice in order to seem like a more competitive applicant for optometry schools? Is it more important to shadow in different settings than to obtain a certain amount of hours? I just recently decided to switch over to pre-optometry from pre-PT, and I know the average amount of shadowing hours for PT students ranges from around 200-300 hours total at around 2-4 different settings.
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  3. 14409


    Nov 4, 2012
    I have several hundred hours because I've been employed as an Optometric Assistant and an Ophthalmic Assistant. But in talking with many Opt. School counselors, they're really looking for you to have enough shadowing experience to where you can form an opinion about the profession and decide if it is really what you want to pursue. So asking those necessary questions about the evolution of the profession, the shadowing doctor's journey to optometry and why, and getting to see and understand how the office works and the patient encounters. Based on those observations, you should be able to make a decision. It's not suppose to be about learning skills but moreso gathering information.

    They advise shadowing app. 5 doctors (for a 2 day period), each in different settings (i.e corporate, private, group, pediatrics, ocualr disease, etc.) so that you will be able to form a reasonable opinion, and see what areas appeal to you as well.
  4. suprastang


    Jul 10, 2012
    Honestly, they just want you to know what you're getting into before you get into it. So, as many hours as it takes for you to have a better general understanding about what it is to be an optometrist to be able to answer some basic interview questions (Why optometry? What's the difference between ophthalmologists and optometrists? etc.)
  5. Loptometriste

    Loptometriste 2+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2012
    I would go to different settings for sure for at least a day each. I worked several years as a tech both in a private practice and in a hospital clinic O.D. and M.D. department. I also shadowed at Shopko before. It was great to see how different their roles were. You could also shadow an optician and a tech for a few hours to understand those roles as well. With that said, I am not a admissions committee. That is what I would feel is competitive and give you an idea if this is a career you want to pursue.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  6. csandova

    csandova SCO c/o 2017

    Aug 21, 2012
    Just to give you an idea, I shadowed an optometrist at a Sears Optical once a week for about a year, a private practice optometrist 4 times a week for 2 months, and an optometrist at a Lenscrafters once a week for about 4 months. This was enough for me to build an opinion, learn about the profession, and grow to love it. I talked about this at my interviews and I've been accepted to some schools this cycle.
  7. sbopt87


    Mar 1, 2012
    Not sure, I have never seen an exact number that is required. But they really want experience, and that you have an understanding of the differences between optician, optometrist, ophthalmologist.

    My experience is working 3 yrs as an ophthalmic assistant, also shadowed a low vision specialist once a week on my days off for 4 hrs, for on and off for a year. And volunteered doing the same work at my job at a charity clinic that held optometrist and all ophthalmology specialties for a year. I wanted to really understand it, from all aspects.

    I am not saying you have to have that much experience, but try looking for a charity clinic. The clinic I volunteered at was willing to train and incredibly friendly, they were just glad you were there. It was also nice b/c they had machines most doctors offices would love to have.

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