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Discussion in 'Optometry' started by treytrey, Mar 10, 2017.
Do you have an app that alerts you when someone on the Optometry forums uses the word "Dental"?
1.) Someone mentioned entitlement before and this is true. Most people like to think that entitlement only applies to "certain" people. However, really it's they themselves that expect to get some kind of special deal that separates them from the "others". Optometry is like Pharmacy in that they were on an island due to supply & demand and are now just becoming more like every other profession that becomes saturated. It certainly helps that not just anyone can do your job or else corporate America would certainly lower wages quicker or ship your job overseas without blinking an eye. Still, they'll take any advantage over you that they can. You can either organize enough to fix the saturation or just understand that you will have to work harder for your money with less coddling and prestige.
2.) This treytrey person is an obvious troll (using terms like "cuck" and directly attacking women, wth?). I wouldn't be surprised if he was just reincarnation of some of the prior Opto-Trolls that hung around this forum years ago which is probably why he's fawning over them now. It's nice to see some good discussion here, but I got bored with the usual memes and shtick after the first page.
It doesn't matter
I am confused as to the relevance of this post. Are you disagreeing with any of my points or adding to the discussion? Or are you just wasting this forum's time as you are on an OD degree?
The latter, although I'm not sure what "on an OD degree" means. The post was a lighthearted jab at dental students who somehow know when their profession is being mentioned on other professional forums. I think it's funny that you could smell the blood in the water.
Lol it was a jab in response to a jab. And I have no such app, please let me know when they make one.
So much stupidly being spit back and forth between professions. Do everyone a favor and put down the mouse.
Allow me to provide you some insight on other careers. I used to want to go into optometry but I chose pharmacy cause I was accepted into a top state school with cheaper tuition than optometry school.
Pharmacy isn't in a fun state now either. It's saturated, and it's hard to find jobs. So pharmacists pay may be compromised. Just getting a position is more difficult since they implemented residency requirements just to get a staff job. You're looking at pharm techs/customers trying to steal meds, customers yell at you, nurses yell at you, doctors yell at you, etc.
If you are in healthcare and in it for the money, dentistry or some allied healthcare is it. If people go into med school to become a GP, they're wasting precious time when they can become an NP/PA with less debt, education and good pay (4 yrs med+3 yrs residency for $145-160k vs only 2 yrs master for NP/PA and $90-130k? Ha!). Optometry is completely different from dentistry. It's arguable that these two fields are the least stressful amongst pharmacy, medicine and others. That is not to be condescending. That's actually a very good thing.
Even better if someone becomes an orthodontist. In the US, you are set. Literally paying them $4-10k for braces/invisalign and they barely see you for 20 min once a month. And you get $200k. My orthodontist goes to golfing on sundays at a country club, wife is stay-at-home and they are open 4 days a week. Sweet deal if you're good.
Ortho usually brings home closer to $300K. But it's also one of the hardest residencies to match. It is incredibly competitive compared to other specialties.
Yeah opto sounds good I'm going to become that
Just a little fact checking... the lowest paid medical specialty (peds) makes more than $200k/year. Orthopedics makes 1/2 million a year.
Source: Medscape: Medscape Access
Sent from my SM-G930T using SDN mobile
yeah, but that's after medical school and 3-4 years of residency (more if you want to specialize) with a larger debt than typical PA/NP school. In the first 3-4 years, a resident makes $50k. The $200k is also regional. The family doctors and peds I worked with (my fiancé is a peds resident) makes an estimated $190-220k after everything. That's a lot of schooling and debt. Most doctors are around 30 when they actually make that sort of money.
I'm staying conservative in my calculations to be reasonable. Orthopedics do make $500k a year, but that also takes a load of time and the field is ridiculously competitive.
For those of you who are in optometry school or are optometrists and are not happy, what career would you have done instead if you had to do it all over again? I see that most recommend dentistry but other than that field arw there any others you would have deemed "better" to go into if you had the chance to start over?
Someone asked something similar in the med forum, for what it's worth.
several responders said that if they could do it all again, they would become teachers. (grain of salt - as most of those responders were first year students..I think. I can't remember the specifics. My bad). one of the conclusions was something along the lines of 'teachers make bank'. one former engineer turned student, turned back into an engineer, said they were glad to have turned back into an engineer.
*addit; 1 or 2 responders said they'd do PA or NP. the rest said they'd do it all over again anyway. everyone has their own opinion based on where they are in life or what's happened to them.
sorry if these are kinda ****ty observations.
I'll let myself out
I think everyone starts off a little naive before they go into the business of healthcare.
it can be really depressing if you reach a point where realize it wasn't the 'dream' you thought and you're now trapped because of all the debts. unfortunately..that's a reality that can happen. but i hope there's always going to be something that keeps you wanting to stay in it..not needing to. (otherwise that's truly heartbreaking).
These surveys are notoriously inaccurate. The sampling size is typically very small and probably consists mostly of new associates who have the time to fill these surveys out. Most mid-career physicians rarely answer these surveys. As a general ophthalmologist in private practice, I pulled in around 1.5M last year. Obviously I'm an owner. Many of my colleagues (especially in Retina) are doing similarly well. And most people in this tier are not answering MedScape salary surveys...
This would be a case of the exception, not the rule.
Good on you for offering a fair wage to these newly minted docs, but in reality, Optometry is a bad deal.
Ortho is closer to 500K+.
Pulled in as in the practice pulled in 1.5 mil after overhead or you paying yourself (I am assuming you pay yourself to give benefits) 1.5M?
Also, before or after taxes?
Kids, this is how you make money in medicine, you go into the ROADs specialties (and Plastics).
I went conservatively.
I paid myself around 200k in salary and took 1.3M in distributions. So 1.5M is the total taxable income that my tax return shows. Let's hope the Trump tax bill passes where pass-thru entities are taxed at capital gains rates!
150K as a new grad is associate pay for the top earners, not the average in any way, shape, or form and this is coming from someone who's done a ton of research into dental for the past 5 years. You're more likely to get anywhere from 110-130K realistically. Not to mention you've got a large chunk of new grads coming out with 400-500K of debt. Just go check the pre-dental forum and look at how many people are taking acceptances to OOS and privates that are putting them in 350K+ debt before you factor in the accumulated interest on that loan. Dental is not much better unless you get into your state school, that I can assure you. Most healthcare professions other than MD/DO are beginning to have poor ROIs due to the schools hiking the tuition year after year, expanding the numbers of seats, and new programs popping up left and right.
I'll agree with this statement, those surveys are nowhere representative of what a productive practitioner makes. Grossly understated. I wouldn't know anything about optometry, but I think dentistry is still pretty good from a financial perspective. The doom and gloom personas exist with every profession, but I'm sure the truth exists somewhere down the middle. A solo GP practitioner/dentist can gross 3mm+/yr.
I tried to warn you all in 2004...lol
Read this thread.....
Competiveness of Optometry
A lot of it still applies to current times....but not all of it.
If I had to do it all over again??? I would have gone into Art and Graphic Design before the involvement of computers so that I'd be on the ground-floor when Photoshop et. al. came on the market. Then, I'd upgrade to digital. I'd be set and established in the field by now. In fact, I'd probably be teaching it part-time and doing it part-time.
What would I do if Optometry goes bust? (It could). In the short term, I'd need a job I could do part-time and on my own schedule to go through college. I'd take a Real Estate Broker's prep course and pass the exam. To be licensed you have to work under a Principle Broker for a year. As an agent, you work mostly on your own schedule and are free to take classes. You'll have to retake all your basic sciences if it's been over five years since you last took them.
Choosing a new profession? Definitely not MD. It's just not worth the hassle, time and expense at this point in my life. Also, middle-aged people do not tolerate the BS that young people will and medical students and residents must take a lot of flack. There are a LOT of MS degree programs in Healthcare. The MS programs in Physician Assisting would be a good option. Nurse Practitioners are in demand. Medical Lab Technology might be interesting, and is a 5-yr BS degree, but I'd fear it could be easily overtaken by technology the profession rendered obsolete.
In choosing a new field I'd look to cost to benefit ratio, need for new workers in the field and also whether it's possible the workers in the field and if those same workers be replaced by technology. Any job that's highly repetitive can be done with machines, ergo, the problem with Optometry.
The eye is microscopic how else would you check it. You should seriously research what' you are getting in to blame your self this is a great career
I can understand where OP is coming from, but I live in a state that is probably the most saturated location for optometrists. And the place I work at is having a very hard time finding a doctor. Also, I have a sibling who just graduated last year and they were able to find a job paying 100K+ right out of college and now they have been able to find a salaried job with 100k+/year, less than 40 hours of work and great benefits. All this within one year of graduating.
Just chiming in since pharmacy was mentioned... I'd reconsider pharmacy if you think it's better. Sure, the average wage for a community pharmacist is to start ~120k-140k per year, but hospital/clinical pharmacists usually make ~100-110k and most have done 1-2 years of residency. Do NOT do clinical pharmacy if you think you'll make more as a clinical pharmacist compared to being an optometrist, you'll have to do 4 years of PharmD then 1-2 years of residency only to maybe make a little more and less than your peers in community.
The field is becoming more saturated. The 2 biggest chains, CVS and Walgreens, froze raises for all pharmacists and for some it's becoming hard to find a 40 hour per week job. It took me 5 months post-graduation to find a job and I got licensed in 3 different states and wound up having to relocate. For the record though, I do love my current job (specialty pharmacy) and the salary is above average, but most pharmacists are not so fortunate. We have our own major issues facing the profession with insurance companies underpaying for prescriptions (many prescriptions you fill at a loss) and pharmacies cutting hours, cutting staff hours, and decreasing labor to squeeze profit in light of declining reimbursement. Provider status to bill for clinical services is still up in the air and has been all the rave for the past.... decade (minimal progress made). The stress at some pharmacies can be very very insane... when I was a floater I was at busy stores working 14 hours straight with no breaks filling 600 RX by myself with nearly half being controlled substances, many pharmacists have deplorable working conditions.
It seems like most non MD/DO doctoral fields, with the exception of Nurse practitioner, are having their slew of issues. Honestly, it sounds like the best avenue to go for non MD doctoral terminal degree is podiatry at this time (DPM). Better debt to income ratio than dental, more autonomy than nursing, less saturation than pharmacy, and good wages compared to optometry.
wow it;s good
Too bad it has more stinky feet than all of those professions combined.
Hey, you can’t have it all, otherwise it would be the most competitive school to get into.
Though, I would rather drain stinky feet pus than disempact bowls and check for rectal fissures. Although during school, DPMs have to do that during rounds.
Yeah I know. My reply was tongue in cheek. Point is, you can't really select a profession purely on "objective" measures. It is also true that you can't practically select a profession purely based on "passion" either. I guess if people don't mind dealing with smelly socks, DPM would be a great profession.
Treytrey, I (Optometry Master/ Tippytoe) was probably one of those"burnouts" that you are speaking about. One that was trying to be the 'canary in the coal mine' for young, bright students that could do so much better than optometry. I always found it amusing that young college students would just blow off free advice just because they disagreed with it. Now, unfortunately, you found out the hard way that I wasn't just 'taking ****' . The student debt for ODs nowadays is completely prohibited. It will stimy your life for the next 25+ years. As you've discovered, trying to pay off $200,000 worth of student loans on $85,000 (before taxes) and LIVING is virtually impossible. Your monthly loan payments are probably closing in on $3,000+/month while your monthly take home pay after taxes on $85,000 is about $5,600/month. It's CRIMINAL what these schools are charging. I graduated 20 yrs ago with $120,000 in debt (no undergrad debt) and was lucky to be able to pay it off after many, many years. But even today, 20 years later, I'm still only making about $80,000- something per year. The ONLY thing that is saving me now in private practice is that I was smart enough (and lucky enough) to be able to buy the building I am working in so that now (after 15 yrs) I pay MYSELF rent every month. Did this by scrapping by, driving junker cars and saving like crazy. Optometry, 'spinning-the-dials money' is GONE as glasses sales are almost NON-EXISTENT due to on-line and chains and contact lens sales are virtually break-even. And despite what they say, there simply isn't enough ocular pathology out there to take the place of lost optical sales (which has historically accounted for 70% of an Optometrist's income.....look it up). No amount of visual fields and OCT scans can make up for all that lost income when you factor in most vision plans are now paying $40 per exam AND medical plans have a $20,000 deductible that most people never meet so they will NOT be willing to pay you cash out of their pocket for testing. (That money goes to cell phones and cigarettes).
And watch out for those private ODs that have been looking for an "associate" for years and years. There is a reason they can't find or keep anyone. Think about it. So in summary TreyTrey. Sorry you didn't listen to the words of wisdom. But maybe....just maybe, someone else will and you can say you've done your service. There WILL be more and more posts like yours in the years to come as all these new, un-needed, OD schools come on line and start pumping out more wild-eye, gullible young ODs just waiting for reality to slap them in the face. It's sad. Very sad. But what'cha gonna do.....just keep listening to these brilliant 21 year olds tell you, you don't know what you are talking about.
I was under the impression that ODs made around 100-120k (which is like 85k after taxes).
Is this assumption wrong?
It's wrong in the sense that some of us double those numbers.
Or 3-4x if you don’t mind owning multiple locations
I don't know who you are or who you are talking to, but out of the countless people I've shadowed and met with, 0 have had a bad thing to say about this profession. Sorry you are not enjoying things, but I just don't see your views as anywhere near accurate. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you end up doing.
Threads like these make me so insecure about pursuing a career in Optometry. I recently got accepted into several Opt schools. I chose a school that does not have the best rep, just because it was the cheapest option for me, but I’m doubting if it’s even worth it. Even when I have these doubts, what’s the alternative? Taking a gap year to take the MCAT I have a good GPA, but I would have to spend money yet AGAIN on the test and application process. A PhD? that probably pays less than a career in Optometry.
Obviously depending on GPA and MCAT, MD/DO school. Seems to still be top dog in healthcare.
Nursing school leading to one of the many masters pathways. Some pay 200k+
I would not do
PHysical Therapist (while in demand, too much debt, too little money)
If online threads are the decider on whether you attend OD School then why shadow, and why study, why figure out anything when you can listen to randoms on the internet.
There are 30,000+ ODs I suggest looking into more sources, hopefully more relevant to your demographic, school of choice etc... Decide from that. Evidence > Anecdotal
When I have time I'm going to type out the pros/cons of moving and doing rural Optometry.
I think I'm still considered a new grad (2.5 years out). But I worked one year in a major city and made $115K right out of school. I had a plan going into school which is key. If you go into school with no plan or understanding of the current environment expect to make ~$100- to $130K working nights and weekends because most want to stick in the city which I totally get and miss almost every day.
My first year rural I was around $160-$170K and this year after partnering should do around $275K. The partners all do around $300K or more working 4 days per week.
I listened to these posters and others early on that if you want serious money go rural. I enjoy Optometry but I also like other ventures such as real estate which I will start buying up soon hopefully. In Optometry if you want money you have to give up some things, and that is just the way it is. So you must decide do you want time and money, or do you want a close airport, restaurants, etc while paying rent.
Not a good idea to pick a school simply because its the cheapest option and to add to it a bad rep? Not sounding good. Maybe look for an optometry school that WILL get you successfully to the next level. Medical school may not give you the best lifestyle either. Looks like you might want to do some soul searching before making that final decision. Good luck!
I second going rural but to a degree. I'd look for an area that is around 50-70k people that has low commercial penetration such as Walmart, Lenscrafters etc. Also this location is located about an hour away from any major metro area 250k+ population. The vision plan penetration most likely will be lower and people have to think hard if an hour drive is worth getting eyecare in a large metro area.
You are absolutely right, but it’s easy to get discouraged when the comments about optometry school where I live are negative on this site. Nevertheless, all the optometrists I shadowed and admire are successful and studied in the school I choose so I’m hopeful that not everything is how one reads here.
Thank you for your input!
A Phd would be good if you're interested in research and want to be a scientist; they do get paid a little bit less
I was interested in optometry when I was in undergraduate. I was considering between optometry or pharmacy. I ended with pharmacy and now making $140k in the hospital in union job with pension.
I'm more of an exception than the norm since I know plenty of pharmacist struggling with 32 hours/week with deteriorating working condition and benefits. Some of my classmate took high 30 years mortgage but I doubt they will have a job due to automation, recession, etc.
I told whoever would listen to stay away from pharmacy. There used to be 6 pharmacy schools in CA and that has jumped into 13 pharmacy school. Some of them haven't had their first graduating class yet and there are already pharmacists who couldn't find job. Even doing residency doesn't guarantee a hospital job. I trained pharmacists who told me it took months to find registry job.
I do know have friends and my wife who is doing really well in other field such as accounting and software engineer. My wife is on pace to double my salary with bonus and stock option. Pharmacy and optometry isn't what it used to be. It's sad to see both optometry and pharmacy heading toward the bottom.
Did you do a optometry residency in order to get the hospital job?
Sounds like another disgruntled baby boomer who blames millennials because mommy and/or daddy didn't love him enough. How much you want to bet, Dr. TreyTrey saw a younger/new optometrist's payroll where he worked on accident and found out he was making way more money than him. Pathetic!
Bottom line: As with any field in healthcare, optometry is something you should only go for if you are REALLY into it and don't see yourself doing anything else. Don't even try doing it for the money or doctor title because neither of those are strong points of optometry anymore. Someone on SDN posted something once along the lines of "if someone gave you $200K and told you you could do anything with it, would you use that money to go to OD school?" if yes, then optometry might be the career for you.