The Glass is Half-Full Thread

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by Optogal, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Optogal

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    Given the ubiquity of doom and gloom threads, I thought it fitting to discuss reasons to be or to remain "optimistic" about the future of optometry. There are scattered posts of the such in these forums, but they are often minority reports or anecdotes. Here's an opportunity to compile them together (even if there may not be a lot to compile). I can personally think of two reasons why perhaps we're not all going to be goners in the very near future (I'll say within 20 years).

    1. Inertia is a powerful force. I mentioned this elsewhere, but people have been going to the eye doctor and buying glasses throughout the duration of modern medicine. Eye exams do cost money, but the costs aren't so exorbitant that people are in mass numbers trying to circumvent the costs in any way possible. Hence (for instance) online DIY exams, while potentially/eventually cost-free, and may move the needle, probably won't acquire widespread usage in the way that (say) cellphones, or (for now, anyways) Facebook has. I just don't see that happening.

    2. As long as "the masses" wear "glasses" to correct their refractive error, society will always require/employ an "expert" in glasses. Period. Think about it. For every function/device/service, there will always be someone who exists who is the most knowledgeable in that area. For glasses/refraction, that is the optometrist. So as long as people are in mass numbers wearing "glasses", there will always be a need/niche for an expert in glasses. That's us. If refractive error one day is correctable in another manner that is accessible to the masses (for instance, in a way that a smart phone is widely accessible), and if the manner isn't in the domain of optometry (imagine Google/Apple finding a way using whatever technology they come up with), then THAT would be the end of us. So as long as glasses appear on the faces of the masses, optometrists will find work.

    So that's my personal list of reasons for why we may not be doomed.
     
  2. StormInTheSky

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    I agree with your 2nd point. But since the future is unknown, there is a slight threat with technological advancements.

    I also agree with your 1st point. The apps and online tests are highly unreliable and patients do not seem to be bothered visiting their optometrist. I don't think currently that is problematic for the profession as people make it out to be.
     
  3. Mimi625

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    Thanks for creating this thread. There have been far too many "we are doomed" threads on this forum, and its pretty discouraging to read it since I will be attending optometry school.
    As far as my experience working in several optometry offices and speaking to optometrists, seems like we really need to PUSH to the masses the important of eye health.. vision is important, but the medical aspect of our profession seems to be overlooked. I strongly believe with this change, there's no way we will be undermined by machines and will use them rather to our advantagement than them taking over us.
     
  4. Mimi625

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    I would love to hear from current optometrists their take!
    again, thanks for this thread :)
     
  5. Optogal

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    I'm going to copy/post a PM I got from a user here last month. I wouldn't normally do this but after getting a long "help" question from this person, who wanted details and specifics, I took my time to give him/her a thoughtful reply. I did this because I felt this person felt I had something helpful to give (tell) them. Since giving that reply, I have since not gotten any sort of acknowledgement from him/her. No reply at all to my reply. Some show of appreciation would've been appropriate. A one word reply "OK" would've sufficed. Because I received nothing, I feel taken advantage of, and as such, I'll share the advice I gave to that person, for everyone here. You'll see this person's concern was about the threats to optometry, and what he/she could do to help him/herself be more competitive in the future job market.

    Message: Mar 30, 2018
    Hi,
    I have read a lot of your posts recently, and am also working towards being an optometrist. I will be attending SUNY this fall, and was just wondering if I plan on getting a residency in pediatrics, would it actually help me that much more, or not so much? From what I have heard, Ocular Disease residents are doing really well, and tends to have more success when compared to the average optometrist. I do have a great interest in pediatric care but have heard it isn't that well of a residency option. What is your take on this? Do I do a residency that will "survive" the demise of optometry (Ocular Disease for example), or would pediatrics be fine as well? This is all assuming everything goes as planned and I do land a residency into either one since I understand it isn't just given and I need to work for it.


    My reply:
    Hi
    Let me say that I'm in Canada and was educated here, where basically no one does or has done a residency, so I won't be as knowledgeable about residencies as an American would be.

    My sense is if you had to choose between the two, and your purpose was to make yourself as employable as possible, is to choose the ocular disease one. Peds optometry isn't what you think it is. It's mostly about vision training. It's very very uncommon for an optometry practice to exist primarily doing "that" stuff, since though a lot of it is legitimate, it is considered kinda quasi witchcraft in some quarters. And patients probably have to pay out of pocket for it (and who does that?). What it is NOT focused on, is eye diseases as they relate to kids. Chances are, you'll get more of that in a disease residency than u would in a peds residency. Peds is primarily training kids to deal with their binocular eye issues (u may not know what this means yet), and honestly, you won't make much more money with that residency under your belt since that area of practice is so narrow.

    I can only imagine a disease residency will help u weather any downtown in the profession. Optometrists aren't very well trained at disease, even though we all claim to be adequately trained at it. A disease residency will make u really top notch, and hence, a top notch optometrist, because outside of refraction, that really is your only responsibility. And we're all good at refraction. So a disease residency makes you an excellent clinician. I'd go that way.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    So there you go. My take on how you can make yourself a bit more competitive post-graduation.
     
    #5 Optogal, Apr 18, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
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  6. Optogal

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    BTW. The "my take" written above was written as a reply for someone. It wasn't written intended to be read by a broader audience, so although I did announce my limitations on the topic (e.g. I'm in Canada, not much residencies here) it didn't come with all the necessary caveats.

    I don't know much or anything about Peds residencies. As well, the manner in which I opined was based on what I "thought/think" peds residences are like/about (e.g. focused on BV). If I'm actually wrong and Peds residences are a lot more broad in scope than what I imply in my post, then take my post with a grain of salt. But it would seem to me an ocular disease residency would be a most marketable benefit for a newly graduated OD.
     
  7. percyeye

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    I'm currently a "newish" grad, have been working 2 years.

    1. IMO a residency is only needed if you are going to need it for a certain job (Academics, VA job etc).

    2. If you want to work in a city you will not make great money and probably be working poor hours.

    3. If financial stability and good hours is what you want rural is now the only way. If you are partner/owner you will be doing around $200-300K per year and will not be working weekends. But you will be far from your favorite restaurants, big city night life etc. There are million doctor practices out there in rural America that owners are begging people to buy from them.
     
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  8. kilegna

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    With all your respect, but I think you chose the wrong career path. I have read some of your post on different threads and they are so negative towards optometry. If it wasn't for you then thats on you but there is no need for so much negativism. This was supposed to bring up the positive side of optometry yet again you bring out the bad.
     
  9. percyeye

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    Is someone who is Pre-Optometry trying to educate me on my career path? Work a few years and then tell me how much wisdom a Pre-Optometry or even an Optometry student has. And please explain to me how my post about going rural is negative?

    My post was educating the reason why most people are unhappy with Optometry and a way to get around that. I have worked both now, corporate in a large city and now am working in a more rural setting where I'm making more money than ever and with a much better lifestyle
     
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  10. gwarm01

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    I worry for you guys. I'm a pharmacist but optometry was also a possible path for me. I feel like our respective careers are dealing with a lot of the same challenges and it is just terrible. I honestly worry for the future of most healthcare professionals.
     
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  11. REBK

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    Good thread, happy somebody did this. I won't rehash my other posts, but yes like all jobs there are threats and opportunities.
     
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  12. kilegna

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    No, I am not trying to educate you on your career path, but you sure do complain a lot about it which makes it seem like the wrong one for you.I have been in the field more years than what you have gone to school and practiced combined and I have yet met an unhappy optometrist, so work experience and wisdom in the field I do have (even as a "pre-optometry"). I was not just pointing out your "rural" suggestion but rather how you've been posting not just here but other threads how much optometry is something someone shouldn't get into... but I guess that's your personal opinion. All I am saying is that maybe instead of making prospective students stay away from the field share the GOOD and bad aspects of optometry in a neutral manner and let them make their own choice. Good day!
     
  13. percyeye

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    Again, after you graduate (I assume with huge college debt) and work let me know if your view has changed at all. I am actually very lucky at where I am working and current "happiness" situation.

    But it is not coincidence Optometry was just this month listed as the worst income to debt ratio out of any job in America. And that a recent Review of Optometry poll had around 60-70% of Optometrists would not recommend the career to their children. I am one of those who would not recommend this job currently not because it isn't fulfilling or don't like the actual work. But for how much money we make it unfortunately makes it difficult for people to afford rent with the average $250-$300K student loans. 10 graduate degrees that offer the best and worst debt-to-income ratios

    Optometry right now can be great if you have options and a plan set up. If you just go into school and hope to figure things out after you graduate you will be struggling. I had a plan from the beginning and it has been working out for me personally.
     
  14. REBK

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    Thanks for the link. Suprised density is on that list, people seem to be far more bullish about it as career around here.
     
  15. percyeye

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    The Dentistry school near me had crazy tuition, >$50K per year. But those guys will regularly be making $200-$300K per year, where Optometry will have close to the same debt but be making ~$120K per year.

    I'm not saying Optometry isn't a good field. Because right now it is better than ever for doing cool stuff. It is just the debt load and the monthly $3,000 student loan payments that aren't fun.
     
  16. GypsyHummus

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    I agree with the positive sentiments, and its good to see some life in the OD section.

    What other degree, professional or otherwise, basically guarantees a six figure salary? Pharmacy? Sure, if you can find a job. Podiatry? Yep, but all them smelly feet with fungus and blood. MD makes alot but they also work alot of hours. Plus blood and guts

    Optometry is a clean, and well paid profession relative to the work they do. You feel good about what you do everyday, and you get well compensated for it, whats not to like? And unlike dentistry, people generally dont mind going to the optometrist because there is little plain involved, merely discomfort that resolves quickly. Plus, you get to see patients for long periods of time and develop sometimes life long relationships. I know many ODs, and I cant think on one off the top of my head who is dissatisfied with the work they do. The thing they complain about is the student loan cost.
     
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  17. stoichiometrist

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    Computer science and engineering seem to be overlooked fields of study that can be very lucrative. Many computer science grads start out at $100k straight out of undergrad and can get multiple job offers before graduation. You also tend to work in a cushy environment with many employers handing it free catered gourmet meals, on-site gym and laundry, pet daycares, employee shuttles, etc. It offers one of the best returns on investment for your education.
     
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  18. Commando303

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    I agree doom-and-gloom is a bit much, however I also harbor vehement disgust by the injection of an increasing number of optometrists into a field that already spilleth over the brim, and drips into the gutter. We often (rightly) bemoan the opening of new schools (Dr. Andrew Buzzelli looks to be bear quite a personal antipathy for optometry, one would suppose given his involvement in this), however we too frequently forgo being outraged by the addition of seats to existing programs.
     
  19. bigred

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    You guys want to have a thread about the good side of optometry without mentioning the bad.

    Optometry is an easy job (due to my excellent training) that pays well for the work performed.

    I won’t mention that you’ll be living a middle class lifestyle at best. Don’t worry about or even consider that finding a job in a city will be difficult and likely involve long hours including weekends. Forget all those stories about the O.D. that finally made a good living that was fired only to replaced by a low paid new grad (happened to several friends). Ignore the fact that most practices for sale are money pits or priced so high that no reasonable business person would ever buy it.

    Go blindly into 200-300k of debt and 4 years of education to earn 120k or less. I wish there was more good news but I just don’t see how we can ever ignore the the negatives when discussing it. Not being able to earn a good wage is a huge negative regardless of how easy the job is.

    Maybe this is the best way to look at it. If a low rate optometry school is the top of your potential then go for it. If you have the intelligence required at a top optometry school, the time to go through school, and access to the funds (student loans) then you should be absolutely be certain you are best investing those.

    The goal of my posts is to prevent the delusion of optometry providing a well paid, well respected, and rewarding career in exchange for your hard work, time, and capital (debt) invested.

    I feel sorry for many of the doctors I left behind. Many people are depressed and go through a personal crisis once they realize the mistake they made by choosing optometry. I’m one of the few that actually liked the profession and left. I created an unrelated company that performed well. Eventually, optometry just wasn’t worth my time. Please be certain it’s worth yours.
     
  20. Optogal

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    Yes, that is exactly it. ONE thread talking about the GOOD of optometry. Is that a difficult concept? Or maybe you somehow missed all the other threads talking about the bad.
     
  21. bigred

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    There’s really not enough good to say to fill a single thread. Here’s all the good I know: It’s easy, most people are nice to you, most of your patients and colleagues will respect you, and you will be called doctor.

    Positive things to say and discuss would be: there are great loan forgiveness programs, many employers will help repay your loans, you’ll earn enough to pay back you education expenses in a few years, the profession is well respected, starting a practice is worthwhile and most succeed, you’ll have plenty of time for leisure or family, you will be licensed to perform all the things you are competent at performing, the scope of practice is easily expanded, your license will be the same in all 50 states, insurance reimbursement is going up, patients value purchasing their glasses and contact lenses from a brick and mortar store. Unfortunately, based on my experience all of these are false.

    When I was considering optometry the nay sayers were few and mostly ignored. This thread suggest you want to go backwards and deny today’s reality. Since this is a public forum I feel a responsibility to make sure no one goes into the profession only reading the positive.

    Here’s a bit more of reality. I know doctors that have taken the income based repayment for their loans. It’s seems like a good way to eventually get out of debt Most of them aren’t paying enough to even cover the 6.8% (or more) of interest. When their loans are forgiven after 25 years of income based repayments they will be required to claim the amount forgiven as income. For most that will mean income taxes will be due on 200-400k of loans and interest forgiveness the 25th year.

    If income taxes remain at current rates they will owe 65-150k of additional income taxes that year. The IRS doesn’t have 25 year payment plans. Maybe they will be able to finance that ~100k with a bank for another 25 years.

    Good luck finding the sweet spot in this profession for those with less than 10 years on the job. If we could step back to “the year 2000” this thread would be completely different.
     
  22. Optogal

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    Wow. There is someone in this thread having serious problems with reading comprehension.

    Where in this thread do "I" suggest I want to go backwards and deny today's reality? What is it I that I say in my opening post that suggests anywhere that I'm blindly optimistic about this profession? All I do is list two really so-so reasons why we "may not be doomed". You read that as me being so optimistic that I'm in denial? This is not even a matter of you putting words in my mouth. It's you reading one thing, and comprehending something completely different.

    The other evidence of your lack of ability to read and comprehend is your posting of negative posts in this thread. There are more than enough "pessimist" threads in this forum that are more than suitable for your spew of negativity and stream of consciousness.

    You need help.
     
  23. bigred

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    I comprehend all of this. Sorry that I have offended you. I see any sign of optimism as encouragement for students to continue to waste their talents and resources on optometry. I don’t want to be a pessimist. I’ve been looking for years but I just can’t find much hope for the profession. It’s sad that no one can find anything good to say about the profession.

    Good luck.
     
  24. Snakedoctor1

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    Some of us would like to encourage capable and well-informed applicants to join our profession.

    Yes, you do.

    I work at a private practice full time, no weekends. My skills have a major impact on the lives of my patients, who appreciate the work we do. I get paid well and due to planning from the beginning, will pay my loans off quickly. I enjoy waking up in the morning and have time to spend with my family as well as to pursue hobbies and investments on the side. Maybe I'm the only Optometrist in the US who can make these claims, but somehow I doubt it.

    I wish we could make this into the Optometry forum's official welcome banner.
     
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  25. GypsyHummus

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    If you were to invest in a business for 200K and that said business made 100-120K/year, would you consider that a bad investment? Seems like Optometry is a pretty sweet gig as long as you dont wanna live in big cities. Go find a place in the south or midwest small towns.

     
  26. UnicornOpt

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    My contract for F/T employment as an associate was 97k in late 2014. This is my pre-tax earnings. 1% of my of pre-tax salary goes into maintaining my license and liability insurance.
    My sibling, who has developmental/mental delays, got D's and C's in high school, went to community college, and worked his way into an MBA, earns 105k working for the federal government as a paper pusher. He gets to work in a big city, gets numerous fed benefits and holidays, and has the option to work from home.

    I'm proud of him, and also am very satisfied with my job, but I think my brother got the better financial return.

     
  27. tbair200

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    I disagree. I have 2 relatives with computer science degrees (just graduated this past May). Both did internships throughout college. Both had a difficult time finding a job (we live in a big city). And no, neither is making this $100k you are claiming.
     
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  28. Purkinja

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    bigred,I’m curious as to how much forethought and planning you gave to your chosen profession before,during and after matriculation.
     
  29. GypsyHummus

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    Did you stay close to a big city, or did you look into rural practice?

    I stand by my assessment of 100-120K is still really good money for only 4 years of school.

     
  30. UnicornOpt

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    I'm in rural. But it is still California.
     
  31. GypsyHummus

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    Yeah, Cali is the place people go to lose money lol. So many taxes.

     
  32. Optogal

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    It's not for 4 years. It's 4 years of OD school plus 3-4 years of undergrad.

    I'll also say this. Ask "any" student what level of salary they hope to get after graduation, and everyone says 100K. As long as I get 100K, they say, then I'll be swell. Honestly, 100K is NOT a big salary. Not at all. It may be hard to imagine for people who have never earned anything that 100K isn't oodles of money, but once you've been working a bit, then you'll realize it isn't. If you have friends/relatives with high degrees, you basically will be at the floor of everyone's salaries, with others making up to multiples or magnitudes of what you make. Of course some ODs make oodles too, but those tend to be owners of successful practices. If you never become that, your potential for serious wealth through your work is basically non existent.
     
  33. Snakedoctor1

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    Generally speaking,100k is a great salary. It is possible to be quite wealthy making that much money, as it is possible to build wealth with 80k a year as well. Most people do not make that much money and those who do can create a very stable financial future if they do not let their liabilities grow along with their salary, which many do. I got a raise a work, therefore I will buy a new car, or get a bigger house. The problem comes when you factor in a 250k student loan with 6% interest which is a gigantic liability, and difficult to pay off quickly if you also happen to have a family, a house payment, car payment etc. It's the cost of school that makes Optometry a terrible return on investment for certain people.
     
  34. Purkinja

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    It baffles me how many bright talented kids didn’t research compound interest vs job prospects before deciding their careers.

    As Snakedoctor alluded though; 100k/yr with due diligence and discipline is plenty enough to build your nest egg. Learn to drive by Starbucks and fast food while drinking water from the tap and you would be surprised
     
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  35. Optogal

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    Your post seems to imply that you disagree with my post. But in fact, your post confirms what I wrote. With necessary due diligence and discipline, you can build a nest egg (ergo, without those, you cannot). That to me, isn't major wealth.

    One OD in one of these threads says he's clocking 600K/year. So he hits one million in about 20 months. How long would you making 100K/year take to make one million? It would take you 10 years. Again, maybe as a student you don't mind that as a concept, but after 10 years, you may wish you were like your friend who's made 6 million in the same time. That's multiple houses, multiple vacations, a massive nest egg, pretty much whatever you want. One million after 10 years? Maybe you're most of the way paid off a two-car garage house. And have some savings. That's a nest egg sure, but real wealth? Hell no. And if you know any high-volume cataract surgeons, they may be up to 6 million in basically 1-1.5 years. And they, like you, are an "eye doctor". But you'll never touch that kind of wealth if you are earning 100K/year.
     
  36. Optogal

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    So the error of snake and purkin is they equate "serious wealth" with "stable" finances. I never suggested anywhere that 100K can't get you a middle-class existence. But is 100K/year going to get you to a place where you have serious money? Hell no. Holding a mortage on a home with a 2-car garage, plus some retirement savings after 10 years of work isn't something to write home about. And as I said, if you have highly educated friends in various fields, some of them will be vastly more wealthy than you after that time span.

    If you suddenly had an injury after 10 years and were no longer able to work (or had offspring that needed serious ongoing medical assistance), you'd be in serious trouble. But if you were taking in 600K/year, you would be able to make it comfortably provided you aren't spending lavishly.
     
  37. Purkinja

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    Optogal you assumed my income. My message was to convey that I know many frugal people who can work wonders with 100k annually. Ophthalmology average as a specialty per Medscape annual survey runs about 340k so they aren’t making “serious money” as the average orthopedic is ONLY 400k as well

    Glad you know an OD that said they make 600k annually
     
    #37 Purkinja, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  38. bigred

    bigred Member
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    I put a great deal of thought into it. I liked the idea of owning an optical business and being a doctor. I took almost all the science classes in 18 months with a 3.8 gpa. I studied for the OAT and scored a 350 overall and 380 total sciences.

    I don’t know how much more planning I could have done. I did not know any optometrist personally. I went to SUNY and planned to work in Nashville. I had an area picked out to open a practice. During my fourth year another doctor opened an office there.

    I wrote a letter to every OD in the Nashville area looking for a position or practice to purchase. I think I sent about 120 letters. Out of those letters, I did get one serious reply that led to a job. I was hired to replace the guy that opened in the location I wanted. More efforts went into finding a position but this is enough to illustrate that I was actively pursuing a position.

    During my career, I always looked for a practice to purchase or a good location to open one. I met with a couple sellers only to find out they wanted 300-500k for a practice where they were making less than my current position. This past January I wrote an email to every optometrist in Nashville that comes up with a google search. I found two part-time positions, one partnership, one job that is split between offices, and one practice for sale.

    I didn’t want the part-time jobs, the partnership was failing, the split office job had locations an hour apart, and the practice for sale couldn’t even supply the number of patients they had seen or the most recent year’s tax return. So, back in January there was room for one or maybe two OD’s in the Nashville market. However, in January the chain that I worked for terminated all part-time OD’s and any full-time earming over starting salary. They fired a friend of mine that had been there 8 years and kept new hires because he had negotiated higher pay.

    I am posting here because I ignored the people that said negative things about optometry. When I asked one of my professors for a letter of recommendation he said, “you are way to smart for that...that profession will be dead in 20 years.” I thought he was just out of touch with the medical aspects of optometry. When I sent the letters seeking a position mentioned above, some of the OD’s replied with negative remarks. I thought, why would someone reply to my letter with all this disdain for me and the profession?

    I liked practicing optometry. However, I caution anyone considering it now. The price of education has doubled in the last 10 years, interest rates are higher, and the wages are on the way down. Oversupply, internet optical sales, and tele-optometry are real threats that are only going to get worse. Starting a practice is nearly financial suicide for those with substantial student debt.

    As for me, working my 100k/year optical job gave me plenty of down time. I used that to create a real estate investment company and bought property all over the city. The market went crazy and I made millions. The last two years I worked 1/2 day per week for $500 and health insurance. I sent the emails looking for a position because I was paid unemployment of $200/week to look for a job. Who wouldn’t send 3 email a week for $200? Besides, I might have found a great opportunity but instead I ran out of doctors to contact. I still have a license but I don’t plan to renew it.

    As for those that think 120k/year is a good living. After paying household expenses it will be difficult to send your kids to a good daycare, private school, or pay for their college education. If you are single, it’s a good wage to buy drinks and take weekend trips to the beach. You will not be poor but far from financially secure for decades.
     
    #38 bigred, Jul 11, 2018
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  39. bigred

    bigred Member
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    You would need to weigh it against other careers and your skill set to know if it’s a good investment. However, if optometry is the one you choose it is not 120k more than your next best option. For example, that next best might be nursing with 30k of debt, 2 years education, and making 60k per year. In this instance you are spending 6 more years in school and 180k more debt to make 60k more per year. If it were a NP program you might qualify for a federal grant to pay back the debt and make 80k. In that case you are taking on 4 more years of school and 200k for 40k/yr. The interest and other things figure in there as well. My point is that it’s not as simple as you stated.
     
    #39 bigred, Jul 11, 2018
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  40. bigred

    bigred Member
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    Having a 340k average income is completely different life than an average optometrist. The 200k debt load would be a be paid in a year or two. It takes the first 100k of income to provide a basic middle class lifestyle for a family of four. That extra 240k is all the icing on the cake; private schools, luxury cars, luxury house, and maximum retirement contributions.
     
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  41. GypsyHummus

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    True, but one must also look at the lifestyle the profession provides. The idea of nursing might be intriguing until someone finds out they have to do overnight shifts until they get enough seniority to work normal hours.

    Optometrists work in well lit, clean environments with little blood and disease and almost no overnight shifts.

     
  42. Purkinja

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    big red, appreciate your honest response but you gave a great example of how your took 100k and turned it into millions.I stand by the fact that a guy with discipline at 100k annually can have as much in the end as the 340k that THINKS that’s wealthy and spends more lavishly

    You chose to invest in real estate and base salary while I chose to invest in myself with practices and professional buildings. Two paths but one leaves one with a slightly sour taste in ones mouth and the other couldn’t be happier with their chosen profession.

    This may be an unfair comment but I wonder where you would be had you bought those available practices or just one and where your happy meter would rest regarding the profession
     
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  43. bigred

    bigred Member
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    I bet I’d still need to show up for work. I’m sure I’d like my job though. I would still buy a practice and be the fill-in OD but I can’t find one that makes sense financially. I’ve only seen one practice for sale where the practicing OD owner made at least 100k. It’s hard to buy a practice for hundreds of thousands and start out losing 10-100k/year.

    Optometry did open the door for my investment company. Most of the investors were OD’s. That being said, I would not be where I am without it.

    As far as financial success as an OD. I know less than 5 that are making 340k per year or more. However, there is an OD in NJ (a friend of a friend) involved in surgery centers and commercial real estate. At one point in the last five years, this guy had two private jets worth at least 2 million each. Maybe that’s you.

    There will be outliers but many people want to go to school, put all their efforts into a profession, and reap the rewards. Right now, the reality for those people is a 120k job with external forces pushing wages down while they pay off 200k of debt.

    Optometry might still be a good choice. I haven’t weighed career paths in a long time. I didn’t want to be an MD or nurse of any sort. I liked the clean aspects of optometry that you mentioned. I should have given more thought to anesthesia. It seems pretty clean, respected, and well compensated. However, the consequences of mistakes are very high.
     
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  44. Purkinja

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    “There will be outliers but many people want to go to school, put all their efforts into a profession, and reap the rewards. Right now, the reality for those people is a 120k job with external forces pushing wages down while they pay off 200k of debt. “

    That’s a very true statement and my medical model practice isn’t as common anymore and the reason I was advocating that if a prospective student doesn’t have a plan then do the math. In most cases one can invest and grow wealth slowly and be very content in retrospect, seems you are as well,good luck in future endeavors
     
  45. GypsyHummus

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    This is a big takeaway. I know doctors making 300-400k/year but spend it like it’s going out of style.

    Car payments, big fancy watches, boats, second homes, extravagant vacations all add up. Someone driving a used 2012 car is paying a lot less than someone leasing a new 2018 90k Mercedes.


     
  46. Snakedoctor1

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    Serious wealth is a very subjective term. There are many people making vastly more than I make, many of them not highly educated at all, at least not formally. That point is also moot in my opinion. The idea is that an income of 100K per year can lead to wealth. Even serious wealth in my opinion. I think where our misunderstanding about accumulating wealth lies is the idea that a person earns a salary and does nothing but pay expenses and put some excess in savings. This isn't going to lead to an increase in wealth. It's the generation of assets which provide passive income that builds wealth. A person can use their annual income to invest, gain assets, and use that passive income to support themselves in case of bodily injury. 100K or 600K, if that income is generated by your physical presence, then it is nothing more than your job, and will always be at risk of disappearing in the case of physical injury. The idea that an annual income of 600K is necessary to make serious money is just totally untrue.
     
  47. bigred

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    A person making 300-400k per year can spend it and still have plenty. A lease for a 90k car is 1250/mo or 15,000 per year, a house payment on a $2 million dollar house is $10,000/mo or 120,000/yr. Earning 360/year leaves at least 240,000 after taxes that’s 2 90,000 cars, a 2,000,000 home, and 90,000 to invest or spend after taxes. With the slightest amount of self control a person earning 30k a month can afford a lot of extravagance.

    An OD on the other had makes 120k, 80k after taxes. You cant afford to pay loans off quickly, have a nice car, and a nice home at the same time. OD’s have to pick one of the 3. Once the loans are paid a 900,000 house can be bought. Pay that for 30 years and then buy a car.

    Even though it seems extreme the people earning 300-400k a year and spending money like crazy are doing so because they can afford it. They probably are not spending outside their means. On the other hand, an optometrist earning the typical 120,000 (still paying off their loans) with a 2 50,000 cars and a 500,000 house is probably spending outside their means. Once the student loans are paid they would be at the maximum of their means.

    This is in no way a budget suggestion. I am only stating this because of the few posts that speak of wealth and spending. Yes, wealth can be built slowly and living modestly. Dave Ramsey has written books on that subject. I’m merely making the obvious point that 30k per month is a lot more than 10k. So much more that those that make 10k (or negative earnings as students) have a hard time perceiving how much more disposable income one has.

    If an person that earns 10k per month has 2k of disposable income a person making 30k has 22k of disposable income. As has been said many times, optometry typically provides a good middle-class lifestyle.

    As far as the posts concerning health problems effecting earnings. There is insurance for that. I plan to investigate those options.
     
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  48. Optogal

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    I didn't assume anything about your income. I don't know anything about you. When I wrote what I did, I didn't know if you were pre-opt, retired from optometry, or a practicing dentist. Strictly speaking, I wasn't even replying to YOU, I was replying to a post. And I was talking about students ("Ask "any" student"). Given that you are apparently not a student, then clearly I wasn't referring to you. So no, I made no assumption about your income. Did not even cross my mind.

    I was obviously suspicious at the claim of 600K annually that was made here by a poster. But his username was revealing enough about his identity that he was searchable on Google, and I did. After visiting his website, I believe his claim.

    Edit - I looked up and saw where you thought I assumed you were a student (you said this before you edited it). As I said, my post wasn't referring to "you", but the generic student who thought/thinks that 100K is a lot. In any case, let's forget this. Frugal 100K well invested etc. will give a secure lifestyle. OK. But is 100K a "big" salary? I personally don't think so.
     
    #48 Optogal, Jul 12, 2018
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  49. Optogal

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    Thanks for all your posts. Very eye-opening. Situation isn't nearly as bad up in maple land.

    Edit: Can you share what happened to your friend after he was turfed? That must've been horrible trying to "restart" after doing a job in one place for 8 years.
     
    #49 Optogal, Jul 12, 2018
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  50. Optogal

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    Well yes. The 100K earner who spends 99K has more money than the 340K earner who spends 341K. He would be tied in money with the 1K earner who spends nothing. (please recognize this remark is made tongue-in-cheek)

    The point is, controlling for all variables, the 340K earner will have MORE money than the 100K earner. Heck, there's no reason to say the 340K earner is even MORE careful with his money than the 100K earner, and has a ROI on his money that is greater than that earned by the 100K earner. So if you're saying a frugal 100K is better than a lavish 340K, then that is probably in many instances correct. But a frugal 340K will be far far more wealthy than a frugal 100K. And if the purpose is to generate income/nestegg/wealth, then a multiplier like that is massive and will lead to a differential of millions at the end of a working career.
     

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