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Why do you want to be an optometrist?

cheapdate

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2004
107
0
    How does one give an answer to "why do you want to be an optometrist?" or "What lead you to deciding to pursue optometry". Personally, I pursue because it only requires 4 years, decent salary, stability, and allow me to still have a life outside of work. But i doubt these answers are very good.

    There is the other part that I love to work with people and good at dealing with people... but this is so cliche.

    How have you answered the question and do you think what you said was an honest answer?
     

    Chr147

    Member
    10+ Year Member
    Feb 7, 2005
    37
    0
      :(
      I've been working at an optometrists office a little over a year now as an assistant. It's sad to see how the optometry profession has become so business oriented. The doctor that I work for use to own a chain of private practices but got run down by big corporations such as Walmart and Lens Crafters (it's kind of ironic because he now works for a Walmart Vision Center).

      The point I'm trying to get at is that optometrist's jobs are not the same as they use to be. The guy I work for makes about 150K a year which is decent but he's been in the game since the 1970's. If he lived in the east coast, he would make over 200K a year. An optometrist who just got out of school will probably be doing fill-in jobs and making 300-400 a day (which is decent, but, compared to the good'ol days, not as good).

      The real "bread-and-butter" of optometry (as in, the money) is in selling glasses (but that is controlled by Walmart and Costco and other corporations of that sort). The only way to sell glasses is to have your own private practice. But ha, good luck on that. Besides the Walmart Vision Center, around our block there are like 4 private practices and a Costco. So it's pretty competitive (unless you decide to open up a practive in like Kentucky or El Paso, but then you have to deal with being in the middle of nowhere). 50% of Americans do not have health insurance of the 50% that do, I'm not even sure how many of those health insurances include vision insurance. So for the average "Joe" who does not have insurance for vision, he would most likely go to a Walmart or a Costco and pay half the price for an eye exam as opposed to a privately owned office.

      The little guys can't compete with the big corporations. The doctor I work for now is worrying about being moved to a different location in a few years (due to remodeling of Walmart or something). This is something that Optometrists (and other people who have gone to professional school) should not have to worry about. But sadly, the evolution of optometry is happening before our very eyes.
       

      rpames

      Optometrist
      10+ Year Member
      15+ Year Member
      May 1, 2000
      1,179
      2
      Oshkosh, WI
      1. Optometrist
        That is the saddest view of a profesion I have heard in a long time. I feel you are incorrect about how private optomtery is dead or dying, but thats just because I see my father's practice grow every year and so do the other ones I know. Not to mention the articles in the journal I read. I'm not saying it is easy, but if you are dedicated and know how to run an office you will be fine.
         
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        Chr147

        Member
        10+ Year Member
        Feb 7, 2005
        37
        0
          I'm not saying that private optometry is dead. But it is gradually crumbling. At least from my personal experience and from chatting with the doctors I work with. Take it with a grain of salt.
           

          rpames

          Optometrist
          10+ Year Member
          15+ Year Member
          May 1, 2000
          1,179
          2
          Oshkosh, WI
          1. Optometrist
            At ICO we have several speaker a year come in to talk about; the state and future of optometry, private practice, business/management, how to succeed...there are a lot. Everyone that I go to (and that is most of them), I always see the same faces. We all talk and are excited to go out and be successful. Then the next day I will talk to those who did not go to the speaker and they say the same things; 'I can't afford to go into private,' 'I'm going to work at a chain for awhile and then open an office,' 'It is impossible to be private anymore...'

            These are people who never spend the time to listen to those who have been successful. They have given into the attitude of defeat. I plan to run a few chains out of business. I know that probably won't happen, but if I don't think like that I won't be as successful. Those how say they will probably "HAVE" to work for a chain, WILL work at a chain. They give up before they started. These are the same ones who will complain about how hard it is to get out the corporate cycle and will hate their jobs. Notice the word JOB in the last sentence. That implies to me that they work for some one, they have no control of their future. Those in private or group practices have a career.

            I'm sorry for making a post that has very little to do with the original question, I just got on a tangent.
             

            ErinMB

            Junior Member
            10+ Year Member
            Feb 9, 2005
            9
            0
            Lansing, MI
              I came into college not having a clue what I wanted and I'm sure many others have gone through the search that I did. I shadowed many different fields, from Dentistry to Vet Med. What drew me to optometry was the intimacy that the doctors had with their patients. I loved the atmosphere of the private office, that the doctor was up to date with everything that was happening in their patients' lives. During my interviews, I gave that reasoning and gave examples that I had seen. I got nothing but smiles. I agree with your reasons, but felt that wasnt enough. I hope this is helpful.
               
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