“Why Optometrist (OD) and not Ophthalmologist (MD)?”

Jun 3, 2020
18
2
Hi everyone, so the optometrist I am shadowing sprung this question on me unexpectedly. Although I never really sat down and constructed an answer, I did give her some solid reasons but she did not seem convinced by my answers. She told me I should research some more between the two and have a better response especially when interviewing. I am truly passionate about optometry and never really even thought about doing ophthalmology but how do I translate that across when answering a question like this? What are some good differentiating points, factors to say that favor optometry over ophthalmology?
 
Aug 8, 2020
37
33
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
Hi, this is a great question that I love to answer, as many of the people who have asked me this don't know the difference between the two. My reasons are that 1. I know my passion for eye health and eyecare already and as an OD student versus an MD student I would be getting hands on experience in an eye related field immediately, whereas in medical school you would need to be learning everything for years and years before picking a specialty like ophthalmology. 2. I am much more interested in the primary care side of healthcare than I would be in surgery. I don't think surgery would be the path for me. And 3. Optometry doesn't require a residency, where ophthalmology requires years of residency and fellowship training. I bring up the fact that I still want a life and a family while reaching my dreams in the optometry profession. 4. The optometry community is amazing. There is no "cut-throat" feel in optometry schooling or the profession, as everyone just wants to help each other succeed. You see a bit of that competitive edge in medical school and in medical doctors' professions as well. These may or may not apply to you but these are my big reasons on why optometry is for me. I hope this helped!
 
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Jun 3, 2020
18
2
Hi, this is a great question that I love to answer, as many of the people who have asked me this don't know the difference between the two. My reasons are that 1. I know my passion for eye health and eyecare already and as an OD student versus an MD student I would be getting hands on experience in an eye related field immediately, whereas in medical school you would need to be learning everything for years and years before picking a specialty like ophthalmology. 2. I am much more interested in the primary care side of healthcare than I would be in surgery. I don't think surgery would be the path for me. And 3. Optometry doesn't require a residency, where ophthalmology requires years of residency and fellowship training. I bring up the fact that I still want a life and a family while reaching my dreams in the optometry profession. 4. The optometry community is amazing. There is no "cut-throat" feel in optometry schooling or the profession, as everyone just wants to help each other succeed. You see a bit of that competitive edge in medical school and in medical doctors' professions as well. These may or may not apply to you but these are my big reasons on why optometry is for me. I hope this helped!

Thank you so much for your response! I feel very similarly about many of these reasons but you were able to put them all into nice concise words so that was very helpful!
 
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Aug 22, 2020
3
2
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
1) Surgery. Screw that. Although I haven't made up my mind about the role of lasers in optometry, generally speaking, surgery is a no-go for me.

2) FutureOPtometrist01 said it best, " There is no "cut-throat" feel in optometry schooling or the profession, as everyone just wants to help each other succeed. You see a bit of that competitive edge in medical school and in medical doctors' professions as well. These may or may not apply to you but these are my big reasons on why optometry is for me. I hope this helped! "
 
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Jun 3, 2020
18
2
1) Surgery. Screw that. Although I haven't made up my mind about the role of lasers in optometry, generally speaking, surgery is a no-go for me.

2) FutureOPtometrist01 said it best, " There is no "cut-throat" feel in optometry schooling or the profession, as everyone just wants to help each other succeed. You see a bit of that competitive edge in medical school and in medical doctors' professions as well. These may or may not apply to you but these are my big reasons on why optometry is for me. I hope this helped! "

Thank you for your response, yes I totally agree. I am definitely not a super competitive person myself so the helpful, “everyone eats” mentality in Optometry is really appealing to me as well.
 

shevchenko277

2+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2016
63
31
Status
  1. Optometry Student
1) Surgery. Screw that. Although I haven't made up my mind about the role of lasers in optometry, generally speaking, surgery is a no-go for me.

2) FutureOPtometrist01 said it best, " There is no "cut-throat" feel in optometry schooling or the profession, as everyone just wants to help each other succeed. You see a bit of that competitive edge in medical school and in medical doctors' professions as well. These may or may not apply to you but these are my big reasons on why optometry is for me. I hope this helped! "

I think there is still a ”cut throat “ feel in Optometry school even though it’s probably not as bad as what medical students experience. I believe it exists in most graduate degree programs. Most classmates are helpful at times but in the end it all comes down to you. Despite Optometry residencies not being mandatory etc. alot of people are still very competitive, grades wise etc. at least in my experience.
 
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percyeye

7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2011
248
289
Status
  1. Optometrist
I shadowed other forms of medicine during undergrad and hated most things besides eye care. If I could magically be an Ophthalmologist would i do it? Probably yes. But just because you get into Medical school doesn't mean you'd get into Ophthalmology. You need to be near the top in your class and get very high board scores in med school. Otherwise you may be stuck doing a field of medicine you don't really love. Optometry has been great, especially if you are a practice owner and have control over your destiny.
 
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