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IndianaOD

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I would love to get some feedback from prospective students why they are interested in optometry vs med-school, dentistry, podiatry..etc?

You might just see me sitting accross the table asking you this very question in a school interview. ;)

Oh and as someone i saw mentioned before, if you didn't get into med-school don't come apply to optometry school...especially if I'm you interviewer.
 

mthomas2

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I chose optometry because it offers the oportunity to work one on one with patients and still give you the opportunity to have a life. More women in fact are getting into the field because it provides a good balance between family and work. It also gives you an opportunity to have your own practice which other med. professions offer as well, but I am mostly comparing this idea with Pharmacy which seems like it may be harder to own your own business. I didn't think I was cut out for medical school, so I never entertained the idea. Not that opt. school is easy. I know it's difficult, but I didn't want to have to do years of residency. I do however want to do a residency in ocular disease after opt school. Podiatry I considered because from what I have read, it's in demand. However, I had a hard time accepting the fact that I would have to deal with feet for the rest of my life,so I ruled that out. Dentistry was ruled out since day one. Even though I do see my dentist every 6 mos., I can't see myself working in people's mouths'. Optometry, in my opinion, meet my desires and needs. You take care of people, yet you also get to socialize and have a life. Optometry seems to be a very clean medical profession and I think vision is the most important sense we have and I would love to be a part of a community that serves to protect and maintain the heatlh of eyes. ...So am I in? :D
 

semopreod

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From a person that was a prospective medical student turned optometry student, I feel that there are several reasons as to why someone would chose optometry compared to a lot of other professions. Initially I thought I wanted to go to medical school and become a physician. Several things turned me off to this including high insurance premiums (I live in madison county in Illinois which has one of the highest malpractice rates in the US), the type of people in the profession, and the amount of time the profession demands. To put it in prospective of the doctors I shadowed one was not married, two were married without kids, and others said the profession controlled their lives and they wish they had more time to spend with their families. Although, a lot of these people were involved in academia.

The one that had the most impact was probably the type of people in the profession. A lot of the doctors I was involved with were sarcastic, egotistical people who made me dread the profession. At this time I decided to shadow some optometrists and see what the profession was like. Since then I have never met a optometrist that made me feel less than them. All of the professionals really seemed to be interested in the best needs of the patient which I felt was a positive sign for the profession. Another plus of the profession was the advancements in technology. A lot of the instrumentation that was used in the profession I had rarely seen and I was very interested in the possible advancements in the field. Another important factor was the amount of patient contact, I met a lot of optometrists that I had a very positive impact in their community and knew most of their patients on a first name basis. Lastly, the ultimate decision to pursue the field was the fact that I felt it was something I could do everyday and have a great passion for. Many people wake up everyday and dread their job with optometry I certainly feel I would not be one of these people. In addition, the field provides the ability to educate the community about eye care and improve peoples lives on a broad spectrum.

This particular question was not brought up in my interview (although I had significant experience in the medical field) but the question of how I thought my medical research could apply to the field of optometry was asked. I certaintly felt that the research that I had been involved in could definitely carry over to the treatment of disease if its clinical potential is reached. I know that many medical turn optometry students are frowned upon but I feel that chosing to pursue optometry was the best decision of my life thus far.

PS Sorry for the length. :sleep:
 
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j-dawg

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Hey,

I was asked that questions in all of my interviews. I chose optometry because it offers a frontline healthcare service to the public. You work with a very fragile and interesting part of the body and your work helps improve the quality of peoples' daily lives. I also wanted to work on the preventative side of healthcare rather than just the restorative. Since optometrists are involved in the upkeep of the eye, they are able to ensure that people have great sight for a long time. The scope of optometric practice is also growing. I would consider it one of the more dynamic healthcare professions just because of the widening scope (practice in hospitals, some optos can do select laser treatment in Alabama, etc).
As others have said, optometrists are also afforded the time to have a family, travel, etc. My optometrist just took 3 weeks off to go to Jamaica with her fam. She spent 2 days working at a free clinic down there and brought free glasses donated by her suppliers.You can make good money in a stable profession without killing yourself working 100 hours a week in your residency (like med students). You aren't exposed to as many communicable diseases etc. There are a million reasons to choose optometry, just find the ones the resonate with you.
 

IndianaOD

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I think you guys have good reasons listed above, though almost everybody repeats this same script. Another question that railroads most applicants is: "What are the significant issues facing the profession of Optometry?" You have to be comfortable with it being a legislated profession usually under attack from some profession or another. Also don't forget there is unfortunatly a lot of business management involved in the profession. Be careful if you say you didn't want to do medicine because it takes longer etc. Optometry is not the easy road while you are going through it and I'll be damned if I'm going to let it be a plan "B". Only choose optometry if its truly what you want to do and you understand the entire profession of optometry and its challenges. If you want medicine stay with medicine. If you're not set on 1 med-school its no harder to get into medical school than optometry. Several of my undgrad pre-med coleagues now have MDs. Some went to prestigious US schools, others to caribbean schools which didn't even require MCATs. Thing is they are all doing want they want in the location of the US that they desire.
 

Subiedubie

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Cause I want to be able to tell a girl that she has beautiful eyes without her slapping me or kicking me in the you know where.:laugh:
 

BlueEyes1980

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I get queasy around blood and knives/needles. Optometry allows me to still be in the health field, but there isn't a lot of blood (except removal of foreign objects sometimes). I am getting over my fear of needles because I get allergy shots now.
 

IndianaOD

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all kinds of blood in the back of some diabetic eyes! Just so its inside the eye right? :) Some ODs do injections. Removing a foreign body with a 27 gauge needle comes pretty close.
 

Oilersfan69

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what about the hot secretaries u can hire? man bein an optometrist has so many pros :)
 

eyebwoi

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What turned me to optometry was the amount and quality of patient interaction. I'm genuinely interested in working with people without coming across as someone with a lot of power, yet having the knowledge to better a patient's health in some capacity. Now I'm not here to say other health professionals think they are positions with power, etc, but after spending time with optometrists and physicians/surgeons, I got the impression most physicians thought they were well above patients, and also wanted to get the patient in and out as fast as possible. I experienced this myself numerous times when I had appointments (with a general surgeon) for personal medical conditions. Most optometrists on the other hand always seemed to 'have time' for their patients, despite the fact that they too probably had to fit in as many patients as possible per day. Having said that, I'm sure there are plenty of optometrists who aren't that great, so perhaps my good experiences with optometrists have shaped the way I think.

I had considered pharmacy, but I just didn't think that would be a profession that would challenge me on a daily basis. I've always been more interested in working with patients one on one, and for me, most forms of pharmacy don't offer that. As for dentistry, I've just never been interested really.
 

Oilersfan69

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i was just like u b/w pharmacy and optometry.. i jus think pharmacy would be too boring each day in and day out.. optometry there is somethin new everyday.. plus pharmacists never really seem happy (prolly cuz everyone that goes to them is sick)... my optometrist is always smiling... and the patient interaction is a big plus too...
 
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IndianaOD

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What turned me to optometry was the amount and quality of patient interaction. I'm genuinely interested in working with people without coming across as someone with a lot of power, yet having the knowledge to better a patient's health in some capacity. Now I'm not here to say other health professionals think they are positions with power, etc, but after spending time with optometrists and physicians/surgeons, I got the impression most physicians thought they were well above patients, and also wanted to get the patient in and out as fast as possible. I experienced this myself numerous times when I had appointments (with a general surgeon) for personal medical conditions. Most optometrists on the other hand always seemed to 'have time' for their patients, despite the fact that they too probably had to fit in as many patients as possible per day. Having said that, I'm sure there are plenty of optometrists who aren't that great, so perhaps my good experiences with optometrists have shaped the way I think.

I had considered pharmacy, but I just didn't think that would be a profession that would challenge me on a daily basis. I've always been more interested in working with patients one on one, and for me, most forms of pharmacy don't offer that. As for dentistry, I've just never been interested really.


I completely agree. I chose optometry for very similar reasons. It was between Optometry, Ophthalmology, and dermatology for me. I like getting to know my patients and improving their quality of life. I'm definitely a person who would not enjoy 40-50 patient encounters per day.
 

rallthenamesgon

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Before I answer this question I want to ask IndianaOD what you meant early when you said that Optometry is "a legislated profession usually under attack from some profession or another?" Also you said that there is business management involved in the field, is that for people with their own practice or does it also apply to ODs that work in places like Lens Crafters, Stein Optical, etc?
 

IndianaOD

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Legislated: Unlike medicine which enjoys nearly uniformily unlimited scope of practice throught the US, Optometry is legislated at the state level. What ODs can and can't do is up to the individual state governments. Thus, for example, you could be able to do invasive surgery one day and not be able to do anything another (extreme example). That's why you see ODs in some states have much larger scopes of practice than others. Some states like Californina, Florida, and Maryland have horrible scope of practice and can't manage conditions in which they were trained to handle. Under attack in that anytime Optometry tries to bring scope of practice up to the level of training in the schools, Ophthalmology comes in and fights tooth and nail. Optometry should be able to regulate itself like medicine, but it can't in the current setup. Opthalmology continually tries to introduce bills that limit or demeane the practice of optometry.
 

chrissystar

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can you elaborate more of the scopes of practice in california, florida or maryland? what are O.Ds not allowed to do there?
 

cpw

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can you elaborate more of the scopes of practice in california, florida or maryland? what are O.Ds not allowed to do there?

In Florida: I can treat glaucoma.. but, I can't write any Rxs for ANY oral meds. It's rather annoying.
 

chrissystar

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In Florida: I can treat glaucoma.. but, I can't write any Rxs for ANY oral meds. It's rather annoying.

So if I got to school in Florida.. and say, I want to practice in a state where I am allowed to prescribe oral meds..is that still ok as long as i pass the boards for that states? sorry, i am from Canada so Im not sure how it works in the states.
 

ICU23

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here's something I found that somewhat covers the scope of practice. It's mostly related to UCB and california, but on page 13 it lists the scope of practice and how many states allow which.

You are allowed prescribe oral meds in Ca, and the scope of practice is not horrible at all in Ca, unlike someone who decides to post randon things, likes to say. Post something only if you can back it.
 

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KHE

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here's something I found that somewhat covers the scope of practice. It's mostly related to UCB and california, but on page 13 it lists the scope of practice and how many states allow which.

You are allowed prescribe oral meds in Ca, and the scope of practice is not horrible at all in Ca, unlike someone who decides to post randon things, likes to say. Post something only if you can back it.

I think its important to clarify a couple of things about that table.

While it makes the assertion that ODs can treat glaucoma in 49 states, as a practical matter it is less than that because some states have statutory provisions that allow for ODs to treat glaucoma but only AFTER co-managing a number of cases with ophthalmologists for a number of years and getting the ophthalmologists to sign off that they agreed with your diagnosis and treatment regimes for those patients.

You can pretty much guess how many OMDs are cooperative with such an arrangement. As such, in those states ODs are de facto not treating glaucoma.
 

EyeBaller

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Great last 2 posts. The information in the table is nice, but definitely doesn't give you all the information. Isn't there also a law in CA that says you can't use more than 2 glaucoma meds? If the patient needs more then this then they have to be managed by an OMD. So using something like CoSopt would cover 2 meds and you wouldn't be able to add a third.


EDIT: A quick google turned up this site http://law.onecle.com/california/business/3041.html which says:
(A) The optometrist shall not use more than two concurrent topical medications in treating the patient for primary open angle glaucoma. A single combination medication that contains two pharmacological agents shall be considered as two medications.

A couple of other interesting quotes:
(C) If the glaucoma patient also has diabetes, the optometrist shall consult in writing with the physician treating the patient's diabetes in developing the glaucoma treatment plan and shall notify the physician in writing of any changes in the patient's glaucoma medication. The physician shall provide written confirmation of such consultations and notifications.

(C) If the patient has been diagnosed with blepharitis and the patient's condition does not improve after six weeks of treatment, the optometrist shall consult with an ophthalmologist.
- is that regardless of patient compliance??? (actually I think the new PC term is patient adherence..)
 

IndianaOD

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here's something I found that somewhat covers the scope of practice. It's mostly related to UCB and california, but on page 13 it lists the scope of practice and how many states allow which.

You are allowed prescribe oral meds in Ca, and the scope of practice is not horrible at all in Ca, unlike someone who decides to post randon things, likes to say. Post something only if you can back it.


It may not be horrible but its one of the worst. You'll throw a hissy fit about anything. Grow up.
 

ICU23

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dude, shut up. Just because someone pointed out the flaws of your argument you're going to diss it. What the heck do you know about other states? Have you practiced outside of your own? Most of your postings about is either about how optometry is going to hell or you're either picking a fight with some other forms of doctors.
 

IndianaOD

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Best are stated as. Ark, ID, KY, Missouri, Montana, NJ, NC, OK, and TN. But hey, that's what the AOA says. DISCLAIMER: I haven't practiced in all those states and haven't experienced it first hand. Just so you know I'm not an expert. Gotta state that so a certain student doesn't get upset. :eek:

To use your words: DUDE I ain't DISSING anyone. I wish all the states had Oklahomas scope.

Nope my state is in the second best category, but still needs much more work!
 

IndianaOD

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I'm looking at the AOA summaries available to AOA members. California is not the worst, I've just heard people in CA complain on other forums. The AOA has Maryland as the worst. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, and New York round out the bottom 5. I would say that 2/3 isn't bad for off the top of my head. Am I not correct that very few CA ODs are able to Rx glaucoma meds. I consider glaucoma primary care and having to study under an ophthalmologist is an insult.

That kind of attitude won't fly too well with other Docs like myself. I think the educational value of my posts speak for themselves.
 

IndianaOD

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dude, shut up. Just because someone pointed out the flaws of your argument you're going to diss it. What the heck do you know about other states? Have you practiced outside of your own? Most of your postings about is either about how optometry is going to hell or you're either picking a fight with some other forms of doctors.

Well ya, that's the most entertaining thing to do. Hey, I actually love optometry and would do it over again. However, I've found most students are CLUELESS about the real issues facing optometry. Uneducated and unprepared students end up spinning dials at walmart if they don't figure out the truth sooner rather than later.
 

hokulele

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However, I've found most students are CLUELESS about the real issues facing optometry. Uneducated and unprepared students end up spinning dials at walmart if they don't figure out the truth sooner rather than later.

Where can we read more about current optometry issues?

Thanks!
 

rallthenamesgon

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I choose optometry because of vision problems that I have had in the past and problems that I am currently running in to. Since the second grade I have worn glasses. I thought that wearing your glasses over the years was supposed to help your eye sight, not keep it the same. Recently, I inquired about the possiblity of contacts, but was told that my prescription is not strong enough for them:confused: . These things got me to thinking about optometry. After doing some research of the career, I found out that the stress level of the job is not bad, the work environments are usually friendly and comfortable, and the pay is pretty good. I also had a few conversations with some local ODs and they have nothing but good things to say. Plus I like looking into people's eyes:D .
 

file014

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So if I got to school in Florida.. and say, I want to practice in a state where I am allowed to prescribe oral meds..is that still ok as long as i pass the boards for that states? sorry, i am from Canada so Im not sure how it works in the states.

Oh no, Im pretty sure they teach orals at Nova. I will ask our Nova intern. But for sure you have to know the treatments for the Florida boards. The silly thing is that you would have to sent the pt to their primary care doc with a note saying they need doxycycline or azithromycin or whatever and why. Hopefully the PC plays nice and realizes you know your stuff.
 
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