Aug 27, 2015
8
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi everyone! I've been panicking somewhat about my situation and would love to have some advice on how to go forward.

I was planning to submit my applications for multiple optometry schools (UCBSO, PUCO, SUNY, OSUCO, SCCO) in time for Fall 2016, but I have not had much luck in shadowing for optometrists. To be honest, I probably only have had about 10 hours of shadowing hours for one optometrist, and am struggling to find other places that are willing to let me shadow. Most of the clinics that I've called have declined to do so. I don't have a family optometrist due to the lack of health insurance in the past, and only had my first visit at a clinic last December. Suffice to say, I never had such a uplifting experience in any medical clinic before. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, the staff was helpful, and I felt like people genuinely cared.

Sadly, undergrad stuff had kept me mostly occupied for the rest of the school year, and I was studying for the OAT most of the summer so that left me with very little time to do anything else. I got good results to show for it: TS 370 and AA 370. My GPA is 3.85, which gives me a bit of leeway if I were to shadow a lot during Fall term to make up for it. I'm continuing to tutor Chemistry in my university and am involved in a club that helps students with pre-med courses, if that helps at all.

I guess what I really want to know is this: Is it possible for me to be competitive in this situation? I've heard of many people getting in despite low grades and OAT scores because they have accumulated a lot of experience and are passionate about what they do. But what about the opposite? Is it too much to try and cram experience in during these last few months? Please feel free to be blunt, and thank you to those who reply in advance.
 
Nov 5, 2014
33
6
Status
Optometry Student
I suspect that you are fine if certain conditions are true. (1) If you plan on applying soon. With rolling admissions, I doubt you will be scrutinized as heavily on that component due to your other attributes which are highly important. (2) The 10 hours were sufficient enough to inform you in your decision, and in writing of your personal statement.

There are a few programs I think that have a 30 hr minimum for example, but by and large its quality over quantity. It's your job to utilize the experience and illustrate the impact properly on your application.
 
OP
N
Aug 27, 2015
8
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
I suspect that you are fine if certain conditions are true. (1) If you plan on applying soon. With rolling admissions, I doubt you will be scrutinized as heavily on that component due to your other attributes which are highly important. (2) The 10 hours were sufficient enough to inform you in your decision, and in writing of your personal statement.

There are a few programs I think that have a 30 hr minimum for example, but by and large its quality over quantity. It's your job to utilize the experience and illustrate the impact properly on your application.
Thank you so much for your quick reply! I am preparing to apply soon, so hopefully that gives me the edge I need :)
 

1256eye

2+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2014
17
6
Status
Pre-Optometry
I don't know where you live, but I know in the past SUNY has offered a list of SUNY grads who have had students shadow before. It might be worth asking for that? Though I think most are NY based, they gave me a specific list for the state I was in. They also told me they like to see three different optometrists on a competitive application. I did most of my shadowing in August so if you still want to try, I don't think admissions would view it as "last minute", but totally up to you! I'm sorry you've had such a bad response from doctors, I'd say 90% of the people I asked were thrilled to have me in - maybe look for docs who have a history of teaching / having residents if you want to make a few more calls?

Also I just started my first year at OSU and love it if you have any questions :) Good luck!
 
OP
N
Aug 27, 2015
8
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
I don't know where you live, but I know in the past SUNY has offered a list of SUNY grads who have had students shadow before. It might be worth asking for that? Though I think most are NY based, they gave me a specific list for the state I was in. They also told me they like to see three different optometrists on a competitive application. I did most of my shadowing in August so if you still want to try, I don't think admissions would view it as "last minute", but totally up to you! I'm sorry you've had such a bad response from doctors, I'd say 90% of the people I asked were thrilled to have me in - maybe look for docs who have a history of teaching / having residents if you want to make a few more calls?

Also I just started my first year at OSU and love it if you have any questions :) Good luck!
Thank you! This is so helpful! I'll definitely call SUNY and see if they have a list of optometrists for my area. Haha, I'm sure the doctors have their reasons--it just makes it a teeny bit harder to get shadowing experience :rolleyes:

I'm so excited for optometry school! How is OSU like? I've never been to Ohio (or really anywhere except the West Coast) so I'm really curious about how different it is from here.
 
Oct 30, 2014
49
16
Status
Optometry Student
First off, OSU is awesome! I personally believe it's one of the best, but I'm definitely biased because I'm from here :)
Second, for most schools it's not about the number of shadowing hours, it's about showing an interest in the profession. With your stats, you'll almost definitely get an interview anywhere. Then you just need to show them that you really want to be an optometrist.
Read some threads on here about common questions and you'll be fine!
 
OP
N
Aug 27, 2015
8
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
First off, OSU is awesome! I personally believe it's one of the best, but I'm definitely biased because I'm from here :)
Second, for most schools it's not about the number of shadowing hours, it's about showing an interest in the profession. With your stats, you'll almost definitely get an interview anywhere. Then you just need to show them that you really want to be an optometrist.
Read some threads on here about common questions and you'll be fine!
Haha, I'm hearing a lot of good things about OSU which makes me super excited!

Thank you for the advice! I will definitely look for the threads and get an idea of what to expect, and hope my passion for the profession shows through :happy:
 
Aug 19, 2015
164
28
Status
Pre-Optometry
SCCO does a similar thing where they can point you to alumni who offer shadowing. And since you're on the west coast, it's likely there are some in your area. Good luck! Definitely shadow as much as you can from now until interviews, because your shadowing experiences will inform a lot of your answers to interview questions.
 

Snakedoctor1

5+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2014
280
174
Status
Optometrist
Don't put off your application because of shadowing hours. In case you had any doubt, here is my blunt response: You will get invited to an interview at every school you apply to with those scores. Everyone assumes getting into Optometry school is harder than it really is, but only if you meet the minimum requirements, apply early, and do well in the interview. Just make sure you know enough about the profession and current events to hold your own in an interview.

Also, PUCO is the only school that I know of with set shadowing hour requirements, and I believe it's 20. So, they might be the exception to my blunt response if you don't get some more hours.
 
OP
N
Aug 27, 2015
8
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
SCCO does a similar thing where they can point you to alumni who offer shadowing. And since you're on the west coast, it's likely there are some in your area. Good luck! Definitely shadow as much as you can from now until interviews, because your shadowing experiences will inform a lot of your answers to interview questions.
I wish I knew about this before! But I'm really glad that such a resource is available :) Thank you, and I will! I'm looking forward to shadowing more doctors!
 
OP
N
Aug 27, 2015
8
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Don't put off your application because of shadowing hours. In case you had any doubt, here is my blunt response: You will get invited to an interview at every school you apply to with those scores. Everyone assumes getting into Optometry school is harder than it really is, but only if you meet the minimum requirements, apply early, and do well in the interview. Just make sure you know enough about the profession and current events to hold your own in an interview.

Also, PUCO is the only school that I know of with set shadowing hour requirements, and I believe it's 20. So, they might be the exception to my blunt response if you don't get some more hours.
Thank you! I'll get my application in as soon as possible :D Yeah, PUCO is the only school I'm worried about in terms of shadowing requirements, but shadowing as much as I can right now will probably help a lot! Interviews are another story...I'll need to practice, haha.
 
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Snakedoctor1

5+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2014
280
174
Status
Optometrist
I would recommend a book called "The Medical School Interview" can't remember the author off hand.