Inside Optometrist Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises


"Non-Optometry Duties Dominate...
I was surprised at how optometry works outside of a hospital setting. I am a saleswoman as well as a doctor, and I have worked at positions where I get blamed for low sales for the day for not recommending enough. I was also poorly prepared to bill and code medically, and not prepared at all to open my own practice, which leaves me being a glorified saleswoman working for various for-profit opticals. I basically just find glasses prescriptions all day long, and any time I see a disease, I have to just refer it out because I have no time to treat it. It is so much different and less rewarding than it was in school." (Optometrist; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Optometry at SUNY College Of Optometry in New York; completed Doctorate degree in 2010


Best & Worst Things About This Career


Optometrist: "It is extremely rewarding to help patients improve their ability to function throughout the day. Developing long-term relationships with people and whole families based on mutual trust and respect is very fulfilling. Working for myself is a major plus. The worst aspect is dealing with the current insanely convoluted and obtuse insurance system. The second worst part is that it is getting quite difficult to survive as a single doctor office. The future mode of practice is increasingly going to be in a group setting which will reduce the independence of each practitioner." (2011)

Career Background


Optometrist

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Career Video

Career Tips


"Much Close Contact With People...
You really need to like to deal with people on a close, one to one basis. Having patience and the ability to understand their needs and point of view is a major plus. The ability to be flexible and compromise when necessary is often important. Knowing when to back off is also important." (Optometrist; 2011)