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


  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

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)