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Why Is Optometry So Unpopular?


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Few reasons:

 

1. Less money than med, dent, and even pharmacy (due to overhead)

2. Only one school in Canada for English so many people don't want to go to Waterloo/away from home

3. Related to #2, many people do not have much info about the field and many I know think it's purely testing acuities 

4. For ocular health, it's the equivalent of GPs whereas ophthalmology would be similar to the more "exciting" specialities (primary care vs. tertiary care)

5. Less prestigious 

6. Too focused on a certain physiological system (like a dentist but for your eyes)

 

I thoroughly enjoyed looking into optometry as a career because I like that it's primary care and many medical issues can be detected from an optometrist (e.g. brain tumors, vascular issues, diabetes, cholesterol). My main decision away from it was just that it was too focused. 

 

Not sure if troll; but since this is a pre-med forum, people are more interested in the biology, anatomy and physiology aspects of medicine; versus optometry which focuses more on optical physics. Depends on what your interests are

 
This is an example of #3. There is tons of biology, anatomy and physiology, as well as clinical components to optometry and much more than the optical physics parts due to advanced technology and accurate measurement tools. 
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Less ROI and income would be my guess. My friends at optom schools always seem to be concerned about working part-time after graduation/not being able to pay off loans/not making enough etc. Granted, they're going to US schools. Perhaps it's different in Canada, given that we only have one English school. 

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I guess the fact that ophthalmologist can do all what an optometrist can is a factor.

 

True but the scope of optometry is expanding. Direct and indirect costs to the healthcare can be minimized by focusing on optometry as a primary care provider than funding more in ophthalmology. And when you go into ophthalmic clinic, it's crazy busy from 7am so imagine them taking optometric roles too. 

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True but the scope of optometry is expanding. Direct and indirect costs to the healthcare can be minimized by focusing on optometry as a primary care provider than funding more in ophthalmology. And when you go into ophthalmic clinic, it's crazy busy from 7am so imagine them taking optometric roles too. 

 

I would say let the ophthalmos only focus on surgery.

I wanted to apply to optometry, but both UdeM and Waterloo look at all your university marks.

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Isn't that with a lot of professions though? My buddies in Pharm school are also always complaining about the saturated market. 

 

To some degree it is, but I'd say that for a lot of the specialized professions with little demand, it gets tougher. Imagine how many people need to see pharmacists each day in clinics, community pharms or hospitals vs. the number of people that need to see optometrists each day. I'd see my optometrist once a year or once every two years, but I'd go talk to a pharmacist maybe 6-10 times a year depending on what I'm dealing with. 

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  • 6 months later...

There are only 2 optometry schools in Canada and it is extremely easy to find a job. All the optometrists I know make over 140k/year. 

 

Are any of them recent (recent-ish) grads? 

We do have 2 OD schools in Canada but i think the # of Canadians studying in US outnumbers the # of Waterloo grads. Not to mention the kids that went off to UK. It still seems quite saturation proof though, unlike foreign Pharmacists and Dentists who can challenge the boards directly. 

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Are any of them recent (recent-ish) grads? 

We do have 2 OD schools in Canada but i think the # of Canadians studying in US outnumbers the # of Waterloo grads. Not to mention the kids that went off to UK. It still seems quite saturation proof though, unlike foreign Pharmacists and Dentists who can challenge the boards directly. In qu

In Quebec, it is far from saturated because they accept 46 candidates out of like 925 applications. Those who are studying abroad generally don't speak French and they tend to go work in other provinces.

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In Quebec, it is far from saturated because they accept 46 candidates out of like 925 applications. Those who are studying abroad generally don't speak French and they tend to go work in other provinces.

 

Quebec's  fantastic because optometrists/pharmacists etc. are forced to pass a French proficiency exam in order to practice. I doubt Quebec would ever be saturated with any professions really. That probably explains the high salaries there. If you're looking within the GTA region, new Optometrist grads generally start ~70-80k. That's the estimate i got from talking to a couple of new grads anyway.

Anyway, i guess i must get to my french lessons ASAP  :)

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Quebec's  fantastic because optometrists/pharmacists etc. are forced to pass a French proficiency exam in order to practice. I doubt Quebec would ever be saturated with any professions really. That probably explains the high salaries there. If you're looking within the GTA region, new Optometrist grads generally start ~70-80k. That's the estimate i got from talking to a couple of new grads anyway.

Anyway, i guess i must get to my french lessons ASAP  :)

haha yeah you should learn french :) I know some recent graduates that make over 1k per day in rural regions.

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  • 7 months later...

Quebec's  fantastic because optometrists/pharmacists etc. are forced to pass a French proficiency exam in order to practice. I doubt Quebec would ever be saturated with any professions really. That probably explains the high salaries there. If you're looking within the GTA region, new Optometrist grads generally start ~70-80k. That's the estimate i got from talking to a couple of new grads anyway.

Anyway, i guess i must get to my french lessons ASAP  :)

I think in Quebec, the dentistry market is very saturated. There are 3 dental schools here!

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