Job Title: Optometrist
Type of Company: I work in private practice and am also an associate professor at a college of optometry, where I also coordinate international programs. In addition, I teach Clinical Optometry at an urban health center.
Education: BS, Chemistry, Emmanuel College (Boston, MA) •• Doctor of Optometry, The New England College of Optometry (Boston MA)
Previous Experience: n/a
Job Tasks: In my private practice I own and run my office. I see patients four days a week. My typical day consists of seeing someone in my office every 30-45 minutes. I do a complete medical and eye history and then an eye exam. I like working in a private practice where you get to meet lots of new people. It is also very rewarding to fix and diagnose people's vision and medical problems. Of course, I also fit people for glasses and/or contact lenses. As in every business, there's an administrative component to the work and I have to make sure all the billing and office procedures are handled properly.
The clinic where I work is very busy and I see about 15 patients there a day. I supervise fourth-year optometry students and help them with clinical training. At the college where I teach I coordinate International Programs, arranging for faculty to travel and teach in foreign countries. I also coordinate this program with our partner schools abroad and served as the supervisor of the first such international outreach in Italy.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is to help people see better. But optometry overall is a great career and you can work in many different areas. You will never be bored as each patient is a new experience.
The worst part of my job is the business aspect of it. You really need a good business mind and they don't teach you how to run an office in optometry school. The worst part is also the medical billing and the low amount of reimbursement.
Job Tips: You need to have a good science and math background. And you need to like healthcare. I would be helpful to have a good business background especially if you want to go into private practice. I would think it would helpful to spend some time in an office or work in a office, especially one that sells glasses.
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