You may not realize it, but I know the web page you visited just before coming to my site. So for example, if you went to Google and did a search for “optometry blog,” I see in my logs that you just came from the site “http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&fkt=1859&fsdt=5568&q=optometry+blog&btnG=Google+Search”
(By the way, I’m number one on the list today. You could be if you bothered to blog.)
It’s really interesting to see what search terms get people to my site. I think it would be even more interesting to analyze and respond to questions implied by people’s search keywords. As a public service, I will now respond to actual search terms and attempt to answer any implied questions. Seriously, I am not making these up. It is not a comprehensive list, but these particular ones make good blogging fodder.
- “career switch from optometry” – I hear ya’, brother, but do you really want to throw away four extra years of school and over $150K? Is optometry really that bad?
- “do optometrists make lots of money?” – Yes, they put a question mark in their search. No, we don’t is the short answer, but more on specifics down the list.
- “why become an optometrist” – Only because you love it, but that begs the question: How do you know if you would love it unless you already became an optometrist?
- “easiest optometry school to get into” – Okay, first of all, this person hopefully won’t get into optometry school, but I think it’s safe to say that the answer to the quesiton is Pacific University because, hey, they took me. (That was a joke.)
- “walmart optometrist average salaries” – There are only a few optometrists in the country actually employed by Walmart. In many states that scenario is illegal (stupid government interference.) Walmart optometrists working on a contracted lease only make what they get from exam fees, so it’s not a salary because you aren’t guaranteed an income. The Optometric Business Academy publishes a yearly survey of Walmart and Sam’s Club affiliated optometrists and the median gross fee income is: $161K for 2007 and $167,473 for 2008. Keep in mind your net will be at least 20% less.
- “optometry debt” – I don’t have any statistics, but most of my class was around $100-150K and that was 2003. Now a days it’s becoming debatable whether the loan debt is worth your potential income. The actual numbers for indebtedness for 2005 averaged for all schools is $125685 (from ASCO under data and surveys).
- “AOA optometry dues too high” – Yes, I agree. Next question.
- “average number of new patients seen for start up optometric practice” – Um, try zero.
- “how to become an optometrist” – First, get good grades in high school. Then get good grades at college (state universities are just fine). Schmooze influential faculty members your first two years of college to get a good recommendation letter for your optometry school application. Take the OAT and get a good score. Then apply for optometry school your third year of college. Get an interview and do really well. Get accepted to optometry school. Take out $150K in student loans. Get good grades in optometry school. Take the NBEO and pass all sections. Graduate. Get a state license when your NBEO passing scores are released. Do temp work from May to July of your graduation year (I made frozen dinners). Start practicing around July of your graduation year. Wow, you know, for all the same work you could have entered a career field that pays better or entered a field that pays just as much but requires less time and loan money.
- “what should you know about optometry” – well, for starters see the previous question. You should also know that you are paid according to how many exams you do. You can only do so many exams, and people will only be willing to pay so much for an exam, so already you are limiting yourself. If you want to make some real money you need to consider a career field that allows you to sell an infinite amount of widgets to anyone, anywhere in the world.
- “How to make optometrist buy from you.” – As I’ve said before, that shouldn’t be too hard. He or she chose to became an optometrist so they are easier to fool.
- “what pays better, a pharmacist or optometrist” – They pay the same, but the pharmacist doesn’t have $150K in student loan debt. People point out that pharmacists have to work late hours and weekends, but optometry is quickly heading in that direction.
- “when did eye exams become so expensive?” – Ever since the optometrist hired a practice consultant. (Again, what is the deal with putting a question mark in a web search?)
- “optometry school worth it” – Only if you want to be an optometrist. A better question would be which optometry school makes it the most worth it.
- “how much school does an optomitrist have” – Bad spelling aside, the short answer is eight years post high school.
- “laws against 1800 contacts” – Yah, there should be a law that says someone else can’t take my business away from me without my permission. The government needs to fix all my problems. Where’s my binky?
- “are prompt pay discounts for medical exams legal” – The previous billing expert I listened to said yes. The one before him said up to a reasonable amount like 10%. The true answer should be I should be able to charge whatever I want to whoever I want, but thanks to the government and insurance contracts that is not possible.
- “what to take in high school to become an optometrist?” – Take whatever the heck you want. Who cares about high school? College is the new high school. By the way, why take the extra effort to type in a question mark in a search box?
- “what retinoscope looks like” – Shh! It’s a secret.
- “optometrist jokes” – I would refer you to some excellent, witty cartoons sketched on a mouse pad by a charming optometrist.
Well, that concludes the first edition of Answers to Your Search Questions. I’ll release more later, so stay tuned.