What is it??
Optometrists are health professionals that work in the area of vision.
They treat vision problems, screen for different conditions or diseases
of the eye and prescribe glasses or contact lenses.
Optometrists and Ophthalmologists?
Optometrists are not medical doctors unlike Ophthalmologists who, after
four years of medical school, complete a minimum of four years of
training in ophthalmology and become surgeons. Optometrists cannot
perform surgery. They are excellent in checking visual acuity, prescribe
glasses and contact lenses, screen for eye diseases and prescribe
certain types of medications required for the treatment of different eye
How does one become
Most D.O applicants have completed a four year bachelors or even Masters
degree in an area in science although the minimum requirement that the
D. O schools require is three years of undergraduate education. The D.O
curriculum consists of pharmacology, optics, visual sciences and
practicum courses. D. O colleges are unique in that most Health Sciences
Faculties in large Universities do not offer the D.O. program. These
programs are only offered by a limited number of colleges and
Universities in North America. The costs of D.O. education in Canada is
estimated to be around $60,000-$70,000 where as the costs are higher in
the US in the range of $150,000-$200,000.
Where do D.Os work?
Most optometrists work in private practice. Some also own optical stores
have their offices set up in or at a close proximity to the stores. The
average salary for an optometrist is in the range of $80,000-150,000.
The job prospects
for optometrists look very good.