Choosing the right profession is indeed a hard decision to make. You may have dreamed of being in line with the top surgeons in town or maybe an eye doctor in your neighborhood. Whatever field you are in right now, what's important is that you have the heart and mind to do your job.
Optometry is a medical profession that deals with your eyes and other related structures. An optometrist is a doctor who identifies, assesses and treats eye problems and diseases. He can also prescribed the necessary correctional eyeglasses for you, as well as contact lenses and other medications to treat any disorder that you may have. Optometry can include many fields. You can specialize in pediatric optometry and be the eye doctor for kids. You may also want to be become a vision doctor or be the neighborhood's friendly next-door eye physician.
But where do you start to become an eye optometrist?
- In order to become a physician, it would normally take you about eight years of education after high school and then three to eight years of internship and residency. Medical schools usually need a bachelor's degree. You may take up pre-med courses like biology, chemistry and physics as a preparation. Most optometry students pursue a bachelor's degree in college, but a 3-year education in any accredited college institution would normally do.
- Get yourself immersed in the medical field. If this is really where your heart is, then you better start volunteering in hospitals or applying for internships to become familiar with the work environment and the job itself. You may also want to apply in an ophthalmologist's office or even in a nursing home.
- After graduating with your bachelor's degree, you must attend a 4 year accredited optometry school. Now, it's time for you to research the best institutions in town and choose the right university for you. This is where your official training as a future optometrist begins.
- Post graduate internships usually follow after medical school graduation. This usually takes medical graduates 12 months in an on the job training program just to enhance their skills and patient-handling capabilities. Following the post-graduate programs will be your residency, which could take two to six years. It is during this time that you get to choose from various specializations such as ocular diseases, pediatric optometry, geriatric optometry, primary care optometry, hospital-based optometry, family practice optometry, use of contact lenses, eye correction and vision therapy.
- A medical graduate in any field must have his practice legalized. Licensure exams may vary among every state. You need to pass a licensing exam, have a diploma from an accredited institution and must have one to seven years of medical education for you to practice.
Being an eye doctor is not that easy. But within the process, you'll realize that it is a fulfilling profession because somehow you know in your heart that you have helped people with astigmatism, cataracts, eye correction problems, etc.