The 2017 Optometrist Report by CovalentCareers

Sep 4, 2017
6 min read
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We surveyed over 1,000 optometrists and optometry students to get answers to the questions we were most curious about.

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In 2017, we surveyed over 1,000 optometrists and optometry students to get answers to the questions we were most curious about. We hope that these 26 charts and graphs help you better understand this wonderful profession of optometry!

What do students and optometrists think about the future? ๐Ÿคž

Roughly six of the charts will tell you exactly what each demographic feels about where optometry and their career is headed.

What's the current state of affairs for students and optometrists today? ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Ž

Learn about the favorite clinical modalities amongst each demographic and practice setting choices.

Who are the favorite companies amongst each students and optometrists? ๐Ÿ‘Œ

Find out which contact lens, technology, ophthalmic lens and pharmaceutical companies ECPs are choosing these days.

What are students and optometrists most excited about and most worried about? ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Learn about what each demographic thinks about student loans, practice growth, and other real life challenges.

“I always found it frustrating that it was hard to discover helpful data about what my peers thought about our profession and about their futures. I think this survey starts to chip away at that problem. Once my team and I saw how interesting this data was we knew that we had to release it for everyone to see. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I did!”

Matt Geller, OD
Founder - NewGradOptometry
San Diego, California

Here is what our 2017 study uncovered! ๐Ÿคฏ

Our 2017 optometry student and optometrist study uncovered some really amazing stuff!

We asked some really insightful and probing questions, and we were pretty shocked at some of the results, and we think you will be too!

Our optometry student and optometrist study questions focused on some categories like:

  • What do students and optometrists think about the future?
  • What's the current state of affairs for students and optometrists today?
  • What are students and optometrists most excited about and most worried about?
  • Who are the favorite companies amongst each students and optometrists?

You can download the complete report with all results, commentary, and explanation of study design!

It's pretty amazing how a simple optometry student and optometrist study can reflect differences based on generation and graduation year! Let's take a deeper look at some of the questions.

Current and Preferred Practice Modalities ๐Ÿฅ

  • What is your current optometry practice setting?
  • Upon graduation, in what optometry setting would you like to practice?
  • Optometry students: How likely are you to practice in a corporate setting after graduation?
  • In the next 5 years, which career path are you most likely to take?

It was definitely interesting to see that most students preferred working in one modality, but end up or are open to working in another modality. What was even more eye-opening was seeing how many respondents planned to open a practice cold, or buy a practice of their own! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Find out why this could be problematic for baby boomer practice owners who want to sell their practices by downloading the full report! ๐Ÿ“Š

Understanding Money and Student Loans ๐Ÿ’ธ

To understand how graduates were prepared for life after school, and how they felt about finances and loans, we asked questions like:

  • Do you feel your optometry school is adequately preparing you for life after school?
  • What do you think about refinancing your student loans?
  • How confident are you in your ability to repay your student loans after graduating?

There were a good number of optometry students and optometrists who were confident, and an equal number of respondents who were worried ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

There's a really interesting trend in confidence based on graduation year that doesn't surprise us. We highlight this trend in our study commentary โ€” which you can download for free! ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Private Practice Goals, Challenges, and Aspirations ๐Ÿ™

To understand a little bit about optometrists with a private practice of their own, we asked some questions like:

  • What do you estimate your practice spends on marketing each month?
  • Are you interested in offering wellness or screening exams to your patients?
  • What is your number one practice goal in the next three years?
  • What is the number one biggest challenge of being a practice owner?
  • How well do you understand the key business metrics of your practice?
  • How often do you make decisions off of your business metrics?
  • What formal steps have you taken to partner with your local healthcare system?

We were blown away when we found out what the number one goal of practice owners was ๐Ÿ˜ต and could not understand how respondents expected to achieve that goal with what they spent on marketing and how they used and understood business metrics! ๐Ÿšจ

Find out why we just can't understand how it's possible to achieve this goal based on responses to other questions in our full report, which you can download here! ๐Ÿ‘‡

Let's Talk Favorites! ๐Ÿค—

It is always interesting to know what our readers like. We asked these questions:

  • What is your favorite area of clinical care?
  • What is your favorite ophthalmic lens manufacturer?
  • Who is your favorite contact lens manufacturer?
  • Who is your favorite eyecare pharmaceutical company?
  • What is your favorite ophthalmic technology / equipment company?
  • What formal steps have you taken to partner with your local healthcare system?

CooperVision, Zeiss, Essilor, all found themselves amongst the favorites! We were definitely not surprised to see what the least preferred area of clinical care was, and you won't be either! Check it out in the full report! ๐Ÿค”

The Future of Optometry ๐Ÿ”ฎ

  • How would you describe your feelings about the future of optometry?
  • If you could go back in time, would you choose optometry again?

There was a good mix of optimism and concern reported in these results, but one thing is for sure: an overwhelming majority of respondents WOULD do optometry all over again! When we isolate graduation year from 2017-2020 (students and new grads),ย we see a split of (89.4%) Yes and (10.6%)ย No.

There was an interesting trend on optometry sentiment based on graduation year. Can you guess what it was? Find out on the last page in the full report! ๐Ÿ‘€

This survey will make your jaw drop ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

What do students and optometrists think about the future? ๐Ÿ‘

  • Likely career path for optometrists
  • Likely career path for optometry students
  • Likelihood of starting an optometry practice
  • Likelihood of opening cold
  • Likelihood of corporate optometry
  • Feelings about the future of the profession

What's the current state of affairs for students and optometrists today? ๐Ÿฌ

  • Would you still choose optometry?
  • What is your optometry practice goal?
  • Optometry practice setting breakdown
  • Favorite area of clinical care
  • How business metrics play a role in a practice
  • Partnering with other healthcare providers
  • Average practice marketing spend

Who are the favorite companies amongst each students and optometrists? ๐Ÿ‘Œ

  • Favorite contact lens company
  • Favorite pharmaceutical company
  • Favorite ophthalmic lens company
  • Favorite optometry instrumentation company

What are students and optometrists most excited about and most worried about? ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

  • Optometry student loan repayment
  • Optometry schools preparing students for life
  • Confidence in the ability to manage personal finance
  • Interest in non-clinical optometry

Download the PDF survey for free below!

Learn what optometrists and students really think! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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About Matt Geller, OD

Dr. Matt Geller is an entrepreneur with a track record of developing successful online platforms to solve problems in the healthcare space. Matt is the co-founder and CEO of CovalentCareers and NewGradOptometry.

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