Kristin O’Brien, OD – Vital Advice for Optometry Students

The transition from optometry school to optometrist is not an easy one to make. As a student, you have a lot of questions that you have to ask about what you want to do and sometimes not enough experience to answer them.

Kristin O’Brien, OD, the Founder of Vision Source of Green Valley Ranch, has some insight into a few of the major questions she feels all upcoming (and new) grads should consider.

Where optometry students should plan to practice

In order to understand what atmosphere you are looking for, you have to figure out where you want to practice!

  • Do you want to stay in your college town or go back home?
  • Do you want to be in a bustling city or find a quiet suburb?

Once you figure out where you want to go, you’ll have a good sense of who to ask.

How optometry students can learn more

Tell everybody that you know! It may sound simple, but the first step in gathering information about your profession is to speak to other professionals. Dr. O’Brien suggests attending at least one conference per year. Here are a few options:

Vision Expo West
Vision Expo East
Optometry’s Meeting

Make each trip worthwhile. As nice as it may be to take a vacation and go to a new city, use your time at conferences wisely by going to continuing education workshops, participating in networking events, and even stopping by the NewGradOptometry booth!

What kind of practice do you want?

Are you looking to open your own practice cold? Are you hoping to work with a small private practice? If you know what environment you want to be working in, you’ll be able to learn through a mode of practice that you are most interested in.

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Remember: you are good enough. Exiting a residency – or even optometry school – you have the skills, drive, and work ethic to do the work that you want to do. Start asking yourself these questions now, and you’ll be able to learn from the people that you want to learn from in the place where you want to grow as a professional.


About Dyllan Thweatt

Dyllan Thweatt
Dyllan is a Customer Success Associate at CovalentCareers. When he's not helping to find creative solutions he can likely be found doing a deep dive into popular culture. As a self-professed geek he loves all things from movies and monsters to comic books and cartoons.

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