Optometrist: A Day in the Life

Like most optometrists, you're in private practice, so you're responsible for the business side.

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Like most optometrists, you're in private practice, so you're responsible for the business side of your shop as well as the clinical work. Your office is based in a Wal-Mart; you pay a percentage of your income to the retail chain in exchange for the plum location. You start the day by handling some paperwork, then turn to writing an article on glaucoma for a local newspaper that serves an older population; that will probably bring in some business. Your first patient, like most, is there to get fitted for new glasses and contact lenses. But in the course of doing the exam, you see signs of hypertension, so you urge him to see his doctor about this. Your next patient is considering LASIK surgery, and you outline the pros and cons. There are routine patients, but a few challenging ones, too. One woman who recently had cataract surgery sees you for follow-up care. You prescribe glaucoma medication for another patient. Then there's a legally blind man whom you fit with a magnifier that will enable him to read. Your final patient has strabismus (she's cross-eyed). You walk her through a series of exercises and prescribe a set of prisms she can use at home.