Visit Mentors' Round Table to read our interviews of women in the fields of science and health. These are women of varying levels of experience and backgrounds, brought to the table to answer your questions about everything from work-life balance to financial management. Read on, be inspired, and leave them (and us!) a comment!
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Optometry is an exciting career in the vision care field. To learn more about training and career choices please visits our Optometry career page. We hope this interview from a 1st year optometry student gives you a feel for the human side of this field.
How did you choose your career?
I like health professions, I like working with people and eyes interest me.
Were there any obstacles you had to face in your training or later career?
I did not get accepted the first time I applied to optometry school. So I retook some classes, studied harder and retook the OATs (entrance test, the optometry version of the MCATs). The second time I applied, I only got an interview at one school, was put on the waiting list, then only got accepted to their pre-optometry program.
Have there been any problems in your work life or training that have arisen because of your religion?
Our program dress code is either scrubs or clinical/professional attire. Since I don't want to "get dressed" everyday, like most people, I usually wear scrubs. When I first asked about wearing a scrub skirt, and wearing regular scrubs during labs that require full coverage, I was told they'd have to check with legal as no one had ever asked before. Eventually they told me it was no problem, and now I see girls and plenty of other programs wearing scrub skirts. So far, I have not had a problem taking off for the Chagim (Jewish holidays).
What do you like best about your career? What do you like least?
I like that it can be a part-time or full-time job, that you can raise a family while doing it and that it's (mostly) transportable wherever you go. I don't like that regulations vary by state and that some states do not allow optometrists to practice to the full scope of our training.
Are you married?
Do you have children?
How do you balance family and work life?
My husband is a medical student, so he's very understanding if certain household tasks don't get done as often or on a regular schedule. Also, because we are both in school, he does help with certain domestic chores.
What does your spouse think about your career?
He likes that it will allow me to work and raise a family.
What does your family think about your career?
They like that there will be a doctor in the family, especially one that can give them free eye exams, as they all wear glasses.
How do/did you handle the financial stress of training?
Do you have any advice for students aspiring to be where you are?
Study hard, and try to do something that helps you stand out from other applicants.