When I was in high school, I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to meet new people, how to make it to class exactly as the “late” bell rang, and that I work best when I am busy. Since then, I’ve constantly had people turning to me saying, “Wow- you do a lot.” Some give off a doubtful vibe. Others seem impressed. Regardless, I know what works best for me and I’m stickin’ to it: I love being involved!
When I entered optometry school, I don’t think I fully understood all that you can do with your degree. Because I became involved in multiple groups at ICO, I learned from many visiting speakers, doctors, and professors about the wide range of paths you can take with your career. Optometrists are involved in business, politics, education, research, law, fashion and the obvious health care. Some go on to get additional degrees, work in the military, even practice abroad.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you are only interested in working clinically, that is definitely not a bad thing. I, on the other hand, have a few interests that I would like to pursue and connect with my passion for optometry. I am very interested in optometry’s legislative presence. Through groups like the AOA and AOA-PAC, optometry is always pushing for the growth of the field through legal and political routes. I hope to become more involved with this as a student as well as a graduate of ICO. I’ve found it very refreshing to hear from others at ICO that have done the same. We have alumni who have gone to law school, doctors holding political offices, starting their own eyewear line, even doctors who went on to get multiple master’s degrees and PhDs.
My point is that there’s so much that can be done with optometry, if you are interested. It is rare to have a profession that allows you to branch out so much while maintaining your passion. Some people may doubt you, but it’s always worth it to try. Research an interesting topic, get involved in legislation, start your own brand… why not?
I say, if you want it… go for it.