It can be really worthwhile to become an optometrist. This is a good career path that you can take. When you choose this, you would have to face the dilemma of deciding where to get your education and doctorate. If you are on your way to an optometrist school already, you have to be careful with the choice of institution that you make. There are various colleges and universities offering such a program, so you need to know what areas you should look into when making your comparison.
The first things you would have to check would of course be the institution’s various credentials. You should check out the basics like their experience and their faculty as well as their curriculum. You should also make sure that you are choosing one that is accredited. They must possess an accreditation from the Accreditation Council On Optometric Education or ACOE. This will ensure that they provide education that is up to standards. It would also be wise to check out how well their graduates perform in the board exam.
It is also important to check out the kind of clinical experience that they give. Make sure that they have a state of the art eye clinic that is large enough to cater to a lot of patients. You would need a large practicing ground for your training, so it would be important that you choose one with a well-established clinic. The clinical experience is more important than the lectures and theoretical background. All schools will have the same foundational courses on anatomy and optometry, but the kind of clinical experience you would get would vary.
You should also check out the various facilities being featured by the institution. Make sure that they have updated facilities and equipments that will help you train yourself with knowledge and experience in eye care. The classroom facilities must also be good as you would be spending the next four years in them as well.
You must also check out their residency program. Again, their residency program must be accredited. It should also have strong points in the area that you want to specialize in. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of their program and rate it accordingly.
The tuition would also be a huge factor in your decision. The least expensive way to obtain your degree is through public in institutions in your own state. If you go for public institutions out of state, the difference in tuition rates can be big. Private institutions in different states does not have huge differences, but they are all more expensive than public institutions.
You should also consider the living expenses you have to make. Cost of living in different areas can vary. Make sure you can deal with the costs before you would be making your decision.
It is also recommended that you choose an institution in the area you want to practice in the future. In this way, you would already be comfortable with the area and would start to create professional connections. It will allow you to plot your career even while still a student.
It is really crucial that you pick the right optometrist school. With these tips, you can be aided in making this crucial choice.