Important News & Announcement

Career options available in Optometry

Dear Sir,

 

Greetings from Surecom Media!

 

As per our telecon, please see the trailing mail.

 

On the behalf of the editorial team, I take this opportunity to introduce 'CAREER CONNECT' Magazine as the highest circulated career magazine in India, known for its consistent high quality editorial and production and enjoying highest readership in the country. We have had the privilege of interviewing various eminent personalities of the education industry in the past editions for the same.

 

We have carried out interviews of principals of top schools, colleges and universities in our magazine and also taken quotes of various professionals of their fields for our stories.

 

For the next issue, we are planning to do a story on Optometry and we are inviting views from famous doctors/institutes to shed some light on the topic wherein we can tell our readers and students on the career prospects in optometry. We will be grateful if you can spare some time and tell us about the same. I am sure our readers will be extremely benefited from your unmatched knowledge.

 

Kindly share your views on the below mentioned questions by 18th April, 2014 with the high resolution photograph and designation of the spokesperson so that we can carry out the same in our magazine.

 

 

What are the various career options available in optometry?

Optometrists secure jobs and careers in the optometry departments/sections of eye hospitals & clinics, in the optical chains/outlets of the private sector, as faculty in optometry colleges and as researchers in the different specialties of optometry (clinical optometry, binocular vision, low vision, contact lens, dispensing optics, public health & community optometry, pediatric & geriatric optometry, etc., etc); as independent consultants to industry & institutions, and above all as entrepreneurs setting up & running their own optometry establishments/chains cum optical outlets. Jobs and Careers are easily available both in India & abroad.

Ready availability, often through campus placement, of jobs and career choices and high remunerations are a reflection of  the chronic shortage of optometrists in India, shortage of colleges and seats in optometry for 10+2(Science) aspirants AND lack of awareness about optometry amongst students and parents.

For optometrists with a couple of years of experience, the opportunities are manifold both in India and abroad. So do avenues for higher qualifications (Fellow, Masters, PhD, etc)

2.    What are the remunerations offered to optometrists?

Fresh Optometry graduates (after a 4-yr BSc. Optom/B.Optom course in a reputed college, would have completed a full year of internship in their final year. Their starting salaries now range from Rs 25,000/- to 30,000/-. They are the best paid amongst ALL Science graduates today in India. Opportunities and remunerations increase steeply for optometrists with good, relevant experience plus track-record, in India & abroad.

3.    Kindly talk about its scope in India and abroad:

Scope in India: India offers the best scope for optometry in the world. Firstly there is a huge demand for optometrists and a chronic shortage of optometry graduates. Optometry colleges are not turning out enough graduates. There are neither enough colleges nor seats. Lateral entry candidates (for degree completion after the inadequate 2-year diploma course) have fewer suitable opportunities to complete their degree. In addition the diploma courses have to be phased out in a few years, as strongly recommended by optometry education experts from India & abroad! The great optometry colleges of India are concentrated in the West (Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Dahod, Navsari, Surat) & South (Hyderabad, Manipal, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Nagercoil, Cochin, Calicut, Edappal, Perintalmanna, Palghat) with a sprinkling of quality colleges in the East (Kolkata), North East (Gauhati, Shillong, Jorhat) & North (Gurgaon, Chandigarh). There is sufficient scope for candidates to pursue higher qualifications in optometry (Fellowships, Masters, PhD, etc). ASCO runs an institutional fellowship program in 6 specialties. ASCO has played a critical role in starting lateral entry programs and Masters programs, joining hands with quality colleges. ASCO has also, recently encouraged the setting up of a brand new optometry college in Goa, where optometry education was absent so far. Great scope exists for edupreneurs to start Optometry Colleges. They need affiliation to a university plus attachment to an eye hospital/comprehensive eye clinic. With over 600 eye hospitals spread all over India, but only 100+ optometry colleges, clinical attachment for new optometry colleges should not pose an insurmountable problem. There is however a problem with university affiliation in some states.

Scope abroad: In Europe, the US, Japan, Most of SE Asia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc., the scope is excellent on all fronts. In other countries (like Mexico, Brazil, India) optometry & optometry education await recognition as a regulated profession, graduating from paramedical status to that of an allied health profession. A few south asian countries, Iran, middle east, etc., seek and get optometry education opportunities in reputed Indian colleges

4.    What are your insights on optometry industry (India)?

The proof of the pudding is in the eating of it! It is distressing that a third of spectacle users in India are wearing the wrong specs! What a waste of national and private eye care funding & resources! How will the ambitious targets to eliminate preventable blindness be met? Wrong spectacles can only result from wrong prescription OR wrong dispensing OR WRONG BOTH. Unqualified or callous people are prescribing/dispensing. Where are the quality checks? It is time that prescriptions are made only by qualified graduate optometrists. Dispensing should be done only by qualified dispensing opticians or better still, Dispensing Optometrists. One of the Fellow Program specialties run by ASCO is for Dispensing Optometry. Looking at the appalling state of induction & training for Opticianry in India coupled with the frenetic growth of the optical chains, ASCO is envisaging to institute a system for proper professional training of Opticianry aspirants with 10+2 (Science)

5.    How is Optometry different from Ophthalmology? Optometrists can do a thorough diagnosis of eye disorders, do refraction and prescribe medication and specs/contact lenses. It is said that optometrists are qualified to do 98% of the diagnosis that an ophthalmologist can. Only an ophthalmologist can perform surgery. In countries like the US, certain laser procedures are permitted for optometrists certified for the same.

 

Thanks &Regards,

Shruti Jain

Features Editor

Surecom Media

9810502601

Date: 02/08/2014