What are the different modes of practice in Optometry?

Are you interested in opening your own practice after graduation? Or are you interested in working with larger industry sponsors? Well, you’re not the only one who has these questions, because there is such a WIDE range of modes of practice that exist in optometry!

Optometrists can work in a variety of different modes of practice. These typically include but are not limited to corporate optometry, private practice optometry, military optometry, academic optometry or even OD/MD practices. All these modes have different advantages and limitations, but the following provides some highlights of a few of them.

Academic OptometryCorporate OptometryPrivate Practice Optometry
-Engage and partake in own research interests

-Work with current optometry students

-Precept optometry students in clinical settings

-Possible teach laboratory or didactic classes to optometry students

-May not see own patients but get opportunities to work with different patients overseeing student examination
-Work under a corporate organization (Walmart, Target, etc.)

-Scope of practice and patient base depends on area where offices are located

-Provides good benefits for optometrists

-Hours vary depending on specific location demands
-Have more control on scope of practice, types of patients seen and types of exams provided

-Some business knowledge needed

-More control on personal life and own individual needs

-May take time for practice demands to increase

Learn more about private practice through AOA’s Center for Independent Practice here.
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