What does an optometrist do? For starters, he or she is responsible for providing vision care for people by examining their overall sight, ability to focus, and perception of depth. On top of that, optometrists also have the responsibility of testing eye-related diseases and conditions, like glaucoma or cataract. Additionally, they would recommend the right eye care or prescribe contacts or glasses should patients need them. If you’re passionate enough to take up an optometry course in Malaysia, check out these eight things you never knew about being an optometrist:
- You normally have standard working hours Some doctors are required to work on the weekends, long nights and basically be on call a lot of times. However, as an optometrist, you’ll normally be working a standard 8-5 on the weekdays. Once in a while you may be required to work during the weekends, but your working schedule won’t be as hectic as other doctors.
- Self-employed optometrists tend to earn more later in their career If you’re an optometrist with your own practice, you’re likely to earn more than your salaried peers. However, for the first years of opening your own practice, you might be earning less than the others until your practice is more established.
- There is now an increase in demand for optometrists Due to the country’s increasing ageing population, more optometrists are needed to provide eye care for the elders with visual problems. Malaysia is still facing a shortage of optometrists, and the country is working hard to meet the requirement.
- Optometrists have good starting salary in general The average salary range for Malaysian optometrists is between RM32, 000 to RM36, 000 annually.
- Less stressful working days Since you won’t be on call all the time and work fairly regular hours, your working days will be less stressful compared to other doctors. However, you’ll still face difficult patients or work-related problems on certain days.
- There’s no work to bring home Once your working day is over and done, you have the chance to relax and unwind without worrying about new problems popping up that need to be solved. As an optometrist, you have higher chances of a free evening all to yourself without having to do any planning or preparation for work at home.
- It’s slightly easier to separate your work life and your private life This ties heavily to point #1 and #6. As an optometrist, it’s generally easier to separate your work life and your private life and keep a work-life balance.
- No ongoing exams to progress in your career Once you have managed to get qualification as an optometrist, you can say goodbye to studying for exams, in contrast to dentistry and medicine where the doctors are constantly required to take exams in order to move up and progress in their careers.
In general, a career in optometry is equally challenging and lucrative as any career in other medical fields, but your working days tend to be less stressful since you normally work during the standard 8-5 hours, though you might still be required to work on the weekends. Nevertheless, the pros far outweigh the cons, and if you still want to pursue a career in medicine but would like to have a work-life balance, consider becoming an optometrist.