Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Vision Science

Committee Chair

Willard B. Bleything


1000 optometrists listed in the Blue Book of Optometrists were surveyed at random. A response rate of 44.5% was received, representing each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. The survey investigated student indebtedness and its relationship to practice modality. 9.67% of our respondents chose their initial modality because they needed to earn the most money possible. Of those, 50% chose commercial practice as their initial modality. 55% of the practitioners that initally chose commercial practice switched modes by the end of their second or third year of practice. For the 45% that did not leave commercial practice the majority were recent graduates and thus could not be followed over a ten year period. We tracked the initial modes of graduates between 1970 and 1994. It was found that there was an increase of commercial practitioners, a decrease in solo practitioners, while the number of employed optometrists in other modes remained relatively constant through time.

Included in

Optometry Commons