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Graduated from optometry school, now what? A survey of recent graduates to determine the most effective resources and methods utilized to find practice opportunities

1 May 2002


A sample of 200 randomly selected 1995 to 1999 graduates of Pacific University's College of Optometry were surveyed regarding the most effective resources and methods they utilized to find practice opportunities. Ninety responses were received, representing 45 percent of those surveyed. The results indicate that 77 percent of respondents have worked in at least two modes of practice since graduation. It was found that the three types of practice settings most commonly entered into after graduation were employment by an optometrist, self-employment as an independent contractor with an optical corporation, and employment by an optical corporation. The most commonly used resources and methods of finding this first mode of practice were: mailing letters of interest to practicing optometrists, utilizing contacts or employment information obtained from a preceptorship, the American Optometric Association's National Practice Resource Network (AOA's NPRN), and postings of employment opportunities at Pacific University. The resources that were ranked as being most effective in finding the first mode of practice were: word of mouth referrals, professors, preceptorship contacts, cold calling, and state optometric associations. The most common types of practice settings that the respondents are currently working in are solo practice, employment by an optometrist, and partnership with one or more optometrists. The most commonly utilized resources to find the most recent mode of practice were word of mouth refetrals, state optometric associations, and cold calling. The resources rated as being the most effective in finding their current position were word of mouth referrals, the AOA's NPRN, and contacts made or information gained through a preceptorship.


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