How Do I Become a Hospital Optometrist?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2019
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Optometrists diagnose and treat a wide variety of vision defects and eye conditions. Someone wishing to become a hospital optometrist must complete an undergraduate degree course and enroll in medical school. The precise responsibilities of a hospital optometrist vary but in many instances, these professionals are required to both treat patients and teach and train prospective optometrists. Therefore, an individual with teaching responsibilities may need to have completed a postgraduate course and spent some time working in a teaching or supervisory role.

Someone wishing to become a hospital optometrist should complete an undergraduate degree program in a science or medicine related topic. In many nations, graduates must enroll in optometrist school; competition for these schools is often intense, which means that only people with above average grades are admitted. An optometry course may last for several years, after which the graduate may have to pass a licensing exam before beginning work.

Many hospitals partner with local medical schools and students receive practical training from licensed optometrists who handle both inpatients and outpatients at the medical facility. In order to become a hospital optometrist with training responsibilities, an individual may have to complete a doctorate degree program in optometry. This program may last for several years, which means that when combined with an undergraduate degree and optometry school some have completed more than a decade of college or university study.


While some hospitals cater to the needs of a variety of different patients, many facilities specialize in providing care for certain individuals such as children or the elderly. Someone wishing to become a hospital optometrist may have to take a postgraduate degree course that focuses on one area of this science, such as pediatric optometry. Additionally, some hospitals are designated as research centers and employees of these facilities receives grants and loans which are used the fund the development of new treatments and technology. Typically, people employed in research roles must have completed doctorate degree programs that focus on a particular subject such as refractive and ocular surgery or ocular diseases.

Aside from academic credentials, someone wishing to become a hospital optometrist must have certain character attributes that include good interpersonal skills and the ability to make quick decisions and work under pressure. Some optometrists make house calls to out patients, in which case anyone applying for one of these jobs must possess a valid drivers license. As with many types of professions, people applying for jobs in the medical field are often subject to background and drug tests.



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