- contact lens practice
- low vision
- sports vision
- children’s vision
- consulting in industry
Caring for people’s vision through a career in optometry is rewarding. Most new graduates work initially as employees of optometrists in private practice, with large optical chains, in public clinics and occasionally with ophthalmologists. Many graduates aim to eventually become privately practising optometrists.
Optometrists in private practice enjoy:
- great satisfaction in helping their patients overcome vision problems
- a responsible position in the community as a health professional
- the opportunity to be self-employed, either as a partner or a sole practitioner
- substantial monetary remuneration, particularly where they own or part-own a practice
- dealing directly with people for most of their working day
- comfortable working conditions
- the ability to attend congresses to interact with peers and learn about new developments in the profession
- the ability to work as an optometrist in many overseas countries
- the chance to help the less fortunate with participation in eye outreach programs
- Optometry graduates also have the opportunity to involve themselves in activities outside private practice such as vision research, teaching and administration and working for various professional organisations in the industry.
A good optometrist will enjoy working with people of all ages and have a genuine desire to help their patients.
A strong academic background is needed, as optometry courses are challenging and generally have limited places.
Once in practice, optometrists need to have an interest in continued learning and professional development. This should include clinical knowledge to help in patient care and practice management to further develop business acumen.
Where optometrists work
Most Malaysian optometrists are either self-employed or work for other optometrists in private practice. Optometric practices are like those of doctors or dentists and are usually located in office-type premises in or near shopping areas.
Sometimes optometrists work outside their practices, for example visiting homes of bedridden or house-bound patients, acting as a consultant to firms or factories at their premises, or working at health care institutions such as hospitals, community health centres or special clinics.
A small number of optometrists do not enter private practice after completing their course but continue their studies through research and teaching. These optometrists are called vision scientists and usually obtain higher qualifications such as a master’s degree or a Ph.D.
Association of Malaysian Optometrists is the professional association of Malaysian optometrists. The Association operates on a national scale and is concerned with the well-being of both its members (optometrists) and the general public. It aims to successfully establish young men and women in the optometric profession and maintain high standards of practice. Association of Malaysian Optometrists is vitally interested in stimulating the growth and development of the profession into the future.
Medical practitioners who specialise in the treatment of eye disease and surgery are known as ophthalmologists. They may also be called eye specialists, eye surgeons or eye doctors. Optometrists refer patients needing surgery or treatment of some eye diseases to ophthalmologists.