The Optometric Minute

How & Why One Doctor Became an OD in Her 40s

June 26, 2019

Launching a career in optometry later in life has advantages, including professional experience that can aid practice management. Kathy Rudolph, OD, shares what it was like starting her career as an optometrist in her forties, and how her previous professional pathways as an optician and an MBA graduate help her to relate to patients and staff.

Blazing Your Own Career Path
Leaning on a Career Support System

YOU CAN START AS AN OPTICIAN. A background as an optician and optical manager is helpful for a new optometrist in practice management.

TIME FOR ADDITIONAL EDUCATION. Putting off optometry school until later in life can  mean coming to it with another advanced degree, such as an MBA.

PRIMING A BUSINESS FOR GROWTH. An older, more seasoned professional is better prepared to build a profitable business than a young person who has never worked professionally outside of externships.

 

 

 

LONG HOURS. Spouses and children have to be supportive of an older optometrist, understanding that they may be gone from early morning until nighttime, and then will need study time.

FINANCIAL CHALLENGES. Financial aid for optometry school often is geared to young people who are on their own, rather than married people who have accumulated modest savings.

FIND MENTORS. Despite the challenges, older students can find optometry school a welcoming place with professors eager to mentor a student who has decided to take a less common career path.

 

 

Kathy Rudolph, OD, MBA, practices at Dayton Optometric Center in Dayton, Ohio.

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