Optometry Is a Fluid Profession
Slightly more than half of the respondents to the latest Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll are owners or partners in an optometric practice. Twenty-nine percent are employees; 9 percent are independent contractors and 11 percent are both owners and working elsewhere as an employee.
Almost 60 percent of respondents have walked in both paths, having switched from being an employee to being an owner or vice versa, or are currently both.
Among all respondents, 67 percent said they prefer being an owner, while 18 percent said they prefer being employed. The remainder reported that they didn’t have a point of comparison. In this poll, 77 percent of the respondents were female ODs and 18 percent were male ODs.
In this Pop-up Poll, some respondents added their own comments, with several noting that there are fewer business concerns as an employee. One said, “In my own practice I struggle with staff issues and worry when patients don’t buy products in my office,” concerns that don’t apply in the employed position. Another wrote that “being an associate is certainly easier. Being an owner is definitely more rewarding (and more work).”
Looking only at the responses from women ODs, the percentage who say they are employed is slightly higher, and the percentage who say they are an owner/partner is slightly lower.
Among women ODs, slightly more say that they have changed roles, with 53 percent saying they have switched from owner to employee or employee to owner and 38 percent saying they have not made such a switch. Ten percent of the women OD respondents say they are currently both.
The number of men who responded to the survey was smaller, but 77 percent of them identified themselves as owner/partner of their practice, and only 5 percent said they were an employee. Nine percent each said they were independent contractors or worked both for themselves and others.
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