his article was written by a young man, Paul Hill, who will be applying to optometry school in the upcoming admissions cycle. I asked him to write this article because of the terrific success he had taking the OAT. I’ve asked his permission to report that he scored a 390 in the Academic Average and a 400 in the Total Science sections. With such solid scores, of course I asked him if he would share his OAT preparation method.
Jane Ann Munroe, OD, Assistant Dean of Admissions, SCCO
I wanted to be an optometrist when I was only 10 years old. Why? I had some kind of geeky fascination with eyeglass frames, and was obsessed with getting a pair of my own. In my situation, having perfect eyesight was a distinct disadvantage, so I had to hatch a plan.
After repeated intense squinting while looking at the blackboard, I approached my teacher and lied with conviction, complaining that I couldn’t see. This report got me first to the school nurse and then finally on to an optometrist for an eye exam, where I tried my best Mr. Magoo impression to no avail.
I would have to wait two more long years until the gods finally smiled on me when, by some miracle, I acquired enough astigmatism to warrant my first bona fide pair of prescription eyeglasses!
Along with my love of people and wanting to take care of them, subsequent visits to the optometrist and shadowing, I sealed the deal—optometry was now officially what I wanted to do with my life.
I made first contact with the Southern California College of Optometry when I was in 8th grade. My older sister had a newly minted driver’s license and so I coerced her into driving me all the way from our home in La Mirada to Los Angeles, SCCO’s then-home. After a master planning effort to plot out our route on a paper map folded in 8 places, we arrived at SCCO where my sister quickly surmised that I didn’t have an appointment with an admissions advisor. She called me a loser, drove me all the way back home and the next day, phoned to help make the requisite appointment.
I entered high school in the late 1960’s (ouch, that hurt) when young females wanted to be anything but what I’d chosen as my newly dedicated pursuit—a science geek. I wore thick horn-rimmed black eyeglass frames (told you I was serious) and hung around chemistry lab after class. This was at a time when women just did not pursue careers in science and being the tomboy that I was, that was fine with me. This trend continued right through into undergrad, attending many classes where I was the only female--bespectacled or not--in the class. At a recent high school reunion, many of my classmates still remember me as the science geek with the blinders on—many envious of my joy and passion for my future profession.
I graduated from SCCO in 1977. Looking back with 40 years of experience as an optometrist, I am awed to know that I chose this wonderful profession way-back-when and with only my juvenile perspective to inform me. In 1977 when I graduated from optometry school, the profession began a series of major changes to its practice scope: securing the rights to use diagnostic drugs (dilating drops), securing the rights to prescribe therapeutic drugs (huge change!), being recognized as physicians by the federal government and treating glaucoma. In some US states, optometry has made even bigger strides into minor surgery, use of lasers, hospital privileges...etc. If I had the opportunity to go back and make another choice and knowing what I do today about health care and my own hardwiring, I’d make the same choice for optometry--nobody loves this profession more than I do. http://www.ketchum.edu/index.php/about/administration-directory
I grew up with optometry and now it’s your turn to inherit its future. That’s what this blog is about—getting you into optometry school and I am just the person to help you achieve this goal. We’re going to talk about the admissions process, how to prepare to take the OAT, how to be a competitive applicant, how to prepare to interview, to name a few. We’re going to talk about SCCO, student life and what it’s like to be an optometric intern. I am very persuasive, motivating and I am completely sold on optometry as the best profession in health care. I speak from experience!
Get ready to dialogue. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and please, chime in on discussions. I want to know what kind of help you need. You got this!
In an article from Ketchum Magazine, Moena Dean, graduating from SCCO this spring, explains how she successfully completed her term as a student. And not just any student! Moena gave birth to a son and daughter while she was an optometry student and still performed academically well enough […]
For optometry applicants, taking the OAT is inherently stressful. It just is. Even so, for some OAT test takers, there is excessive and unnecessary self-inflicted anxiety that can be avoided.
This article will explain what you can do before and during the OAT to help deal with the anxiety inherent in test taking.
Tips for successfully taking the OAT!
Newly available are OAT practice tests, electronic versions put out by the agency who administers the OAT.
Ketchum University’s Southern California College of Optometry holds a unique distinction that speaks to its commitment to advancing the profession nationwide: It leads all optometry schools in the nation in the size of its residency program, offering 50 residency positions in 23 programs across six states. The majority of programs are offered in California, but there are affiliated programs in Washington, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah as well.
With a topic that does indeed influence the way admissions committees evaluate canidates, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth is a New York Times bestseller. The message is one that confirms what admissions officers have learned through experience: the secret to an applicant’s achievement is not […]
Find out more about the scholarship program available through the U.S. Navy for pre-optometry students.
Always the teacher and student of astronomy, MBKU’s President, Dr. Kevin Alexander hosted MBKU students for the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse viewing. He brought his own personal telescope on campus for the event. Dr. Alexander is in the baseball hat and dark blue shirt:
Another terrific article from ASCO’s Blog! Should be helpful to pre-optometry clubs: Pre-Optometry Clubs are an excellent way for prospective optometry students to learn more about the optometry field and develop their interests. Pre-Optometry clubs can help undergraduate students in their application processes as well as help them […]