Dr. Melissa Barnett discusses how to become a contact lens specialist or identify opportunities for specialization by leveraging your passions.
There are many specialties in optometry – from vision therapy, to dry eye, specialty contact lenses, pediatrics, and countless other areas you can focus on or build a practice around.
Once you’ve identified a specialty that best aligns with you passion you should pursue it. The critical thing is to specialize in something. When you focus your attention on something you are passionate about – you quickly realize that what you are doing, doesn’t feel like work at all, and there is no greater feeling in one’s career than that.
Identifying your passion and subsequently something you may want to specialize in starts early on in your career.
This entire process can begin in school. You can subscribe to magazines, or join groups and organizations to learn more about a specific specialty you are interested in, and immerse yourself within in.
There are many groups that exist for this purpose – especially for those that want to become a contact lens specialist. These are groups you can join even when you are a student. Joining these groups is a great way to gain exposure early on and connect with like minded individuals to understand if this is a specialty you want to devote your career to.
Additionally, while we associate shadowing with the process necessary to apply to optometry school, shadowing when you are in optometry school is an excellent way to understand what you like and do not like. Shadowing has the great benefit of facilitating the opportunity to develop a relationship with a mentor who can guide you throughout your career.