Student to Optometrist – The Complete Guide to Your Transition

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Welcome back to our Student to New Grad Optometrist guide! It’s been 6 years since we started NewGradOptometry, and what a ride it’s been. We’ve published over 700 articles, interviewed a truly ridiculous number of awesome, innovative young ODs, and gotten to know so many of you! Thanks so much for being a part of this.

With that in mind, we’ve gone through our guide and updated every single thing that’s changed since we first published it back in 2015. And there was a lot! Not to mention all the great new content NGO writers have contributed, which you’ll also find linked here. This is the same great guide that 5 generations of ODs have used, with a lot of updates to credentialing, licensing, and all sorts of new research and products that will help you be the best new grad OD you can be.

So sign up below, become a part of the NGO family, and access this 100% free, completely up-to-date online guide! And thanks again for sticking with us on this journey. There’s so far yet to go!

Also, be sure to check out if you are looking for your first or next job as an optometrist. You can create a profile for FREE and be matched with the top eye care practices across the country.

Thanks for being part of the NGO family!

Matt Geller O.D.


  • 1 How To Get a License in All 50 States
  • 2 Finding a job, negotiating a contract, resumes, cover letters, and interviews
    • 2.1 The Job Search
      • 2.1.1 CovalentCareers
      • 2.1.2 The New Grad Guide to Job Searching
      • 2.1.3 The Do’s and Don’ts of the Job Search
      • 2.1.4 The Business Plan I Made to Land My First Optometry Job
      • 2.1.5 The Future of the Job Market for New Optometrists
      • 2.1.6 5 Industry Experts Pull Back the Curtain on Optometry Careers
    • 2.2 Resumes
      • 2.2.1 Resume Robot – Intelligent résumé advice for optometrists
      • 2.2.2 Optometrist Resumes: Do’s and Don’ts
      • 2.2.3 The Resume Writing Guide for Optometrists
      • 2.2.4 3 Resume Mistakes that WILL Cost You a Job
    • 2.3 Interviews
      • 2.3.1 Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for an Optometry Job Interview
      • 2.3.2 Solid Tips For Interviewing at Optometry Practices
    • 2.4 Negotiating a Contract
      • 2.4.1 Comparing Compensation Structures in a New Grad’s Contract
      • 2.4.2 Here’s What You Need To Know About Negotiating A Better Contract
      • 2.4.3 How To Negotiate a Raise With Your Optometry Employer
    • 2.5 Residency
      • 2.5.1 Guide To Optometry Residency Preparation
  • 3 Step by Step Credentialing Guide
    • 3.1 Getting an NPI
    • 3.2 Registering for CAQH
    • 3.3 Credentialing with major Medical Panels
      • 3.3.1 Medicare
      • 3.3.2 Humana
      • 3.3.3 Anthem BCBS
    • 3.4 Credentialing with major Vision Panels
      • 3.4.1 VSP
      • 3.4.2 Humana
      • 3.4.3 Spectera
      • 3.4.4 Davis
      • 3.4.5 Eyemed
    • 3.5 Billing and Coding
  • 4 Malpractice Insurance
  • 5 Taxes and Student Loans
    • 5.1 Taxes
      • 5.1.1 Employee vs Independent Contractor
      • 5.1.2 How to Avoid 1099 Independent Contractor Tax Hell
      • 5.1.3 Setting Up Tax Payments as an Independent Contractor
      • 5.1.4 Deductions as an Independent Contractor
    • 5.2 Student Loans
      • 5.2.1 6 Ways to Potentially Save $49,552 on Your Optometry Student Loans
      • 5.2.2 Should Optometrists Invest or Pay Off Student Debt? Here’s the answer!
      • 5.2.3 Investing for New Grad ODs
      • 5.2.4 Here’s How Refinancing Student Loans Saved Me Over 100K
  • 6 Practice Modalities
    • 6.1 Private Practice
      • 6.1.1 Opening an Optometry Practice Cold – You Better Have These 11 Personality Qualities
      • 6.1.2 5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Opening My Optometry Practice Cold
      • 6.1.3 Opening a Private Optometry Practice – Everything You Need to Know
      • 6.1.4 Opening an Optometry Practice Cold – The Complete Guide
      • 6.1.5 Here’s What It Cost Me To Open My Optometry Practice Cold
      • 6.1.6 This Is The Business Model I Developed To Open My Optometry Practice Cold
      • 6.1.7 How to Design a One-of-a-Kind Optical Dispensary
    • 6.2 Corporate Optometry
      • 6.2.1 Made For Each Other: Millennial Doctors and Corporate Optometry
      • 6.2.2 Corporate Optometry: Be Employed, Practice Independently, Own a Franchise. Which is Right for You?
      • 6.2.3 Top 7 Reasons Why Every New Grad Should Practice In A Corporate Optometry Setting
      • 6.2.4 The Average Workday as a Corporate Optometrist
      • 6.2.5 The Complete Guide to Starting a LensCrafters Sublease
      • 6.2.6 Opening My Independent Optometry Practice at Target Optical
  • 7 Clinical Reference Guides
    • 7.1 Reference Guides
      • 7.1.1 Artificial Tear Guide
      • 7.1.2 An Ophthalmic Topical Allergy Medication Reference Guide
      • 7.1.3 Glaucoma Medication Guide
      • 7.1.4 Steroid and NSAID Guide
      • 7.1.5 Topical Ophthalmic Antibiotic and Antiviral Guide
      • 7.1.6 Ultimate Guide to VT Norms
      • 7.1.7 Complete Guide to Understanding Crizal No-Glare Lenses
    • 7.2 Clinical Resource Guides
      • 7.2.1 A Complete List of Ocular Diseases with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
      • 7.2.2 Utilizing OCT for Glaucoma Diagnosis and Management
      • 7.2.3 Myopia Control – Everything You Need to Know
      • 7.2.4 Pediatric Eye Exams – Your Guide to Examining Children
      • 7.2.5 How to Prescribe Prism with Confidence
      • 7.2.6 Here Is How To Diagnose and Treat Binocular Vision Conditions In 5 Minutes
      • 7.2.7 A New Grad’s Guide to Ordering Lab Work
  • 8 Helpful Programs and General Advice
    • 8.1 Allergan Jumpstart Program
      • 8.1.1 Why You Should Join the Program
      • 8.1.2 A Review of the Allergan Jumpstart Program
    • 8.2 Staying Involved and General Advice
      • 8.2.1 How and Why to Stay Involved With the AOA
      • 8.2.2 5 Reasons Every Optometrist Should Attend COVD’s Annual Meeting
      • 8.2.3 Top 5 Benefits of a COVD Membership
      • 8.2.4 Success Outside the Practice — What No One Teaches You
      • 8.2.5 How New Graduate Optometrists Can Find A Mentor
      • 8.2.6 How to Prevent Optometry Burnout
  • 9 Continuing Education

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  1. Hi! This is really great, but does it actually come in a format that allows me to see all of the articles all at once?

    Thanks so much!
    Stacy Hu, OD, MS
    New England College of Optometry C/O 2015

  2. chris hedquist

    This was great, is there any way I could also get a copy in PDF I would love to keep a paper copy to reference.
    Thanks, Chris Hedquist O.D.

  3. Can I get the PDF version as well? Thank you! 🙂

  4. Christopher Lopez

    Agreed. PDF would be GREAT! Awesome guide!

  5. Anurika Joy

    Hey, I’m practicing in Nigeria but will migrate to Canada soon, please what is required for the Canadian board exam. If their are past question please do me a favor by forwarding it to my email:
    Thanks .

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