College of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Articles

Title

The future of optometric practice? The results of a survey of optometrists and optometry students

ISBN or ISSN

1529-1839

Publication Title

Optometry

Volume

75

Issue

10

Date of original Performance / Presentation

October 2004

Publication Date / Copyright Date

10-1-2004

First Page

615

Last Page

623

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is an apparent increase in the number of private optometry practices that are closing due to a lack of interested buyers. We examined some of the factors that influence the market for optometry practices in a survey of practicing optometrists and third- and fourth-year optometry students. METHODS: Optometrists in six states, and students at four schools and colleges of optometry, completed a mailed or faxed survey regarding attitudes toward optometric practice, including fair/reasonable compensation for a new optometrist, the value of optometric practices, and preferred mode of practice on graduation. RESULTS: Doctors and students differed significantly in the amount of money they reported as fair/reasonable compensation for a recently graduated optometrist joining a practice. Comparing students to doctors in specific categories of compensation, students chose a higher fair/reasonable compensation compared to doctors. Students were more likely than doctors to choose >$70,000 as fair/reasonable compensation, while doctors were more likely than students to choose $40,000 to $69,000. Doctors tended to overvalue their practices for the purpose of selling the practice when using percentage of gross income as a valuation method. Students' choices for mode of practice changed dramatically from their ideal when taking their current financial situation into consideration. Students were more likely to choose corporate practice as their preferred practice mode when considering their current financial situation than when not restricted. CONCLUSIONS: There are many factors that affect the value and marketability of an optometric practice. In order to sell a practice, the owner must consider the effects of the needs and desires of recently graduated optometrists.

Disciplines

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy

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