American Academy of Optometry
American Academy of Optometry
Source/Disclosures
Source:

Heath D. 2017 National Optometry Workforce Study. Presented at American Academy of Optometry meeting; October 7-22, 2020; virtual meeting.

Disclosures: Heath reported no relevant financial disclosures.
October 19, 2020
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Hours worked, satisfaction similar among male, female ODs

Source/Disclosures
Source:

Heath D. 2017 National Optometry Workforce Study. Presented at American Academy of Optometry meeting; October 7-22, 2020; virtual meeting.

Disclosures: Heath reported no relevant financial disclosures.
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Survey respondents reported a similar number of hours worked per week and an equivalent level of satisfaction regardless of gender, according to a workforce study shared at the virtual American Academy of Optometry meeting.

Study author David Heath, OD, EdM, FAAO, of the State University of New York College of Optometry, reported at an academy-sponsored press conference that the 2017 National Optometry Workforce Study evaluated survey responses from 1,158 optometrists.

He said the study was conducted to look at gender-based disparities, demographic shifts, behaviors of self-employed vs. employed optometrists and the concept of additional capacity.

“In terms of supply, we know at the time there were 45,033 optometrists in 2017. Today there are nearly 48,000,” Heath said.

Shifts in gender balance have continued,” he said. “We are very close to parity.

“Results showed no difference in men vs. women in hours worked (38.9 hours vs. 37.5 hours),” he added.

Heath said that in 2017, “44% identified themselves as employed, which was up from 29% in 2012. We also found no significant difference in hours worked per week between self-employed and employed; employed ODs see 64 visits per week, self-employed, 59.”

He noted that respondents recalled higher levels of satisfaction in 2017 vs. 2012.

“For the next decade, capacity is estimated to grow faster than the U.S. population (0.6% to 0.7%),” Heath continued.

The data collected indicate a likely range of additional patient capacity of 2.29 to 2.57 patients per week; “this is much less than previously estimated,” he said.