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What Career Path to Choose?

By Matt Geller, O.D.

With optometry being so diverse it's often hard to make a decision about what career path to choose. I educate graduating students and colleagues about all the options, yet still, there is no right answer.

You can choose from:

  • private practices
  • corporate employment
  • ophthalmology groups
  • nonprofit institutions
  • subleasing practices
  • research
  • industry

Not every practice is a perfect solution, but it can be a good stepping stone to a bigger opportunity.

Sublease Tips

We are trained to decipher red eye symptoms and identify sight threatening conditions, but not prepared to analyze demographics and develop marketing strategies. With a sublease, you can expose yourself to some risk without diving head first into a pool of debt and headache. A new sublease is far from the big leagues of opening cold and taking on small business loans, but you can hone your business sense in a controlled environment.

Sublease Tradeoffs

  • mutual partnership between the corporate brand and yourself
  • you borrow the brand’s marketing arm, demographics research, and foot traffic in exchange for your spectacle sales
  • your revenue stream is from exam and procedure fees

Your bottom line depends on revenue through number of exams or fees per exam. How you figure that out is entirely up to you.

An Opportunity In Disguise

Take advantage of your surroundings at the sublease! You should learn and understand merchandising, marketing, customer service, and accounting. The sublease is chock full of examples of how the industry optimizes its space and product. It is not the same as going to business school, but you can pick up some basic pointers and apply it to your ideas.


When you are looking for a new opportunity, consider all your options and do your research carefully. Before you pick a career path for the long haul, try it out and see if it fits your lifestyle and personality. The sublease option is a good start for anyone looking to branch out without all of the headaches of running a full time business.

Your Thoughts

Let us know your experiences with subleases!

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