Home Health and Wellness OD Students Discuss Importance of Having a Mentor

OD Students Discuss Importance of Having a Mentor

In a recent poll sent exclusively to the new WO student board, most of the respondents said having a mentor in some aspect of their life– personal, professional or other– would be positively impactful.


Half (50%) of respondents said they already have a mentor, either through their optometry school or through a personal connection. Another quarter (25%) said they do not currently have a mentor but are actively seeking one.

Ashlee Payne

Most respondents (90%) said they think a mentor could help them with career choices issues. Academics (45%), personal issues (45%) and business issues (64%) were also popular topics. Ashlee Payne, a student at New England College of Optometry, said, “From my mentor, I like to receive information about what their younger or less experienced self would’ve done at my stage.”

Deanna Dale

Deanna Dale, a student at University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry, agreed. “I would want someone [as a mentor] who could offer guidance about my future career and help me make connections in the world of optometry,” Dale says.

Abby Wilhelmi

Abby Wilhelmi, a student at Illinois College of Optometry, is specifically looking for a female mentor with experience in independent practice, “especially when it comes to balancing family and work life,” she says.

Other respondents said,

“I am particularly interested in any mentor who owns a private practice or is associated with sports vision therapy.”

“I have always thought of my professors at school as my mentors.”

“I think I have always wanted a mentor but never really knew how to go about finding one. It would just be nice to have someone to talk to about optometry, school and balancing personal life and such.” 

“I would love to find a mentor with a pediatric passion.”

“I would love to own my own practice one day and would like a mentor that has experience in all of that stuff. I have a younger doctor that I can ask questions from, but I would like someone with more experience with the business and career side of optometry.”


Featured photo: Getty Images, Nuthawut Somsuk

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