Optometric Student Gender Trends and The Importance of Diversity: The Impact Of Women in a Male-Dominated Profession

Shilpa J. Register, OD, MS, FAAO


This paper discusses the gender trends of optometry students in the United States. The optometric profession began as a white male-dominated profession and has transformed into a diverse profession of women and men with varied ethnicities. This transformation can be seen specifically over the past 36 years. How will this demographic shift change the optometric profession? Although the answer to this question is unknown, our profession needs to be ready for the possibility of changes.

Key Words: Trends, optometric education, optometric demographics, gender, diversity

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