Comparing Proportional Estimates of U.S. Optometrists by Race and Ethnicity with Population Census Data

Elizabeth Edmiston Chen, MBA, MPH, FAAO


The purpose of this paper is to characterize optometrists in the United States based on race and ethnicity. A 40-year record of students enrolled in doctor of optometry programs in the United States was used to estimate proportions, which were then compared with Census 2010 data. Black and Hispanic optometrists comprise a substantially lower proportion when compared with the population. Non-Hispanic White and Asian optometrists are a higher proportion than the population. This is the first effort to estimate the racial and ethnic mix of the profession.

Key Words: optometrists, racial, ethnic, disparity, clinician, demographics

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