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Published in the 1-15 Aug 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Paramedical sciences: courses with great scope - iii



is a profession which involves the detailed study of the anatomy and physiology of the human eye. It's a dynamic profession and offers a wide range of opportunities. Optometrists work with people with weak eye sight which may be due to various reasons and cataract patients. 

What's the job? An optometrist helps in diagnosing not only eye diseases and defects, but also diseases afflicting other parts of the body as varied as diabetes, hypertension, thyroid gland malfunctioning and brain disorders. For diagnosing eye defects, optometrists use various diagnostic equipments like the ophthalmoscope (which helps detect cataract and retinal diseases), the slit lamp microscope (to understand the external eye tissues), keratometer (to measure eye pressure). An optometrist recommends glasses and contact lenses for patients but normally does not perform surgery. He also works assistant to ophthalmic surgeons for eye surgeries.

A great Advantage: Optometry offers flexible working hours. An optometrist can work for three hours in the morning in one shop and three hours in the evening in a doctor's clinic. There is no nine-to-five routine.

Specialization in the job: In optometry, there are many branches like orthoptics (vision training to help people with eye muscle deficiency); and centres for low vision aids (these help in devising magnifying devices or telescopic aids for partially sighted people).

The Key Skills required: (a) Keen interest & good judgment making skills (b) Ability to make clear and accurate observations.

Difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist:
An Ophthalmologist is a doctor with an M.B.B.S. Degree and a post graduate degree in opthalmology. He can perform

surgery to rectify eye defects, while the optometrist isn't a doctor and cannot perform surgery. He can only fit the patient with aids that will help clear vision.

Job Prospects: (a) Work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, special treatment centers & gymnasium.

(b) Full time or part time jobs with various hospitals assisting the ophthalmic surgeons in surgeries.

(c) Private practice doing eye testing and recommending glasses & contact lenses for a patient.

(d) Opportunities also exist in the armed forces, industry and public health sectors.

(e) Join the teaching profession in medical colleges as lecturer or professor. ( only after enough experience )

Further Education / Specialization: Optometrists can take up other possible career opportunities such as Dietician, Nurse, Pharmacist, Occupational Therapist, Nutritionist, Physiologist, Audiologist as when the need arises or to make oneself establish greater credibility for more money and valued prospects.


RADIOGRAPHY and RADIOTHERAPY are the professions which involve one of the most interesting and detachable part of health diagnosis and testing. The X-ray test, CT scans etc… help the doctor to know more about a patient’s ailment & give effective and necessary treatment. Thus without radiographers and radiotherapists the doctors remain handicapped and will not be able to do correct diagnosis and give the required treatment. These reasons make radiography & radiotherapy occupy the top place in all paramedical careers.

What's the job? Basically the RADIOGRAPHERS conduct X-rays, CT scans, MR scans which are then seen by radiologists for diagnostic purposes. They operate equipments which are intended to study images of body tissues, bones and organs for diagnosis and therapy.

RADIO THERAPISTS give radiation to cancer patients which is the main factor in the treatment of cancer patients. Both radiographers and radiologists offer assistance to Radiologists in radiological investigations.

The Key Skills required: (a) Good decision making skills (b) Good communication skills. ( for high returns in private practice & handling people around ) (c) Ability to work long hours / shifts ( b'coz for more money you may have to work with more than one hospital / clinic ) . (d) Good physical fitness & stamina to bear the burden.

Job Prospects: (a) Work in both private & government hospitals. (Many vacancies are created in govt . hospitals. So there are huge possibilities of getting into a government job ).
(b) Work at your own convenience; managing time & work.
(c) Private practice - set up a clinic for various tests. Get into understanding with local doctors / hospitals who can refer their patients to the clinic / lab
(d) Opportunities to work abroad, expecially the Eest & Middle East. Salary drawn by an average radiotherapist / radiographer ranges between Rs. 35,000 - 40,000 per month. ( after a few years of experience )


MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY involves well trained and qualified professionals who will work behind the scenes, but will always form an unbreakable link in the health profession (something to feel proud about!). It's a profession of doing various Blood test, ECG, CT scan, X-ray, checking eye power and many more… 

What's the job? Medical technologists are involved in laboratory tests required for detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Their work is to carry out different kinds of tests and their analysis is to operate ecgs and record them. Also the medical technologists are trained to carry out pathological investigations from blood count smear to blood grouping, preparing vaccines, examining tissue samples, and testing urine and stool (and lots more...). Apart from this, they operate electrocardiograms too. Besides this, the work environment is always spick and span (and well organised!). This job carries with it, lots of personal satisfaction (not to forget the monetary gain!!).

The Key Skills required: A scientific bent of mind is what you should possess, if a Medical Technologist is what you want to be. Since you will be handling a whole lot of really expensive and sophisticated equipment, precision, accuracy and meticulousness will have to be your strong points. Your job will require you to work in and as a part of a team, be responsible, maintain records, and above all make correct observations (who knows, someone's life may depend on it!).

Best Institutes: (This rating is based on the popularity of the Institute & its credibility. There are many well reputed colleges in various states / cities. A larger list may be obtained from the internet):
All India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi.
Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore.
St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore.
Christian Medical College, Vellore, and many more…..

Job Prospects: This profession is one of the most lucrative one that gives people more satisfaction and high monetary gains. Apart from this as a medical technologist you need not fear. With increasing population, increasing rate of accidents, injuries, diseases, etc… the need for professionals is rising proportionately. This infers that there are great secure jobs awaiting medical technologist.
(a) Work in private & government hospitals, clinics & nursing homes.

(b) Private practice, set up a lab and do various tests. Also enter into contract with local doctors / clinics.

(c) Foreign Jobs: This is what maximum medical technologists opt for. After gaining 2-3 years of experience in India, you can try for a lucrative job abroad ( all over the world ) and the salary ranges from 35,000 - 40,000 ( Indian rupees ).


BSc. : Medical Lab Technology
BSc. : Radio Graphy
BSc. : Radio Therapy
BSc. : Operation Theater Technology
BSc. : DialysisTechnology

Any queries?
If you have any queries, kindly mail us. We will put the best solutions (not answers) for your career queries. 

Ameen-e Mudassar, Career Counsellor
MSW-Career Guidance & Information Center, Bangalore

Part I » Paramedical sciences: courses with great scope - i

Part II » Paramedical sciences: courses with great scope - ii


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