Insight and Advice from a Young OD: Part II

(Read Part I here!)

How did life change for you after you obtained your OD?

Well I can tell you for sure that there is no more sleeping in till 11 am then waking up and going to classes. Real life is a real eye opener. You have bills to pay, student loans to pay off, you have to be up in the morning to start work early, and you have to be prepared to work 5-6 days a week. However, you are making a comfortable lifestyle and can make an adventure out of it and enjoy it. The main point to take away from this is that real life is an adventure and you should live it to the fullest.

What is your advice to students who are unsure of what modality of practice to focus on when they graduate?
My suggestion is try them all because you never know what you are going to like.  There is no rush when you first graduate and I suggest taking a year to work in a specific modality. If it’s not for you, don’t be afraid to try something else.

How did you decide where to practice?

I decided to practice in a full scope private practice. A full scope practice means that the optometrist can prescribe lenses, glasses, contact lenses, and provide a full eye exam. What I enjoy the most about a full scope optometry practice is that you can watch a community grow ,which goes hand in hand with being involved with the community.

We are trying to educate students about private practice optometry. What problems do people encounter most in private practice optometry?

First let me explain the difference between public, private, and side by side practices:

– Public (hospitals)
– Side by side (exam and then glasses where you want to get them)
– Full scope (contacts, exam, glasses, etc.)

From running my own practice the main issues that I have encountered are firing, hiring, and the financial aspects. However, all that being said you would have encountered these issues in one way or another. It just takes time to practice these skills.

How did you get clients and how have you been able to expand your clientele?

When I was in my last year of optometry school I had been working with my mentor, who has now retired, and he had me take over some of his clients during my internship with him. This was a great segue into taking over the business with clients that I already knew. However, people who start their practice from the ground up also get the best referrals through their clients that they already have.

Client referrals are the best way to prove that you can provide exceptional health care, as
they indicate that clients think highly of you. Another great way to get more clients is to go to schools and inform students about what optometrists do and why you should go see them. For example, I go to elementary schools and introduce them to optometry and eyes with cool games and magic tricks. Another way to get more patients is to be a member in your community and show them that you care about their overall health.

I wanted to thank Dr. Colin Hobson for taking the time out of his busy schedule to allow me the privilege to interview him!



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