Making a Difference for 30 Years

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Growing up, everyone in my family wore glasses, so regular visits to the optometrist were a must. On one of our many trips there, my parents commented that it would be a good profession for me. As a kid, I always enjoyed going to the optometrist, so I really thought about it and decided they were right. After that, I really didn’t consider another path. I worked in an optometrist’s office throughout high school and college, and today, 30 years later, my partners and I have built six practices.

I chose private practice because I like to be in control. I dabbled in the corporate world a bit while doing my residency, and it just wasn’t the right fit for me. Private practice offers autonomy and the ability to run everything your way without any interference. Plus, it’s more about the patient care than the bottom line. I chose private practice because I got to be in the driver’s seat and focus on my patients.

My favorite patient story is a little girl, who was about seven years old, in second grade. Her grandmother had custody of her and her siblings and brought them in for a regular exam. I recall the little girl was very shy at first. After a difficult refraction, we determined she was a minus 850 nearsightedness and yet somehow, she had gotten to the second grade without glasses. We fitted her with glasses, and within an hour of picking them up, Grandma called to tell me the little girl was running around the house with her brother and sister like a crazy kid because she could finally see everything. Because of her glasses, she went from a quiet little girl who couldn’t see things like walls and doors, to a spirited kid.

These are the experiences that have inspired me over the years and motivated me and my partners to grow our practice in order to see and help more patients. We recently partnered with VSP Ventures, which will handle the business side of the practice so we can focus on what we love—seeing patients and making a difference in their lives. As I see it, that’s what our profession is all about.

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