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The Magic of Helping People See
My first eye exam was a magical experience for me. I was a typical nine-year-old kid who thought my vision was just fine. But, after that 30-minute exam, I realized I could see even better than I previously imagined. I couldn’t believe that in such a short period of time, someone was able to take vision that I thought was pretty good and make it even better. That “magic” is what led me into the field of optometry, where I’ve spent decades helping generations of families see even better than they imagined.
Cultivating Relationships Both in and Out of the Practice
Private practice was my goal from the beginning. I liked the independence and flexibility that allowed me to be there for others both in and out of the practice. Most important to me was being able to attend every single one of my daughter’s high school golf matches. I was the only father of the six girls on the team who made every single match--it was special to me and I know it was special to my daughter.
Private practice optometry has also given me the opportunity to help patients in ways beyond their vision. My favorite patient story is a 95-year-old woman whose husband had just passed away, and she was living by herself. She needed to keep her driver’s license in order to continue doing simple things like going to the grocery store or the bank a couple of times a week. We were able to get her to 20/20 vision, with the best possible correction and glasses she could wear. She went off to the DMV to get her license renewed, and then a few weeks later came into the practice jubilantly waving her new license. It meant the world to her—without that independence, she likely would have spent her last years home-bound, relying on others to meet her needs.
Getting New Patients in the Door
I am fortunate to say I am now seeing the fourth generation of my earliest patients. That tells me a couple of things. Number one: I’m old. Number two: Our practice has done a pretty good job over the years of gaining patients’ trust and building lifelong relationships with them. At our practice, we listen closely to our patients and ask questions not just about their vision, but also their work, their lifestyle, and how they spend their free time. When we have the whole picture, we not only get to know them as people, but we are better equipped to tailor our care to their specific needs. As a result, once patients walk in the door and experience our practice, they usually don’t leave us—rather, they bring in their families and friends and become lifelong patients. The key, of course, is getting those new patients in the door.
Working the Magic
As Doctors of Optometry, all we want is the opportunity to provide the best care possible to our patients. Programs like the VSP Premier Program and FEDVIP have increased dramatically the number of new patients that come into our practice, giving us the opportunity to work our magic and build lifelong relationships. As I see it, optometry is a lifestyle, a calling. We help people see better than they imagined possible. That’s magic.
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