An opportunity is defined as a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. Everyone has opportunities in life to do something. For every practicing optometrist, we had an opportunity to get into this industry, and we took it! We have come to a juncture where we really need to focus on providing quality care and service that makes an impact on our patients’ lives.
Optometry gave me the opportunity to provide eye care in a community I grew up in. It’s rewarding for me to check the eyes of teachers, coaches and families I grew up knowing and learning from. I practice directly across the street from my middle school and within 2 miles of both my elementary school and high school. There was an opportunity for me to give back to my community, and I took it!
To provide the best care, I also took the opportunity to participate with vision care plans. Those vision care plans allow patients to funnel into my office. A good portion of those vision care plans turn into medical care patients where I am able to identify and treat things such as computer vision syndrome or ocular surface disease, which increases the well-being of my patients. By transitioning those patients from vision care encounters to medical care encounters, I have an opportunity to provide quality medical eye care that has an impact on my community.
Every OD has the option to look at opportunities we have in our communities to increase the service and care we provide. For some, that’s joining a local chamber of commerce to get to know others in their community, while others may look at getting involved with school districts to provide school screenings or local care facilities to provide onsite care. Opportunities are everywhere for us to find areas to specialize in, and that specialization can help to differentiate your practice.
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has been quoted as saying, “In a world that is changing very quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” As I see it, not taking the opportunity to specialize my practice or get involved in my community was a risk not only for myself as a small business owner, but also as we all continue our efforts to elevate the role of optometry!
What opportunities that seemed like risks at first have paid off in your practice?