What do you do for a living?
I am an optometrist. I run an optometry practice named Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, 4 doctor private practice.
How would you describe what you do?
We provide primary eye and vision care (prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses) and diagnose and treat eye disease with medication.
What does your work entail?
I am the CEO; I see patients in clinic and provide the overall direction and vision for the practice.
What’s a typical work week like?
Patient exams and visits from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, patients schedule on the half and quarter hour with a one hour break for lunch at 1:00 pm. In between patients and on wednesdays (day off) desk work, practice management, meetings and such.
How did you get started?
I purchased a practice and pounded the pavement to market it, grew it and purchased a second one years later.
What do you like about what you do?
Challenges; challenges helping people, treating eye problems, business challenges, working with colleagues and employees to strive to provide high level care and top tier business.
What do you dislike?
Dealing with insurers.
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
How much money do Optometrists make?
Varies – typical salary out of graduate school is $75-90K; Veterans average around $175K, but have heard figures as high as $700K.
How much money do Optometrists make starting out?
see previous question.
What education, schooling, or skills are needed to become an Optometrist?
Undergraduate degree and doctor of optometry degree (4 years post undergraduate) and one year residency training.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Striving to be the best; to stay ahead of the competition and provide high level customer service every time.
What is most rewarding?
Hearing “thank you” from a patient and seeing patients return year after year (building those relationships).
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Be sure to follow an optometrist in a private practice setting as well as optometrists in other practice settings (opticals, hospitals) before deciding if the career is right for you.
How much time off do you get/take?
As the owner, as much as I want – usually total 1 month per year.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
That we are not doctors. That we only prescribe glasses and contacts; they don’t appreciate the depth of medical knowledge nor that our state license enables us to provide medical eye care. 70% of all people in the US see an optometrist as their eye doctor of preference.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
Continue to grow the business, provide for my family and employees and help them grow through their career.