Ignore the Negatives That You Hear about Corporate Optometry: Think Bigger

Ignoring the Negatives of what you hear in Corporate Optometry. Think bigger to what a career in corporate optometry can bring.

Not all corporate optometry companies or even brands within a company are the same. Find the right fit for you whether it is employed, part time, fill in, sublease, franchises , or even  selling to a private equity.

“Every obstacle is an opportunity waiting to reveal itself.”

Ask any ‘bright-eyed’ optometry student in their final year where they will want to work after graduating, nearly all of them will say anywhere but corporate practice. If you are even slightly familiar with the field, you will be well aware of how ‘corporate optometry’ is quite a notorious field. It suffers from a bad reputation in not just optometry schools, but well beyond.

‘There are too many patients’

‘Work hours are endless. There are no holidays in the job’

‘It doesn’t pay you well’

‘This isn’t full scope optometry’ and so on.

These are just a few of the many reasons you might hear from several  ODs against corporate optometry, and why they become a hindrance for those pursuing it.

Although some of these are true while some exaggerated and some even false, no matter what the case, it is also true that obstacles do not block your path, they are your path.

So, if you are a soon-to-be OD, here are a few tips on how you can turn the ‘obstacles’ of perception in corporate optometry, into opportunities.

Change your perception of obstacles

What you believe now to be ‘problems’ might not necessarily be so. It is simply absurd to be so prejudiced against the field that you don’t even consider it once.

Long work hours, low reimbursement plans, routine care or whatever other factor proves problematic for someone may not apply to you. Several ODs who have been working in this field are not working because of lack of other options. They love what they do. Who knows you might end up loving it too?

Focus on your strengths, not weaknesses

No matter how skilled you may consider yourself, the truth is, we all have the same degrees and many corporate opticals practice full scope optometry. Corporate optometry has a lot of foot traffic. Seeing a diverse patient base can strengthen your clinical skills.

Focus on your determination to learn and become better than who you were yesterday and develop your skills meanwhile. Corporate optometry jobs are everywhere, be it Walmart, Costco, VisionWorks, etc., so taking a sublease or even doing fill in work  will help you to continue to learn and expand your horizons.

As for those who say corporate optometry doesn’t allow you to widen your talent, it’s not really true. Corporate optometry allows you to be anything that you want. You can be an employee, a leaseholder or a franchise, a contractor or even an associate OD, depending on your goals. Moreover, if that’s not enough, you can privately pursue specialization in whichever area you are interested in.

Think bigger

Whatever you might be thinking, think bigger.

Many people consider medical professions because of the nobility that comes with the territory – the drive to serve humanity. So, being an optometrist is no exception either, especially a Corporate OD!

Even if you want to be a self-employed instead, you can consider starting off in corporate optometry too. It pays you well and is sure to give you experience and lessons that will prove beneficial to you in the future. This is because being a corporate OD allows you to interact with a diverse group of patients and learn the business aspects of optometry. Thus, you see and treat many different ocular problems and ultimately, learn learn a lot from the optical side of the business.

So, the truth about corporate optometry is that opportunities are everywhere! Obstacles seem to appear when you take your focus off your goals. So clean those spectacles and meet the so-called challenges head-on.

The path will become clear as crystal too. Just the clarity every OD wants!

Signs Your Body Gives You When You have Optometry Burnout

Optometry is a promising field, but like all other professions, it comes with its own challenges and difficulties.

Holding down a job in optometry is not an easy task. You have to meet many requirements, fulfill a certain criteria, serve a large number of patients, work continuously for long hours as well as work alongside people you may not necessarily like. Also, when it comes to optometry,

many people are doing jobs that they perhaps didn’t even want to do in the first place but are doing so because of a lack of options or other similar reason. Thus, burnout in optometry is not a new phenomenon, but despite being so common, many optometrists are unable to identify whether they are experiencing burnout or just temporary tiredness.

Doing something that you are not satisfied with for a long period of time is not only emotionally exhausting, but it can also affect you mentally as well as physically. Take a look at the following signs of optometrist burnout so that you can take the required action before it becomes too late.

You Feel Extremely Exhausted

Continuing to work at a job that stresses you out will lead to chronic fatigue. This means that whether you get 8 hours of sleep or not, your exhaustion won’t go away. You might think that the upcoming weekend or a short break from work will refresh and re-energize you but that ‘next’ break just doesn’t arrive. Weariness becomes your ally and you are likely to fell drained out and lethargic most of the time.

Headaches Become Frequent

Do you think it’s that late night Sunday party that’s causing you that headache? Or that the back pain you are feeling is because you have to sit at a desk from 9 to 5?

If you experience headaches, shoulder pain, back pain or any other pain frequently without doing any rigorous exercises or other physically exhaustive tasks, then it’s your body’s way of saying that you are experiencing burnout in optometry. This is because extreme stress decreases the production of dopamine and keeps your muscles tightened which ultimately leads to physical pain.

You Turn Insomniac

Sleepless nights or having trouble falling asleep even when you feel very tired is one of the most prominent signs of burnout. This can happen due to various reasons. For instance, if your job is too demanding, then you might be fearful of falling short and not being able to complete the required tasks on time. Or if you wanted to be a full-time OD but are instead stuck in a minor role in corporate optometry then, needless to say, feeling a lack of accomplishment will keep you up at night.

Other Signs

Apart from these, common signs of burnout include stomach aches as well as nausea, vomiting or even diarrhea in extreme cases. Moreover, excessive stress can lower your immunity, making you more susceptible to common cold, flu, and other common viruses.

Burnout in healthcare workers is a serious issue. So, if you are experiencing burnout in optometry, make sure to take a step back, evaluate, prioritize or re-prioritize things and take action if it’s time to consider a new job.

Routine vs Medical

Whether you have been practicing optometry for quite some time now or are about to enter the field soon, you would know how important it is to satisfy patients in terms of eye care and the overall service you provide.

And a major difficulty faced by ODs and optometrists worldwide is when their patients can’t understand why their visit is being billed when they have insurance or when their examination is called ‘routine’ and when it is ‘medical.’

Apart from customer satisfaction, what lies between your optometry practice being profitable and incurring revenue losses is to know when an examination is routine or medical and therefore, bill it accordingly.

While customers are normally confused between the two types of exams, a part of the confusion stems from doctors themselves.

When the ODs and the staff are clear and confident about the services they provide only then can they can satisfy their patients better.

What is a routine exam?

A patient’s exam will be considered routine if there is no emergency or chief compliant behind their reason to visit. If they don’t have a history of any major eye illness or disease, the diagnosis involves low to no decision making or the primary diagnosis is refractive in nature, then the examination will be considered routine.

What is a medical exam?

Unlike a routine exam, a medical exam requires some important decision-making. There is usually a chief complaint or some other ailment that compels the patient to visit an optometrist.

If the medical diagnosis correlates with their complaint or even if there is no apparent reason but the patient has a history of some ocular disease then their examination will be marked as a medical exam.

It goes without saying that everyone wants to save money. Therefore, most patients want to use their routine benefits in order to save what they can. But being an experienced practitioner, if you deem the exam to be medical then it is necessary to explain to the patient why you will be billing their medical insurance.

You need to handle such situations well because it shows to customers that you provide a higher level of eye care than they might have imagined.

It is best you sort things out as early as when a patient calls or visits to book an appointment.

Ask them if they have any medical condition such as diabetes, hypertension.

Diabetes is amongst the leading causes of blindness, so in case a patient is diabetic, let them know that their exam will be considered medical.

Also, ask the patients about their insurance details so that you can decide whether they are eligible for bill reductions or not.

Suggest if they require an OCT scan or a retinal photo and confirm their eligibility for different eye-health benefits.

Give your patients an intake form that explains when an examination is routine and medical.

Ask them to carefully read it and then sign and submit it to you before the exam.

This shows that they acknowledge their understanding of routine and health insurance benefits and how these benefits can be utilized.