Why having a Mentor is Good But having a Sponsor is even Better!

There are so many mentoring programs that are available to optometrists in the industry. There are so many avenues ODs can explore, whether it be a local state organization or national event that bring like minded individuals together. Jobson hosts The Women’s Leadership Conference. Having a mentor can help with your career trajectory but having a sponsor can blast your career to the next level much faster!

What is the difference between a Mentor and a Sponsor?


It is integral to understand the difference between mentors and sponsors to identify and seek a sponsor
in the first place. The simplest way to distinguish the two is that while a mentor provides feedback and
guidance to you to create more opportunities for yourself, a sponsor is someone in a powerful position
who creates opportunities for you.

While a mentor helps you map out your career trajectory, providing constant feedback about where you
can improve, a sponsor directly advocates for you, helping you reach more visibility among your
organization’s leaders, advocating for you to have a seat at the table, providing a voice for you when your ideas different and helping you move up in your career trajectory. Sponsors give you opportunities that mentors can’t because of their authority.

The Value of having both a Mentor and Sponsor.

There is value in both mentors and sponsors. The environment you work in plays a key role in which you might need more. Where a sponsor might advocate for you for that board seat or job promotion, the mentor can help you with weakness or areas of improvement. The mentor can help with your personal development and have you gain the trust of the sponsor to actively promote you. Each provide different value at different times in your career.

Different Workplaces need different Programs. Employed vs Self Employed

Many young ODs are employed and have goals that they would like to achieve. Whether it be having their own practice, taking on an industry role or building their own personal brand, a mentor within the organization can help with that. Many large organizations that employ ODs have programs established to promote personal and career growth. When seeking a job in optometry one should ask themselves . Do they have a formal program? Do they offer regular education and training opportunities? Have other ODs that have gone through the program been promoted ?

As an OD that has their own practice whether private or sublease, it is a difference experience with a mentor or sponsor. The highs and lows of entrepreneurship can be overwhelming, having a network that you can reach out to get business advise can be instrumental in your business success. Having a sponsor can help you get that contract that you wanted, on certain insurance panels or even open doors for additional practice acquisitions. According to the AOA’s Survey of Optometric Practice. And many more women doctors owned practices in 2016 (39.1%) than in 2009 (20.5%) Sponsors can help escalate the discussion to sellers to want to choose you as the optimal buyer for their practice.


Why Women Need More Sponsorship?

An article by Harvard Business Review, A Lack of Sponsorship is Keeping Women From Advancing into
Leadership, explains the cause behind this deep disparity. While the grown awareness about women’s
empowerment has put them on the receiving end of great mentorship, they still seriously lack
a sponsor’s safety net compared to their male colleagues. Without Female Leadership in Optometry we are not able have diverse ideas to enhance our profession.

Sponsors do not only enhance one’s career satisfaction but often transfer power to other female ODs to continue to build and grow optometry.
Moreover, only having mentorship can be detrimental to one’s career in the long run as mentors only
provide feedback, not opportunities. This can lead to being stuck in a feedback loop and growing
complacent with it. The constant feedback can also translate into ‘correcting-everything-you-do,’ leading
to a lack of confidence in the receiver. We need a culture in optometry that applauds ODs questioning the norm, and thinking outside the box.


Final Thoughts
The industry has some great informative conferences to help with career and personal development.

If women are to make big moves in their career growth, both men and women in leading positions need
to sponsor more women. There is a clear gender gap in this area which explains the lack of women
leadership in pertinent roles As for my own experience, I have seen great achievements from other females in the industry that have been willing to help my business. 9 out of 10 partnerships have come from female lead organizations for my female owned business. That should be eye opening. Lets ask the hard questions and lift up the next generation of female ODs leaders to have a seat at the table!

Increasing Practice Value and Revenue with Technology

Increasing Practice Value and Revenue with Technology

By: Jeremy Bono, Sr. Technology Product Marketing Manager – ABB Optical Group

Patient satisfaction no longer just pertains to whether or not the patient was satisfied with their exam. It is much more of an all-encompassing measurement that pertains to the entire patient experience. From booking the appointment to how they were greeted at the front desk and from the variety of frame choices to how they perceive the overall value for the money and time spent, all these things and more are critical pieces to the achieving the highest ratings from patients. Like it or not, patients are consumers. For many practices it is hard to make that connection. But for those who do, it opens a whole new viewpoint from which to manage their practice. The most successful practice owners operating with this mentality are leveraging technology to exceed patient expectations and maintain high levels of patient retention. The pleasant bi-product of implementing these systems is improved in-office efficiencies and increased revenue.

For the past 6 months, ABB has been conducting various surveys to gain valuable insight into the ECP’s thought processes. Consistently, topics of revenue and efficiencies rank at the top of the most pressing operational issues. Yet, the interest level of activating the very technologies that can ease these concerns rank at the bottom of the list. Lack of time, awareness, uncertainty, risk and cost are all very plausible reasons for the disparity between these thoughts, but they should prohibit the practice from at least considering these technologies. There are numerous solutions to help protect your patient base while appealing to their buying preference and addressing some problematic office workflows, but there is no need to over complicate things.

Simply start by asking – what does your patient base want and need from your practice, so you are their eye care provider for years to come? Is it varied communication? Ease to schedule an appointment or reorder their contact lenses? Maybe they want the option for a virtual visit, or maybe it’s as simple as helping them maximize their insurance benefits.

Did you know that an estimated 20% of your patients have unused benefits? The problem is that if they are not on your schedule the likelihood of them maximizing those benefits, which can amount to tens of thousands of incremental practice revenue each and every month, is extremely low. ABB Verify, powered by Affinity Analytics solves this issue by automatically pulling in-network benefits for all scheduled appointments through intuitive integrations with leading practice management systems. It then sends patient emails and texts, reminding them of services due and of insurance benefits that may be available to cover those services. This proactive, targeted communication drives more patients back into the office for exams or products to help keep your schedule filled. Doesn’t that sound like a value-added patient service?!

Fact of the matter is that proper use of technology can provide your patients what they need to hold your practice in higher regard than any other competitive option. And ultimately, that’s what you want, right? Additionally, this same technology can help bridge any gaps between profitability, process efficiency and patient satisfaction.

If you’re interested in learning how you can exceed your financial goals and patient expectations by making the most of unused benefits and cut the time it takes to pull authorizations in half, please contact us today to schedule a demo on ABB Verify. Your patients will thank you.

ABB Analyze, powered by Glimpse

April 19, 2021

Every practice’s data tells a story. Not just of where they’ve been, but where they’re going. That data can serve as the North Star, guiding the strategic direction of the practice. The planning that follows most often begins with evaluating previous performance, setting a goal, determining the activities in which to execute to achieve that goal, implementing those activities and adjusting along the way based on the results – rinse, repeat.

All the intricacies that make up the plan can be complex and of course, ever-changing. But those complications shouldn’t apply to the collecting, storing and organization of that data. That’s where ABB Analyze, powered by Glimpse comes in.

At ABB Analyze, our sole purpose is to help practices succeed by making business analytics simple. Created by private business owners looking to maximize their performance, ABB Analyze understands first-hand, the challenges of successfully managing a business.

The system is designed to be intuitive, customizable and readily available. We show you opportunities, areas of improvement and how you compare to your colleagues. Most importantly, we save practices time so you can focus on what should be your number one priority, your patients.

To get the most out of your practice, you need to get the most out of your data. ABB Analyze will provide a clearer pathway toward increasing revenues and practice success.

To learn more watch this 2 minute video

Now Available! ABB Analyze Lite – FREE Access to 9 Key Practice Metrics – Get Started Here!

Jeremy Bono – Sr. Technology Product Marketing Manager, ABB Optical Group